Melitastitches4fun's Blog

2018 in Review and A Preview
December 31, 2018, 1:22 pm
Filed under: General comments

Thanks to the 7,500+ visitors to my blog last year. I do love keeping track of my needlepoint here and am happy to share it with all of you. My annual review is a wonderful way to look back over the year & realize my accomplishments and contemplate where to go with it in 2019.

It’s been another busy year with completed projects, exciting classes, and needlepoint travel adventures. Where to start? It’s really been a year about learning how to design first from Orna Willis through an online 6-month course where I drew, painted, and transformed two designs into stitched pieces. The one design called Crescent Journey received 25 out of 25 points for both the design and color elements by judges at the ANG National Seminar and was awarded a 3rd place ribbon. It was my most complicated design until I completed my ANG Seminar 3-day design class with Kathy Rees. We each designed our own 4″ square piece during class and now I’m half done stitching my 12″ square piece (unnamed as of now and pictured in progress below). It’s a challenge but so is working on writing the diagrams and instructions on my computer for Crescent Journey. My friend Linda encouraged me to create more colorways for Crescent Journey and agreed to stitch a neutral colorway. I’m stitching a beach colorway. We’re both proofing my diagrams and instructions. It is taking me longer to write this up and create the diagrams than it does to stitch it! But, it’s a learning process and makes me appreciate other designer’s instructions so much more.

My Scotch Stew design was published in Needle Pointers May 2018 issue. I returned from Seminar in 2017 having learned how to graph stitch diagrams and sent them to Pam Gardner who redid them but mine were better diagrams than I had sent to her previously and she said that made it much easier for her.

That’s not all I’ve stitched. These were completed:

  • Metalforms by Jeff Kulick in copper/green colorway. It was a counted piece published in Needle Pointers magazine (Mar, May, Jul, Sept, and Nov 2017) and done along with others in both my ANG Main Line and ANG Keystone chapter members.
  • My name tags for ANG Main Line and EGA Brandywine are both stitched and I finished them myself. Keystone doesn’t wear them.
  • Speaking of Keystone, they hand out a free project and threads each year. This year was The Thistle by Carole Lake & Micheal Boren which was a counted piece published in Needle Pointers magazine Sept 2014.
  • Scotch Flower & Hearts, an original design and precursor to my Scotch Stew design.
  • Purple Mountains Majesty, an original design, as a challenge to use only one overdyed thread with at least 3 distinct colors in a design.
  • A stitch & Zip rose eyeglass case with a fabric lining added under the tutelage of Linda, an accomplished sewer as well as needlepointer.
  • Coffee Cups, a painted canvas, is done. I was one of nine members of my ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter to stitch on it.
  • The Crazy Quilt piece was fun to stitch with Betty Pillsbury teaching ribbon and bead work at Edwardian Needle. It was almost finished during the 2-day class because Pam had provided pre-work materials that allowed me to stitch the beads and ribbons right onto the patchwork base. Betty is coming to EGA Brandywine chapter in April 2019.
  • Hearts. Lots of hearts! About 7 of them either for Hearts of Hospice ANG Greater Kansas City Needlepoint chapter or ANG auction.

Here’s what I started (adding to the list of uncompleted projects):

  • Golden Friends by Toni Gerdes which is a counted design provided to members of the ANG Golden Needle Society.
  • Lotus Kimono, a painted canvas by Lee which is part of an ongoing project at my ANG Main Line Chapter to see how different stitch guides are written. I’m selecting my own stitches and threads.
  • Winter Scene Sleigh, a painted canvas by Alice Peterson which is also part of the ANG Main Line stitch guide project.
  • Patchwork of Peace, a counted design of the United States flag by Mary Clark Donegan, consists of 247 different blocks of reds, whites/ecru, and blues. I am using supplements by Connie Camp but on Congress Cloth and am using my own threads.
  • A poppies Stitch & Zip eyeglass case.

My travels took me to:

  • Needlepoint Junction on Hilton Head Island where you can find loads of beautiful threads and canvases.
  • Nimble Needle in NJ quite often for various threads, tools, and Tulip needles
  • Rittenhouse Needlepoint at their new location at 12th & Arch to select threads for Lotus Kimono and the new Crescent Journey colorways. Linda & I spent 4 hours there – fun but not as easy as I anticipated!
  • Woodlawn Exhibit in Alexandria, VA with Bill. He’s my lucky charm! My original Zentangle design was awarded Honorable Mention ribbon.
  • New Jersey Needle Festival where we joined 100+ stitchers and vendors for a day of some fun stitching and shopping.
  • Fort Hunter Needle Art Exhibit in Harrisburg, PA with Linda. It was smaller than Woodlawn but larger than I expected with over 150 pieces on display from a half dozen area guilds representing a wide range of techniques – all done exquisitely.
  • Half Moon Handwerks in nearby New Cumberland, PA. Linda & I can’t get within 10 miles of here and not stop! I love their selection of Chameleon threads (hand dyed in Africa) which I have only found here. And, Linda loves their fabrics.
  • Washington, DC for ANG’s Annual Seminar. I surprised myself with the level of complexity in the 12″ square design that I’m stitching now. Kathy Rees really taught us the foundation of how to design geometrics in her 3-day class.
  • Scrim Discovery in Ocean City, NJ not only has threads and canvases but an amazing collection of stunning tote bags to place needlepoint on them.
  • Valley Forge Quilt Show. This is Linda’s Quilt Guild that exhibits and sells hand made goodies every other year. Great people doing amazing work!
  • Dyeing to Stitch in Virginia Beach, VA proved to me that I need to stop at “embroidery” stores as much as I need to stop at “needlepoint” stores. It didn’t take me too long to find something new that I had to have.
  • Orna Willis’ new studio. When Orna announced her open house, I knew a few members of my Main Line Chapter would want to go too. Four of us attended the event and met a half dozen other people I knew when we were there. Amazing space and light. We’ll have to plan a class there for our chapter.

I didn’t make much progress on these painted canvases: Vases, Swirling Leaves, Embracing Horses, JP Bird of Paradise & Bamboo, and JP Orange Orchid & Bamboo. Other projects have been waiting for me since as far back as 2011: Stitches in Sterling, Tar River Trail, Sisters, and Rozashi – Patterns in Blue and Green. But, they will be there for me this year!

Some fun times are already scheduled for 2019 including:

  • Woodlawn Exhibit
  • 2-day class at Rittenhouse Needlepoint with Sandra Arthur for beads and ribbons
  • leading ANG Delaware Seashore Chapter in Overdyed Spools, my design in the 2017 ANG Chapter Project Book
  • Stitcher’s Escape Cruise to Bermuda with Jean Farish
  • ANG Seminar in Houston

Thanks for coming along with me this past year and I’m looking forward to sharing my adventures over the coming year! Hope you have a healthy, happy New Year.

9 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Oh my! That design is absolutely stunning! I can’t wait to see how it all turns out!

Comment by BFromM


Comment by melitastitches4fun

Wow! Your design is beautiful. Hoping that you publish the stitch guide. Happy New Years! Monica

Comment by Monica

Its spectacular. Great design, enjoy!

Comment by karen milano

Thanks Karen!

Comment by melitastitches4fun

You definitely have had a busy year and 2019 looks like fun as well. Kudus and Happy New Year!

Comment by brendasneedlepointstudioblog

Best wishes to you too Brenda! Love watching your stitching progress too.

Comment by melitastitches4fun

I so enjoy your blog, thank you! I live nowhere close to any “stitching buddies”, shops, etc. and it is such a pleasure to see how you do things, fiber lists, etc. Happy New Year. Loving Patchwork of Peace and the congress cloth!

Comment by Mary Kay Cammack

Thanks Mary Kay. Glad to hear what you enjoy in my blog. That’s one of the real benefits of the internet. It brings the world to you no matter your location. I see you’re in ANG! Maybe we’ll meet at Seminar one day! Happy New Year to you too!!

Comment by melitastitches4fun

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