Melitastitches4fun's Blog

Spring Sampler in the Making

Making Stitches Work For You with Carolyn Mitchell is an ANG Cyberworshop that began January 2020. It’s 4 lessons over 4 months. So, this is the last month. However, Carolyn extended our class through May 15. Now that I finished Fiona’s piece, I can focus on this piece.

During these past few months, I tried mapping out stitches from a couple of books on my computer but it wasn’t working. It seemed that the symmetry on either end was always off. Making 25 different bands seemed daunting.

Finally, I remembered the main lesson I learned from Kathy Rees’ design class which was to select stitches that would be divisible for your area. In this case, I wanted 12″ square. Since 216 can be divided evenly by 18 and 24, then I could look at stitches with heights/widths of 2, 3, 6, 9 and 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, respectively. Once I combined the lessons learned from both teachers, I began to create this symmetrical band sampler. Except for the center band of 30 threads (not mathematically divisible with 216), the rest of the band heights/widths will include: 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 18, and 24.

I started on the center band with a decorative Jean Hilton plaited ray stitch (from Jean Hilton’s Stimulating Stitches, Plaited Rays, pg 28). However, 7 units of my center Band 13 motif was slightly smaller than the 216 thread width but compensation with three threads on each side worked out fine. This is also part of one focal point Kathy Rees provided in her class diagrams.

I have no idea how much thread I will need. And, am going to work out of my stash. So, I pulled purples and blueish purple and am going to contrast with off white/beige which I have plenty of and goes with almost every. Now, I may have too many threads!

As I said, I started with the center focal point and wanted to introduce the key thread, an overdyed purple thread (Waterlilies 006 Amethyst), purple (Splendor S809), beige (Soie Perlee SPS #694), and sparkle (Bijoux MMT 412 Amethyst and 411 Cape Amethyst). I was really surprised that just the one band took so much of the Waterlilies, Splendor, and Soie Perlee.

For the bands adjacent to the center Band 13, Bands 12 and 14, I selected a sparkling beige Silk Lame Braid Petite SP100 for two cross stitches, an overlapping cross stitch and Greek stitch.

In Painted Canvas Embellishment: An Idea Book by Carole Lake and Michael Boren (pg 89), I saw that they diagrammed a variation of the overlapping cross stitch by laying a single laid thread first. So, I did that for the next lower band, Band 15, which is over 2 threads. The laid thread is a light, shiny purple Panache PN11 and the cross stitch is a single strand of Splendor S918. For the upper band, Band 11, I laid a single strand of Panache and used the Greek stitch with a single strand of Splendor.

I’m very happy with my beginning bands.

Band 11 (top) through Band 15 (bottom)

April 12, 2020, 1:34 pm
Filed under: Melita's Designs, Welcome Baby Fiona

As you can see, Fiona joined us in January 2020 and I finished it shortly after her third month birthday! So many cute pictures of her but I finished her piece on Easter Sunday. So, this one seems appropriate.

The crayon lettering for “January” is from chart 95 on page 34 in Alphabets Galore 136 Alphabets Leaflet 3071. I made up the numbers and lower case letters. ‘Welcome to our world’ lettering is from chart 79 on page 28 in the same leaflet.

It may be a while until I can get it framed and delivered but I am happy that it is ready whenever I can go somewhere.

Happy Easter or Passover to all!

Coronavirus Masks
April 5, 2020, 9:12 pm
Filed under: Coronavirus Masks

The material for the masks is a reusable grocery bag. Since I don’t own a sewing machine, these are sewn by hand. I used a plastic covered paper clip for the nose piece. I sewed it tightly into the top center secured on both ends so it stays in place.

I tried multiple layers on my first mask (on the bottom in the photo) and it works but it feels too warm to wear for any length of time. Even without the second tie, it is secure under my chin.

The second mask (on the top) is a single layer and much better. Instead of attaching another piece of cloth to tie, I angled a connector to the top long piece of cloth.

These will do until we can find real masks.

Crazy Quilt and Sisters, Framed

In the before time (pre-coronavirus days), I had dropped off three pieces to get framed at Romeo’s Fine Arts in Lansdale, PA and a couple of weeks later three more pieces at Repenning Fine Arts in Audubon, NJ. Several of my ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter members recommended Pam and Dave at Romeo’s and I decided to try them. But, I’ve been happy with Jim and split my framing between both stores. Note to self: Get pieces framed as you finish them. It feels harder on the pocketbook but it’s really the same. Anyway, . . .

When Romeo’s called saying that the pieces were ready for pick up, I was thrilled. The weather is gorgeous this week and we needed a reason for a road trip. It’s normally an hour going with usual traffic but not today. And, since we were out, we drove further north to a Giant (food store) in Allentown for Lusitania bread and rolls that’s from a local bakery that we like. Pam and Dave met us at the front door for curbside pick up with the pieces wrapped in clear plastic so we could see them. And, we got the last two loaves at Giant. Got steak sandwiches from Pudge’s in Lansdale on the way home. They were still a little warm when we got home but threw them in the oven to heat up and they were fantastic! What a great day.

The one I had framed for ANG’s exhibit at Seminar won’t be posted until after Seminar. But, I will say that Dave did a special mat for the piece and it looks great.

The Crazy Quilt was finished in April of 2018! It was from a class at Edwardian Needle with Betty Pillsbury. I’m very happy with the white and purple mats in a simple white frame. The piece pops. The black you see is shadow from taking the photo outside in the sun.

Pam had a hard time with Sisters, from the pilot class with Nancy Cucci and the good people at ANG Delaware Seashore chapter in Rehobeth, DE. In retrospect, I should have just started over on a different piece of canvas but I didn’t because I thought blocking would fix it. The left side of the canvas was warped oddly. So, despite trying 3 times to block it, the edges don’t line up with the mat on two sides. Pam said if I can’t live with it, she’d try again. But, she got it better than I expected. Now that I look at it, if the outermost silver stitched row were covered, it might be better. What would you do?

Since both pieces had beads, I decided to splurge for museum quality glass. You can’t even tell there is glass in direct sunlight. Photos in the sun are really tough to get with regular glass. I don’t always frame with glass but when I do, I may use museum glass more often. And, I am excited to hear from Jim so we can make another roadtrip.