Melitastitches4fun's Blog

Starburst by Patricia Hartman

What I am calling the companion piece to Orchid Lady by Mary Knapp is Starburst by Patricia Hartman. They are both on black Congress Cloth using Heather as the key overdyed thread in my kit from Ann-Marie Anderson-Mayes from Australia. The others at ANG Main Line Stitchers are stitching Anne-Marie’s design, Celestial Twist, with her threads.

Oddly enough, the same 4 threads are all I need for this piece and I have plenty.

I love the movement of the 4-way bargello pattern. Very appealing design. It was in the ANG Chapter Project Book in 2015 and we did it as a project but I didn’t have time then. So, now I’m doing it. It looks like it’s bursting out from the center!

Books in My Library – A Needlepoint Christmas with Ruth Dilts and Sandra Arthur

Books are always appreciated! And, I’m sure I’ll enjoy these.

In May 2012, I donated quite a few books in an effort to make room available for what turns out to be more books ( I still have (probably) more books than I need or use. Then in August 2012, I started a post of “Books I Am Keeping” but never completed that draft. That was almost 10 years ago! Well, I think I’d like to resurrect that idea and discuss books I do own. So, this is my first post to begin a series of book reviews.

Needlepoint 202 A Guide to 12 Different Techniques with Illustrations for Embellishment of the Painted Canvas by Ruth Dilts intrigued me because my ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter has been discussing how to stitch painted canvases. I’ve not read every page but I found the discussions of thread painting and tufted couching particularly interesting. The book (from 2007) provides stitch guides for 12 painted canvases of which I easily found 4 are still available (online google search) including: Baby Carriage by Cooper Oaks, Moose in the Birches (Oval) by Kathy Schenkel, Slavic Doll by Shelly Tribbey, and Grape House Gingerbread House by Susan Roberts. The stitch selections for all the canvases are still interesting to read. I liked the thread blending for the shading of the Water Maiden by Terry Medaris (Sundance Designs). That canvas doesn’t appear to be available but the shading on the painted canvas is seen quite often and is similar to that seen in Madonna #2 by Terry Medaris (Sundance Designs). There are 42 stitch diagrams in addition to the technique diagrams. And, Ruth discusses aspects of 32 threads used in the models. I didn’t know that the twist of Splendor is tighter than most silks making it easier to use and unlikely to snag on your fingers/hands (unless they are really rough). I haven’t read too many stitch guides for painted canvases but what I have read are presented in a table with columns for Area, Thread, and Stitches. Ruth writes conversationally rather than in a table format which I found made for more of an enjoyable read.

Shapes of Needlepoint Diamonds, Hearts, Octagons, and Stars – Series II completes my collection of Sandra Arthur’s series of 4 books covering all different shapes. I love that Sandy indexed them by shape and by thread count. However, they can be adjusted to fit the space you have available. The diagrams are large and easy to read. Google duodesignsinc and look for the tab for books and you’ll see details of each 100-page book and examples of the diagrams. Past Christmases brought the others in Sandy’s Shapes of Needlepoint. So, I might as well include them in this post as well. They are: Circles, Squares, Triangles, Rectangles – Series I; Corners, Hexagrams, Ovals, Parallelograms – Series III; and Diagonals, Horizontals, Verticals – Series IV.

While waiting for my husband to golf at Shipyard on Hilton Head last month, I pulled up a chair to the book table at Needlepoint Junction (basically just across the street in a mall) and found Tisket, Tasket, Lots and Lots of Baskets by Sandra Arthur. I have an idea about baskets that I’d like to pursue at some point. Sandy really captures the art of basketry. I hadn’t see this book on her website or in her Etsy shop. So, this was a must have!

A Sew Together Bag for Christmas 2021 and A Smasta Revealed!
December 24, 2021, 3:08 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It was 2 years ago when I got a lovely project and matching thread bag from Linda who excels as a needlepointer and quilter! I do enjoy being a test recipient of new designs. This, “Sew Together Bag” has the same fabric making for quite a lovely set!

There are 4 open pockets, 3 zippered pockets, and a zipper to close up with two carry handles! It’ll hold tools, threads, or both! It fits nicely inside the matching project bag. Linda even included a lovely selection of threads. I can sew a button back on but that’s it. This looks very complicated to put together. Thanks again Linda!

By finally exchanging Christmas gifts with Linda, I can now use my Smasta! It’s a fantastic travel tool tote because it zippers open and stands up to show all your tools and have them ready at your fingertips. I saw someone using it at the EGA Seminar and ordered one for me and one for Linda. Not as pretty but hopefully as useful and she didn’t already have it!

Orchid Lady, Finished

Heather is the key overdyed thread in my kit from Ann-Marie Anderson-Mayes in Australia for Orchid Lady by Mary Knapp on black Congress Cloth. The others at ANG Main Line Stitchers are stitching Anne-Marie’s design, Celestial Twist, with her threads.

The 4 center Rhodes used 4 strands from the overdyed skein with the away knot placed the same distance from the starting hole. Since I rotated the canvas as I stitched, the green fell in the center long stitches in a circular position.

An Amadeus that share the center holes can be tricky on the second side unless you hold your working thread off to the side so you can see the holes for you to insert needle into and then pull the thread taut. A huge help especially on black Congress Cloth! I decided to make these and the outer bargello border yellow.

There is plenty of threads for the next piece.

JP Bird of Paradise & Bamboo, Finished

Sometime before March of 2016, I had purchased JP’s Bird of Paradise & Bamboo canvas at Gazebo Plus in New Hope, PA (sad to say, it has since closed permanently). In March of 2016, I found a companion piece at Waste Knot in Arlington, VA, JP’s Orchid & Bamboo with almost the same motifs. 

My opportunity to begin them came with the 2017 Seminar where Cynthia Thomas was having a Painted Canvas Embellishment Class. She was gracious enough to address the additional panel on the second canvas for the orchid since I wanted to have them match as much as possible. The Bird of Paradise is done now thanks to our painted canvas project at ANG Main Line Stitchers and Beth for stitching the same canvas. Beth used threads and stitches suggested by Betsy at Fireside Stitchery (although I’m not going to post her piece here, I will mention some differences). Beth actually finished before I did! So, I had to buckle down and get ‘er done for this month’s meeting! Members of our chapter continue to enjoy our canvas discussions during our MLS monthly meetings. 

I forgot to post this last month. So, here are the final discussion points. 

Bird of Paradise Panel: Both stitch guide writers, Betsy (for Beth’s) and Cynthia (for mine), selected the same pattern but oriented it in the opposite direction. Isn’t that amazing that of all the stitches, they selected the same one. Both threads are red although Beth used a very slightly overdyed cotton floss and I used a solid perle. Both pieces highlight the lovely colors in a Bird of Paradise. Beth used all Vineyard Silks for the flower and Rainbow Linen in tent stitch for the stalk. I used all sparkly threads for the flower and Needlepoint Inc Silk over a padding of Very Velvet for the stalk. 

Center Blue and Beige Panel: Beth stitched this center panel in all tent stitch as had been done for the 3 larger coin motifs on the outer left and right panels. On this panel, a little sparkle is added by using Neon Rays+ and Silk Lamé Braid (rather than the beige ThreadworX for the 3 larger coin motifs). I stayed with the same beige Kreinik used for the 3 larger coin motifs and also used Vineyard Silk for the blue areas. I stitched mostly tent except for 3 square motifs where I used diagonal stitches to fill in the area.

Bamboo Panel: Beth transitioned from a light ThreadworX overdyed thread to a darker Sampler Thread overdyed thread using the Nobuko stitch for a full coverage. I used 2 strands of a beige Splendor in a very open stitch (Railway Woven) allowing the shading from the painted canvas to show. I used Interlocking Gobelin for the stalks and random or long/short as did Beth for the leaves. 

So, how long will it take for me to finish the other one? I hope to finish it in 2022. They will be a set of pillows and probably my last pillows for quite some time! Have you seen the Dr. Rick commercial with the pillows? Well, that woman will be me and my husband will be Dr. Rick if I don’t stop with the pillows (do a google search for youtube dr rick pillows – makes me laugh every time)!

Woodlawn’s 58th Needlework Show is Online and Photographs are Wonderful!
December 7, 2021, 10:57 am
Filed under: General comments, Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition

From Woodlawn’s email:

Woodlawn’s 58th Annual Needlework Show was earlier this year. Perhaps you weren’t able to make it to Woodlawn to see all the pieces, or maybe you came and want to see all the incredible work again!

If so, we proudly announce the second annual virtual showing of Woodlawn’s on-site Needlework Show. Our 2021 Needlework Show, “Hindsight 2020: Needlework Expressions of a Historic Year” is now available to view online! Purchasing a ticket allows you to peruse the hundreds of beautiful pieces that appeared as part of May’s in-person needlework show via our online platform. We are so excited to virtually share this wonderful show with you!

To purchase tickets, please visit the following link:

After you purchase your ticket, you will receive a confirmation email with a link and a password to view the Virtual Show, which you can view at your leisure from December 6, 2021 through January 6, 2022. Your ticket price helps us preserve this tradition and supports our efforts as we prepare for the 2022 Needlework Show.

Here’s a small sample of the photos & when you click on one, close up photos of that piece can be seen as well! They have really done a lot of work for the online exhibit & it’s wonderful.