Melitastitches4fun's Blog

Orchid and Bamboo Grows

The Main Line Stitchers chapter held our Stitch-in on Saturday. It was a small group of 5 and a few on Zoom. It was the first time to meet at United Methodist Church in Paoli. It’s locked at all times so people must call me upon arrival to get in. It worked well. Two long tables were wide and long enough for five. Great lighting. The Zoom people could hear well even without the eSpeaker. They can’t see everyone but that was fine.

I progressed on the left panel of Orchid and Bamboo. There wasn’t any more football on Sunday but the Philadelphia 76ers (basketball) actually have a team that can win. It’s not as easy a sport to watch and stitch as either football or baseball but I finished the left panel anyway later that day. Again, I took a photo and superimposed the stitches on top to figure out the compensation inside the medallion.

Books in My Library – Canvas Applique, Diaper Patterns, and Potpoutti of Pattern Encore by Ann Strite-Kurz

Ruby Razzle Dazzle captured my attention and introduced me to Ann Strite-Kurz’s designs. It is a collection of a variety of techniques which looks exceedingly complicated but lovely! I did get the booklet of instructions recently and will get to it. But, it is not a needlepoint book.

The first book in my collection of books by Ann is Diaper Patterns. I needed it in order to create a diaper pattern for Step 3 of the EGA Master Craftsman program. Ann’s inscription to me reads, “Welcome to my world of Diaper Patterns”. What a comprehensive booklet with 131 pages and a CD with about 500 images! The diversity of the outstanding examples are due to many contributors who provided finished pieces and stitch samples. Many of the people I have had a pleasure to meet over the years or take classes from. It’s such fun to read about a piece that I admire even if I haven’t stitched it. Linda from ANG Main Line Stitchers completed Dorothy Lesher’s The Snowbird beautifully and Ann describes and diagrams (with Dorothy’s permission) one of the white and blue patterns which is a diapered variation of the Old Florentine stitch. Ann explains that the white pattern on her dress could be a diaper pattern if the short outline stitches were executed in a contrasting color. With the images Ann provides, this provides hours of entertainment and education. Ann describes a diaper pattern succinctly as “visual diagonals in both directions” and then goes on to describe differences between groundings, stripes, and diapers. Ann describes 8 basic diaper pattern networks which I incorporated into my EGA Master Craftsman piece. I had to use at least 4 patterns and used them all. Or, I thought I had until I sent the image to Ann. Apparently, the center pattern is actually overlapping circles rather than ogees. However, keep your eyes open for a Stitch Refinement Zoom lecture by Ann that she’s working on. My pastel design may be used to illustrate how to use intensity to keep the colors separated.

The Canvas Applique booklet provides step-by-step instructions for mounting regular and irregular shapes of canvas to canvas, reverse applique, kid and ultrasuede applique, gauze applique, stone and mirror settings, and Cretan pockets. There are also a good number of illustrations using her stitched pieces. I have my two small irregular-shaped stitched pieces ready to remove from the bars to mount to my canvas for Step 5 of the EGA Master Craftsman program. I am worried about the mounting process. However, I should take the plunge and start! For those with knowledge of the process, that was an intended pun. For those unfamiliar, you pull all the canvas threads out up to the stitched portion and then weave some to the back of the small piece but most canvas threads get plunged through to the back of the main canvas and woven to the back of the main canvas. My main issue is that the appliques I designed are larger than the minimum one inch square and that is going to be a lot of canvas threads to weave or plunge and weave. But, I’ve read the mounting process several times now and have got to bite the bullet and do it!

The third book I have is Potpourri of Pattern Encore which is a collection of previously unpublished patterns for canvas and counted thread use (129 pages). The Introduction and Techniques chapter includes basics and lots of color photos of various pieces to be discussed in the subsequent chapters with more details about background patterns, border patterns, laid fillings, composite patterns, and diaper patterns. The last chapter analyzes a dozen different stitched color combinations of the same design. Fascinating. Another good book to take a deep dive into.

Secret Window, Center Dome Window and Another Treenway Silk

The center was squared off with Two Tone Sprats Head (Entice and Bijoux). For the eight crescents, I used Harmony, a natural-dye (explained on the Treenway website), 6-strand silk floss (from a particular silk worm also described on their website). I didn’t try to color match the skein (find the repeating color pattern). Instead, I used 4 of the 6 strands and started on the top on each side by working 2 strands counterclockwise to the left and 2 strands clockwise to obtain matching color movement.

I love the shape of the blue Plaited Ray’s between the Sprats Heads in the corners.

The 2 tiny Diagonal Sheaf stitches use 4 strands of Accentuate. It’s not my favorite thread and I realize that I have 2 spools of it. Each spool is 50M. I better learn to like it! But, for now, I was given the option to add some sparkle on the last 3 stitches. So, I did and used 2 strands of Bijoux in the center for the last 3 stitches.

Secret Window, Center Dome Window and Treenway Silks

The Kurdy Biggs Zoom Group had a great gab fest yesterday although we missed Jacqui. Most are working on her perforated paper Ornament Diamond Drops and Linda on Cathedral. I’m doing Secret Window from ANG’s virtual Seminar in 2021.

Besides agreeing that she has lovely designs, we agree a piece of hers has to be done with a lot of concentration. Counting is essential.

Star Jessicas got me off and running. This is the first I’ve worked with Treenway silks. This thread is Tranquility, a fine cord, between a #8 and #12 perle.

Those big motifs are called Swing Stitches which is similar to Sheaf Stitches but doesn’t allow thread to show through (using 2 colors of Zen Shin) with Hat Crescents (Water ‘n Ice). Zen Shin is a 100% spun silk 20/2 and equivalent in size and twist of #8 perle.

I haven’t seen this thread line any of my local needlepoint stores. It’s always fun to try new threads!

Star of Stitches, Framed and Arrived at Woodlawn

The Star of Stitches by Kathy Rees was an ANG Stitch of the Month for 2020 and the ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter followed ANG’s New Jersey Needle Artists (NJNA) chapter stitching it a year later. We gained some good insights by seeing how they made out. Main Line enjoys selecting their own colorways as much as NJNA.

I have been hitching a ride to Woodlawn with NJNA for a couple of years now. And, since Zoom offered the opportunity to join them, I am now a member of that chapter too. I finished and framed Star of Stitches in time to accompany theirs into the 2022 Woodlawn exhibit. They have been scattered throughout the exhibit as a scavenger hunt opportunity for kids attending the exhibit.

The frame came from Jim at Reppening Fine Arts in Audubon, NJ. He had just brought it out of the back room for the first time in a year. It was sitting on the work table and was the fastest selection of a frame ever!

I’m also sending Crescent Journey in the beach colorway. In 2019, I had sent the original colorway which didn’t get a ribbon although it did get a favorable critique with constructive comments that I hope this colorway addresses. Jim framed this too.

Thanks again to Linda M (from NJNA) and her husband for taking all the pieces from NJNA for the Woodlawn Needlework Exhibit. They drove down in rain but the sun greeted them today for check-in. It’s wonderful that Woodlawn has made submission and check-in electronic. You upload a photo and print 2 forms per piece. Nothing needs to be attached to the piece now. It’s faster for all as well. I got an email as soon as Linda checked mine in.

Woodlawn Header Used A Spring Sampler!!
February 3, 2022, 9:20 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

The reminder that Woodlawn Needlework Exhibit sent out used A Spring Sampler in the header! How cool is that!!