Melitastitches4fun's Blog


ANG 2022 Seminar Snowflake
December 30, 2022, 6:47 pm
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2022, Snowflake

One last ornament for 2022. At the ANG 2022 Seminar, when my name got picked for the daily prize, I was permitted to pick 2 items out of the basket. One was this small gold snowflake. The design space is 7 x 7 “threads” (1/2 inch square). So, I went to my Framed Sevens instructions (from Needlepoint Now, Mar/Apr 2022) and found the Cris Cross Hungarian motif used the most threads in a small space. Then, off to my stash . . .

I used Petite Very Velvet V612. I realized very quickly I wouldn’t be able to thread a needle with a big enough eye to hold the thread and that would also fit through the holes. So, I cut the thread on an angle and didn’t use a needle!

When I switched threads, I was able to use a smaller needle. The Bohin Tapestry needle Size 28 worked great. So, that’s 4 strands of Bijoux MMT415 in the center. A single strand of Kreinik #4 Braid 002HL was used for the cross stitches. And, 2 strands of Petite Silk Lame Braid SP08 to fill in around the edges. The hanger is a piece of Kreinik #16 Braid 002HL.

The Two Peas in a Pod appear to like the snowflake!



Golf Eyeglass Case

I started Bill’s golf eyeglass case at Christmas in Williamsburg. The Mini Block Golf design comes from Hinzelt kit. I created the B and I to stitch BILL on the opposite side of GOLF. It came with 4 charms that I attached with invisible thread. By the time the weekend was over, I had stitched the letters on both sides and started the background. I couldn’t stitch on the case exclusively or else Bill would have wondered what I’d done for 4 days – he does pay attention!!

Each half used almost a whole skein of Vineyard Silk Merino for the background. So, unbeknownst to Bill, he ran into Rittenhouse Needlepoint for another skein of thread so I could stitch the basketweave background of the second half. It took a couple of late nights but I finished stitching Bill’s golf eyeglass case before Christmas.

I did have to “finish” it after Christmas by adding a lining. And, the challenge was that his sunglasses are so much bigger than his eyeglasses that his eyeglasses will fall out easily. So, I stitched 2 magnets in place along the upper edge (one each side and then covered the inside with ultrasuede).



Garland of Christmas Lights, EGA Friends of Fiber, & Fiber Art Now

I couldn’t find a ball of DMC #8 Pearl cotton in a particular color locally. So, I ordered it from Herrschners in mid October. I was surfing the website and found a garland of Christmas lights on plastic canvas. So I ordered the kit as well. I couldn’t get just one ball of DMC #8 Pearl, right?!? I had Bill put the kit away and today I opened it having forgotten all about it! I have a string of wooden light bulbs. These will be cute too.

Since I am not ready to be a full member of EGA’s Fiber Forum, I signed up for EGA’s Friends of Fiber Forum ($10/year) https://egausa.org/fiber-forum/. It’ll be a great start to see what goes on with the group.

I also got a year (4 issues) of Fiber Art Now (https://www.fiberartnow.net/). The website has tons of things to explore once you subscribe including their digital archive.

Quite a diverse selection! From plastic 7 count canvas to fiber arts.



A Place For Everything ByAnnie Bag
December 24, 2022, 2:39 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Linda outdid herself with this year’s Christmas gift. A Place for Everything, a ByAnnie bag is beautiful and amazing.

The fabric came from Half Moon Handwerks in Camp Hill, PA from a trip Linda and I made over 4 years ago. Six fabrics are beautifully coordinated.

There are 17 zippered and 5 unzippered pockets. Some are mesh, some fabric, and others clear vinyl. Two pouches are removable. Quite a design. It must have been challenging although it is impeccably sewed together.

When I cleared off the dining room table for the photos, I placed all my finishing supplies in a bag to take to the basement. Now, as I write this post, I am thinking that the bag might be good to hold my finishing supplies.

Merry Christmas Eve to everyone!! Safe travels.



A Stained Glass Violet Framed
December 23, 2022, 12:21 pm
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2018, Designing Geometric Sampler with Kathy Rees

A Stained Glass Violet is a 4″ square design that began in Washington, DC with Kathy Rees at her class, Designing Geometric Samplers in 2018. The piece uses Watercolours 296 Stained Glass and 232 African Violet (thus, the name).

I am finally done with my finishing frenzy for 2022! Actually, I still have unfinished stitched pieces but I don’t know where I’d put them anyway.

Months ago, I found a square frame off the shelf at Michael’s that fit this piece. I like the silver with the purple/blues and the piece will look good in my purple spare bedroom. The only thing I needed to do was add a border to fill in up to the mat. So, I found the card of Splendor S864 used elsewhere in the design and stitched an outer border of diagonal gobelin stitches over 4 changing directions in of the four quadrants. It fit snug in the frame without any blocking. Done in no time!



Seashell Ornament

Thanks to stitch suggestions from Susan Hoekstra in a Seminar Color class in 2019 and a thread from Rosie at NJ Needle Fest in 2021, I finished stitching this Seashell ornament. Fast forward to 2022 when I won fabric pieces as a door prize at Linda’s Quilt Guild Show. There are 19 pieces 5&1/2″ squares all different but coordinated. I narrowed the choices for the backing down to 6 and let my husband pick the fabric to coordinate with the seashell.

I did my cutting and ironing of the fabric and fusing web onto Skirtex as previously described.

On the canvas, I see areas that appear raised and want to accentuate them. So, I spent time cutting and tacking felt into the vertical areas along the bottom left and the larger upper right area. One layer of felt on the outer 2 vertical areas, two in center 2 vertical areas, and two in the upper right area.

Then, I attached the padded canvas to another piece of Skirtex in the unpadded areas to make the padded areas raised.

I tacked the edging back using invisible thread (not the lacing technique).

I didn’t have any cording I liked. So, I went into my stash and found Vineyard Silk Shimmer S-515 Toffee which is brown to match the back, frames the seashell nicely, and has a little gold sparkle. The skein was already cut into 38.5″ lengths. So, I thought I’d need 11″ without a hanger. The instructions for the Kreinik Custom Corder say to start with 3x what you need. Tension can vary ending length.

By tying together 2 lengths for one large loop and 2 for the other, I got 16″ final twisted cord which even allows for a hanging loop. Between the Kreinik written instructions and YouTube video, I made the cord and hopefully I got enough twist.

With more invisible thread and Wonder Clips to hold the back and front together, I attached the twisted cord between the two layers.

Plenty of time to clean up the dining room table before Christmas!



Ornament Blitz

Well, I channeled Cleo, of Busy Lizzy, a professional finisher, who works on multiple ornaments simultaneously. I saw her in her workroom during a Zoom meeting working on at least 6 ornaments. I have all the supplies on my dining room table but am working on a tray table in the living room going step by step. My husband is very tolerant of the mess. One more odd shaped ornament after these and then I will clear the table for Christmas.

Step 1. Make copies of the ornaments at 100 & 135%. Two diamonds are the same size. The Winter Sleigh is a painted canvas by Alice Peterson that ANG Main Line Stitchers discussed using 2 stitch guides in 2019 just before the shut down, the 2 large diamonds are by Kurdy Biggs from Needlepoint Now November/December 2015 issue that was a 2018 project with ANG Keystone Garden chapter that I finished in 2019, and the small diamond is by Vicky Witterschein which was stitched during a Zoom class in 2021 with my EGA Brandywine Chapter.

Step 2. Cut out paper templates and cut ornaments out of canvas allowing about a half-inch larger than the design.

Step 3. Using the larger of the 2 templates, trace and cut out fabric backs. All will get the new silver fabric and was an opportunity to use my Karen Kay Buckley micro serrated scissors (which stops edges from fraying). The right tool for the job helps.

Step 4. Cut the Skirtex and fusible web slightly smaller than front design for the fabric backing.

Step 5. Iron the fabric backing onto the Skirtex with fusible web (like that better than glue-much neater-as long as I make fusible web smaller than the smallest side).

Step 6. Using the exactly sized template, cut a piece of magazine board.

Step 7. For the sleigh, I cut 4 layers of felt smaller than the magazine board to make it puffy, tacked the felt in place, placed the magazine board on top of the felt. There are 2 layers of felt on the 3 diamond ones.

Step 8. I found my Wonder Clips and used them to hold the folded-over canvas while I laced the canvas side to side with invisible thread. One spool has 2,200 yards. I’ll never need another!

Step 9. Attach hanger for the 3 diamonds. I used a Kreinik #16 Braid which I tied into the felt to start and finish but run it up through the canvas and back down right in the center. Very easy! I am reminded of a Brian Regan joke sarcastically saying “you’re breaking some new ground there, Copernicus”. It’s probably not a new way to add a hanger but I can’t recall seeing it suggested anywhere.

Step 10. Get my Thimble Pack out because my index and middle fingers only made it through 2 ornaments. Using a small Crewel needle pushing through Skirtex and sometimes magazine board was tough on my fingers!

Step 11. I sewed a cord on the edge for the sleigh simultaneously with the backing but cord is not needed on the others. The others look fine with just raw edge I guess because the design has some open canvas. I’m very happy with the results and see improvements with each one. Reminds of the old adage, “Practice makes perfect”. I still prefer to spends the hours stitching.

Step 11. Hang and enjoy the ornaments!!



Snowflake Ornament

Michael’s usually has cute ornaments and this one caught my eye. It sat on my kitchen counter waiting for inspiration.

I had picked these designs up at Christmas in Williamsburg. Yesterday, I saw the ornament and remembered there were snowflakes in one of the four designs.

So, I selected the closest in size to my space and tent stitched the design, added some felt, and finished this ornament!



Stitched and Finished Colorful Forest

In the last post, you probably couldn’t see the partial sky I stitched using Silk Lame Petite SP02 White in the Colorful Forest (SS050) by Stitch Style Needlepoint. So, I ripped it out and restitched using a heavier overdyed sparkly light blue/white by ThreadworX (91015). Then, the snow fell into place.

I found this lovely piece of fabric for finishing this ornament (& hopefully others) at the Needleworkers Delight tables. They have an amazing collection of grounds of all kinds. I’m not sure anyone would stitch on this because it has so much pattern on it but it is perfect for my needs.

The fabric was fused to Skirtex (for stability) and the edge glued with Aileen’s glue. I folded back the edges of the canvas – no glue.

I placed 2 layers of felt behind the trees to fill in the space created. Another piece of fusible web went between the Skirtex and felt which only helped keep the 2 sides together as I sewed the cord into place using invisible thread.

A few final thoughts. A round shape is easier to finish than a heart. Additional stiffness from a piece or 2 of magazine board and additional layer(s) of felt would be good. If you puff up the front, then I suspect that you have to make the back slightly smaller so it isn’t bigger than the front because of the lift drawing it in and up. A piece stitched and finished in 10 days is a record! The overall ease of doing this one has encouraged me to tackle the rest of the ornaments. The rest? Yes, I have 4 Christmas ones and a seashell. ‘Tis the season and still early enough in December to accomplish this and enjoy them this year.



Framed Sevens Displayed

In order for Framed Sevens to fill in the 7.5″ x 7.5″ visible design area in Carol’s Fancywork Box by Sudberry House (Item #99021), I filled in the surrounding area with the T stitch using DMC #5 Pearl 310 Black. It fit exactly with 9 stitched and 2 empty canvas threads on each side without blocking of any kind. I’m using the glass to cover it.

Framed Sevens was published in Needlepoint Now (March/April 2022) and a thread kit is available from Colour Complements: https://colourcomplements.com/product/framed-sevens-thread-kit