Melitastitches4fun's Blog


2022 Year in Review, A Last Finish, and a Look Ahead
January 1, 2023, 1:12 pm
Filed under: General comments

It’s been a busier than usual year with about 30 needlepoint stitched and/or finally finished pieces and several explorations into various fiber arts discussed in 93 posts with a little over 8,500 visitors having stopped by my blog. Thanks again for taking time to check in and especially to those who commented. I appreciate it. Connecting with others is my goal and I have done that through this blog but also by getting back full swing to in person events.

A few of the ANG New Jersey Needle Artists (NJNA) members who are too far apart to meet in person started meeting on Zoom once a month to stitch on Kurdy Biggs projects. Several members finished their pieces and I am far from done with Secret Window but we really enjoyed our sessions. By having my monthly Stitch-in with members of ANG Main Line Stitchers (MLS), I finally finished Orchid and Bamboo (JP canvas). The church where we meet is working out well – great lighting and we can spread out. A few new members joined and it was a great opportunity to get to know them better.

The NJ Needle Fest was a fun 2-day event this year with stitching, shopping, and rooming with Buff. Our table was full with 8 MLS members. I was a big winner each day getting the certificates for registration to the Summer Getaway in Radnor (near Philly) which I will go to in 2023 and Christmas in Williamsburg which I went to in December 2022 with Buff who had won it last year (more about that later).

One of our MLS members, Stephanie [who is also the Board President of the Media Arts Council (MAC) in Media PA] along with Judy of MAC, started the Needlework and Textile Guild of Media. It is drawing in a dozen or more fiber artists with a wide range of interests each month (second Tuesday of the month at 7 pm). We’ve had demos and hands on take home challenges for English paper piecing, stitching on paper/magnolia leaves, tracing designs onto canvas, visible mending, I cord, and more. Very enjoyable and inspiring. The members really enjoyed stitching on a magnolia leaf which I had learned at EGA’s Mid-Atlantic Regional meeting from Catherine Jordan in her Nature’s Palette class. I joined EGA’s Friends of Fiber Forum earlier this month and will see what that brings across my path. I do love learning new things.

Speaking of MAC, our in person exhibit of Orna Willis pieces in July was a big hit – we had a nice turn out for the opening and we mingled and had a lovely evening. Our chapter contributed 13 pieces to the exhibit – all Orna’s designs of course. Wearing her earrings that I stitched always starts a conversation!

The ANG 50th Anniversary Seminar was certainly memorable for many reasons. My classes with Jennifer Riefenberg (on photographing needlepoint, Kathy Rees and Dawn Donnelly were great and I finished both Mesa Triangle and Blue Hills within a month of returning home. I enjoyed meeting Carolyn and her husband Bill at the banquet, have stayed in touch, and wrote an article about her adaptation, My Neighbor’s Backyard, which is coming out in Needle Pointers Jan/Feb 2023. The President’s Award for A Spring Sampler was a big surprise (watch for more exciting news about this piece in 2023). And, Crescent Journey was announced as the ANG 2023 Stitch of the Month! The Beach colorway I stitched won a 2nd Place Ribbon at Woodlawn this year.

One of the intriguing features of Crescent Journey is that the different colorways look so different. On the top left is my water color design I started from and below it is the Bright colorway which is the original stitched piece (I should have used a lighter blue around the crescents like I had painted). The alternate colorways are Linda’s Neutral colorway (center top), Lisa’s Lavender colorway (top right), my Beach colorway (center bottom), and Kristen’s Beach at Night stitched on black canvas (bottom right). So much credit goes to Linda, Lisa, and Kristen from MLS who stitched such stunning alternate colorways and lent me their pieces for about 9 months so far! You must be an ANG member (needlepoint.org) to get the monthly free instructions starting January 3, 2023. Only a Kreinik and silk are needed to start stitching in January. So, if finding Trebizond takes a little longer, don’t worry!

In November, the ANG Central NJ chapter (CJC) invited me to join them because they will be stitching Festive Fireworks (from Needle Pointers July 2017) and Crescent Journey in 2023! I recently joined the ANG Keystone chapter in PA to show them the 5 colorways of Crescent Journey – great to see them again – I was a member for several years. And, Crescent Journey will travel twice to NJNA in January. Between NJNA and CJC, there are 30 members planning on stitching Crescent Journey. It is so much fun to see people discuss this design and am curious to see if people come up with more colorways.

At the Christmas in Williamsburg event, Crescent Journey generated a lot of interest and 3 people said they would join ANG (which they had not known existed) so they could stitch it. I looked up local chapters for them too. It was another nice event shared with Buff. I happened to sit with Cindy B from my EGA Overdyed Spools class and met new people including her friend Janet H. The silver classes were fun and gave me a break from stitching. Once Michele Arsenault can fire and polish them, she will send out what we did. I also ordered a ring for Bill that she is doing. I got the ring I picked out from her table as a Christmas present and will blog about that when everything arrives. The event is 4&1/2 days of stitching. We missed the first half day and left a day early – still plenty of stitching time. A wide variety of classes were offered but I resisted another stitching project.

Overdyed Spools has brought me into contact with lots of EGA members and chapters! Now it is a Petite Project and one of the many free projects available to all members of EGA. I had a lovely chance encounter with members of the EGA BC chapter who will be starting it in 2023. We just happened to be at Expressions in Needleart, a needlepoint store in Canandaigua, NY at the same time. I visited the EGA in Bucks County Chapter in PA and will be visiting the EGA Mollies and Susquehanna chapters in March 2023 (and probably will see Cindy B again) to discuss overdyed threads. Members of the chapters have been great about sending me photos of their finished pieces – one even made it into a clutch. Seen in this photo is also Rhode Rage by MLS member Heather G, Pretty Petite Fall by NJNA member Vicky Witterschein, and Favorite Medallion #1 by Harriet S (more on this below).

When I was home and not stitching (I do not stitch all day long!), I wrote up almost 20 needlepoint book reviews with lots more to get to over the coming years. I was able to draw diagrams for an EGA Petite Project which allowed Harriet S to fulfill one of her life long goals to bring pulled work designs by Hetsie van Wyk to the next generation. I contributed an article, assisted with diagrams and proofreading, wrote and stitched a stitch guide for a counted a piece for the Needle Pointers magazine. And, it was the year of “finishing” with a dozen ornaments (starting with the 4 bargello hearts), placing Framed Seven which is my second published piece from Needlepoint Now (March/April 2022) in a Sudberry Box, placing 6 small pieces from Cards and Needles by Orna Willis in 2 frames, constructed Corinthian Earrings by Orna Willis, Ginkgo Leaves was placed on a Vera Bradley bag, and an eyeglass case was lined. One stand up and several framed pieces I did have finished professionally.

A few pieces stitched this year still need finishing including Orchid and Bamboo and the Bird of Paradise and Bamboo which will be made into pillows by a professional, my design of Lady Sybil which will be framed with other pieces designed by Gay Ann Rogers after I stitch one more black and white design I have in mind to make 6 pieces in total, Variations of a Florentine design which I want to make into an eyeglass case for me, Blue Hills which will be framed professionally, and I will probably frame Floral Fantasy myself.

My stitching plans for 2023 are to send Night Owl to Woodlawn and finish Finnegan (for new great nephew), keep stitching along with monthly MLS projects (Circles and From Dawn to Dusk), continue working on 3-Way Autumn Leaves (Toni Gerdes/CJC workshop), finish EGA Step 6 Master Craftsman Canvas Program, start an EGA Correspondence Course regarding painting canvases with Laura Smith, start Imperial Topaz by Sue Reed (upcoming MLS counted project) and start Rainbow Butterfly by Danji for discussion at MLS meetings. Somehow, I need to find time to work on 6 pieces I have started as far back as 2011 and through 2019. I also have threads purchased for 7 others. Maybe I should try to stitch all day long! If I can just say no to new projects for 2023, maybe I can catch up with these older pieces.

I am looking forward to a weaving class coming up in January (weather permitting) and my first choice classes at the EGA Seminar in Boston in the summer, Pomegranate Heart with Melinda Sherbring and Understanding Color Relationships: Luster and Luminosity with Patricia Goaley.

Hopefully, our 2023 is filled with lots of new stitching adventures! Enjoy!!


7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

WOW!!! Love all you’ve done and look forward to seeing what you’ll do in 2023. Kudos to you on your awards.

Comment by brendasneedlepointstudioblog

Melita – will there be a complete list of materials for the SOTM available sometime this month? It looks really tempting!

Comment by Cindy Bamford

Hi Cindy! It has been posted. Thanks for your interest.

Comment by melitastitches4fun

Congrats on your stitch of the year! I am pulling this for a few customers and what does it mean counted in spools above or skeins below? Thank you, Vicky

Comment by Vicky De Angelis

Don’t buy multiples of them.

Comment by melitastitches4fun

Enjoyed reading about all your stitching and designing. Such passion and diligence.

Comment by Karen Milano

Thanks Karen!

Comment by melitastitches4fun




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