Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Finishing the Heart Ornaments

It took about 2 months to get back to finishing the other 2 Bargello ornaments from Hearts of Gold by Michele Roberts (an ANG Correspondence Course). It’s available under Distance Learning on ANG ‘s website. Michele’s are all done using only 4 gold threads so they are all color coordinated. Mine are all different colorways for seasonal display. Tedious work but I completed the finishing on them! This time I used a binding stitch.

I had pulled out my Kreinik Custom Corder. It’s loose but ok for the hanger. Since my threads were already cut, they weren’t long enough to go around the whole heart. Step 1 is to interlock the 2 threads. Step 2 is wind. Maybe I didn’t twist enough?

Step 3 is to remove from cord maker, bring both ends together, and allow them to twist together. It was tighter initially but then loosened during that process. Since even 2 lengths weren’t working, I abandoned the cord maker.

There was still a decent gap between the back and front due to a 5 mm soft foam core that I used. So, I went with a “binding” stitch and it took way longer than I am sure a professional finisher would take to do it. Bending the monocanvas back results in a less than desirable rounded shape. But, that stitch covered the gap and turned it back into a smooth heart shape. I prefer stitching over finishing but am happy with these.



Another Ornament Finish

The second turned out the same as the first. I used Silk & Ivory threads maize 241 for the Palestrina stitch on the edge. The whole process seemed easier. Less angst anyway.  It took about 2 hours to get to the edge and 3 hours to stitch it. Still slow going with pliers to pull the thread through on the edge. I’ll probably switch to cording which should be easier and faster to attach. I have too many more to spend that much time on each one. Based on ornaments that I have had finished professionally, it looks like they must have used something thinner which would decrease the area between the front and back sides making cording work better. What do you use for the solid backing?



Ornament Finishes

Practice is supposed to make perfect. We’ll find out. This one is by no means perfect but I’m happy with my first attempt. “Finishers” really earn their money. Since I have about 8 ornaments and an eyeglass case to finish, I will not be sending them out!

I have multiple sets of finishing instructions from various sources. So, I have used some techniques from each.

I sewed the edges down on the left and Sewline stick glue to attach the ultrasuede to the foam board on the right.

They lined up adequately.

There was a pretty decent gap between the front and back. I had just seen Mary Corbet’s post on finishing an edge with a Palestrina stitch. I am not adding any beads. But, the stitch was perfect for covering the gap. However, I had stitched 2 rows around the design because one finisher said that having long stitches on the edge would make finishing more difficult. Bargello is long stitches. Well, stitching through basketweave, folded back canvas, and ultrasuede was not easy. I pulled out my jewelry pliers. That helped pull the needle through. This first one took much, much longer than I had hoped. I did take breaks but it had to be around 6 hours.

Part of my break during the day included a stop at Michael’s to use my 40% off coupons. Two of them! With one, I got a cutting mat. Self-healing! I’ll be testing that. Hope it can survive.

The Wonder Clips are working wonderfully.

So, I am going in the edge between the two rows of basketweave and canvas. Picking up a little of the ultrasuede for the decorative edging using the same Silk & Ivory 86 Shamrock that was used on the design.

Once is was done, I was happy with it and really felt a sense of accomplishment. So, I encourage you to give it try – if you have plenty of time and want to save money. Otherwise, send it to a professional!



Hearts of Gold: Fourth Heart-Shaped Bargello Ornament by Michele Roberts

Hearts of Gold is an excellent ANG Correspondence Course that includes 20 Heart-Shaped Bargello Ornaments by Michele Roberts and is available under Distance Learning on ANG ‘s website. Michele’s are all done using only 4 gold threads while mine are all different colorways for different seasons.

This Swirl Burden work ornament has horizontal laid threads or trame lines with burden work showing exposed thread. Boy is this stitch named appropriately. What a pain it was. I wanted to try it and I am not likely to stitch anything with it again. Although it was getting easier the more I did it, it was too tedious. Turned out pretty but I didn’t find it enjoyable. What’s your experience with it?

This ornament is red and white to join our Phillies sports and Valentine’s Day decorations. The laid thread is Snow 00 White. The bargello pattern includes YLI Ribbon Floss 142 Red, YLI Shimmer Blend Ribbon Floss 023 White/Opal, Flair F502, and Fyre Werks F38.



Hearts of Gold: Third Heart-Shaped Bargello Ornament by Michele Roberts

Hearts of Gold is an excellent ANG Correspondence Course that includes 20 Heart-Shaped Bargello Ornaments by Michele Roberts. It’s available under Distance Learning on ANG ‘s website. Michele’s are all done using only 4 gold threads so they are all color coordinated. Mine are all different colorways for seasonal display.

This Diamond and Stars Bargello ornament adds non-Bargello stitches inside each diamond. I thought magenta would be good for a fall flower color but adding pink makes me think Spring and Valentine’s Day decorations. I have plenty more of the 20 heart designs left to try. So, I will probably do another heart for fall. I’m sure that I have enough threads!

These threads are Vineyard Merino M1014 Grape Wine, Silk & Ivory 185 Cosmopolitan, Silk Lame Braid for 18 Ct SL26, and Kreinik 1/16″ Ribbon 024. The diamond Bargello pattern seems like an easy pattern but the over 6 canvas thread stitches were tough to remember. I would get into the over 4 repetition and forget the over 6 (too often).



Hearts of Gold: Second Heart-Shaped Bargello Ornament by Michele Roberts

Hearts of Gold is an excellent ANG Correspondence Course that includes 20 Heart-Shaped Bargello Ornaments by Michele Roberts. It’s available under Distance Learning on ANG ‘s website.

Michele describes this heart as a “classic tiny pattern” of shadowed boxes. The stitches are all over 2 canvas threads. It can be stitched in as few as 2 colors and as many as 7 colors. I love the 3 dimensional effect with this pattern.

To say “spring”, I selected a rainbow of Silk & Ivory threads including yellow=maize 241, orange=clementine 215, red=tamale 199, dark purple=sugarplum 117, blue=delphinium 70, green=lime 56, and light purple=shrinking violet 116.



Hearts of Gold: First Heart-Shaped Bargello Ornament by Michele Roberts

Hearts of Gold is an excellent ANG Correspondence Course that include 20 Heart-Shaped Bargello Ornaments by Michele Roberts. It’s available under Distance Learning on ANG ‘s website. Michele’s are all done in golds but I wanted seasonal hearts.

I began my first heart with the Greek Meander Bargello pattern which is best worked in two colors. Mine is done in green and white (Silk & Ivory in 86 Shamrock and 01 Natural) for St. Patrick’s Day and Christmas.

The over 6 stitch is tricky because it falls in a different place with each color. The two colors fold into each other. Once I got to the first full row of white I started seeing the rhythm. Michele diagrammed the whole heart including compensation although it didn’t quite match mine because I tweaked the top center a tad to make the dip in the center deeper.



Hearts of Gold: 20 Heart-Shaped Bargello Ornaments by Michele Roberts

Back in March of 2020, ANG Cyberpointers offered Hearts of Gold: 20 Bargello Ornaments by Michele Roberts as a group Correspondence Course. It’s still available for individuals to sign up for. I didn’t get to it until now. Thanks to my ANG New Jersey Needle Artists chapter who has 42 of 53 members working on a bargello project, I plan on stitching 4 of them in the next couple of months. Five members are working on my Bargello Bowls!

The heart ornaments are not only great designs but Michele Roberts teaches classic techniques of stitching Bargello and combining different patterns.

I backstitched the heart shape with Londonderry Linen LNS #8085 Beige 80/3. It’s almost the same color as the sandstone canvas. The extra dip I added in the upper center portion defines the heart a little more. These are little hearts at 3″ x 3″.

The golds would be pretty but I want to have “seasonal” hearts. Green and white for St. Patrick’s Day, red and white for our Phillies and Valentine’s Day, multi-color for spring, and magenta for other times.

Since this project should have started in March, I will start with the green and white threads, Silk & Ivory in 86 Shamrock and 01 Natural.



Variations of a Florentine Design by Pat Mazu, an ANG Cyberpointers Chapter Project

I actually finished the stitching the rectangular design in Variations of a Florentine Design by Pat Mazu over the 5 days of the ANG Cyberpointers chapter meeting. Fun project.

The reddish, round, seed beads were the best match from my stash. Not sure what brand or size they are. They look like the same size as the Miyuki Japanese Seed Beed 10/0 Delica pictured next to it. Pat’s design called for 3 Delica beads to be strung together. They are more tubular (left bead in photo) than the round seed bead (right bead in photo).

I didn’t care for how 3 of the rounded ones lined up. The middle one looked like it was being pushed up. So, I modified the left and right side motifs by using fewer beads and more Kreinik. My neutral thread color didn’t work well and so I used the darker Marigold. I’m very happy with how it turned out.

Big thanks to Pat for sharing her designs. Dare I try finishing this? She certainly provides all the necessary instructions. And, she’ll answer any questions.



Colorway for Variations of a Florentine Design by Pat Mazu, an ANG Cyberpointers Chapter Project
March 4, 2022, 10:55 pm
Filed under: ANG CyberPointer's chapter, Variations of a Florentine Design

Thanks to two of my ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter members, Debra and Linda, I have quite a stash of Pearsall’s Silk embroidery thread. Since it has has been discontinued, I’ll use it for other people’s designs when I want to use my own colorway. And, that opportunity arrived with Variations of a Florentine by Pat Mazu which is this month’s program for the ANG Cyberpointers chapter.

Pat is providing 2 booklets (pdf downloads), one with the design which can be made into 4 different options and the detailed instructions for finishing them. And, at no charge! She provides 35 pages including an extensive bibliography mainly on bargello for the designs and 47 pages also with an extensive bibliography for finishing. Very generous of Pat to share her experience with ANG Cyberpointers’ members.

I’m working on the design in a rectangular shape which will be for a travel eyeglass case. I have a leather tooled case that my grandmother made and I don’t like taking it out of the house in case I were to lose it. Isn’t this lovely!

I’ve got 2 colors and a neutral: Marigold, Sage Green, and Olive Brown, respectively. I had 5 shades of Marigold to choose from. The lightest one was too close to the Olive Brown when stitched. It looked like more contrast when they were in the bags. Pearsall’s is a very pretty silk but a little difficult to handle. It catches easily and is difficult to lay. Mary Corbet describes it as “bumpy”. Is this what people use thread conditioners for? An internet search revealed they are beeswax mainly. I don’t think I want to try that. Using shorter lengths and ironing the threads are helping. Dampening the threads very slightly was also suggested and is helping some too.