Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Spring Sampler, Bands 2, 3 and 23, 24

I got the threads I wanted to finish up the sampler.

Bands 3 and 23, both over 3 canvas threads went well enough by using Silk Lame Braid SP100 in an Encroaching Oblique Variation and Plaited Gobelin.

When I added Band 24, the bottom band in the picture, of Florentine and Satin, it seemed ok. But, now with most of the top band of similar stitch of Stacked Cubes added, it seems that the bands which are over 24 canvas threads overpowered the design. It is 3 colors of Splendor (light, medium, and dark). 

So, I reached out to several stitching friends, my husband, classmates, and the teacher, Carolyn Mitchell, of the class which began this project for their opinions. And, I got some wonderful feedback about the 2 bands including:

  • The light is reflecting off the lightest laid threads drawing your attention.

    • The stitches are too modern for the rest of the bands.
    • The width of the bands are going to be a focal point no matter the stitch.
    • Leave the piece in a place where you can look at for a while and see how you feel about it.
    • Since I was talking about making into a pillow to go with other purple pillows, leave it with the pillows and see how you feel about it.
    • Several liked the bands as stitched.
  • The rest of the sampler is traditional and elegant. The new bands are modern and bold.   
  • The width of the bands are going to be a focal point no matter the stitch.
  • Make the band half the width.
  • Leave the piece in a place where you can look at for a while and see how you feel about it.
  • Since I was talking about making into a pillow to go with other purple pillows, leave it with the pillows and see how you feel about it.
  • Several liked the bands as stitched.

Well, it’s been 5 days considering what to do. When I cover up the 2 outside bands, I really see a cohesive design that I find very pleasing.

Initially, I selected 12″ x 12″ to match the size of another pillow that I have. And, I selected 25 bands because that was how many Carolyn Mitchell had in her design. However, nothing says I can’t just end the piece at 23 bands. That would make a 12″ x 9″ piece. That’s a good size and I can still make into a pillow. So, I am quite sure that I’ll rip them out and leave it as is.

Any thoughts you’d like to share?

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Build Your Own Geometric with Kurdy Biggs
July 3, 2020, 1:37 pm
Filed under: ANG Cyberworshop, Build Your Own Geometric-Kurdy Biggs

Luckily, online classes are keeping me busy. Kurdy Biggs began Build Your Own Geometric with Lesson 1 on July 1. There will be weekly lessons for a month.

We were given a template to follow and shapes of about 2 dozen stitch patterns to cut out. Using a glue stick, we place stitches wherever we want. Fun!!

I made all the large and small points the same. I placed two designs in the six center motifs and did that the same in each diamond. Then, I decided to vary the rest of the large and small fills and rectangles from diamond to diamond.

Making the colors consistent while varying the stitches will add a cohesiveness and balance to the various motifs. Since this design is a little too much of the same in each smaller diamond, I will make another crack at the design.



Spring Sampler is Banding Along

I continue to make progress and have added 6 more bands 5-6-7 on top and 19-20-21 on bottom. This is an update on my symmetrical band sampler from the Making Stitches Work For You class with Carolyn Mitchell that has ended now.

Bands 7 and 19 are both over 6 canvas threads using the key thread, an overdyed purple thread (Waterlilies 006 Amethyst). In order to see the pattern of the stitch, I used just 2 stands. These are both cross stitch patterns from The Encyclopedia of Canvas Embroidery Stitch Patterns by Katharine Ireys. Band 7 is Triple Cross Variation over 6 and Band 19 is Brazilian Variation over 6.

Bands 6 and 20 are both padded with an oblong cross using 2 strands of Planet Earth Silk 6-ply Palm Beach 1126.  There are straight stitches over top on Band 6 and oblong crosses over top on Band 20 using Bijoux MMT423 (from Sherlee Lantz/Maggie Lane A Pageant of Pattern for Needlepoint Canvas and Sandy Arthur Shapes of Needlepoint Series 1, respectively). Little oblong crosses are in between each padded oblong cross using Splendor S864.

I came across two different but related stitches in two resources. Band 5 came from Lone Star’s Grab -n- Go Stitches which are unnamed but I am calling a Reverse Leviathan because Band 21 is called Leviathan in The Encyclopedia of Canvas Embroidery Stitch Patterns by Katharine Ireys. The rays either go toward the center or towards the corners. I used the same threads as in Bands 6 and 20.

I like how the diamond shapes are carrying throughout the bands.



Spring Sampler Continues to Bloom

One of the elements I applied from Carolyn’s sampler is that while different stitches are used, they appear related.

I do have another skein of Waterlilies in a different lot number. It is very close but closer to the blueish purples. The next two medium Bands 10 and 16 are Sprats Head with a diagonal base and Waffle, respectively. They used almost a whole skein of Waterlilies 006 Amethyst.

For two other larger bands, Bands 8 and 18, also serving as focal points and related to the center band, I selected two other composite stitches from Kathy Rees’ diagrams modified as needed for my space. I had one full card of Silk Lame Braid For 18 count SL110 and 144″ on a second card in my stash. I did the math to make sure I had enough for both bands. So, I was surprised to have 12″ left!

In between Bands 8 and 10 is Band 9 which is 3 canvas threads, I used another couching stitch, Diagonal Weave Couching. And, for Band 17 another row of 3 canvas threads between Bands 16 and 18 is a staggered cross stitch over a laid thread. For both Bands 9 and 17, the laid thread is Neon Ray’s N127 and couched by Splendor S812.



Spring Sampler in the Making

Making Stitches Work For You with Carolyn Mitchell is an ANG Cyberworshop that began January 2020. It’s 4 lessons over 4 months. So, this is the last month. However, Carolyn extended our class through May 15. Now that I finished Fiona’s piece, I can focus on this piece.

During these past few months, I tried mapping out stitches from a couple of books on my computer but it wasn’t working. It seemed that the symmetry on either end was always off. Making 25 different bands seemed daunting.

Finally, I remembered the main lesson I learned from Kathy Rees’ design class which was to select stitches that would be divisible for your area. In this case, I wanted 12″ square. Since 216 can be divided evenly by 18 and 24, then I could look at stitches with heights/widths of 2, 3, 6, 9 and 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, respectively. Once I combined the lessons learned from both teachers, I began to create this symmetrical band sampler. Except for the center band of 30 threads (not mathematically divisible with 216), the rest of the band heights/widths will include: 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 18, and 24.

I started on the center band with a decorative Jean Hilton plaited ray stitch (from Jean Hilton’s Stimulating Stitches, Plaited Rays, pg 28). However, 7 units of my center Band 13 motif was slightly smaller than the 216 thread width but compensation with three threads on each side worked out fine. This is also part of one focal point Kathy Rees provided in her class diagrams.

I have no idea how much thread I will need. And, am going to work out of my stash. So, I pulled purples and blueish purple and am going to contrast with off white/beige which I have plenty of and goes with almost every. Now, I may have too many threads!

As I said, I started with the center focal point and wanted to introduce the key thread, an overdyed purple thread (Waterlilies 006 Amethyst), purple (Splendor S809), beige (Soie Perlee SPS #694), and sparkle (Bijoux MMT 412 Amethyst and 411 Cape Amethyst). I was really surprised that just the one band took so much of the Waterlilies, Splendor, and Soie Perlee.

For the bands adjacent to the center Band 13, Bands 12 and 14, I selected a sparkling beige Silk Lame Braid Petite SP100 for two cross stitches, an overlapping cross stitch and Greek stitch.

In Painted Canvas Embellishment: An Idea Book by Carole Lake and Michael Boren (pg 89), I saw that they diagrammed a variation of the overlapping cross stitch by laying a single laid thread first. So, I did that for the next lower band, Band 15, which is over 2 threads. The laid thread is a light, shiny purple Panache PN11 and the cross stitch is a single strand of Splendor S918. For the upper band, Band 11, I laid a single strand of Panache and used the Greek stitch with a single strand of Splendor.

I’m very happy with my beginning bands.

Band 11 (top) through Band 15 (bottom)


Making Stitches Work For You with Carolyn Mitchell

Making Stitches Work For You with Carolyn Mitchell is an ANG Cyberworshop that began January 2020. It’s got 4 lessons over 4 months. Carolyn sent an introductory letter with thread suggestions. She shared how she stitched her pillows but she is encouraging people to be creative and use our own designs, threads, and stitches.

This is a good opportunity for me to use a couple of books from her bibliography that I have but haven’t really looked at much:

  • Ireys, Katherine. The Encyclopedia of Canvas Embroidery Stitch Patterns. New York: Thomas Crowell, 1968.
  • Lantz, Sherlee and Lane, Maggie. A Pageant of Pattern for Needlepoint Canvas. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1973.

And, I want to use my new book, ANG Chapter Lone Star’s Grab -n- Go Stitches.
I have tagged several stitches that I really like because they are new to me. That gave me more than enough without using her stitch diagrams. I went into my stash and found some wonderful browns for use on a Sandstone canvas. After opening the overdyed Waterlilies, I changed my mind about using it because there was a large dull grayish section along the thread. I found a Wildflowers in my stash with a splash of green that might be good.

I also have a lovely purple Waterlilies overdyed thread and a card of Regal Purples Splendor Design Collection calling to me too (second design?). But, after looking for more threads to go with the Amethyst, I saw quite a range of colors causing me to abandon the Regal Purples and go towards blue-violet and red-violets. And, I found a partial Waterflowers Fushia that is looking really good with these threads too. The Amethyst has some large sections of rather dull grayish sections but maybe I just need to try the thread with certain stitches. Carolyn shares some thoughts about threads and stitches in Lesson 1 but more on that topic is coming next month.

In this first month’s lesson, we are playing with line drawings. I’ve done about 6 so far. And, of them, this is my favorite so far. Each graph line is 4 canvas threads making this a 6″ square.

However, I expect that I will stitch a band sampler like Carolyn’s pillows that advertised the course. They were stunning! I’m working on an asymmetrical piece and a symmetrical one. I’m mapping them out on my computer and adding to my stitch library.

I am enjoying this opportunity to “play” before stitching. Carolyn’s input on my drawings and other’s in the class has been interesting.