Melitastitches4fun's Blog

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!!

Save the Date – June 12, 4 pm – for Live Virtual Opening of a Needlepoint Exhibit
May 25, 2021, 6:30 pm
Filed under: ANG Keystone Garden Chapter, Media Arts Council Exhibit

The ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter’s “Celebrate the Art of Stitching” exhibit being hosted by the Media Arts Council is entirely online with a live Zoom opening on June 12 at 4 pm. There will be 3 discussions (finishing options, stitch choices, and influence of color) and a viewing of the “exhibit”. We are excited to have this opportunity to share our passion through about 100 pieces of needlepoint. Save the date & join us!

Exhibit dates: June 12 – July 10, 2021
Reception: Saturday, June 12, 4:00 – 5:15 pm.

Here’s the Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 811 6500 3366
Passcode: 432364

A few times a year, they invite “outside” groups to exhibit. Unfortunately, none of the pieces will actually be on display in our host’s gallery in Media, PA due to the shutdown. But, they are slowly beginning to reopen (

Celebrate the Art of Stitching” showcases numerous, diverse pieces of extraordinary needlework that allow you to explore the variety of techniques and threads stitchers can produce. The exhibit includes original designs, adaptations of art and photographs, and commercial designs from nationally known designers.

The Main Line Stitchers chapter meets on the second Monday of each month from 7 to 9 pm. The group also holds a Stitch-in on the fourth Saturday of each month, from 11 am to 3 pm. Contact us at for more information. 

Celebrate the Art of Stitching” is an exhibition featuring the needlework from members of the Main Line Stitchers, a local chapter of the American Needlepoint Guild, Inc.™.

This is one of mine from a few years ago. “Daisy” from Dream House Ventures, Inc with a stitch guide from David McCaskill.

A Dusting of Snow by Gail Stafford, Framed

I don’t know how I missed posting A Dusting of Snow once I got it framed (June 2020) from a class I took with Gail Stafford through my ANG Keystone Garden chapter in June of 2019. It seems appropriate to post it now as the last snow (I hope) melts away.

Gail created the piece based on this photo. I’d say she nailed it!

Arrival of Spring with Gail Stafford and ANG Keystone Garden Chapter
March 5, 2020, 4:54 pm
Filed under: ANG Keystone Garden Chapter

There is still time to sign up for Arrival of Spring with Gail Stafford for a 2-day workshop. You don’t have to be a member of ANG or the local chapter for this class.

Date: June 6 – 7, 2020 (Saturday and Sunday)

Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm with 1 hour luck break (and a couple of short breaks during the class)

Location: Buckingham Township Center, Rt 413 and Old York Road in Buckingham PA


  • Class Fee: $140.00
  • Kit Fee: $84.00

Payment Schedule:

  • $50.00 non-refundable deposit
  • $174.00 balance due May 1, 2020

Supplies to bring to class: 10″ x 12″ stretcher bars, usual stitching supplies, light and magnification (no extension cords so make sure your light is battery operated or rechargeable).

Leave a comment and I will provide the contact person’s name and email address.

Arrival of Spring

Zentangle Class
November 17, 2019, 9:41 am
Filed under: General comments, Zentangle

Mt. Airy Learning Tree offers a great variety of classes throughout the year. I decided to take an Introduction to Zentangle class. I had been exposed to Zentangle by my ANG Keystone Garden chapter and stitched a design I had drawn (which got Honorable Mention in 2018 at Woodlawn). Candice had given us an excellent class but that was a few years ago and decided to give it another go.

Mindy Shapiro, a certified Zentangle teacher, provided a Micron 01 pen, a Micron 08 pen, a short pencil, a smudge stick (Pro Art Stump No. 2), and 4 cards (3.5″ x 3.5″ heavy stock with wavy edges and curved corners from There are no erasers because whatever happens is meant to be.

In just 2 hours, we covered the origins of the art form and got exposed to multiple patterns. The design on the left has Crescent Moon with auras (upper left area), Hollibaugh (pairs of lines passing under others; bottom right), Printemps (circular pattern with auras or dots; bottom left area), and Knights Bridge (grid; upper right area).

The one on the right was done in the last 30 minutes to expose us to a few more patterns including Florz (grid with diamonds at the intersections with shading as I did or it can have an aura inside each white space; upper left area), Printemps with Sparkle (leaves an open area in the circular pattern; bottom center area), and Static (zig zag with shading; upper right area).

Four dots are placed in the corners. Then, connect them. Mindy liked the wavy lines that I used to connect my four corners. The left design has a Z string and the right design a V string. A ‘string’ divides the large area. The smudge stick smooths out the pencil marks to create shading and depth.

It was a fun class. There was 9 of us and no 2 looked alike.

A Dusting of Snow,
August 9, 2019, 1:46 pm
Filed under: A Dusting of Snow - Gail Stafford, ANG Keystone Garden Chapter

Appropriately enough, the dusting of snow was the last of the threads to go on the piece.

The narrow area of the sky around the leaves and between trees 1 and 2 for example was quite challenging to compensate. But, the small diagram of the partial Nobuko stitch really helped orient me in those small areas.

Many thanks to Gail Stafford for coming to PA and to the Keystone Garden chapter for bringing her to teach. It was a great class and fun piece to stitch.

A Dusting of Snow, Leaves

The leaves are done on A Dusting of Snow from class with Gail Stafford. I couldn’t put it down until I stitched most of the brown leaves at my ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter Stitch-in yesterday and finished them off today.

Now for the challenging sky!

A Dusting of Snow Progress
June 19, 2019, 11:09 am
Filed under: A Dusting of Snow - Gail Stafford, ANG Keystone Garden Chapter

The Dusting of Snow piece from class with Gail Stafford is coming along nicely.

I added snow to the first of the center bushes, have the Dogwood tree in place, filled in the upper right sky in both colors, stitched all 9 distant trees, and the gazebo. I was worried about disrupting the smoothness of the roof with the branches of the Dogwood. So, I wrapped the thread around the padding threads and tacked down sparingly and closer to the single brown thread. I like the rounded effect. It would not have worked out to do that for the whole tree because I couldn’t maintain the tension without twisting. Maybe if I had wrapped a thick wire. I’m very happy the Dogwood tree is done. That was challenging.

Taking a break before working more of the center bushes, the leaves on the trees, and the rest.

A Dusting of Snow With Gail Stafford and ANG Keystone Garden Chapter

My other ANG chapter, Keystone Garden, celebrated their 25th anniversary as a chapter by bringing in Gail Stafford to teach A Dusting of Snow this weekend. We just payed for the kit and the chapter paid the teacher’s expenses. Nice! And, thanks to Jeanne H who did a great job organizing the event. We had almost two dozen in class with members from ANG’s New Jersey Needle Artists and Main Line Stitchers chapters joining in on the fun. It’s always great to see our NJ neighbors.

This is a lovely, award-winning piece of Gail’s from a couple of years ago. It’s a comfortable size (design area 7″ x 5″) and Gail gives us a line drawing with a partial painting of the design on Congress Cloth.

Gail has another view of the same gazebo, Arrival of Spring, that she’ll be teaching at ANG Seminar in Houston in August (registration is still possible). This is a gazebo near her home. With her permission, I am posting the photo of the actual gazebo, what her stitched gazebo looks like, and my progress after our 2-day class.

The instructions are great and Gail was fantastic. Checking on us and catching 2 of my mistakes before I got too far along. It makes sense that she’s great teacher because she is also a college level math teacher. Gail shared her process of designing, knitting, and teaching which I found particularly interesting. This is going to be fun seeing the scene develop.

Christmas Diamonds by Kurdy Biggs of Threedles, Diamond Three

This is the third of the Christmas Diamonds by Kurdy Biggs from the Needlepoint Now November/December 2015 issue.

This has the same colors as the first diamond and is also on a white canvas with silver sparkles. I added some small (3mm) silver bugle beads and did the beads a little differently than diagrammed. The same size beads are inside the border Jessicas.

I finished the Jessica border during my last Saturday afternoon with my ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter (always the 4th Saturday at Starbucks on Lancaster Ave in Wayne, PA from 11 am to 3 pm).

No changes to the threads or beads from the first diamond. The threads are Kreinik #4 Braid 1432, Entice E248, Silk Lame Braid Petite SP118, Splendor S988, and Treasure Braid TR277. The beads are Miyuki Delica Beads 15/0 DBS0166 and Sundance Beads Size 11 and Size 14/15 Color 327P; the beading thread is from Sundance too in Teal and Turquoise colors.

I have enough thread and beads to do the third but I’m getting ready to take a couple of classes. So, I will probably not stitch the second diamond. But, I would like to see them all stitched. And, the finishing should be done at the same time. What to do!?!