Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Starburst by Patricia Hartman

What I am calling the companion piece to Orchid Lady by Mary Knapp is Starburst by Patricia Hartman. They are both on black Congress Cloth using Heather as the key overdyed thread in my kit from Ann-Marie Anderson-Mayes from Australia. The others at ANG Main Line Stitchers are stitching Anne-Marie’s design, Celestial Twist, with her threads.

Oddly enough, the same 4 threads are all I need for this piece and I have plenty.

I love the movement of the 4-way bargello pattern. Very appealing design. It was in the ANG Chapter Project Book in 2015 and we did it as a project but I didn’t have time then. So, now I’m doing it. It looks like it’s bursting out from the center!



Orchid Lady, Finished

Heather is the key overdyed thread in my kit from Ann-Marie Anderson-Mayes in Australia for Orchid Lady by Mary Knapp on black Congress Cloth. The others at ANG Main Line Stitchers are stitching Anne-Marie’s design, Celestial Twist, with her threads.

The 4 center Rhodes used 4 strands from the overdyed skein with the away knot placed the same distance from the starting hole. Since I rotated the canvas as I stitched, the green fell in the center long stitches in a circular position.

An Amadeus that share the center holes can be tricky on the second side unless you hold your working thread off to the side so you can see the holes for you to insert needle into and then pull the thread taut. A huge help especially on black Congress Cloth! I decided to make these and the outer bargello border yellow.

There is plenty of threads for the next piece.



JP Bird of Paradise & Bamboo, Finished

Sometime before March of 2016, I had purchased JP’s Bird of Paradise & Bamboo canvas at Gazebo Plus in New Hope, PA (sad to say, it has since closed permanently). In March of 2016, I found a companion piece at Waste Knot in Arlington, VA, JP’s Orchid & Bamboo with almost the same motifs. 

My opportunity to begin them came with the 2017 Seminar where Cynthia Thomas was having a Painted Canvas Embellishment Class. She was gracious enough to address the additional panel on the second canvas for the orchid since I wanted to have them match as much as possible. The Bird of Paradise is done now thanks to our painted canvas project at ANG Main Line Stitchers and Beth for stitching the same canvas. Beth used threads and stitches suggested by Betsy at Fireside Stitchery (although I’m not going to post her piece here, I will mention some differences). Beth actually finished before I did! So, I had to buckle down and get ‘er done for this month’s meeting! Members of our chapter continue to enjoy our canvas discussions during our MLS monthly meetings. 

I forgot to post this last month. So, here are the final discussion points. 

Bird of Paradise Panel: Both stitch guide writers, Betsy (for Beth’s) and Cynthia (for mine), selected the same pattern but oriented it in the opposite direction. Isn’t that amazing that of all the stitches, they selected the same one. Both threads are red although Beth used a very slightly overdyed cotton floss and I used a solid perle. Both pieces highlight the lovely colors in a Bird of Paradise. Beth used all Vineyard Silks for the flower and Rainbow Linen in tent stitch for the stalk. I used all sparkly threads for the flower and Needlepoint Inc Silk over a padding of Very Velvet for the stalk. 

Center Blue and Beige Panel: Beth stitched this center panel in all tent stitch as had been done for the 3 larger coin motifs on the outer left and right panels. On this panel, a little sparkle is added by using Neon Rays+ and Silk Lamé Braid (rather than the beige ThreadworX for the 3 larger coin motifs). I stayed with the same beige Kreinik used for the 3 larger coin motifs and also used Vineyard Silk for the blue areas. I stitched mostly tent except for 3 square motifs where I used diagonal stitches to fill in the area.

Bamboo Panel: Beth transitioned from a light ThreadworX overdyed thread to a darker Sampler Thread overdyed thread using the Nobuko stitch for a full coverage. I used 2 strands of a beige Splendor in a very open stitch (Railway Woven) allowing the shading from the painted canvas to show. I used Interlocking Gobelin for the stalks and random or long/short as did Beth for the leaves. 

So, how long will it take for me to finish the other one? I hope to finish it in 2022. They will be a set of pillows and probably my last pillows for quite some time! Have you seen the Dr. Rick commercial with the pillows? Well, that woman will be me and my husband will be Dr. Rick if I don’t stop with the pillows (do a google search for youtube dr rick pillows – makes me laugh every time)!



Stitching with Overdyed Threads from Beautiful Stitches for Orchid Lady by Mary Knapp

I’m using threads from Ann-Marie Anderson-Mayes in Australia for Orchid Lady by Mary Knapp on black Congress Cloth. The others at ANG Main Line Stitchers are stitching Anne-Marie’s design, Celestial Twist, with her threads.

I had to pull out the magnifying glass with a clip-on light (which I found when organizing after the carpet was cleaned). I need it to work on the black Congress Cloth. It’s a StarMag by Daylight Company. I’m glad I found it when I did!

The overdyed thread, Heather, has yellow, green, and purple, and pink areas. I cut the overdyed skein in the middle of a large stretch of purple expecting to see more green and yellow. But, a good amount of purple is apparent too. Since I have worked with purple so much, I decided to use the solid green and yellow colors instead of two values of purple (not stitched with the solid colors yet). So, I selected a Kreinik #4 Braid 2829 that has green and yellow in it.

I really lucked out and the 36″ resulting length was ideal for completing the inner motif. And, I started the thread half on each side of the center so that the colors are symmetrical as they are worked outwards. And, it results in less wear and tear on the longer length of thread. I had to finish all four directions in order to be sure I stitched it in the same direction for a consistent color flow.

I love that the purple fell in the four center areas and the green and yellow are in the eight side areas. Very happy with the start! Now if I could get a great photo! It looks more yellow in the photo and more green in person – photographing needlepoint is tough.



More Stitching with Threads from Beautiful Stitches for Orchid Lady by Mary Knapp

I expected to use the green and yellow threads but once I separated the plies and only used 2 strands, you couldn’t see the difference between the two colors. And, they blended into the eight areas losing the definition of the design. So, it’s a good thing I like purple! I am using two of the three purples from the kit. This is the lighter of the two to be added. It’s such fun watching the piece develop in front of you! This brings the piece out to 5″ x 5″. It will be 5&1/2 x 5&1/2″ when finished. Only dark purple and more of the overdyed to go.



Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, More Pulled Work
November 13, 2021, 8:10 pm
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, Gay Ann Roger's, Dowager Countess

Last month, I realized that a few sections of Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham by Gay Ann Rogers were going to require extra concentration than can be done at our monthly ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter Stitch-in where chatting can disrupt with counting. We’ll be meeting next weekend which is a week early for our Saturday Stitch-in due to Thanksgiving.

So, I took advantage of this rainy afternoon after the morning Zoom session of ANG New Jersey Needle Artists Stitch-in to do the pulled thread stitch called Faggoting. My husband was grocery shopping and the TV was off. It was easy enough except on my hand. Pulling canvas threads on 18 count monocanvas hurts my hand. Congress Cloth would be easier.

So, rather than overwhelm my hand, I enlarged the holes (rows surrounding the center) as was done for eyelet stitches. I made all the holes larger along the whole row so that I could easily stitch the row without stopping. It worked out well. It gives a lacey effect and looks more and more like the Dowager Countess.

While I had the #8 Pearl cotton Ecru out, I stitched the slanting gobelin area with Smyrnas. With any luck, I will be posting a completed piece next weekend!



Threads from Beautiful Stitches for Starburst by Patricia Hartman and Orchid Lady by Mary Knapp

Part of the fun with ordering threads from Ann-Marie Anderson-Mayes in Australia was to see what solid colors she would pick to go with the overdyed thread we selected. Even though I am not stitching Celestial Twist with the others at ANG Main Line Stitchers, these threads will work for 2 projects on my To Do List which are Starburst by Patricia Hartman and Orchid Lady by Mary Knapp which will be done on black Congress Cloth. Hopefully, I have enough for both projects. They will look nice together.

Having had the Color Theory class with Susan Hoekstra recently, I tried to figure out how these threads work together. According to the color wheel, I have 2 split complementary colorways combined and yet not a tetrad. I see the overdyed thread (called Heather shown along the bottom and right side) as red-violet with green and yellow. By adding the red-orange, I see a split complementary formed with red-violet and green which I personally would not have seen as working together. But, if the red-orange is used sparingly, it will add some interest and may just be what I have heard referred to as the “poison” color.

Before I can start though, I need to finish one in progress piece. But, I can start to plan which threads will go where in Starburst. That’s the larger of the two pieces and the one I have wanted to do longer than Orchid Lady.



Seashell with Thanks to the Interpreting Color Theory for Needlework Class by Susan Hoekstra

The shell was discussed at the last ANG Seminar class with Susan Hoekstra for her class, Interpreting Color Theory for Needlework.

To create some depth between the center white/yellow area and purple area, texture contrast is employed. A thinner weight thread is used for the purple areas on the sides so they recede a little but the same stitch as the center area is used to maintain the rounded effect. The thicker Vineyard is slightly more forward than the silk which is 3 strands laid and couched of Pearsall’s Filoselle Silk 282A. BTW, there is some strange text on that skein that reads “FAST TO LIGHT AND BOILING”. Thoughts on what that means?

A couple of nights before NJ Needle Fest, I sent out a request to locate a dark purple in DMC Perle #8 or #12. Two members of my other chapter, the NJ Needle Artists, had 3 possible choices & the one from Rosie hit the mark, a # 8 Finca 2720. I added the 6 purple round areas then using a double layered cross with a small cross on top. It was nice to see everyone after missing the 2019 Fest (because of a cruise I took) and the 2020 Fest was canceled due to coronavirus. I signed up for their 2022 NJ Needle Fest and it’ll be back in May.

For the 3 blue round areas, I used the same stitch but with the lighter weight DMC #12, color 3822 to get the lighter color blue compared with the darker purple to recede slightly as that part of the shell is rounding down and away.

Once I got home from EGA’s Seminar and was sitting in my comfy stitching chair, I made good progress on the shell and finished it.

The horizontal rings is an encroaching gobelin with Tiara T106 and Kreinik #8 Braid 212.

Basketweave is used for most of the bottom (Waterlilies 217 Chili and 223 Rye) except for the light, medium, and dark teal areas which used a vertical couch. I used Gloriana Teal Twilight #108 for the dark teal but the lighter portion of the overdyed thread wasn’t light enough to show a difference and had to switch to DMC floss #597 for the medium color and used DMC floss #598 for the lightest teal.

For comparison, I am also sharing my first attempt that didn’t go well! I ripped that out in 2016 & left the canvas sit.

This was one of the three painted canvases discussed at last night’s meeting with my ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter. Good turn out in person and on Zoom. A few technical difficulties but we managed.



NJ Needle Fest and Dowager Countess, Violet Crawley, Step 2 by Gay Ann Rogers

Seven members of the ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter shared a table at NJ Needle Fest today. I missed it the year they, Needleworkers Delight, took over running the event from Susan Hoekstra and moved out of the church in Bedminster (2019) and we all missed it last year due to coronavirus. So, it’s been awhile for me but the location, the Embassy Suites in Berkley, NJ was nice. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks were included. Door prizes (I didn’t win). And, vendors (I just can’t buy anything else with so much waiting for me to stitch). I finished the light purple Oriental stitch filling today. Only the very first part of Step 2. The day flew by!



Background Completed, Star of Stitches, ANG Stitch of the Month 2020

All 4 background areas are done! One of the finishing touches was the outline in Kreinik which was an overdyed thread from Color Complements. I did the diagonal lines in the center with a few crouching stitches. The rest was long straight stitches rather than the short backstitching. And, I stitched around the vertical and horizontal lines even though the directions didn’t say it was needed. The very last step was the over 2 gobelin stitches to outline the square and give the framer some space so that the tips of the stars don’t get cut off. That’s all the same color of rust Splendor. So, the difference is the way the light reflects off the stitches.