Melitastitches4fun's Blog

Bargello Techniques, Section 2

I can’t believe it has been 3 weeks since I stitched enough to blog about it! I put work & all obligations aside today to go to Susan Hoekstra’s New Jersey Needle Fest and had a great time. Thanks to Rona & Mary for asking to put at the same table with me – nice to sit with them again this year.

I had begun my Crescent River there last year & that is finished now. So, I took that & got lots of nice compliments on it. And, Susan showed off the Berlin Cardinal (her design) which I had stitched and had the Nimble Needle finisher do as a pillow. That is the pilot class our chapter did for her so she could be ready to teach it at seminar.

Bargello Techniques was a great project to take because it is a small project & worked in hand (the way I am doing it, section by section) – no need for a stand, etc. ! I had started it before I got there & when I wasn’t walking around looking at all the wonderful projects (another sold out event & that is 120 people), I was stitching this section. Vendors had some pretty things but I have so many WIP or ones I want to start that I resisted buying anything.

When I got home, I kept stitching & finished it (slightly bleary eyed). But, I am thrilled to be able to share Section 2 (adjusted to fit my space). Thanks Liz for saying, “If you don’t come out exactly the same, that’s OK! Just continue your pattern & fill in to the bottom.”

You’ll also see a needle in this picture because Mary gave me one her new favorite needles – an edmar gold-eyed needle – that is smoother to the touch than other needles and slides through the canvas. Very nice needles. But, you may not find any because Mary & especially Rona must have bought the store out! Thanks again for sharing them!

Bargello Techniques, Section 2

Berlin Cardinal Flew Home

Thanks to the finisher Nimble Needle uses, my Berlin Work Cardinal has flown home and landed on my couch! It is a lovely job. Look at the corners – no seams.

Remember, this a class you can take at ANG Seminar in Chicago with Susan Hoekstra.

Cardinal pillow front

Cardinal pillow back

A Berlinwork Cardinal with Flowers

The flowers grew fast & I was able to take a finished cardinal to show my ANG Mainline Stitchers & ANG Keystone Garden Chapter (a 2nd area chapter I joined) this week. Everyone loved Susan Hoekstra’s piece which is from a small pilot class our Mainline chapter did for her 2014 Seminar class.

The flowers are a turkey work variation that I really enjoyed doing. Next time you see this it will be ‘finished’ – what to do with it?!?

Cardinal with Flowers

A Berlin Work Cardinal, Background & Border

In case you have not seen the previous posts, this is Susan Hoekstra’s piece which is from a small pilot class our chapter did for her 2014 Seminar class. The background is an Irish Stitch Variation. There is only one place where I messed up and unless you look carefully, I doubt you will see it. It ended up being contained to a small area. The outside border frames it nicely. I’m so close now – it is exciting to see it grow!

Instead of studying for my error, please read my previous blog. My sister and her husband need your vote to have a chance at grant for their embroidery business. The deadline is Nov 15. So, please take a moment now! Your vote can get them to the next step. Thanks so much.

Background and border

A Berlin Work Cardinal, Bark

It took a few shots to get a decent close up of the bark and it is still not as easy to distinguish the pattern as seeing it in person. Darker threads don’t help either. The far right seems looser than the next few & then the pattern changes for half the trunk but then end up more like the right side.


A Berlin Work Cardinal, Taking Flight

Back to Susan Hoekstra’s piece which is from a small pilot class our chapter did for her 2014 Seminar class. It is working up nicely. I am getting practice laying threads with the cardinal. Once I really looked at what I had stitched in class, I saw I had deviated slightly from the pattern. So, I had to rip out and restart his stomach. It was great advice to compensate after doing the main area.
It amazes me but I find stitching in a class environment nearly always produces rework. Apparently, there are too many distractions for me to focus. Do you find this happens?
The tree trunk pattern turned out differently depending on how I stitched it. I doubt I’ll ever know why the differs occurred. The far right seems looser than the next few & then the pattern changes for half the trunk but then end up more like the right side. Odd! But, I like it – it is uniquely mine.
Isn’t the cardinal pretty!
Cardinal sitting on a branch

A Berlin Work Cardinal, Greens Grew Fast

Back to Susan Hoekstra’s piece. Remember this is a class to pilot for her 2014 Seminar class. Between the instructions she gave us in class and the written booklet, I am not having any problems. I added some extra satin stitches for better coverage & showed her the difference. Susan said she’ll revise her booklet after we give her feedback as we progress. So, we’re working hard to make this a fantastic class.

The greens grew fast! Where will my needle be flying to next?


A Berlin Work Cardinal, Took Flight

Susan Hoekstra came to Lori’s house yesterday for an intimate class to pilot her 2014 Seminar class. Patrick and I rounded out the class participants – that’s individual attention. And, Lori made a delicious lunch. The day just flew by!

Susan finished her piece as a pillow and it really pops in person! My mom sure would have loved this piece and it would have been great on her couch. The vibrant red cardinal was her favorite bird, and the purple in the flowers was her favorite color! Apparently, cardinals are favorites across the country. It is the state bird of seven states, more than any other species.

Susan gave us a history of Berlin Work as we progressed through the key areas and we talked through each page. I remember seeing on the ANG Yahoo discussion list a conversation about the Irish stitch & we’ll use that for the background. Traditional Berlin stitches will be used with Vineyard Merino and Planet Earth Silk – both new threads for me.

I’m looking forward to working through the rest now! And, I promised to get it done by Susan’s 3rd Annual NJ Needle Festival scheduled for April 26, 2014. Susan reminded me that I began Crescent River at last year’s Needle Festival. So, that will be done by April too. Ample time to be ready!

Thanks for landing on my blog today and drop by later for progress (with permission from Susan to post pictures). FYI: I probably got the bird puns out of my system!


Tail and Flower

Cardinal Head

A Berlin Work Cardinal, ANG Seminar Pilot Class with Susan Hoekstra

This class will be rescheduled. More information will be provided at a later date.

Please join Main Line Stitchers on Saturday DATE TBD from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm for:

A Berlin Work Cardinal an ANG Seminar Pilot Class with Susan Hoekstra

Susan Hoekstra is a needlepoint designer and teacher (for the picture, please go to Susan organizes and participates in The New Jersey and New England Needle Festivals, is currently enrolled in the ANG master teacher program at the Senior Master level, and is piloting this for the 2014 ANG Seminar in Chicago.

‘A Berlin Work Cardinal’ offers a chance for the needleworker to work with a variety of Berlin Work specialty stitches in this one day, Intermediate Advanced class. This quintessential Illinois design focuses on the Cardinal and circles around to include the indigenous violets done in Raised work. The focal point of the Cardinal helps your eye flow around the piece to encompass the tree branches, trunk and violets. The fluidity of the branches creates movement within the piece.

There are two types of threads used in this piece in order to maintain historical accuracy – silk and merino wool. ‘A Berlin Work Cardinal’ is stitched on 18-count canvas measuring 12″ x 14″. The finished size of this delightful piece is approximately 11″ x 8 3/4”, including the cross stitch border.

Class Fee/Details: Class cost is $20 which covers the cost of the room and travel expenses (Susan kindly waived the teaching fee). This portion is non-refundable unless the class is cancelled. Once 25 students enroll, the cost will drop to $10 (cash refund at class). You may find a substitute to take your place in class. Please arrive at 8 am to get set up.

Kit cost is $70 which includes the instructions, threads, and 18-count white mono canvas with design drawn on canvas. If you can’t attend, you will NOT get the kit. Please bring cash or check (made out to Susan Hoekstra) to pay for the kit at class.

A deposit of $20 (non-refundable) is required to reserve your spot.

Register Now:       Make your check for the $20 deposit out to Melita Glavin and mail it to: 4331 I Street, Philadelphia, PA 19124. Please include your contact information (email and phone number). You must pay for the kit at class by cash or check.

Location:   St. Luke’s Lutheran Church. GPS: 203 North Valley Forge Road, Devon, PA; Free parking

Lunch for students is not included. To replicate the ANG Seminar experience for Susan, we will have a 2-hour break for lunch (class runs from 8:30-11:30 and 1:30-4:30). You may bring your own lunch, we can order ahead and get take out from Primo’s Hoagies, or you may go wherever you want for lunch (such as nearby Minella’s). Not everyone will have to do the same thing for lunch!

Proficiency Level: Intermediate Skill Level; Pre-stitching Required: None

Guild Membership: Not required to be a member of ANG or the ANG Main Line Chapter

Please note: Students must supply their own stretcher bars (one set of 12” and one set of 14”), laying tool, regular stitching supplies (scissors), and lighting/magnifier/frame weight/stand if desired. Please arrive at 8 am to get set up. We are expecting as many as 30 people to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to pilot this ANG Seminar course.

Questions:       Please contact Melita Glavin at

This is on a first-come-first-serve basis. So, register now to learn this technique!

On behalf of ANG MLS Board, we look forward to seeing you in September!