Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Cards and Needles by Orna Willis and the Opening of the July Needlepoint Exhibit at Media Arts Council

We had the Media Arts Council exhibit opening last night. There was a good turnout. There were also 2 other artists displaying paintings. So it was a nice mix of people. I had some very interesting conversations with other artists and people interested in our needlepoint. Six other members of the Main Line Stitchers attended as did my husband, another member’s husband, a member’s sister, and friends of mine from Delaware. My husband had to remind me to tell people I was wearing Orna’s earrings – they were a hit!! Orna Willis spoke first, I spoke next, and then the other 2 artists. I relayed Patrick’s comments which summarized were: “Orna’s color choices and the way she combines threads and layers them is simply genius. Her designs speak for themselves. Orna is an excellent instructor, generous with her ideas and just fun to be around. You can’t ask for much more than that in Life.” Then, I discussed 3 classes from Orna in which she explained how she selects colors during the Color Inspirations class, how she designs in the Come Dance with Me class, and finally walks us through how to find a design within ourselves through drawing and painting in her Dare to Design class. There are only a handful of teachers who make the effort to share how they design which really contributes to the growth of our art form.

This is the other Cards and Needles piece I stitched which was designed by Orna and is one of 13 pieces on display from our chapter members. Each design is 2″ x 1.25″ that is stitched three times in 2 colorways (orange/fuchia-shown previously and purple/green-shown here) although colors repeat within a colorway and across each colorway. These could easily be created in a variety of colorways. The frame measures 9″ x 15″. The other colorway will be raffled to raise money for Media Arts Council as my way of thanking them for letting us join the exhibit. Raffle tickets for the orange/fuchia piece will be on sale all month long at the gallery. Be sure to visit the MAC gallery (11 E State Street in Media, PA; open Wed – Sat from 10 am – 2 pm and Sunday 12 – 4 pm) in July.



Greystone Needlepoint
June 25, 2022, 11:50 am
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, Greystone Needlepoint

I heard about Greystone Needlepoint not too long ago and more recently saw there were 10 stores on the Canvas Crawl going on around the area (NY, NJ, PA, and more) in June including Greystone Needlepoint. So, I made an appointment for 6-8 of us for Saturday before our Stitch-in.

Shannon welcomed us and we explored the canvases. It worked out very nicely for our small group. Any purchase came with a small project bag and Shannon provides a Beginner’s Guide with Do’s and Don’t along with diagrams for Basketweave and Continental.

I managed to find a cute canvas with stitch guide. It’s more interesting to me now to read stitch guides to find out how succinctly they can be written particularly now because I am helping with articles in Needle Pointers magazine.



Cards and Needles by Orna Willis and July Needlepoint Exhibit at Media Arts Council
June 12, 2022, 4:58 pm
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, Media Arts Council Exhibit

Save the date! July 1, 2022 (5 pm) for the in-person opening of a month-long needlepoint exhibit featuring Orna Willis and her designs at the Media Arts Council Gallery in Media, PA. Members of ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter will share 10 stitched pieces of her designs too. Read all about the exhibit and Orna at https://mediaartscouncil.org/calendar/mac-art-show-orna-willis-and-mainline-stitchers/ If you are in the Philadelphia area in July, be sure to visit the gallery (open Wed – Sat from 10 am – 2 pm and Sunday 12 – 4 pm). 

I will contribute Come Dance With Me, Flower Cuff (finished flat), and Color Inspirations. In addition, I have completed Cards and Needles from my stash. It was a kit from around 2009 which was one of the first Main Line Stitchers classes that I signed up for. 

For Cards and Needle, Orna created one design 2″ x 1.25″ that is stitched three times in 2 colorways (orange/fuchia and purple/green) although colors repeat within a colorway and across each colorway. Orna has a very clever instruction sheet as well. It is fascinating to see the results. Although Orna suggested using them for cards or individual mounted pieces with inspirational sayings, I decided to frame each colorway in a collage because keeping the colorways together looks more appealing to me. The frames measure 9″ x 15″. This one will be raffled to raise money for Media Arts Council as my way of thanking them for letting us join the exhibit. I’ll wait to share the other colorway.

Please join Orna and members of the Main Line Stitchers on July 1 at 5 pm for the opening!



Laurel Burch Butterfly Canvas by Danji

This lovely Laurel Burch design by Danji, Rainbow Butterfly, caught my eye at NJ Needle Fest but Linda told me not to get because it was in stock at Linda’s Boutique (as I fondly call it). And today at our Stitch-in, Linda gave it to me as a birthday gift! I had forgotten about it but sure am glad Linda didn’t. Aren’t the colors lovely!

I think it’ll be fun to see what everyone suggests at chapter meetings especially since Linda and Kristen are our resident butterfly experts having worked on the larger Rainbow Butterflies Laurel Burch design by Danji (with Imagine written in the upper left corner). They used some threads and stitches from a Tony Minieri stitch guide and some of their own options.

But, I have to finish the Orchid and Bamboo JP canvas first. Hopefully, I will finish that by the the end of July.



Orchid and Bamboo

The Main Line Stitchers chapter held our Stitch-in on Saturday in person (3 members) and on Zoom (3 members and baby Hallie!). The church is working great and with small numbers on both “sides”, the conversation flowed well as we stitched. Hallie slept through most of the 4 hours but did wake up long enough to eat and let us see how cute she is. I’m so glad Meghan Mom can join us.

I got started on the Band 4 background beforehand and finished it Sunday during the first NCAA basketball game.

This background (red one for Band 4) is easier to compensate than the outside bands. I also stitched the stem as Cynthia Thomas recommended in her stitch guide which is a wrapped double chain with 4 strands of floss. I used all dark on the left side and 2 dark/2 medium for the outer part and the wrap.



Orchid and Bamboo Grows

The Main Line Stitchers chapter held our Stitch-in on Saturday. It was a small group of 5 and a few on Zoom. It was the first time to meet at United Methodist Church in Paoli. It’s locked at all times so people must call me upon arrival to get in. It worked well. Two long tables were wide and long enough for five. Great lighting. The Zoom people could hear well even without the eSpeaker. They can’t see everyone but that was fine.

I progressed on the left panel of Orchid and Bamboo. There wasn’t any more football on Sunday but the Philadelphia 76ers (basketball) actually have a team that can win. It’s not as easy a sport to watch and stitch as either football or baseball but I finished the left panel anyway later that day. Again, I took a photo and superimposed the stitches on top to figure out the compensation inside the medallion.



Star of Stitches, Framed and Arrived at Woodlawn

The Star of Stitches by Kathy Rees was an ANG Stitch of the Month for 2020 and the ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter followed ANG’s New Jersey Needle Artists (NJNA) chapter stitching it a year later. We gained some good insights by seeing how they made out. Main Line enjoys selecting their own colorways as much as NJNA.

I have been hitching a ride to Woodlawn with NJNA for a couple of years now. And, since Zoom offered the opportunity to join them, I am now a member of that chapter too. I finished and framed Star of Stitches in time to accompany theirs into the 2022 Woodlawn exhibit. They have been scattered throughout the exhibit as a scavenger hunt opportunity for kids attending the exhibit.

The frame came from Jim at Reppening Fine Arts in Audubon, NJ. He had just brought it out of the back room for the first time in a year. It was sitting on the work table and was the fastest selection of a frame ever!

I’m also sending Crescent Journey in the beach colorway. In 2019, I had sent the original colorway which didn’t get a ribbon although it did get a favorable critique with constructive comments that I hope this colorway addresses. Jim framed this too.

Thanks again to Linda M (from NJNA) and her husband for taking all the pieces from NJNA for the Woodlawn Needlework Exhibit. They drove down in rain but the sun greeted them today for check-in. It’s wonderful that Woodlawn has made submission and check-in electronic. You upload a photo and print 2 forms per piece. Nothing needs to be attached to the piece now. It’s faster for all as well. I got an email as soon as Linda checked mine in.



Orchid and Bamboo

The Main Line Stitchers chapter held our Stitch-in a week late (scheduling issues) over Zoom (winter weather issues) on Saturday. It was nice to sit and chat safe and snug as the snow fell outside.

I organized my threads in my new bag and started on JP’s Orchid and Bamboo canvas, the companion piece to JP’s Bird of Paradise canvas that I finished last year.

I started on the orange orchid at Seminar in 2017 but only partially completed the orchid you can see some of the padding. The band on the far right was started Friday night to be sure I knew what I  was doing and the worked on it Saturday, and finished it Sunday during football. The full design area is 15.5″ x 8″. I had to take a photo after stitching each white medallion, print it, and work out the compensation on paper before stitching inside the medallion. For the next Stitch-in, I’ll work on the far left side.



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.