Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Another Ornament Finish

The second turned out the same as the first. I used Silk & Ivory threads maize 241 for the Palestrina stitch on the edge. The whole process seemed easier. Less angst anyway.  It took about 2 hours to get to the edge and 3 hours to stitch it. Still slow going with pliers to pull the thread through on the edge. I’ll probably switch to cording which should be easier and faster to attach. I have too many more to spend that much time on each one. Based on ornaments that I have had finished professionally, it looks like they must have used something thinner which would decrease the area between the front and back sides making cording work better. What do you use for the solid backing?



Ornament Finishes

Practice is supposed to make perfect. We’ll find out. This one is by no means perfect but I’m happy with my first attempt. “Finishers” really earn their money. Since I have about 8 ornaments and an eyeglass case to finish, I will not be sending them out!

I have multiple sets of finishing instructions from various sources. So, I have used some techniques from each.

I sewed the edges down on the left and Sewline stick glue to attach the ultrasuede to the foam board on the right.

They lined up adequately.

There was a pretty decent gap between the front and back. I had just seen Mary Corbet’s post on finishing an edge with a Palestrina stitch. I am not adding any beads. But, the stitch was perfect for covering the gap. However, I had stitched 2 rows around the design because one finisher said that having long stitches on the edge would make finishing more difficult. Bargello is long stitches. Well, stitching through basketweave, folded back canvas, and ultrasuede was not easy. I pulled out my jewelry pliers. That helped pull the needle through. This first one took much, much longer than I had hoped. I did take breaks but it had to be around 6 hours.

Part of my break during the day included a stop at Michael’s to use my 40% off coupons. Two of them! With one, I got a cutting mat. Self-healing! I’ll be testing that. Hope it can survive.

The Wonder Clips are working wonderfully.

So, I am going in the edge between the two rows of basketweave and canvas. Picking up a little of the ultrasuede for the decorative edging using the same Silk & Ivory 86 Shamrock that was used on the design.

Once is was done, I was happy with it and really felt a sense of accomplishment. So, I encourage you to give it try – if you have plenty of time and want to save money. Otherwise, send it to a professional!



Hearts of Gold: Fourth Heart-Shaped Bargello Ornament by Michele Roberts

Hearts of Gold is an excellent ANG Correspondence Course that includes 20 Heart-Shaped Bargello Ornaments by Michele Roberts and is available under Distance Learning on ANG ‘s website. Michele’s are all done using only 4 gold threads while mine are all different colorways for different seasons.

This Swirl Burden work ornament has horizontal laid threads or trame lines with burden work showing exposed thread. Boy is this stitch named appropriately. What a pain it was. I wanted to try it and I am not likely to stitch anything with it again. Although it was getting easier the more I did it, it was too tedious. Turned out pretty but I didn’t find it enjoyable. What’s your experience with it?

This ornament is red and white to join our Phillies sports and Valentine’s Day decorations. The laid thread is Snow 00 White. The bargello pattern includes YLI Ribbon Floss 142 Red, YLI Shimmer Blend Ribbon Floss 023 White/Opal, Flair F502, and Fyre Werks F38.



Hearts of Gold: Third Heart-Shaped Bargello Ornament by Michele Roberts

Hearts of Gold is an excellent ANG Correspondence Course that includes 20 Heart-Shaped Bargello Ornaments by Michele Roberts. It’s available under Distance Learning on ANG ‘s website. Michele’s are all done using only 4 gold threads so they are all color coordinated. Mine are all different colorways for seasonal display.

This Diamond and Stars Bargello ornament adds non-Bargello stitches inside each diamond. I thought magenta would be good for a fall flower color but adding pink makes me think Spring and Valentine’s Day decorations. I have plenty more of the 20 heart designs left to try. So, I will probably do another heart for fall. I’m sure that I have enough threads!

These threads are Vineyard Merino M1014 Grape Wine, Silk & Ivory 185 Cosmopolitan, Silk Lame Braid for 18 Ct SL26, and Kreinik 1/16″ Ribbon 024. The diamond Bargello pattern seems like an easy pattern but the over 6 canvas thread stitches were tough to remember. I would get into the over 4 repetition and forget the over 6 (too often).



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.