Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Finally Finished Orchid and Bamboo
November 24, 2022, 10:29 am
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2017, Orange Orchid & Bamboo

When last I posted, I was stalled on JP’s Orchid and Bamboo canvas. That’s an understatement. I was up against 2 brick walls. Nothing was working for the orange or green areas of the Orchid.

The Silk Lamé Braid for 13 count was way too heavy so I switched threads to a reddish orange, orange, and light orange Impressions using a packed stem stitch. It follows the colors of the canvas nicely. I did skip adding the little green spots that were painted on two of the petals. It took quite some time to finish all 5 petals and got kind of boring packing stem stitches in such a large area but I am very happy.

The center green areas of the orchid really appealed to me. Silk was too flat compared to the surrounding orange petals. I couldn’t get shading with Neon Rays although the padding which Cynthia Thomas had suggested would have been good. Otherwise, I really liked her stitch guide. An overdyed thread had been suggested (thanks Patrick) but then I couldn’t find a stitch to create the shading. Eventually, I opened up Judith Baker Montano’s Elegant Stitches right to the Flat Stitch which is “wonderful for filling in leaves and petals”. It was meant to be. I decided to cut up Watercolours (211 Cucumber) into dark and light shades and alternate them from side to side. For a very little padding, I added a perpendicular stitch on the dark side first. The Flat stitch solved my problem.

I filled the center with beads and was done! What a relief to be done.

Hopefully, with Linda’s help, I will find fabric for the finisher and enough to make both pillows. She knows fabric and the area fabric stores.

At least for a day or two, they (the companion piece is Bird of Paradise with Bamboo) will sit on the living room couch like this! I want to enjoy these now. Happy Thanksgiving to all!!



Stalled Orchid and Bamboo
October 17, 2022, 11:30 am
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2017, JP Bird of Paradise & Bamboo

JP’s Orchid and Bamboo canvas is the companion piece to JP’s Bird of Paradise canvas that I finished last year.

I got stalled after finishing the Bamboo Panel which 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 for the leaves. Same as the companion piece. So, no surprises here.

I am determined to finish this piece in 2022 and getting caught with posting my progress up to now is getting the the piece out of the project bag. The thread I selected initially for the flower, Silk Lame Braid for 13 count was too heavy and I wasn’t getting the angle correct for the stitches suggested in the stitch guide. So, I have regrouped. A little over a week ago, I selected new threads and a stitch – more on that later but hopefully soon!



Orchid and Bamboo: One Step Back, Fix, and One Step Forward

The Main Line Stitchers chapter held our Stitch-in this past Saturday in person (6 members) and on Zoom (1 member). Good to find out that the church’s AC is working great and this is only May!

Well, I discovered 2 mistakes. This one from the center panel of the “completed” Bird of Paradise canvas had a few missing stitches which would probably have gone unnoticed except for the fact that I took a photo to make sure that I stitched the other center band similarly. Luckily, I took the photo in the area of the missing stitches. Easy fix.

Then, all of a sudden I noticed this. The left side of the photo is the first canvas and the right side of the photo is the second canvas. Look at the blue section.

The right is darker than the left. Then, I looked closer.

So, it went through my mind: Who besides me will notice that? They are almost the same color. But the close up photos reveal better that the Pepper Pot Silk and the Gloriana are very close in color (left side of photo) making the difference between the Vineyard Silk and Gloriana (right side of photo) that much more noticeable. So, I will see it every time I look at them. Then, to verify the difference, I asked my husband and he said the one panel is darker than then the other – first thing he saw. Luckily, I have enough of the Pepper Pot Silk and just enough of the Gloriana because they both have to come out. Oh well. No point of spending this much effort on pieces not to get them right! Right.

So I ripped the blue sections out and before I knew it they were redone. All is back on track and ready for next month’s Stitch-in.



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.



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.



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)!



JP Bird of Paradise & Bamboo

I never posted my stitching progress since beginning this at the 2017 Seminar with Cynthia Thomas at her Painted Canvas Embellishment Class. She sent a wonderful one page document that I took to Rittenhouse Needlepoint to select threads for the project which I did show previously (https://melitastitches4fun.com/2017/08/24/ang-seminar-2017-anaheim/). She has you pick thread types rather than any specific brands because she doesn’t know what threads are in local needlepoint stores.

Rather than post all my progress which was pretty good until early 2018 when it got shelved, I am going to post it area by area over the next several weeks/months. As an incentive to finish our painted canvases and share our learnings with our ANG Main Line Stitchers (MLS), I selected this canvas and it was also selected by another member, Beth (same Beth who stitched the Lotus Kimono which was featured in an article of ANG Needle Pointers (Jan/Feb 2020) for A Tale of Two Stitchers). She is using the threads and stitches obtained from Betsy at Fireside Stitchery (although I’m not going to post hers here, I will mention some differences). They are both compared and shared during our MLS monthly meetings.

The first (far left) panel has an open stitch which is kind of a staggered Cashmere stitch with Vineyard Silk and Pepper Pot Silk and separating them are short diagonal stitches using Gloriana with a very subtle overdye that really isn’t apparent. Compensating through the coins was really tough. I like that some of the canvas shows through. The coins are shaped differently and are stitched slightly differently but with the same color of Kreinik. Beth has some open canvas as well because she used unequal armed crosses resulting in an oblong effect. But, she thread blended using overdyed blue and green ThreadworX for a much more subtle color change. Her coins are done in all tent stitch.

The unstitched portions are seen on the far left and right areas and they are stitched in the center. 



Golden Needle Lee Purse
March 29, 2019, 10:08 am
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2017, Golden Friends by Toni Gerdes

The design, Golden Friends by Toni Gerdes, fit (almost) into the opening of a Lee purse that I have had for quite some time (years). The design was created for the Golden Needle Society of the American Needlepoint Guild.

The outer edge of the cubes are not seen but it’s ok. I really enjoyed stitching the laid fillings in the upper right and bottom left corners (the bibliography cites Jean Taggert’s Laid Fillings for even weave fabrics which I own but haven’t explored yet).

Since I put the piece in a purse, I buried the needle pretty well (especially the pointed tip) and even attached it through the eye. It’s in the upper right corner and represents “how are needlework friends are woven into our lives through membership and participation in the American Needlepoint Guild at the national level and in our local chapters”.

I plan to use the purse for Seminar and chapter events starting with my visit to ANG Delaware Seashore chapter on Monday, April 1. I got it finished yesterday thanks to watching the winning Phillies Home Opener (great game)! The purse was done just in the nick of time. We head to Woodlawn (for the needlepoint exhibit) and then to Rehoboth Beach (for an Overdyed Spools class, shopping at their new needlepoint shop called Stitch-Stash and the outlets, and play some par 3 golf).



Golden Friends by Toni Gerdes
February 5, 2018, 5:36 pm
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2017, Golden Friends by Toni Gerdes

I stitched the upper left block of Golden Friends by Toni Gerdes during the Superbowl game last night. What a game! Eagles won!! The woven ribbons was easy enough to allow me to watch the game until the last minute. Then, I just kept my fingers crossed.

This design is offered to ANG friends who donate to the Golden Needle Society of The American Needlepoint Guild. Toni introduced it at the 2017 Seminar in Anaheim, CA. It’ll be my work in progress travel piece. Great instructions and I love working with Silk Lame Braid.