Melitastitches4fun's Blog

JP Canvases Made Into Pillows
February 17, 2023, 8:06 pm
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2017, JP Bird of Paradise & Bamboo, Orange Orchid & Bamboo

The JP canvases, Bird of Paradise with Bamboo and Orchid with Bamboo are sitting proudly on our living room couch!

Linda and I found a lovely green satin fabric at Calico in Strafford, PA (area next to Wayne on Rte 30 near Berwyn – shout out to Svengoolie fans!) in January. I think the sheen is fantastic and the green is perfect.

I decided to let them do the finishing and Linda and I picked them up yesterday. They turned out great. I am thrilled and excited to see them on my couch. They are my “summer” pillows making an early debut because we’ve been in the 60s – in February!

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!!

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

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

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 ( 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.