Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Seashell with Thanks to the Interpreting Color Theory for Needlework Class by Susan Hoekstra

The shell was discussed at the last ANG Seminar class with Susan Hoekstra for her class, Interpreting Color Theory for Needlework.

To create some depth between the center white/yellow area and purple area, texture contrast is employed. A thinner weight thread is used for the purple areas on the sides so they recede a little but the same stitch as the center area is used to maintain the rounded effect. The thicker Vineyard is slightly more forward than the silk which is 3 strands laid and couched of Pearsall’s Filoselle Silk 282A. BTW, there is some strange text on that skein that reads “FAST TO LIGHT AND BOILING”. Thoughts on what that means?

A couple of nights before NJ Needle Fest, I sent out a request to locate a dark purple in DMC Perle #8 or #12. Two members of my other chapter, the NJ Needle Artists, had 3 possible choices & the one from Rosie hit the mark, a # 8 Finca 2720. I added the 6 purple round areas then using a double layered cross with a small cross on top. It was nice to see everyone after missing the 2019 Fest (because of a cruise I took) and the 2020 Fest was canceled due to coronavirus. I signed up for their 2022 NJ Needle Fest and it’ll be back in May.

For the 3 blue round areas, I used the same stitch but with the lighter weight DMC #12, color 3822 to get the lighter color blue compared with the darker purple to recede slightly as that part of the shell is rounding down and away.

Once I got home from EGA’s Seminar and was sitting in my comfy stitching chair, I made good progress on the shell and finished it.

The horizontal rings is an encroaching gobelin with Tiara T106 and Kreinik #8 Braid 212.

Basketweave is used for most of the bottom (Waterlilies 217 Chili and 223 Rye) except for the light, medium, and dark teal areas which used a vertical couch. I used Gloriana Teal Twilight #108 for the dark teal but the lighter portion of the overdyed thread wasn’t light enough to show a difference and had to switch to DMC floss #597 for the medium color and used DMC floss #598 for the lightest teal.

For comparison, I am also sharing my first attempt that didn’t go well! I ripped that out in 2016 & left the canvas sit.

This was one of the three painted canvases discussed at last night’s meeting with my ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter. Good turn out in person and on Zoom. A few technical difficulties but we managed.



Interpreting Color Theory for Needlework with Susan Hoekstra

One of my ANG Virtual Seminar classes is a color theory class presented by Susan Hoekstra.

We went through the theory Susan presented in her booklet during 3 videos. In the meantime, we submitted a painted canvas and answered questions about the focal point and how we wanted to achieve contrast among the various design elements. Then, during the live online meetings, we discussed how to achieve those goals.

I see the horizontal rings first & the large white/very light yellow area seems to me to be the next important area. The rings imply roundness/curved surface but the white/yellow area looks flat even though I know it should be rounded too. They share some of the same part of the shell & should be curved. 


Based on the discussion, I started with Vineyard Silk Classic C-184 Butter Pecan for the laid thread and am using 2 strands of Splendor S818 (3 strands) which is a perfect match. 
Initially, I was staggering the diagonal couching which wasn’t really giving the rounded effect (see photo “Staggered Couching”). Then, I accidentally lined up two diagonal stitches on the same diagonal line and knew instantly that was giving a better effect (in the same photo, look at the bottom right two stitches).

Staggered Couching

It’s very possible that Susan meant for the couching to be vertical stitches moving diagonally but I like the extra diagonal effect of making the stitches diagonal as well. I’m really feeling the roundness even in such a small space (see photo “Diagonal Couching”). 

I’ve been through my stash and have threads for all areas except for the dark purple 4×4 areas. So, I sent a request to members of my two chapters attending NJ Needlefest tomorrow to find 36-48″ of a DMC #8 or 12 that might work. One possibility has already found. Stitchers are wonderful people!



ANG Virtual Seminar
August 24, 2021, 6:11 pm
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2021, Secret Window by Kurdy Biggs

The American Needlepoint Guild (ANG) is holding their Seminar virtually again this year. Jessica T sent these gifts to all attendees and a lovely letter thanking everyone for attending virtually this year and inviting us to join what surely must be an in-person Seminar to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of ANG as an organization. The orange thread drops on the ring came from Barefoot Needleart. Very thoughtful surprise!

My 2 classes are both underway. A notebook class with Susan Hoekstra on color theory and the other with Kurdy Biggs called Secret Window, a 5-panel piece to fit in a specially made wooden frame.



Secret Window Kit by Kurdy Biggs
August 8, 2021, 7:02 pm
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2021, Secret Window by Kurdy Biggs

The ANG Seminar went virtual again this year due to coronavirus. I signed up for Secret Window by Kurdy Biggs.

Isn’t the kit wonderful! I never used Treenway silk threads before. There is Tranquility described as a fine cord, Harmony is a silk floss, and Zen Shin which is 20/2 spun silk (looks like #8 perle). One of my ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter members got a kit from Debbie Rowley for her ANG Seminar class and she’s using the same thread line but she also got Serenity.

Isn’t the frame interesting! She gives finishing instructions and makes it sound doable. But, this will take quite some time to finish. So, I don’t have to think about that now.