Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Blue Hills with Dawn Donnelly
August 16, 2022, 8:46 am
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2022, Blue Hills with Dawn Donnelly

I enjoyed the opportunity to have a class, Blue Hills, with Dawn Donnelly for this “mixed media” piece that incorporates Dawn’s hand-made paper. It’s about 6″ x 8″ on 14 count. Fun to stitch.

You can see it in the third area from the top. I cut the paper and stitched it into place.

Between the 8th and 9th area (under the straight satin stitches of Watercolours) I did not like the ripped paper because it didn’t rip how I wanted. So, instead of using that piece that was supposed to be tacked down with a “fake bullion” created from DMC Pearl Cotton #5 which required at least 72″ and crunching one strand to create a coil (which is a long length to get without shredding). I decided that it was not going to happen for me. Not worth the aggravation especially because I knew I had Woolly Whites (WW010) from The Thread Gatherer. It’s perfect!

In the second to the bottom area, underneath the Satin stitches are 4 pieces of blue painted papers instead of 3 that Dawn suggested (they show up more in the photo than in person). I thought the one piece was too small but it fit in on the far left. That allowed the 2 medium sized pieces to fit in the center and the large on the right. I did not want the papers to shift during framing. Dawn had suggested glue. But, I used one strand of dark blue thread and a chenille needle to tack them in place. They aren’t going anywhere ever! In order to see the paper through the stitches, one strand Trio worked fine (2 strands didn’t allow any paper to show).

Placing the beads and French Knots (with 1, 2, and 3 wraps) randomly with all variety of threads was fun (just don’t look at the back).



ANG 2022 Seminar and Blue Hills, Day 2 with Dawn Donnelly
August 5, 2022, 7:39 pm
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2022, Blue Hills with Dawn Donnelly

Day 2 of my third class with Dawn Donnelly started with Dawn demonstrating the Butterfly Chain stitch. That’s the green stone stitches tied together. I took photos of the steps as I stitched it because I kept missing it from her diagrams.

The stem stitch went in underneath just fine. However, once I got past the third row of Oriental stitch, it got tough because the area got so thin. But, I figured it out on graph paper. I didn’t fill in any of the Gobelin stitches yet.

Dawn talked us through straight stitch areas to allow more time on other areas. The Mosaic Checkerboard is tricky only because it is a small area. The green is Huck’s Weaving which is easy enough.

I’m not looking forward to making a fake bullion with DMC Pearl #5 because you need at least 72″ length of thread to cover from side to side without breaking!

Various French Knots, eyelets, and blue Rhodes stitches (begun in the bottom area) should not be a problem. I hope my notes on paper and beads are clear when I get home.

I’ll have to finish this asap once I get home so that I remember what to do! Once I get in my comfy chair with my lap stand (which I forgot to bring), I should be able to finish this relatively quickly. It’s on 14 count canvas and really fun once you get the rhythm of an area. During a 2-day class, you have to move on just when you are enjoying the area. That’s just what happens in a class setting.

Seminar 2022 is over now. What a week! Lots of people telling me that they are looking forward to stitching Crescent Journey – very happy!



ANG Seminar and Blue Hills with Dawn Donnelly
August 4, 2022, 9:47 pm
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2022, Blue Hills with Dawn Donnelly

My third class, also 2 days, is Blue Hills with Dawn Donnelly. It is another type of applique of a different sort – applying paper to a canvas. This is also referred to as Mixed Media. Dawn makes her own paper. We didn’t have to do that but she explained the process and has a Zoom lecture on that topic which I was fortunate enough to be an invited guest earlier this year. She gave an abbreviated talk about the process today.

Her advertised description of class is: The hills in Michigan may not be big or blue, but they are beautiful.  We are surrounded by water and a wide range of terrain.  Blue Hills is my attempt at bringing that beauty to life.  After a short lecture on handmade paper, the student will spend time exploring the paper by painting, wetting, tearing and cutting it into shapes.  It will be attached to the canvas and surrounded with stitches including Corset, French Knots, Branscombe Edge, Criss Cross Hungarian, Butterfly Chain, Oriental, Rhodes and a fake Bullion.

We cut and ripped paper in the am and then painted some of the pieces.

In the afternoon, we started attaching one of the pieces. We also did 2 of the toughest stitches, Corset (top stitch) and Branscombe Edge 2nd from the top stitch). Corset comes up under stitches and Branscombe Edge builds 3 buttonhole stitches next to each other. Dawn said that we could make the backstitches over 2 or 3 canvas threads. I did over 2 and they got crunched together.

This is over 3 canvas threads so you can see the difference. I kind of like mine better because it is not as uniform.

Day 1 progress. I will be finishing the 4th band tonight so that the paper is completely attached.



Photographing Needlepoint with Jennifer Reifenberg

We got some great tips on photographing needlepoint from Jennifer Reifenberg. I have been getting photos on cloudy but bright days but need to get a white board to help get rid of shadows. Also, I need to get a white and black matte background fabric depending on what I’m photographing.

Photo taken a few years ago.

Today’s photo during class.

So, I can already see an improvement in my photos.



ANG 2022 Seminar and Mesa Triangle with Kathy Rees, Day 2
August 1, 2022, 12:30 am
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2022, Mesa Triangle with Kathy Rees

All went well again today! We stitched more in the morning.

In the afternoon, we got our fabric.

I selected a darker triangular piece because the background is going to be light. We learned how we would attach the batik fabric applique (it is being “previewed” in the photo – it is not attached yet). The applique looks big but is the same size as hers. I didn’t get much stitching done in the afternoon but that’s OK.



ANG 2022 Seminar and the President’s Award for A Spring Sampler
July 31, 2022, 11:47 pm
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2022, President's Award

What a wonderful surprise it was to hear A Spring Sampler got the final award of the night – The President’s Award from Janice G!

It didn’t get any ribbon from the judges but it was my first year in the professional category for original designs. Janice said that not only was it a pretty design but my Artist Statement explained how this is a result of my dedication to learning from 10 different ANG teachers who have offered design classes over the years including Making Stitches Work For You, taught by Carolyn Mitchell who challenged us to make our own band sampler.

A Spring Sampler is a symmetrical band sampler (9″ x 12″) that uses different stitches in each of the 21 bands (all my stitch choices and thread choices). To create additional symmetry, the stitches for bands on either side of the center band are related and use the same threads. This pattern of related bands continues as the bands progress outwards.



ANG 2022 Seminar and Mesa Triangle with Kathy Rees, Day 1
July 30, 2022, 10:47 pm
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2022, Mesa Triangle - Kathy Rees

My first class at the 50th Anniversary of ANG is Mesa Triangle with Kathy Rees. I decided to make 2022 the year of the applique (my EGA Step 5 post will be coming soon).

Her advertised description: “An abstract geometric, Mesa Triangle features a triangle of batik fabric appliqued to the canvas. A variety of stitches, including couching over laid cording, are used to produce movement within the design.  Compensation and placement of stitched areas will be discussed and the student will be encouraged to adapt the piece to reflect their personal interpretation.” The piece is 3.5″ x 12″ design size.

Day 1 went well despite me forgetting my lap stand. I am managing by resting it between my lap and the table.

I stayed pace with the class. Some are ahead of me, some behind, and at least one person decided to place things where they fall upon her first count (not following the diagrams accuratly at least twice from what i heard). Kathy reminded her that consistency will be important. At least 3 of the 6 people on my side of the room had to rip out something once or twice – ok – 3 times! Only one mistake irrated me because of how far I had gotten. But, it was rectified quickly enough.

Progress from the morning and afternoon 3-hour sessions. The overdyed floss is Mesa Sunset. Beautiful! No stitching in the evening. Giving my eyes a break!



ANG 2022 Seminar in Tucson, AZ and The West
July 30, 2022, 12:52 am
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2022

We should have been here in Tucson, AZ for the ANG 2020 Seminar (cancelled due to coronavirus) and so I brought my bag along to carry stuff for my third class.

We missed 2021 in person but did online classes. This year we are back in person and got a goody bag that included the smaller 50th Anniversary Seminar bag which matches the larger zipper project bag. I’m using the for my first class tomorrow. I’ve got to take a closer look at those little gadgets. I also have to find another 50th Anniversary pin for my husband!

Our first stop after landing was to visit The West, a non-profit, volunteer based needlepoint store in Tucson. Half of a large store has needlepoint books, tools, threads, painted canvases, really everything. I had previously ordered the stitch guide written by Sundance Beads for Embracing Horses, a Danji canvas. And, I got a 50th Anniversary ornament to commemorate the occasion. This is one Seminar that I will never forget – for a couple of reasons. I also picked up a thread for a project that I didn’t bring along.