Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Petals for Rings on Her Fingers and Kai Scissors
September 11, 2021, 12:18 pm
Filed under: Embroidery Guild of America, Seminar 2021-Chicago

Kay Stanis filled in excellently for Allison Cole for Rings on Her Fingers at the EGA Seminar.

Kay shared that she prefers wooden hoops and even then suggests wrapping the inner hoop with twill which she brought and let us have some. It let’s the fabric hold better in the hoop.

In order to finish this piece, I needed new sharp scissors with the rounded tip in order to cut right up to the edge of each petal. I loved my gingher scissors that I’ve been using a long time. But, when I happened to mention that I needed a new pair of scissors to be sure they were sharp enough, I was told that Kai scissors are fantastic. So, I ordered them and am ready to cut! Nervous to cut that close to the stitching but I am going to do it.

The Kai scissors 4″ have a slight curve at the tip and are very sharp to cut with and have extremely sharp pointy tips. They are so light to hold – much lighter than the gingher scissors but those are all metal and these have the black plastic finger holes (very comfortable fitting). It wasn’t as bad as I expected. I did practice cutting on the practice petal and then kept going. It looks great! Once I am ready to attach it to the canvas, I will finish the assembly process and add the yellow center. I ordered the black Congress Cloth for the butterfly. Nobody around here has it. But, I will start gathering threads for Flutterby by Kurdy Biggs (in the ANG Chapter Project Book – two of us in Main Line Stitchers chapter signed up for it).



EGA Seminar Ended
September 6, 2021, 6:16 pm
Filed under: Embroidery Guild of America, Seminar 2021-Chicago

A short post to wrap up a few points about the EGA Seminar. First, I loved the EGA name tag they gave us. It is zippered, with large pocket, and has a full clear plastic front that fit my EGA Brandywine chapter name tag and half a plastic open area in the back where they gave a tiny print but readable schedule of events and locations. I actually wore the nametag in reverse in order to fit my chapter’s name tag. Worked great. I’m saving it for future seminars.

The Seminar was very similar to ANG’s with the exhibit (my 4 Master Craftsman Canvas pieces were displayed together and it was fun seeing the variety from others progressing along; my Spring Sampler didn’t get a ribbon but I might have entered in the wrong part of the exhibit – the rules weren’t clear – still aren’t),  Teacher Showcase, Expo night (I still can’t buy anything because I feel overwhelmed by current projects), bookstore (I didn’t even look but heard it was great prices with a great selection). I did get a package of 3 Sleigh ornaments from the Seminar store (Inspired Needle Ltd from Lemont, IL) with the perforated paper that I can design my own and just glue it to finish it. My Brandywine chapter donates ornaments each year to some charity and these are easy and cute.

The one vast improvement over all other seminars was having a grab and go in a large salon where we could pick up breakfast and sit with people. It was physically convenient to the elevator and then to get to classes or the exhibit/bookstore/shop. They offered the same food every day but that’s ok. They had coffee, fruit, yogurt, pastries, muffins, oatmeal, and a sandwich (the gluten free roll wasn’t good). Quite a nice selection. I always bring my protein bars which go nicely with the yogurt.

Shortly before I left class with Deborah Mitek, she gave me a lovely thank you note and magnet with one of her designs on it to thank me for being her class angel. I didn’t have to do much – just get the blackboard and markers and return them.

We slept 10 hours last night! So, we walked some today, took a Chicago Gangster Tour by bus, and are going to Pier shortly. The weather can’t be any better.



Annette’s Bouquet with Deborah Mitek, Day 2
September 5, 2021, 7:36 pm
Filed under: Embroidery Guild of America, Seminar 2021-Chicago

I’m done with my 2-day class, Annette’s Bouquet, with Deborah Mitek and Seminar is done too! It sure went by quickly.

Deborah got through everything even though I didn’t stitch everything. I only practiced the periwinkle (pink) flowers in the extra space she gave us. I didn’t bother trying the lilacs because they are either French Knots or Colonial Knots and I can do them although I will practice because I have not done them with 4 and 7 mm ribbons. I also need to finish the stems, leaves, and wild greenery before stitching flowers.

I brought my mini hair straightener wand even though it was not suggested (Deborah brought two). She irons ribbons and threads. When in Rome! Diane S-B (who I know from ANG) was next to me. She had a portable battery pack and I had the iron. Good table partner and nice to catch up with her.

This is one piece that I am going to focus on when I get home and finish asap so I don’t forget what to do.

Finally, I understand how to make a quilter’s knot to knot the end of a thread. It has been explained to me before but I didn’t get it until now!



Annette’s Bouquet with Deborah Mitek, Day 1
September 4, 2021, 10:28 pm
Filed under: Embroidery Guild of America, Seminar 2021-Chicago

This 2-day class is Annette’s Bouquet with Deborah Mitek. Thankfully, the room is warmer.

Deborah puts together a lovely kit organized by flower and stems for specific flowers!

We discussed a good portion of the project but again the amount of stitching does not seem like a lot. I did get one Daisy done!



Rings on Her Fingers with Kay Stanis filling in for Allison Cole
September 3, 2021, 8:02 pm
Filed under: Embroidery Guild of America, Seminar 2021-Chicago

Day 3 was spent with Kay Stanis filling in for Allison Cole who couldn’t attend from Australia due to coronavirus although she did Zoom in to say Hello. The one-day class, Ring on Her Fingers, is an introduction to stumpwork. It’s supposed to be made into a ring but I’m going to place it on a canvas next to a butterfly with a stem and a few leaves. The kit came in a lovely in a nice small compact box.

I practiced the buttonhole stitch over cake wire (Australian cake wire is apparently thinner than here in the US) on the far left one and then finished 3 petals and started a fourth. There will be 5 petals.

I’m not going to make it into a ring to wear. Instead, I am going to stitch a butterfly and place the flower next to and I still have to stitch the butterfly. I wanted to be sure what color flower I’d get. There were 5 options. I got the one I wanted. It will go in the guest bedroom with the other purple pieces!



Overdyed Thread Notebook Class with Gail Stafford, Day 2
September 2, 2021, 9:22 pm
Filed under: Embroidery Guild of America, Seminar 2021-Chicago

Today we stitched tied stitches, eyelets, and leaf stitches. We got 9 stitches in each day. I love the contrast with the solid colors. And, my favorite effect was the Giant Rice (1st column on the bottom left) with the dark solid DMC floss on the bottom and the overdyed thread on top.

I have plenty of thread left and half the canvas to work up a sampler. Maybe a bookmark.

It blows my mind how time flies in class. It should seem like time is frozen because it’s so cold in the hotel. I remembered that it was cold last time when we were here (2014) for ANG’s Seminar. And, I brought a heavier sweater. But, the cold seems to be getting in my bones this time combined with sitting on a chair that isn’t my comfy stitching chair and I am getting stiff and my back isn’t feeling great. Going to wear my long pants tomorrow. Enough about the cold! Got to get organized for my next class.



EGA Seminar 2021 and Overdyed Thread Notebook Class with Gail Stafford
September 2, 2021, 8:26 am
Filed under: Embroidery Guild of America, Seminar 2021-Chicago

Five days of classes started yesterday with a 2-day class being taught by Gail Stafford on overdyed threads. It’s a notebook class and we are practicing with different weight threads and stitches to see how the overdyed colors move. My take away is that smaller stitches result in a more subtle color shift than the larger stitches. Got to get to Day 2 class!



Canvas Master Craftsman Program, Step 4

Step 4 of the Canvas Master Craftsman program had to incorporate 8 different bargello patterns but not into a “sampler”. So, I have 3 bowls, 3 abstract flowers, a background, and a border. It’s 252 x 180 canvas threads on 18-count canvas. I was surprised to see that it measured 14.5″ x 10.25″. Do stretcher bars actually stretch the canvas that much?

Step 4 passed with distinction and will be sent for display at EGA National Seminar in 2021 along with Steps 1, 2, and 3! 

Any color combination was allowed. I selected a tetrad that are two sets of complements: yellow-orange (browns), yellow-green, blue-violet, and red-violet.

The left blossoms use 3 diamond patterns. For the bowl, I combined two of the same components used in the blossoms and overlapped them when joined side by side. The center bowl and blossoms are different but related diagonal patterns. And, the third group are both examples of mirrored bargello patterns.

I never thought I would finish the background which is a variation of Victorian Step from Decorative Backgrounds by June McKnight (page 53). Since this pattern has more smaller over 2 stitches than over 4 stitches, the stitches recede from the main design elements which consists of mainly larger over 4 stitches.

The border stitch was tricky to make it align evenly. I had to expand the pattern on the sides to make it fit. Four Way Bargello by Dorothy Kaestner is a great resource for bargello patterns. This is a variation of Mauve Ribbon Corners (page 110-111).

I really wish Liz Morrow was still with us. Her designs were instrumental in teaching me about different bargello patterns. Her last blog posting was 2 lovely Hearts for Hospice (http://lizartblog.blogspot.com/). Liz was a wonderful designer and teacher. She was another generous and supportive needlepoint mentor that I have been blessed to know. We are fortunate that her designs are still available at: https://www.lizartneedlepoint.com/#/. There are several bargello patterns I still want to stitch and under her needlepoint tab, I’ve always loved her Leaping Stag.



Canvas Master Craftsman, Steps 1 and 3 Display Ready

Unlike my Step 2 piece which didn’t need blocking, Lisa did block the fish for me and I picked up earlier this week. I attached it with small nails to a foam board and laced it up. I’m using the same acid-free, 3/16” thick, white foam board (https://www.michaels.com/elmers-acid-free-foam-board-2-count/10390078.html) that I used for the previous step. Today, I laced up Step 3 too. No blocking was needed.

Since these pieces are not going to be judged, I didn’t want to mat and frame it. I ordered ultrasuede fabric to make the backs look nicer. They will be displayed in the Education area of EGA at the National Seminar in Chicago in September to advertise their Master Craftsman Canvas program. Bill and I are going to drive there for my first EGA Seminar. I have 3 classes which will be the subject of another post eventually.

Step 1. Line Drawing Supplied, Monochromatic Colorway
Step 3. No design supplied for Diaper Patterns, Split Complementary Colorway


Tree Ornament with EGA Brandywine Chapter and Vicky Witterschein

My EGA Brandywine Chapter hosted a class earlier tonight with Vicky Witterschein so she can gain experience towards her teaching certification with the National Academy of Needlearts (NAN).

Many thanks to her local needlepoint shop, The Edwardian Needle and Pam, for donating 20 kits to each of EGA’s 5 regions. It consists of 5″ x 5″ piece of 18 count canvas, Santa Fe Sage, 2 mm ribbon, Kreinik, pearls, needles, and beading thread.

Vicky led us through the stitches, had video demonstrations, and several of us finished the project during the 2-hour Zoom class. She is well on her to being an excellent teacher.

It could be done as a diamond like I did (2″ x 3″) or a Christmas Tree. Any ribbon thread will work, if I want to make up another. It’s great that the stitches work up easily into 2 different designs.