Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Garland of Christmas Lights, EGA Friends of Fiber, & Fiber Art Now

I couldn’t find a ball of DMC #8 Pearl cotton in a particular color locally. So, I ordered it from Herrschners in mid October. I was surfing the website and found a garland of Christmas lights on plastic canvas. So I ordered the kit as well. I couldn’t get just one ball of DMC #8 Pearl, right?!? I had Bill put the kit away and today I opened it having forgotten all about it! I have a string of wooden light bulbs. These will be cute too.

Since I am not ready to be a full member of EGA’s Fiber Forum, I signed up for EGA’s Friends of Fiber Forum ($10/year) https://egausa.org/fiber-forum/. It’ll be a great start to see what goes on with the group.

I also got a year (4 issues) of Fiber Art Now (https://www.fiberartnow.net/). The website has tons of things to explore once you subscribe including their digital archive.

Quite a diverse selection! From plastic 7 count canvas to fiber arts.



Ornament Blitz

Well, I channeled Cleo, of Busy Lizzy, a professional finisher, who works on multiple ornaments simultaneously. I saw her in her workroom during a Zoom meeting working on at least 6 ornaments. I have all the supplies on my dining room table but am working on a tray table in the living room going step by step. My husband is very tolerant of the mess. One more odd shaped ornament after these and then I will clear the table for Christmas.

Step 1. Make copies of the ornaments at 100 & 135%. Two diamonds are the same size. The Winter Sleigh is a painted canvas by Alice Peterson that ANG Main Line Stitchers discussed using 2 stitch guides in 2019 just before the shut down, the 2 large diamonds are by Kurdy Biggs from Needlepoint Now November/December 2015 issue that was a 2018 project with ANG Keystone Garden chapter that I finished in 2019, and the small diamond is by Vicky Witterschein which was stitched during a Zoom class in 2021 with my EGA Brandywine Chapter.

Step 2. Cut out paper templates and cut ornaments out of canvas allowing about a half-inch larger than the design.

Step 3. Using the larger of the 2 templates, trace and cut out fabric backs. All will get the new silver fabric and was an opportunity to use my Karen Kay Buckley micro serrated scissors (which stops edges from fraying). The right tool for the job helps.

Step 4. Cut the Skirtex and fusible web slightly smaller than front design for the fabric backing.

Step 5. Iron the fabric backing onto the Skirtex with fusible web (like that better than glue-much neater-as long as I make fusible web smaller than the smallest side).

Step 6. Using the exactly sized template, cut a piece of magazine board.

Step 7. For the sleigh, I cut 4 layers of felt smaller than the magazine board to make it puffy, tacked the felt in place, placed the magazine board on top of the felt. There are 2 layers of felt on the 3 diamond ones.

Step 8. I found my Wonder Clips and used them to hold the folded-over canvas while I laced the canvas side to side with invisible thread. One spool has 2,200 yards. I’ll never need another!

Step 9. Attach hanger for the 3 diamonds. I used a Kreinik #16 Braid which I tied into the felt to start and finish but run it up through the canvas and back down right in the center. Very easy! I am reminded of a Brian Regan joke sarcastically saying “you’re breaking some new ground there, Copernicus”. It’s probably not a new way to add a hanger but I can’t recall seeing it suggested anywhere.

Step 10. Get my Thimble Pack out because my index and middle fingers only made it through 2 ornaments. Using a small Crewel needle pushing through Skirtex and sometimes magazine board was tough on my fingers!

Step 11. I sewed a cord on the edge for the sleigh simultaneously with the backing but cord is not needed on the others. The others look fine with just raw edge I guess because the design has some open canvas. I’m very happy with the results and see improvements with each one. Reminds of the old adage, “Practice makes perfect”. I still prefer to spends the hours stitching.

Step 11. Hang and enjoy the ornaments!!



Flutterby and Pansy Stand

It’s been awhile with the finisher but worth the wait. The Mauve Pansy that I stitched for the EGA class Rings on Her Fingers designed by Allison Cole and taught by Kay Stanisis has Flutterby flying around it which is designed by Kurdy Biggs from ANG’s 2017 Chapter Project Book. There is an iridescent yellow lamé behind the canvas and an acrylic stand is inserted from the bottom.



THaP class, Blackwork on Nature’s Palette

The 2022 fall Take Home a Project (THaP) class, Blackwork on Nature’s Palette by Catherine Jordan, was today across the bridge in Mt. Laurel, NJ.

It was a full class and my first attempts were not good. I’d only done one small square of Blackwork quite some time ago. I was getting nowhere and finally asked Catherine what was I doing wrong. It turns out I was trying to do this on the diagonal. So, I grabbed a new Magnolia leaf (she brought extras – I actually will do 3 of these). The second leaf went easier on the front but it is not reversible. The lady bug is a cute embellishment. I will try the diagonal one again and a reversible one.

They were painted beautifully with acrylic paints. I grabbed about a half dozen green ones because I will offer to teach this to the Brandywine chapter. That’s the purpose of THaP. It’s like the ANG Chapter Project Book.

I taught the Overdyed Spools to the group last year and several of them commented on how their chapter members enjoyed it and several chapters have it scheduled for 2022 and 2023.



Overdyed Spools, An EGA Petite Project

Overdyed Spools was released today as an EGA Petite Project (https://egausa.org/new-petite-project-overdyed-spools/)! I taught it at the Mid-Atlantic Region (MAR) Fall meeting in October 2021 and since then, at least 6 chapters have or will be teaching it to members. I have been getting photos by text and email showing me another one finished periodically – so cool. A couple of people changed the stitch to have the color flow differently which was wonderful. And, the center changed to 3 larger geometric shapes – so original.

Then, thanks to Jana (dual member) from the EGA Great Lakes Region (GLR) for asking if that region could share the design with chapters. Since ANG has the project in the 2017 Chapter Project Book (still available), I figured that maybe EGA would be able to share it through their Petite Projects which are smaller projects also intended to be used by chapters and/or regions as scheduled programs. Since I created diagrams for the Petite Projects, Favorite Medallion #1 and Technique Basics, working with Carole and Harriet, I knew who to contact. And, it was quickly accepted.

This is my newest colorway which is the one I used for demonstration for class and finished afterwards. You may have seen it at the EGA Seminar in NYC this summer as a “Coming Soon” piece – it’s here now!



Canvas Master Craftsman Program, Step 5

Step 5 of the EGA Master Craftsman Canvas 3 had to include 2 appliques (canvas to canvas and at least one had to be irregularly shaped). It had to be 10″ x 14″.

The wings were stitched on 24 count Congress Cloth and applied to 18 count canvas. These are the practice wings. In a nutshell, Step 1 is to pull threads out to the stitched piece (in progress in left photo). Step 2 buries some threads on the back of the applique (right photo). The rest of the threads are pulled to the back and buried in the surrounding stitched area. It is time consuming.

I started this piece shortly after seeing the article Tale of Two Stitchers in the Needle Pointers magazine (Mar/Apr 2021) regarding 2 painted canvases of owls “Who Gives a Hoot”. At first I was going to make the round eyes the applique until I realized that a circle is not irregular! So, I switched to making the wings the appliques which actually made better sense since they should be in front of the body anyway. I would have padded it but the instructions didn’t say you could but it is allowed. They have changed their instructions to clearly state that padding is allowed.

I had to practice the technique and actually stitched 5 wings trying to get this right. That’s why this step took an extra 6 months. But, the piece passed with distinction. So, it was worth it. Bill likes owls, knew I had worked on it a lot, and thought Night Owl deserved to be framed. So, it was framed before going on display at EGA National Seminar from August 24-28, 2022 in New York City.

I’m glad I waited to post this until I got it back so I could take a new photo. Before my photography class:

After class:



Overdyed Spools Framed
November 7, 2021, 3:14 pm
Filed under: Embroidery Guild of America, Mid-Atlantic Region, Overdyed Spools THaP

In October, I taught Overdyed Spools to 31 students at EGA’s Mid-Atlantic Regional meeting and a few have finished theirs. They are turning out great. It’s so much fun and rewarding to see what others do with it. Donna shared hers in progress and is experimenting with shifting the color change on the diagonal. Love it!

I got mine framed at Michael’s – same as where I got the previous one framed. I wanted them to go well together. I’m happy with how it turned out.



Third Overdyed Spools following EGA THaP Class
October 21, 2021, 3:13 pm
Filed under: Embroidery Guild of America, Mid-Atlantic Region, Overdyed Spools THaP

On Saturday October 16, I taught this to 31 students at EGA’s Mid-Atlantic Regional meeting. About half are going back to teach it to their chapters. It was a great experience.

It’s not a complicated piece to stitch. The hardest part is finding the repeat of color within a skein. Some skeins work better than others. At least 2 people had to switch skeins. I brought a couple of extras and so did several people.

For this one, I am using Caron’s Watercolours Cantaloupe 079. The upper left area uses 11 strands before compensating but only 9 strands had color line up nicely on the horizontal. So, I had to run thread underneath until they lined up. And, I needed an extra strand for a couple of columns.

Since it is my third time stitching it, I tried something different than random in 2 of those sections. The top right has color matched threads moving left to right for 3 rows making vertical columns of matching colors. And, the bottom left area with the 6 x 6 Rice stitch has been stitched with the pink and light purple portions for the large crosses and the blue, green, and yellow portions used for the short over 2 diagonal stitches.

The bottom right area uses 6 strands for the vertical color arrangement and 3 strands for compensation. I think I used the designated compensation threads in the bottom left corner by accident. But, I managed to compensate the area with other threads.

The spools are stitched with DMC Floche 434 which is the same as I used in the other two stitched pieces. There is one hand-dyed thread in the spools. Can you find it without reading ahead?

Lucille C, one of the people who was in the ANG Delaware Seashore chapter when I led the project for them, brought her stitched piece and mentioned that she had padded under the wraps or wrapped extra to get a more rounded effect. Good idea and I padded under all but one spool (upper left corner).

The thread wraps include from upper left to right: The Pure Palette Baroque Silk 1192 (very subtle color change for the hand-dyed thread – really tough to see the color change in the small sample; plies not separated), Madeira’s Burmilana 3893 (two stands laid), Caron’s Impressions 1106 (one strand), The Thread Gatherer’s Sheep’s Silk SPS125; one strand) and from bottom left to right: four strands laid for each color of Rainbow Gallery’s Splendor S994, S977, S932, S1058.

The Pure Palette appears to have 6 plies but I read on several websites that it is has 3. It can be used as it comes off the skein on larger count canvas (13 or 14) or separated into 3. So, I contacted the company and was told, “If you separate it all the way down to the six strands, it becomes more difficult to work with.” It is kind of like Splendor which is a 12-strand skein. Initially it separates into 3 groups of 4 plies but is intended to be separated further into 4 strands. However, Pure Palette should remain in 3 groups of 2 plies.

I revised the text some based on feedback from the organizer of THaP and people can now see another stitched example. One of the messages that I hope I made clear is that one should feel free to experiment with the threads and have fun!



Overdyed Spools Class at EGA MAR
October 16, 2021, 7:40 pm
Filed under: Embroidery Guild of America, Mid-Atlantic Region, Overdyed Spools THaP

Today’s 3-hour class at EGA’s Mid-Atlantic Regional meeting was fun and challenging. There were 31 students – larger than anything I’ve done on the chapter level. Everyone was wonderful.

The piece labeled original was done for a purse for my sister in 2015 and the second for the ANG 2017 Chapter Project Book.

I started stitching it for the third time in order to refresh myself. It is intended to be a small project where many (about 20) of the students then go back and teach it to their own chapter. The main idea is to manipulate an overdyed thread in 2 areas to create a striped effect and place color randomly in the other 2 areas. I shared other pieces where I manipulated overdyed, demonstrated a quilter’s knot, and how to find the repeating color sequence.

I sent this photo out to get people excited. After class, the best comment I heard was, “I’ll never look at overdyed threads the same again.” That’s wonderful to hear and fun to open up possibilities for people.



Flutterby For My Mauve Pansy

I wanted to showcase the Mauve Pansy that I stitched for the EGA class Rings on Her Fingers designed by Allison Cole and taught by Kay Stanis. Rather than making it into a ring, I selected Flutterby designed by Kurdy Biggs for ANG’s 2017 Chapter Project Book so that the butterfly would be flying around the pansy.

I switched the canvas color and threads from lilac to yellow and blue. My stash came through nicely with threads including Waterlilies 017 Blue Lavender (instead of Gloriana), ThreadworX 710161 (which was a little heavier than Kreinik #4 but worked well), Kreinik Petite Facets 014, Neon Ray’s N98 (rather than Panache which I had in the correct color but hated working with it), Silk Lame Braid Petite SP174 (instead of Treasure Braid), and Sundance Beads Size 11 Color 356.

Then, I enlarged a couple of holes, put the wires through the holes, and whip stitched them to hold in place. Lastly, the 6 strand Colonial Knot was added and covered up the little bit of wires that was showing in the center.

It may take a while to get it finished but it will be done as a stand up on an acrylic stand. My other Seminar piece, Annette’s Bouquet, is at the framers and will also take a while because the frame is temporarily out of stock. But, I am not in a rush for that either. I find it very gratifying to have finished both Seminar pieces.