Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Update regarding Tent Stitch Issue on a Diagonal

The center V is stitched as basketweave would be normally. For the left V, I laid the Ecru DMC Perle #8 thread first, stitched over it with DMC #5, then stitched the surrounding green with DMC #5. It pinched the #8 thread slightly more than the right V where I stitched the green first, laid the Ecru #8 thread, and then stitched over it with the DMC #5.

The left and right V appear to be essentially identical but the thread is still more visible than I expected.

I had to try reversing the colors. I only needed to lay one strand of green floss after stitching the ecru surrounding area first. You can not see the floss at all and the V is so much more evident.

So, I think that this works only with dark threads and would very useful for defining dark letters in pieces.

Classes for Painting Needlepoint Canvases with Nancy of Fancywork Finishing finished up on Wednesday. The third class went over mixing paints more and a variety of questions we had. No more classes in 2020. Bummer. But, I will be busy finishing up a few of them!



Class 2, Take 3 of Painting Needlepoint Canvases

I was able to get a better mix of colors when I did as Nancy suggested and selected threads before mixing colors. I didn’t worry about getting the two light pinks the right colors though because I was not going to use much anyway.

It took longer than my other 2 attempts to paint but Bill thinks that it “looks great” and so do I as far as being able to stitch the design not to sell it. But, that’s not my goal anyway. I definitely would buy the paints if I were trying to sell painted canvases. Getting the right colors is tough. And, duplicating the color would be practically impossible. That’s why some areas are not painted as well as other areas. I was running out! Creamacoat has a good range of yellow-orange colors and DMC has more yellow-orange threads that I could use.

If I stitch it with thread blending with the colors I selected to shade areas, it should turn out better than the painted version.

This is just 4″x4″ and making it larger would allow more details. It wouldn’t be the first time I stitched a design more than once!



Class 2, Take 2 of Painting Needlepoint Canvases

Well, I don’t see a dog now! Neither does Bill. But, I’m not getting the depth perception within the flower.



First Coaster Stitched

Today was our second class and I will paint again tomorrow. While I ponder what I want to stitch, I finished stitching the first coaster. I used Silk & Ivory (colors: 213 banana, 01 natural, 29 guacamole, 150 peony, 198, ahoy!, 36 admiral blue).

And, I finished graphing the second coaster on Excel to see how it would turn out. If this were a design that I wanted to paint again, I’d use this version (rather than my colored pencil version). And, it stores easily on my computer. I’ll stitch this one too.



Tent Stitch Issue on a Diagonal

According to The Needlepoint Book by Jo Ippolito Christensen, a tent stitch is either a half cross, continental, or basketweave stitch depending on what direction you stitch it. They all look like a 1 x 1 diagonal stitch on the top of the canvas. The way I stitched the single row of the zig zag white line doesn’t appear to follow any one of these directions. So, I will just call it a tent stitch and you know I am referring to a 1 x 1 diagonal stitch going from the bottom left to the upper right.

There is an issue with a single line of tent stitch when you are moving on the diagonal of a V shape. On the right side of the V, the stitches form a connecting line. However, on the left side of the V, the stitches form something like a step ladder not touching one another. On occasion, I have laid a thread from upper left end of the V to the center of the V in the same color thread to form a connecting line on both sides of the V and make it a stronger visual. It’s like couching on the diagonal. I’m sure I learned it in a class and used it before (but can’t remember where).

I decided to see if it would work for the coaster I painted. I stitched the first V with all tent stitches (right V). The second V (left V) has Silk & Ivory laid on the left diagonal line.

Once the tent stitches were placed on top, it resulted in a thicker line than the right side of the V. It may not be visible in the photo (center V) but you can feel it. The third V (left V) has one strand of Silk & Ivory laid on the left diagonal line. Silk & Ivory is a 3-ply thread not normally split into 3 strands but it can be.

Then, tent stitches were placed on top.

Once the green thread was added, it pinched the laid white into a very thin noticeable line.

The fourth V (on far left) has two strands of Silk & Ivory laid on the left diagonal line after I stitched the surrounding green thread first.

Then, I placed tent stitches placed on top. This was the end result of my experiment.

I’m glad I practiced because I decided that it didn’t work as well as I remembered. My husband likes the third V from the left. I will stick with far right V which has the tent stitches on the left side of the V without a laid thread allowing the eye to perceive it as a line even though it doesn’t actually connect as a continuous line.

Then, it dawned on me that it might work better if the line were a darker thread surrounded by the white thread. So, I had to test my theory.

Again, my husband likes the third V from the left. I’m inclined to agree. And, I least like the V on the far right. So, my take away is the darker the thread worked better than the lighter. However, I will probably try this again on the 18 count canvas. I think it’ll work better with either color combination because the canvas threads will be closer together to begin with.

Did anyone stay with me through this discussion? What are your thoughts? Have you done or heard anything like this before?



Second Coaster

As I said, I pulled out some 18 count graph paper and transferred the design there. It’s still the same size (4″x4″). But, I was able to get more details on the 18 count tan canvas particularly in the border because there are more canvas threads. It took longer (3 & 1/2 hours) to paint (again, with breaks).

I didn’t get the light blue as light this second time but the color doesn’t really matter for this coaster anyway.

Coaster on 18 count canvas
Coaster on 13 count canvas

For first attempts, I am happy with them and can easily and accurately stitch these. But, when I compare them to professionally painted canvases, I see room for improvement. There are specs of brown canvas showing on both of mine.

Close up 18 count canvas
Close up 13 count canvas

I already have a greater appreciation of the painted canvases and why they cost what they cost. On the other hand, I can easily stitch these from the diagram without spending the time painting first. But, this a simple geometric design.

Since I painted these, I might as well stitch them!



Coaster Painted

It didn’t take long until I needed to use the Oops paint! A tan jar filled with a tan paint to match the canvas. No wonder she gave us the most of that color.

If you look hard hard enough, you can see where I covered the yellow.

But, once I painted the correct colors, you can’t even tell at all.

That wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be. And, only took 2 and 1/2 hours of painting time (I took breaks). And, while I took breaks from painting, I went back to the graph paper – my 18 count graph paper and transferred the design there. But, more on that later.



Painting Needlepoint Canvases with Fancywork Finishing

I’ve started another class yesterday! Painting Needlepoint Canvases is being held via Zoom by Nancy of Fancywork Finishing (Maryland). We’ll have a class per week for a total of 3 classes.

Zoom is great since we can’t be in person. And, because we are from various parts of the country, we didn’t have travel expenses. She has the proper equipment to project as she demonstrates. It’s good!

We were sent 2 pieces of tan, 13 count canvas. She works mostly on Ecclesiastical projects and uses 13 count canvas and Appleton Crewel wool. I am happy to start on this size canvas. The technique will apply to all sizes of canvas.

I’m also happy to start with a small (4″x4″) piece and basic colors (we can do whatever colors we want but why complicate it when you’re first learning). We traced the design onto transparent paper and then worked it out onto graph paper. It took some tweaking but it was not too difficult.

Because it is 13 count canvas, I will not be able to get all the detail. For example, I modified the 4 corners.

While Bill golfs tomorrow, I will be painting!