Melitastitches4fun's Blog

Trivet completes the Pieces of Eight
February 13, 2011, 5:02 pm
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, Pieces of Eight

The trivet is done & joins my coasters & napkin ring to complete the Pieces of Eight Project.

Well, I changed my mind quickly when I started outlining the disappearing octagons in green – it wasn’t right. So, I switched to red. And, I decided that before I got too far because this had to be ripped out.

Better in red:

The trivet is acrylic, apparently can withstand temps up to 350 degrees, & came from AllStitch ( They have quite a selection of acrylic embroidery blanks for tables, bathrooms, & personal items – cheap too. So, here it is, placed in the acrylic shell (bottom snaps into top):

And, the set:

As someone else said, I did get a lot out of this project – I did that by exploring wonderful alternatives for finishing needlepoint pieces. And, I feel a sense of accomplishment.

As a reminder, the directions for ‘Pieces of Eight’ by Gayle Bicknell are available at  They are reprinted all in one issue for $18.

Neither I nor Main Line Stitchers have any financial interest in any of the companies mentioned.

Come join us at 7:15 pm on the 2nd Mon of each month just 30 minutes from Center City Philadelphia & 10 minutes from King of Prussia. Or contact us at: for more information.

Trivet with Disappearing Octagons
February 9, 2011, 10:08 pm
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, Pieces of Eight

The 4 octagons are going into a trivet & is the last of the Pieces of Eight project which we began last year at ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter. This matches the coasters & napkin rings to make a nice set.

I finished the edges in a blanket stitch to match what I’d done with the coasters. But because I used the same color & stitch for the background, even the lighter weight thread is not sufficient to distinguish the main shape of the large octagon. So, I’m going to have to outline the larger octagons in a color – maybe green – ‘cuz I’m not ripping out!

Tips for Pieces of Eight
January 7, 2011, 10:14 pm
Filed under: Pieces of Eight

Here are tips you can hand out to your ANG chapter members. I compiled them for my fellow Main Line Stitchers & they found them useful. This covers Octagons A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, M & N.

Octagon A

  • Use a 30 inch thread to complete 1 unit or ½ of each heart (you really don’t want to stop in mid-unit).
  • Could lay overdyed threads so all 4 match or could switch placement to create less of a pattern.
  • Stitch 2 complete hearts that lie opposite each other rather than proceeding in a clockwise fashion (to work in more open holes).
  • Push threads in towards the heart in order to find holes 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 & “come up outside” of previous stitches.

Octagon B

  • Use a 20 inch thread to make 1 full Rhodes Stitch.
  • Use two 75 inch or three 50 inch threads to make the Walneto (because 150 inches would be too cumbersome to work with).
  • For the Walneto, before going down into hole 10, pass the needle along the canvas under the threads from bottom to top. (If not, you’ll end up with a square like a Waffle Stitch that will cover up your Rhodes stitch and you’ll have to pull it out like I did!!) Also can refer to “The Needlepoint Book” by Jo Ippolito Christensen (1999, pages 267-269).

Octagon C

  • Use a 45 inch thread for beginning and ending the Waffle Stitch (stitches 1-22 and 47-62).
  • Use a 25 inch thread for middle portions (stitches 23-46).
  • Park needle and thread after stitching 1-22 until you are ready to complete stitches 47-62).

Octagon D

  • Use a 27-30 inch thread to complete each Rhodes. Place 3 separated threads together.

Octagon E

  • No tricky stitches as long as you pay attention.

Octagon F

  • Rotate the directions in order to place the main spratshead correctly.
  • Use a 12 inch thread for spokes of Woven Spider.

Octagon G

  • Use a 50 inch thread to complete all the crosses.
  • Work from the outside into the center of the eyelet.

Octagon H

  • The star uses a lot of thread (I didn’t measure)
  • Focus & pay attention to the schematic. Somehow, I was off but most wouldn’t notice & it wasn’t worth reworking.

Octagon I

  • 4 to 6 threads of floss cover more of the canvas (than the 3 I used).

Octagon M

  • Use 35″ thread to make the Waffle Variation.
  • There are 2 errors including the 31 near the top left should be a 36 and the 79 neat the top right should be a 77.

Octagon N

  • Nothing tricky here to making the Double Straight Cross
  • You do have to pay attention to how the pattern of the Alternating Cashmere turns (I had to unstitch a few times).

Good luck everyone!!

If anyone is in the area come join us at 7:15 pm on the 2nd Mon of each month just 30 minutes from Center City Philadelphia& 10 minutes from King of Prussia. Contact us at: for more information.

Coasting on through my pending projects!
January 7, 2011, 8:45 pm
Filed under: Needlework in Progress, Pieces of Eight

The coasters in the bottom left corner of my pending projects picture needed to be cut in a round shape. But, I didn’t want them fraying or looking unfinished. So, I decided to stitch up to the design in a blanket stitch. That also allowed me to cut right up to the edge.

These will go nicely with the napkin ring holders I finished previously: (

In case people ask, the coasters came from AC Moore and they come in different shapes:





“Four Corners” from Pieces of Eight is the first finish of my pending projects!

Looking again at my works in progress pile, it doesn’t look as big as I thought it would. Yet, there is work to do in everything you see. Since I like immediate gratification, I decided to work first on the 4 southwestern-colored octagons (top picture, middle left) from the Pieces of Eight  project we did last year at our ANG Chapter. 

And, it’s first because I want to give it (bottom picture) to my framer (Dan at The Framers Workshop in Philadelphia) who I’ll be seeing this weekend to drop off the 2010 SOTM for framing. I got lucky finding a 5″x5″ matte in the brown frame. I just added a few stitches along the edge & into the unstitched corners (a Byzantine filler).

I can’t remember who gave me the suggestion of “Four Corners” but thanks. That is the only place in America where 4 states touch. And, they are Utah, Colorado, New Mexicao, & Arizona.

Come join us at 7:15 pm on the 2nd Mon of each month just 30 minutes from Center City Philadelphia & 10 minutes from King of Prussia. Or contact us at: for more information.

Napkin Rings, Pieces of Eight
June 13, 2010, 3:34 pm
Filed under: Pieces of Eight

And, I finally finished the napkin rings.  I met with Bianca from Rittenhouse Needlepoint who showed me how to sew a backing onto a piece. There had actually been a trunk show for napkin rings right around the time I met with her. They provided several different examples of how to finish a napkin ring. Although they looked pretty, I just wanted something simple (no loop or tassel, etc,).

Then, I connected the ends.

I’m keeping these for myself!

Framed Individual Pieces of Eight
June 11, 2010, 5:10 pm
Filed under: Pieces of Eight

These are the finished octagons in frames which were ready just in time for our ANG Chapter dinner (this past Monday night). We had a lovely dinner at the Painted Teacup in Upper Darby. Several of us brought our finished pieces to show. Two had completed the whole 25 motifs but in different colors. Others had done smaller sets, for example, 2 motifs placed in a purse insert and 5 motifs in a rectangular wall hanging.

And, now I’m at my mom’s house distributing them to the wonderful aides who help her everyday. I put them in a bag all wrapped up & they are picking one. So far, I’ve seen 4 of the aids and each one loves them. I’m so grateful to each of these dear ladies.

Last of the Pieces of Eight T, V, X, Y
May 30, 2010, 1:45 pm
Filed under: Pieces of Eight

These are the last 4 I’m doing of the Pieces of Eight. Turned out nice. Not sure who’s getting this one yet.

As a reminder, the directions for ‘Pieces of Eight’ by Gayle Bicknell are available at  They are reprinted all in one issue for $18.

Octagon X (upper left) is Rhodes Stitch Variations, Octagon Y (upper right) is Walneto Stitch Variation, Octagon T (bottom left) combines Spratshead with center diamond, & Octagon V (bottom right) combines Byzantine & Rhodes Variation. I added Kreinik around the edges in various patterns.

I did the centermost section in what may be a new stitch – if it is, I’m calling it Sunburst. I do not see it in any books of mine. And, if any of you know of a stitch being done this way, do let me know.  I placed #16 braid in a small center square & then did needleweaving from the outer portion under the center & back over & out to the same hole. It gets a raised effect at the very center. And, I placed Frosty Rays in the hole left in the center. I’m playing with making a couple of variations.

‘Pieces of Eight’, Octagons N and R
March 11, 2010, 7:03 am
Filed under: Pieces of Eight

As a reminder, the directions for ‘Pieces of Eight’ by Gayle Bicknell are available at  They are reprinted all in one issue for $18.

These are 2 of the octagons that’ll I’ll finish for coasters to go with the napkin rings.

Octagon N combines Double Straight Cross (bottom left portion) & Alternating Cashmere (top right portion). I did the centermost row of Double Straight Crosses in Kreinik & filament & added couched filament to accentuate the flow of the Alternating Cashmere.

Octagon R combines Diagonal Mosaic (upper left portion), Diagonal Herringbone (single row with Kreinik & Accentuate), & Slanted Gobelin (bottom right side with added couched filament to accentuate the flow of the columns). When I inserted this photo here, I saw a misplaced stitch but it’s not worth trying to fix it. Can you find it?

‘Pieces of Eight’, Octagons Q and O
March 3, 2010, 1:06 pm
Filed under: Pieces of Eight

These are the bottom 2 of the 4 octagons.  

Octagon Q is a Waffle and Scotch Stitch Composite. I added a couched thread around the waffle stitch as a border.

Octagon O is a bargello pattern.

I filled in the center (where the 4 join) with a Rhodes stitch & haven’t decided what to do on the sides yet.  I have a frame & need to figure out how much wider an area there is after framing to see if a border stitch around all 4 octagons make sense.  Generally, I’m not big on open/unstitched areas on a canvas.  Of course, it depends on the piece & stitches selected.  I’m going to call the group of 4 “Southwestern Quad” until I come up with anything better – any ideas?