Melitastitches4fun's Blog

Sun Flower wins a 3rd place ribbon at Woodlawn

My husband, Bill, & I were thrilled to find that my ‘Sun Flower’ piece won a 3rd place ribbon at the 48th Annual Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition. Today, we found it on the 2nd floor, 1st room to your right & located right in the middle of the mantlepiece. With so many gorgeous pieces, I’m thrilled that it won a ribbon!

Sun Flower, framed

“Sun Flower” was entered in the 2010 ANG Seminar in the Painted Design with Stitch Guide category. For this piece, the judges noted that the twist of the thread was lost in some sections, a comment I got for certain areas on several pieces & something I’ll have to work on. And, the French knots were too big in one of the lower petals, making it a focal point. Looking at the overall % of total points allowed in this category, it scored only slightly lower than “Madam Carina” and got nice comments such as “fun to look at” and  “an outstanding piece of needlepoint”. My artist’s statement follows:

I selected this painted canvas at Fireside Stitchery in Frazer, PA for a David McCaskill workshop. The piece is actually called ‘Daisy’ and is designed by Paula Manning for Dream House Ventures, Inc. But, I thought it was a sun until David said it was a flower! Thus, it is named “Sun Flower”. David picked the threads and created mostly free-style stitch patterns for the piece.

The dark green area used Wild Hairs couched with Anchor floss. The light green area used DMC #5 Cotton Perle and Kreinik Very Fine #4 braid for the sparkle.

The petals in the forefront are a brighter combination of Neon Rays + and Trebizond while the receding petals are muted by using Grandeur Silk Pearl and a subtly overdyed Watercolours.

Once I got into a rhythm of the skip tent stitch, the green area surrounding the petals filled in quickly. David recommended using that stitch to cover the holes from the back.

The abstract area used 3 Wildflowers with DMC Cotton Perle #5 couched on with matching DMC floss. The Wildflowers, rather than the Watercolours, is thin enough to allow the canvas to show through. Because I matched portions of the overdyed thread to the canvas as much as possible, I found this area of the piece particularly challenging.

And, I want to thank Dan at Framer’s Workshop in Philadelphia for always steering me to just the right frame! However, the judges thought the luster of the gold frame was a little bright for the mostly matte needlework. I’m going to have to politely disagree – I love the frame! And, I totally agree with the parting comment in the critique, “I know that you will enjoy this piece for many years.” I certainly will.

Sun Flower’s Background is finished
August 8, 2010, 5:26 pm
Filed under: Sun Flower with David McCaskill at Fireside Stitchery

Well, I stitched & stitched to get this to my favorite framer, Dan, at Framers Workshop in Philadelphia on Friday. He’s always done my pieces – he has a great eye! And, he picked out a wonderful frame. One that I would not have gravitated to but that’s why I like him so much! I’ll post another picture once it’s framed because I can’t wait for you (&me) to see it really finished!

I’m very happy with the whole piece. Thanks again to David McCaskill for his guidance on threads & stitches.

Background for the Sun Flower
July 6, 2010, 11:29 pm
Filed under: Sun Flower with David McCaskill at Fireside Stitchery

I’ve got the background ready using 3 different overdyed thread colors. Occasionally, I even used just portions of threads to compliment the painted canvas which proved challenging. Now, I’m left with more of the green surrounding the petals & laying the dark thread on top & couching it. It is actually quite difficult to see in person where the dark thread should be placed – the pictures may actually help me figure out where to put the dark thread. I’m having a hard time photographing this piece – never seem to get the same amount of light. I’ll try outside daylight & see what happens.

Sun Flower is actually a Daisy
May 15, 2010, 9:56 am
Filed under: Sun Flower with David McCaskill at Fireside Stitchery

The canvas is available on Fireside Stitchery’s website. They called it Daisy (PM3605).  It is from Dream House Ventures, Inc. It measures 11.75 w x 11.75 h inches. Search by PM3605 & only that one piece will come up in the results.

Sun Flower Petals
May 15, 2010, 9:33 am
Filed under: Sun Flower with David McCaskill at Fireside Stitchery

The whites on the sunflower are done. And, I have about half of the green surrounding them done & that stitch isn’t difficult but is more time-consuming. Sometimes is a good idea not to do all the fun stuff first. The abstract area is a tad more difficult because the canvas is dark & the threads are dark. Even with a good light, I prefer working on a lighter canvas. And, I’m working with an overdyed thread that I’m matching to the canvas as much as possible. So, I’m saving the toughest for last.

I just noticed my butterfly magnet in the upper right corner. It is not only pretty but it is a strong magnet. I got it at the Stitching Jubilee a year ago when it was at Valley Forge but not sure which seller.

Sun Flower
March 23, 2010, 8:44 pm
Filed under: Sun Flower with David McCaskill at Fireside Stitchery

I had a request from Ann to see the whole piece – happy to oblige. I have 3 & 1/2 petals left to do.

‘Sun Flower’, close-up of first 6 petals finished
March 22, 2010, 10:52 pm
Filed under: Sun Flower with David McCaskill at Fireside Stitchery

David McCaskill is coming into town this weekend for classes at Fireside Stitchery.  I’m looking forward to his tips/tricks class on Saturday.  I couldn’t attend when he spoke to our chapter in Nov 09 & everyone that went enjoyed it. And, this will be an expanded full-day version!

I am making good progress on the petals & have the first 6 done (the little one on the left counts as the first petal).  Once I got into a rhythm, the green began to fill in between the petals quicker.  For that area, David recommended using a skip tent stitch so that it would cover the holes from the back.  I had hoped to get all the petals done. We’ll see how it goes!

‘Sun Flower’, close-up of flower, finished
February 7, 2010, 12:39 pm
Filed under: Sun Flower with David McCaskill at Fireside Stitchery

I got quite a bit of stitching done as we recorded our 2nd highest snowfall (28.5 inches) in Philly.  And, the only time on record that we have had more than 20 inches of snow in the same winter (Dec 23.2 inches)!  I’m originally from upstate NY & I love our occasional storms (as long as we have enterprising youths wanting to earn $ shoveling).

The center portion of the flower is finished. And, am looking forward to more stitching today!

‘Sun Flower’ stitches, with David’s permission
January 25, 2010, 11:34 pm
Filed under: Sun Flower with David McCaskill at Fireside Stitchery

Colorful background


Pale green in Daisy

Green petal outline

Petals #1 & #6

Petal #2

Petal #3

Petal #4

Petal #5

Petal #7

Petal #8

Petal #9

Petal #10

Petal #11

Petal #12