Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Ginko Leaves

Ginko Leaves is a Lee canvas (design size 8.5″ x 3.75), BR67. In June, at Cleo’s First Tuesday Stitch-in at Busy Lizzie, I found a new thread Line that I haven’t seen anywhere else. It is from Gloriana Threads and is Duchess Silk, a hand-dyed thread. Some colors have more subtle changes in the skein than others. The Antique Black is darker than the canvas but that’s ok. And, I will not use Brick after all because I am using some sparkly threads including Kreinik, Silk Lame Braid, or Snow for the edges of the leaves.

I was thinking basketweave for something easy to stitch but discovered that Duchess Silk is too thick. So, I selected various stitches incorporating a little additional sparkle into four of the eight (different from the edges).

My main goal was to find stitch patterns with stitches over 2 or 3 canvas threads that would create a diagonal effect according to the direction of the leaf. They came from Desert Island Vol 1 and 2 by Carole Lake and Michael Boren, Lone Star’s Grab-n-Go Stitches, Needlepoint Dictionary of Stitches by Susan Sturgeon Roberts, and The Needlepoint Book by Jo Ippolito Christensen

Part of this was stitched at yesterday’s Stitch-in with the ANG Main Line Stitchers. We had 5 in person at Buff’s house because the church is working on the floors. Speaking of Buff, she was quite observant by noticing that I was uncharacteristically stitching “in the well”. It is something that I have done when the canvas has too little around the sides of the design because it makes ending threads easier. When do you work “in the well”?



Greystone Needlepoint
June 25, 2022, 11:50 am
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, Greystone Needlepoint

I heard about Greystone Needlepoint not too long ago and more recently saw there were 10 stores on the Canvas Crawl going on around the area (NY, NJ, PA, and more) in June including Greystone Needlepoint. So, I made an appointment for 6-8 of us for Saturday before our Stitch-in.

Shannon welcomed us and we explored the canvases. It worked out very nicely for our small group. Any purchase came with a small project bag and Shannon provides a Beginner’s Guide with Do’s and Don’t along with diagrams for Basketweave and Continental.

I managed to find a cute canvas with stitch guide. It’s more interesting to me now to read stitch guides to find out how succinctly they can be written particularly now because I am helping with articles in Needle Pointers magazine.



Floral Fantasy at First Tuesday and a New Thread Line

I finally joined Cleo of Busy Lizzy for one of her First Tuesday sessions at her shop behind her house. It’s not large but Cleo has a good selection of painted canvases, threads, and miscellany including books. The table and chairs still allow enough room to walk around looking at everything. Eight of us fit comfortably around the table. Lively conversation made the time fly and before I knew it, it was 2:30 pm which was 30 minutes past the time I was planning to leave (just over an hour to and from Chadds Ford for me). Two others from ANG Main Line Stitchers, Gloriann and Stacie, were there. My travel SMASTA (tool case) was a smash hit! A very enjoyable day.

I found one book there that I couldn’t find anywhere online!! But, that will be the topic of another post.

The piece I’m working on is a small (4″ square) 14 count canvas with designer initials of BTB or BT8. I have no idea where I got it from but it looked like an easy piece to stitch at a Stitch-in. If anyone recognizes the designer, please leave a comment. I named it Floral Fantasy for lack of the proper title.

I selected basketweave for the white flower outlines, a 4×4 Norwich Stitch for the white center of the red flower, and 2 upright waffle stitches for the white center of the pink flowers using ThreadworX Expressions (200, white). These areas were finished the day before.

The green is Boucle (170) done with Checkerboard Cross which are alternating cross stitches and upright crosses each over 2 canvas threads. I wanted a random looking grassy texture. I began this area to make sure the thread worked. Since it is 14 count, the Boucle works ok. I finished this today and found out Pepper Pot Silk would not cover on 14 count at least for the stitch I wanted to use.

It was a perfect time to try the new thread Line at Cleo’s that I haven’t seen anywhere else. It is from Gloriana Threads and is Duchess Silk, a hand-dyed thread. Some colors have more subtle changes in the skein. I had brought along another canvas and selected other skeins of Duchess Silk but that too will be the subject of another post.

This Rose Violet (232) has more variations than many of the other colors in the line. You can see I got the upper right corner started using the stitch, Pointing Fingers. There is nice variation of color. It’s taking some time to “see” the pattern and compensation isn’t easy yet. Hopefully, I’ll get it once I start stitching in the larger area.

Also in the upper right corner are 2 small clusters of 5 beads each. I have accumulated (mostly from Trish who was unloading her stash before moving south) a slew of beads including a large tube of pink beads that are calling to me, “Use us!” I don’t know what kind they are so I hope I have enough for both pink flowers. If not, then I will improvise. The differences in texture are pleasing me most about this piece. I have no idea what to do with it when I finish it. Any suggestions?



Needlepoint For Fun in Lititz, PA
September 4, 2020, 4:30 pm
Filed under: Needlepoint For Fun, Needlepoint Shops

It was such a beautiful day that went on a road trip today to Lititz, PA. We were on a mission to get garlic butter from Stauffers of Kissel Hill (Bill got a tip from someone at the Reading Terminal Market that their’s is the best). We should not have waited until 2 pm to pick up a tomato pie from The Tomato Pie Cafe (thanks to Christine for the referral) because they were sold out. Next time. Lititz is the home of Wilber Chocolates and we got their Buds! And, I was able to finally visit Needlepoint For Fun. They’ve been open a little over a year now and I hadn’t gotten there.

Trish was a gracious host showing me around the one room second floor store. What they have is lovely and displayed very well. The canvases adorn the walls and pre-packaged kits (intended for basketweave) are scattered throughout the store begging to be taken home. If I didn’t have so many projects now, I certainly could have found a piece. There aren’t many choices for threads but they kit in their wholesale NJ location which must have more stock.

They have several pieces showing decorative stitches (to encourage people) and Pat provides the stitch guides upon request. Very nice work.

Trish is also the finisher who does lovely work on pillows and ornaments. Her husband is an excellent stitcher and does the blocking. They had a unique display of Zip n Stitch pre-finished round ornaments (Christmas and Halloween designs) and small stockings. No matter what store I go to, I almost always find something that I have never seen before.

Bill picked the Nutcracker Soldier round ornament to go with our small nutcracker collection. Look at the lovely pillows near the window. I love the blue dragonfly pillow.



Osterville Needlepoint Shop in Cape Cod
October 8, 2019, 5:46 pm
Filed under: General comments, Needlepoint Shops, Osterville Needlepoint Shop, Threads

The Osterville Needlepoint Shop in Mashpee, MA in Cape Cod has a great selection of threads and canvases. And, a wonderful staff. I don’t recall seeing Treenway Silk Cords and Ribbons. Love the color combinations.

Even after I said I had too many projects to purchase anything, I was invited to join the ladies to sit and stitch. Had it not been for my husband waiting in the car, I would have joined them. Two nice big tables, plenty of light, and such pleasant women. Another time! Good place for classes. And, lots more threads not seen in this photo.



Sandy’s “Not Just” X-Stitch On The Go Store in Hendersonville, NC
July 19, 2019, 8:40 pm
Filed under: Needlepoint Shops, Sandy’s X-Stitch On The Go

While driving from Lake Lure to Pusgah Inn along the Blue Ridge Parkway, we stopped at Sandy’s X-Stitch On The Go in Hendersonville, NC. It’s so much more than a cross stitch store!

What a lovely lady and lucky one to have a needlepoint store connected to her home. She focuses on counted projects and has great designers such as Kathy Rees, DebBee’s Designs, Brenda Kocher, Laura Perin, and lots more. Several are kitted and ready to go. And, she’s got a nice selection of threads in various rooms. Her classroom has great light and plenty of room. She has several classes a week! A finishing class has 17 people. I’d love to take that class.

I wouldn’t mind being adopted and moving in with her!! There really wasn’t anything I needed except a very small travel piece. Buying more right now than I can’t find time to stitch would only cause me anxiety. So, I got a Stitch & Zip small purse for the plane flight to Houston for ANG’s Seminar in August. I’m so glad I didn’t miss meeting Sandy and seeing her store – all because I didn’t judge the store by its name.



Bead and Ribbon Classes with Sandy Arthur at Rittenhouse Needlepoint

What a great 2 days I had with Sandy Arthur at Rittenhouse Needlepoint. We worked with beads the first day and ribbons the second day. These are the first classes that I have taken since Rittenhouse moved. The classroom is well lit, seats were cushioned, and overhead projector was useful. Very nice room. And, Russell’s homemade breads are delicious!

We covered quite a few of techniques which Sandy Arthur has perfected. So, when you look at my samples, don’t look too close and remember that I haven’t done a lot of bead or ribbon work before and time was limited (5 hours each of 2 days). Using beads was easier for me.

We learned multiple ways to attach single beads and multiple beads. Basketweave beading was tricky – really had to focus. We covered a felted ball with beads and a wooden bead with thread.

There wasn’t enough time in class to try everything in Sandy’s handouts. So, I played with the leftover beads and made a butterfly. And, the flower on the lower left corner allowed me to practice Line stitching with the green beads and Lazy Daisy stitches.

We learned the Japanese Ribbon Stitch, Ribbon Roses, Wrapped Stitch, Lazy Daisy Stitch, Gathering with Running Stitch, Ruching, and other techniques with no particular name.

I learned a lot in both classes. Sandy knows her stuff and teaches it well. As with anything, it needs practice to show improvement. That’s why a doodle canvas or the 2″ border of a canvas is good for practicing.



Sandy Arthur Class at Rittenhouse Needlepoint
February 2, 2019, 11:26 pm
Filed under: Beading and Ribbon-Sandy Arthur, Rittenhouse Needlepoint

Yesterday, Linda and I made a trip to Rittenhouse Needlepoint for some threads. I enjoyed helping Linda find silk threads to replace cotton floss for a project of hers. The subtle variations in color are endless. Luckily, Rittenhouse has a variety of silks to choose from and we are lucky to be so close to the store.

I picked up 2 skeins of new threads they stock now but that’ll be the subject of another post.

What I want share here are the demo samples of what we’ll learn during Sandy Arthur’s classes on beads and ribbons the first weekend in April. We’re (Linda and I) not taking the third class on hairdos. Nor are we following her to Stitch-Stash in Rehoboth, DE for a lovely red, white, and blue basket although the condensed pilot class regarding “Conventional Techniques Using Unconventional Resources” sounds intriguing. There is probably room in all classes if you are interested-just call the store (s). And, here’s a link to Sandy’s blog: sandyarthur.blogspot.com or http://sandyarthur.blogspot.com/2019/01/face-2-face-appearances-time-for-us-to.html?m=1

This will be my first classes with Sandy and I’m sure I’m going to enjoy them as Sandy is just a fantastic lady and she knows beads and ribbons!!



Dyeing to Stitch
October 24, 2018, 8:40 pm
Filed under: Dyeing to Stitch, General comments, Needlepoint Shops, Threads

I stopped at Dyeing to Stitch in Virginia Beach. They are an “Embroidery” store and knew of a very similar store near me, Strawberry Sampler in Glen Mills PA. They have Tulip needles (subject of a previous post).

They have a nice variety of floss threads all along the right wall. There are 2 threads that I hadn’t seen before. Classic Colorworks Belle Soie has a nice sheen to the silk threads. And, amongst the glosses sat some Merino Wool by Weeks Dye Works available in subtle overdye colors. It’s so soft. Not fuzzy. I had to get 4 skeins. Not sure what I’ll do with them yet!



Needlepoint Junction on Hilton Head Island

Michele has a lovely store, Needlepoint Junction, on Hilton Head Island. So many threads and so well stocked. It’d be a joy to kit a project there. However, I have too many now to start another one. I didn’t even take a picture of the painted canvases (displayed on easy to flip through swinging big boards). But, you can get the idea of what a wonderful selection she has from these pictures. It looks like a wide variety of gorgeous supplies for knitters too. Worth a stop in person or online at needlepointjunctionhhi.com & enjoy!

Instead of another project, I added to my book collection. I got my second book in the Sandra Arthur Shapes of Needlepoint (Series III with corners, hexagons, ovals, and parallelograms). These shapes should help immensely with my ‘Dare to Design’ class with Orna Willis. By the way, right now, we are water painting to get a mix of shapes and colors involved to see changing focal points.