Melitastitches4fun's Blog

Phillies Fab Fob begun
January 30, 2012, 12:04 am
Filed under: Needlework in Progress, Phillies Fab Fob

I thought I’d have time to finish a couple of things (read below the picture) before I worked on the key chain because I don’t have to leave Center City for my job until the end of the month. But, my husband brought a Ford Focus home on Friday for him to drive around the neighborhood. So, I decided I better get stitching & fast!

Except for the background tan, I had all the right colors in my stash!! So, I was able to get a lot done today – all except hillies, white outline, and background is done.

I finished getting the canvas ready for our chapter’s ort box project – nothing to show yet. And, the other things I’ve been stitching I can’t blog about yet either. They are the pilot class and some thank you gifts I’m making for folks who volunteer this year at the Hospitality Desk which I’ll be organizing as we get closer. I’m going to do a daily drawing for just folks who work the desk & they’ll get an opportunity to get a hand-stitched piece to commemorate the Seminar. For every hour you work, you’ll get 1 entry – so, the more you volunteer, the more chances you’ll get. I’ve made 4 gifts so far. I decided to take the time to thank you since you are taking time to work the desk. I’m really looking forward to Seminar!!

In the meantime, I’ve got a lot of handkerchiefs of my grandmother’s to photograph so I can show them to everyone. I ran out of time this weekend!

Phillies Fab Fob
December 29, 2011, 5:51 pm
Filed under: Needlework in Progress, Phillies Fab Fob

Looks like we’ll need a second car in 2012 & so, this will be for Bill’s key chain. Merry Christmas Bill!

A quick stop at Rittenhouse Needlepoint before Christmas uncovered this gem. It is by Voila, measures 8.25″ x 1.75″, and come with what you need to finish it!

Patchwork Quilt – ANG Correspondence Course Pilot Project
December 10, 2011, 9:16 am
Filed under: ANG Pilot Stitcher, Melita's Other Completed Pieces

You may recall that a previous blog was about the process of pilot stitching for ANG ( Well, I finished that blog by saying, “My hats off to the folks who match people & courses – it must be quite a challenge!!” Little did I know that person was Christine, or know that she’d ask me to take on her role of Correspondence Course Chairman (CCC) one year later while at seminar in Philly, or that the role involved matching select courses with pilot stitchers. And, I must say that being CCC is a bit more involved than I’d expected. But,  I decided to take it on because I’d gotten so much out of the 3 correspondence courses that I’d taken shortly after joining ANG ( and and This year’s Seminar was certainly a whirlwind of activity!

So, I am certainly glad that I have had the experience to pilot a course now that I will be more involved with the process. Christine has been great showing me the ropes and walking me through each facet of the position. It’s going well so far. And, come November 1, it’s going to get more busy as many of you enroll in one of the 10 new courses being brought to you by ANG. Basically, I act as liaison between the Rees Group, the teachers, and the students for the Correspondence Courses.  

That leads me to the main subject of this blog, Patchwork Quilt by Pat Donaldson. Now that Patchwork Quilt has “gone public” and I have permission from Pat, I can blog about Patchwork Quilt. Had I thought she would be at seminar, I would have shown it to her in person. Oh well. I did meet Pat at Teacher Expo night and told her that I’d enjoyed doing the piece. She also has my permission to share my picture with anyone if they want to see a different color combination.

What a wonderful opportunity to use my stash! At first, I was worried about picking threads too thick or thin and would have to rip it out. Or, that I’d end up with an unbalanced piece. But, Pat said there were few rules except to have fun! So, one Saturday with Bill golfing, I sat down and spread out ALL my blue and green threads because I had the most of those 2 colors and they look good together. I began by dividing them by value (light to dark). She suggested 10 or more threads in each of the 2 families although less was ok – it would be more fun with more. I never expected that I’d end up using a total of 84 different threads including 36 fiber types across the 2 color families & the neutral. As you can see, I got over my reluctance and just had fun!!

Hopefully, some of you take Pat’s course and use it as an opportunity to experiment. If I do Patchwork Quilt again, I would do it in smaller units for gifts and donation pieces. I still have plenty blues, greens, and whites. My next largest stash is of different blacks, grays, reds, and purples. But, I have very little of yellow or orange.  Bottom line, I could stitch a lot more squares in a variety of color schemes. Many thanks to Pat for designing Patchwork Quilt and Christine for selecting me to pilot this piece. It’s really a small world.

First color family is blue:

Second color family is green:

Neutral color is white:

All the threads are listed below (the 2x and 3 x in the parenthesis indicates how many time I repeated the thread somewhere in the piece):

Burmilana 3873
Designers Dream D02 (2x)
DMC #3 319, 336, 367, 368, 823, 890, 895, 939 (2x)
DMC #5 blanc, 334, 367, 890, 3346 (2x), 3348
DMC Floss 336, 3755
Flair F502
Fleur deParis 24
Frosty Rays Y042, Y090 (3x)
Grandeur #5 G802
Gumnut Yarns 369, 629 (3x)
Impressions 5133
Kreinik #8 braid 051HL
Kreinik #16 braid 393, 622 (2x), 4639 (2x)
Kreinik #16 ribbon 032
Merino Wool 98R
Needlepoint Silk 823
Neon Rays N68 (3x), NP02
Pebbly Perle P061, P66, P76 (3x)
Petite Very Velvet V634
Rainbow Linen R430 (2x), R445 (2x)
Rainbow Tweed RT14 , RT38
Sheep’s Silk SPS036(2x)
Shepherd’s Silk SS045
Silk & Ivory 02 (2x), 17 (2x), 55, 56, 70, 86 (2x), 102, 1063, 1316
Silk Lame Braid SL02
Splendor S860 (2x), S1026
Thread WorX 200
Vineyard Silk Shimmer S537
Watercolours 041 (2x), 065, 121, 127, 129, 140 (3x), 159(2x), 169, 228, 242, 254, 256 (3x)
Wildflowers 041, 127, 228, 254, 0076 (3x)

Not only is this a thread sampler but it is a stitch sampler incorporating over 16 different patterns. I learned a lot stitching the diverse blocks. And, with permission from Pat, I am very happy to share a photo of the finished piece:

Another aspect I understand better now is the ANG Distance Learning Programs. ANG has 2 different people who coordinate the Workshops by Mail Program (, and a third (separate from CyberPointers) for CyberWorkshops ( Apparently, I have not been reading Needle Pointers as closely as I could have been.  The third person handles the Correspondence Courses ( with more coming soon! Whatever you find to stitch, have fun!!

Stitches in Sterling
October 26, 2011, 7:34 am
Filed under: Needlework in Progress, Stitches in Sterling

What a wonderful weather we had for the long weekend in Rehoboth Beach, DE! And, the class was even better. Nancy Cucci taught bead basics (I’d never applied beads to needlepoint before) & darning patterns (which I had not done very much of before). So, it was a wonderful learning experience.

I am also very impressed by her instructions. All the images are hand drawn. I thought everyone used a computer & was thrilled to learn she does them by hand. They are so well drawn that I didn’t realize that they are hand drawn! Such a personal touch to be doing it by hand.

We applied various types/sizes of beads the first day. Then, yes, I finished 2 areas of the beading at a bar! It was so well-lit & almost nobody in the bar that it was like working at home with just the TV on – baseball, beer & beading with Bill by my side!! The second day we learned about the background stitches (some darning others more wrapping to create flatter/rounder looks) & a way to sign & date the piece in a very subtle stitching pattern. We talked about all the areas before we left.

There were 2 ladies that came from Albany, NY & 4 of us from Philly, & the rest were Delawareans. It was really a wonderful opportunity to meet fellow ANGers. Most everyone went out to a group dinner on Monday night, including the 2 traveling husbands. Roseanne & Geri did a fantastic job at organizing everything. It really was a wonderful group of people, location, & learning experience. Thanks again for thinking to invite us!

And, on the drive home, I came up with an idea for a piece to submit to ANG Seminar for 2012. I even got the basics down on paper last night when I got home so I wouldn’t forget. I was picking her brain about how she designs during class. Thanks Nancy for a very educational & enjoyable learning experience!! And, eventually, for a loving piece of needlepoint.

Research on pillow cases
October 21, 2011, 7:51 pm
Filed under: Needlework in Progress, Photo Embroidery Class

I found a tag, ’42″x36″, type 140, Debutante by Dan River’ on the inside of the pillow case that I’m taking to class tomorrow & googled it. In 1961, The Torrence Herald advertised a pair of these pillow cases same size as mine but not ‘Debutante’ on sale 2 for $0.76 & the ‘Debutante’ that they did advertise are not the same size on sale 2 for $1.26. So, close but not a match.

Click to access 00000903.pdf

I also found a pair with embroidery edging by Dan River that are close to mine but not an exact match, on eBay for $3.99 + S&H. A pair that isn’t opened is selling on eBay for $19.99. Understandable difference in price.

Wedding Photo for Autobiographical Embroidery Class
October 20, 2011, 9:53 pm
Filed under: Needlework in Progress, Photo Embroidery Class

Since our next wedding anniversary will be our 25th, I decided to take one of my (our) favorite photos from the wedding album & use it for this project.

I scanned the photo into the computer and enlarged it. I made  3 attempts at tracing it until I got this one. Then, I traced it onto my pillow case which is larger than I expected it to be back in my grandmother’s day. It measures 30″ x 20″. I’m glad it was that big though because I was able to slip it over my light box & just trace through the one layer.

Contemporary Embroidery Class
October 10, 2011, 3:17 pm
Filed under: Contemporary Embroidery Class, Needlework in Progress

I’ve signed up for another embroidery class on Saturday Oct 29! I read about the class and work by contemporary embroidery artist Erin Endicott on Nimble Needle’s blog at

This workshop by contemporary embroidery artist Erin Endicott ( will explore hand embroidery, hand dyeing, and hand sewing on the fabrics of your choice. We will work intuitively with pattern, line and mark making to create beautiful and powerful works of art. We are to bring our own “fabric something” that holds personal meaning. I have just brought vintage linens home from my mother’s house. So, this class will be great.
Also, this type of class could tie into what ANG is planning for a contemporary sampler competition in 2012 for Seminar in Philly:
“Samplers evoke thoughts of alphabets, rows (bands) of stitched designs and small distinct areas of designs, with traditional meaning. Samplers were originally identified, as a sample of each new stitch learned by the child on a single piece of fabric. However, in today’s world, many definitions of words are being redefined. Techniques are changing, available materials are changing, and as a result our lives, and our artistic endeavors, are changing. There will be a judged competition, for contemporary samplers. Members are encouraged to design, stitch, enter original samplers, and to compete, for cash and other awards. We wish to bring this beautiful art of the past and present into the future.”

Pilot Stitcher
October 8, 2011, 10:51 am
Filed under: ANG Pilot Stitcher, Needlework in Progress

I want to discuss the Pilot Stitching process for ANG correspondence classes.  This process is meant to ensure that the courses when offered to ANG members are error-free with clear instructions and accurate graphs/diagrams. This also helps determine their conformance to the level of proficiency definitions as set forth by ANG. If selected, everything about it is confidential and not for publication.

After I expressed interest, I was sent a “Pilot Stitcher Registration/Preference Form” but that is also available online ( On there you need to select your proficiency level: Basic, Basic-Intermediate, Intermediate, Advanced-Intermediate, Advanced based on the definitions for the student proficiency levels at on the ANG website.

I was going to select Advanced Intermediate until I read the definitions. While I’ve done 5 workshops/classes & have no problem with diagonal patterns, I took a long, hard, honest look at the familiarity with “at least 4 techniques” for Intermediate and with a “wide variety of techniques” for Advanced Intermediate and the types of techniques listed for both. I also didn’t want to overestimate my ability and be placed on a project that I would struggle with and become frustrated. Also, time is limited to complete the task & the teacher needs constructive comments about the instructions. So, I determined I am more comfortable with being an Intermediate stitcher. 

I have done some work in the underlined techniques:

Intermediate: pulled thread, pattern darning, Florentine (Bargello), blackwork, free stitchery, beading, introductory silk and metal thread techniques, Hardanger, and mixed media

Advanced Intermediate: appliqué, attaching found objects, cut work, raised work, needlelace, needleweaving, silk and metal thread techniques, laying silk and stranded threads, and couching

Student Proficiency Levels:

The following description of levels is provided to assist each student in judging her/his level of expertise:


  • Can thread a needle, and begin and end threads correctly
  • Works tent stitch (half-cross, continental, and/or basketweave)
  • Can read and work from diagrams and charts

Basic Intermediate

  • Possesses skills outlined in previous level
  • Has participated in at least one (1) formal workshop or class or has had at least six hours of instruction in a class setting
  • Works diagonal tent stitch (basketweave) beginning at a corner of curved line and understands basic compensation
  • Can work at least six (6) different decorative stitches
  • Understands and works from stitch diagrams and charts with confidence


  • Possesses skills outlined in previous levels
  • Has participated in at least three (3) formal workshops or classes
  • Has stitched with a variety of threads such as cotton, wool, silk, synthetics, linen, metal and metallics, and is familiar with their characteristics
  • Confidently works complicated stitches from diagrams and is comfortable with their compensation
  • Has worked at least four different techniques on a readily counted grounds, such as pulled thread, pattern darning, Florentine (Bargello), blackwork, free stitchery, beading, introductory silk and metal thread techniques, Hardanger, and mixed media

Advanced Intermediate

  • Possesses skills outlined in previous levels
  • Has participated in at least five (5) formal workshops or classes
  • Has worked a wide variety of techniques on a readily counted ground, such as appliqué, attaching found objects, cut work, raised work, needlelace, needleweaving, silk and metal thread techniques, laying silk and stranded threads, and couching
  • Confidently stitches diagonal patterns


  • Possesses skills outlined in previous levels
  • Has participated in a wide variety of formal workshops in different techniques and has experience with many different types of grounds and thread
  • Is interested in developing skills and pursuing solutions to problems in design, color, and techniques>
  • Is interested in developing original designs, colors, and/or styles

Then, I had to mark my needlework preferences that I would be willing to stitch (I have done some work in underlined items): Needlepoint, Geometric, Goldwork, Blackwork, Surface embroidery, Pulled Thread, Petit Point, Drawn Thread, Silk & Metallic, Japanese embroidery, Stumpwork, Laid thread, Couching, Beading, Florentine, Bargello, Hardanger, Ribbon embroidery, Assisi, Oriental openwork, Other. But, I only said I was willing to stitch  Needlepoint or Geometric because that would be my most proficient areas. 

Lastly, I had to mark what I would prefer to stitch on either Canvas: 18 ct Mono, Congress Cloth, 22 ct, 24 ct, and/or Linen: 18 ct, 20 ct, 22 ct, 24 ct, 26 ct, 28 ct, 30 ct, Silk Gauze, 25 ct, 32 ct, 40 ct, 48 ct, 56 ct. 

In additional comments, I indicated I would prefer to kit a project myself or use my stash although I would buy a kit if required.

I selected either Needlepoint or Geometric on 18 count Mono Canvas. As you can see, those are now quite specific abilities & preferences! My hats off to the folks who match people & courses – it must be quite a challenge!!

Embroidered flower missed the mark; so, taking 2nd class
October 7, 2011, 7:06 am
Filed under: Melita's Adaptations, Orchids, Photo Embroidery Class

Well, I missed the mark on the this project because I didn’t start with the right subject. And, I stitched in a classic embroidery style. So, I’m glad to get a second chance at an Oct 22 class at Rittenhouse Needlepoint.

Here’s the concept for the first class I took a few months ago with Joetta Maue – Glean from daily observation to create a one of a kind personal artwork by creating a visual “diary sampler” of embroidery stitches, incorporating abstraction and pattern or confessional writing and images. The “diary” of stitches will be explored as a daily act and observation. We will discuss the creative use of diaristic writing and daily life documentation, while looking at examples of contemporary fiber artists.

It was supposed to be more ‘Autobiographical Embroidery’. I don’t know what photo to take for the second class but I’m thinking about a photo from our wedding because we are celebrating 25 years of marriage next year! At least that is more in keeping with the concept.

I have stitched the orchid before ( & it still looks nice enough:

Pre-work for Stitches in Sterling

My pre-work for Nancy Cucci’s ‘Stitches in Sterling’ is all ready. We outlined the project in tent & slanted gobelin using Kreinik braid & ribbon. It took me a little longer than 4 hours so I am really glad I got it done before class. That way, as Nancy says in the instructions, we can focus on attaching beads the entire first day. I’ve not done much with beads except the little Mill Bead Kit ornaments done on perforated paper. That was one of the reasons I decided to take the class.

Roseanne, the Vice President/Programs Chair, and Geri, secretary, of the ANG DE Seashore Chapter drove up to our chapter last spring to see if anyone was interested in joining them for a 2-day class.  They meet in Georgetown, DE, approximately 15 miles from Rehoboth Beach and Lewes, DE. And, 4 of us decided to take the class.

Nancy taught this first in Tucson in 2006. Here is a brief description from the 2006 seminar brochure. Stitched on 18 count canvas, Stitches in Sterling is a version of silver and white with touches of crystal and iridescence.  The focal point of this sampler is a beaded center area consisting of samples of patterns stitched with a variety of beads accented with a Swarovski crystal.  The collection of boxes surrounding the beaded area contains sheer background stitches that enable the canvas to sparkle through the needlework.  Stitched with metallic thread, white pearl cotton and a variety of white, crystal and iridescent beads this project emphasizes pattern and texture. Design area is 7″ x 7″.



My husband wasn’t going to go until I told him I found a great deal for a room at Rehoboth Beach at the Atlantic Sands on the boardwalk with a balcony & oceanfront view! It’ll be about a 30 minute drive to the class but I love the opportunity to be oceanfront.