Melitastitches4fun's Blog

Small Orange Areas

Thanks to a combination of stitches including padded satin and freestyle stitching I am happy with the oranges areas. I combined 3 Bark (WDW) for the padding. Then, 2 Hazlenut + 1 Bark or 1 Bark + 2 Hazlenut for the top layer. Plus, a little freestyle stitching on the top.

Blue Green Strip

The strip along right side that is blueish green worked up quicker than last time when I used Diane’s Stitch on that side!

I used the blue portions of one strand of the overdyed thread, ThreadworX 1067, but switched to two strands of a darker overdyed green thread from Weeks Dye Works named Lucky (medium greens).  You should be able to see the difference between the Blue patch I added yesterday & this one.

Blue Patch

The blue patch among the dark green grassy areas needed to be angled & upright. So, I found Zig Zag Stripe but did a variation of it by off setting the stripe. And, I filled in the empty spaces by a single cross stitch. It increased the denseness of the stitch & added to the slope.

I mainly used the blue portions of the overdyed thread (ThreadworX 1067) but also switched to some green from the same overdyed thread combined with blue & up close you can see the differences.

My shoulder has been bothering me but seems to be better now. So, I hope to make up ground on my Poppy Field while I can – kind of a pun!

Very Dark Green Grass

In the 3 very dark green grassy areas, I wanted to use different but related stitches. So, I selected Criss Cross Hungarian for the left patch because of the denseness of the stitch & the longer length. The Woven Trellis is in the center patch because it is about as long a stitch as the left patch and because they are on about the same distance. And, Serendipity was selected for the right patch because it is farther away than the other 2 areas and is a smaller stitch.

The darker the thread (still using Sampler Threads 7042 Raven) the less of a stitch pattern is evident but up close you can see the differences.

For the top long row, I used the 3 threads layed in the same direction to get a few patches of light green from the overdyed. But, in the smaller 3 areas, I layed 1 in the opposite direction for a more solid dark effect.









In case you forget what Monet’s look like by now, here part of it is again.


Medium Dark Green Grass

For the large medium dark green grass area, I used one strand each of Weeks Dye Works overdyes named Grasshopper (yellow-green), Collards (dark green), and Moss (medium green).  The stitch, Diane’s Lace from Suzy’s Portable Stitches, was difficult to get the hang of but especially slanting up & to the right (on the left side). The other angle, slanting up & to the left, just clicked for me.  Odd how the brain sees some things better than other.  It’s a good stitch for full coverage & looks somewhat random (especially using overdyed floss).

The little dark blue-green area in the center (with arrow pointed to it) used a portion of the 2 threads with the blue portion and 1 thread with the green portion in an encroaching gobelin stitch.

Dark green ridge

The far dark green section is done using random straight stitches & Weeks Dye Works (WDW) thread (color named Raven) that is very dark with portions of a slightly lighter green. I like that a little canvas shows through – especially up close as it seems more natural.

And, I removed what green & orange threads I had placed in the upper right area from stitching in class because I found more shades of WDW. I plan on doing a lot of thread blending with what I found (but more of that with my next blog). (great overdyed floss selection that I was able to get at The Strawberry Sampler in Glen Mills, PA which is southwest of Philadelphia & not too far).

Cloudy Sky Over the Poppy Field
March 11, 2011, 9:59 pm
Filed under: Needlework in Progress, Poppy Field

I’m really happy with my sky even though Monet’s palette had more yellow in the clouds than these. When I selected the overdyed thread, Crescent Colours Frosty (120485),  it really looked blue & yellow. But, when it separated to fewer threads, the colors diffused.

I had used thread blending and thread shading techniques before but after seeing how Lois Kershner combined thread blending with thread shading (as described in ‘Landscapes: Design & Stitching Techniques’) for her ‘Pajaro Dunes’, I knew I’d found my sky. I removed the few rows of Irregular Running as Giant Parisian variation in favor of the Horizontal Brick Stitch. The technique for thread shading works with most stitches but not with the running type of stitch.

I subdivided the portions of the sky into 6 levels of color in the sky. One skein had slightly darker blue portions (skein #1) than the other (skein #2). So, I cut out the portions that were dark blue from skein #1, light blue from skein #2, and light yellow from either skein.

Section 1 – 3 threads of dark blue

Section 2 – 2 threads of dark blue, 1 thread of light blue

Section 3 – 1 thread of dark blue, 2 threads of light blue

Section 4 – 3 threads of light yellow

Section 5 – 2 threads of light yellow, 1 thread of light blue

Section 6 – 2 threads of light blue, 1 thread of light yellow

I had bought 2 skeins of the floss (each 5 yards) – plenty – so I thought! Well, I ended up with just five 6-inch yellow pieces and one 6-inch light blue piece. That was close!!   

An Adventure into a Poppy Field
February 18, 2011, 10:49 pm
Filed under: Melita's Adaptations, Monet's Poppy Field, Poppy Field

I can’t remember where or when I fell in love with Monet’s Poppy Field in a Hollow near Giverny (1885). But, I am convinced some day I’ll capture it in needlepoint. No, it won’t be Monet’s Poppy Field, it’ll be my interpretation of it. But hopefully, it’ll be something I can gaze upon & feel it take me to a patch of that long grass.

My first attempt was all about testing stitches. I really like the Whipped or Laced Running Stitch (Elegant Stitches by Judith Baker Montano) for the light blue on the right. I didn’t care for it as much for the 2 greens to the left of that area. I also liked the stitch Serendipity used in the top blue-green portion for the distant tree line & Rococo for the dark green bushes in the middle (both are from Stitches To Go by Suzanne Howren & Beth Robertson). It’s size is 4&1/2″ x 4&1/2″ & too square.

The quest continued for stitches in my second attempt. I had it in my mind that a large stitch pattern base would work for the poppies & then thought random french & colonial knots would make the flowers on the field appear random but it became too dense. I did like the Knotted Stitch on the upper left & a similar stitch with less slope for the area to the left of the center dark green bushes called Diagonal Roumanian. Then, I created a variation of Kennan for the area left of the center dark green bushes. These stitches came from Stitches To Go by Suzanne Howren & Beth Robertson. It’s size is 4″ x 4&1/2″.

I felt pretty good about stitches & decided in this attempt I better test some colors & threads. To combat the density of the poppy field, I switched to a thinner thread. It was better but it wasn’t right – it seemed flat & lifeless. So, I put it away for a long time deciding further experience was needed before I could improve the piece. It’s size is still 4″ x 4&1/2″.

Always on the look out for new threads, I tried a variety of threads. I also tried some different stitches. I liked this version much better, especially the poppy field because I used various shades. David McCaskill’s suggestion to use a canvas with the blue tint to it improved the piece as well because areas show through, depending on the stitch/thread. While I saw improvement, I wasn’t sure where to go next & decided to put it away – again. It’s size is 4&1/2″ x 4&1/2″.

Then, I saw the class teaching design & stitching techniques for landscapes advertised for the 2010 ANG Seminar taught by Lois Kershner. I wasn’t familiar with her work but could tell by the description of the class it’d be perfect for me to help figure out my poppy field. So, I attended my first seminar.  Now, I am armed with knowledge from her class as taught by Pat Rusch. Will my fifth attempt be my last? It is full size (8″ x 9&1/2″) still on blue canvas. As you can see, I didn’t get much stitched during class because I was studying the techniques in the book and reconsidering threads & stitches – again! Wish me luck!!