Melitastitches4fun's Blog

Corinthian Earrings from Adorn By Orna
June 29, 2022, 12:40 pm
Filed under: 2022, New Jersey Needle Festival

Well, I will truly be “Adorned by Orna” (which you can Google to find her) for our Friday night (5 pm) opening at the Media Arts Council (MAC) needlepoint exhibit featuring designs by Orna Willis. MAC is in Media at 11 E State St and our exhibit will run until the 31st. These earrings are her Corinthian Earrings that I bought as a kit when she opened up her new studio (December 2018). Great motivation to finish them! Six members from ANG Main Line Stitchers are exhibiting 14 pieces designed by Orna including 6 different Color Inspirations. And, Orna has at least 50 pieces, bracelets, and other small finishes. An amazing collection.

It took me 2 days at New Jersey Needle Fest to stitch these earrings on Congress Cloth though I should have been done in a day (I had to redo some because I counted incorrectly). And, it took a day to attach the ultrasuede backing, apply the beads along the bottom and top edges, and add the hardware. The beads took several attempts and rethinking because I wasn’t happy with adding the large (4 mm) round beads into the bottom edge. So, I pulled out her instructions from her Flower Cuff piece for adding a Picot bead edging (2 layers) and I switched from gold beads to a purple iridescent 11/0 seed beads. I tightened them up which is creating the buckling effect which I thought was more interesting than a very uniform appearance. All ready for Friday!!

NJ Needle Fest 2022

This year NJ Needle Fest was 2 days (Friday and Saturday) at the Embassy Suites in Berkeley Heights, NJ.

Buff and I drove up Friday morning. We found our table for ANG Main Line Stitchers right inside the main entrance joining Kristen, Linda, and Lori. There were dozens of other stitchers at tables in a large room and a second atrium room where the folks from ANG NJ Needle Artists sat. The rooms were not completely full which is why next year the event will be on Saturday and Sunday in April (15-16). On Saturday, Patrick and Beth joined us. Lots more people came but there were still about 30 cancellations even 3 at our table. It would have been too crowded for 10 anyway. Now we know that 8 is the maximum at a table.

There were lots of vendors and I couldn’t resist buying a piece of linen (30 count linen by The Primitive Hare), Easy Guide Ball-Tip Needles (2 each size 26 and 28 good for stitching on linen), a dozen beaded counting pins (by, beautiful hand-dyed threads (by – who is on Facebook), a 10″ x 8″ thread bag by Trish Vine Designs (who is on Facebook) and a 14″ square clear project bag by Trish who is formerly from the ANG Keystone Garden chapter. It was great to see her again and glad to hear she’s enjoying North Carolina.

Breakfast (bagels, toast, pastry type food, coffee, tea), lunch (salad, meats/cheeses/bread for sandwiches, grilled eggplant/zucchini, chips, water/soda), afternoon snack (cookies and fruit) were all very good. Friday night three Main Line Stitchers, 6 NJNA, and I met for dinner at Delicious Heights in Berkeley Heights for a wonderful evening of good food and conversation.

Besides stitching and vendors, we looked at a variety of wonderful pieces that others at the event were stitching covering a variety of categories. My favorite was the beaded piece Infinity by Tela Artis (seller is in Ukraine). The amount of beading is unbelievable but will be beautiful when finished. The shading on the fabric is pretty enough to just frame the fabric.

Dee from NJ Needle Artists shared her hand woven towels making me get more excited to learn weaving even though I am learning tapestry weaving which is different.

During the day they gave away door prizes and I won big prizes each day! On Friday, it was registration to their Summer Getaway in Radnor near Philadelphia that I can use in 2023 (I’ll be away at ANG Seminar in 2022). And on Saturday, it was registration to their Christmas in Williamsburg in Nov 30-Dec 4, 2022 which I can go to with Buff who won that prize last year! We can drive down and share a room. What are the odds of me getting both? Amazing!! Before I won the Williamsburg registration, I was paying for next year’s NJ Needle Fest and saw the Joyful box behind the counter and commented on how cute it was. Don’t you know that the certificate came in that box. It was certainly my lucky day.

Can’t forget to talk about the stitching that I did. I brought 2 projects expecting to zip right through the Corinthian Earrings by Orna Willis but between gabbing, shopping, looking around, and some frogging, it took 2 days to finish the earrings. I should have Xerox copied the pattern to highlight areas stitched as I progressed. They are on Congress Cloth and come with the materials to finish them but that will be the subject of another post.

NJ Needle Fest and Dowager Countess, Violet Crawley, Step 2 by Gay Ann Rogers

Seven members of the ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter shared a table at NJ Needle Fest today. I missed it the year they, Needleworkers Delight, took over running the event from Susan Hoekstra and moved out of the church in Bedminster (2019) and we all missed it last year due to coronavirus. So, it’s been awhile for me but the location, the Embassy Suites in Berkley, NJ was nice. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks were included. Door prizes (I didn’t win). And, vendors (I just can’t buy anything else with so much waiting for me to stitch). I finished the light purple Oriental stitch filling today. Only the very first part of Step 2. The day flew by!

New Jersey Needle Festival 2018 & Dare to Design

After I found Desert Island Stitches, Volume 2 regarding borders and this interesting kit (with threads that I have not used ever before) from Karen at Nimble Needle’s table, I settled down to stitch on my Dare to Design piece. By the end of the day, I had the center completed. However, the green stitch was bothering me. More on that later.

Throughout the day, I wandered around the vendors and looked at other people’s projects. It’s so fun to see what everyone is stitching. The ladies with New Jersey Needle Artists are doing another fascinating piece, Lorene Salt’s Autumn Kaleidoscope, in various colorways. Love them all!

Everyone was buying something from Trish all day long. I finally picked up this scissors case because it can hold more than scissors. And, her fabrics are gorgeous. This one reminds me of spring!

I forgot to get a group photo this year but we had a full table. Besides myself, I enjoyed the company of Buff, Kristen (first timer), Patrick, Linda from West Chester NY (first timer), Lisa, Lori, and Linda.

More on the green area. I’ve discarded Pepper Pot Silk Olive 095 because it was too heavy (not pictured) and Soie Perlee olive green 274 because it was getting lost in the canvas (see double motif upper left side next to red/oranges). In fact, all the double motifs appear to become one blob. Maybe adding beads in the center of each would help define each unit but the beads I selected are way too big. I contemplated using Planet Earth 6 ply silk Shrub V 1058 (the two right on the upper row and the second from the left on the bottom row) because it matches bugle beads I plan on adding. But, it too disappears into the canvas. In previewing the bugle bead, I also realize how a single bead isn’t as bright when it sits alone. The Au Ver A Soie light green 325 works best in the double motif (left on top row) but gets lost singly (left bottom row).

So, it took me all night but I’m doing a single motif in the Needlepoint Inc SilkLeaf Green Range 256 (bottom row right). The double motif seems blobby still (center bottom below the red/oranges. You can see the single clearly. However, I need new beads. I wish I had know this while I was at Edwardian Needle. Oh well! Beads will go on last. I’ll figure that out later. I could always do French Knots. It’s been an interesting learning experience to see how slightly different threads appear differently. No wonder Orna says she rips a lot out as she designs.

New Jersey Needle Festival 2017 & Color Inspirations

Another wonderful day yesterday, seeing old friends, meeting new people, looking at what everyone is stitching, and shopping at New Jersey Needle Festival  (NJNF).

I took my pillow – the finished Stitch of the Month, Feuilles d’ananas by Susan Hoekstra. Several of us had finished the piece and several others are still working on it. It’s fun to see what colors everyone selected.

I picked up 2 large project bags from Trish Vine Design. There are a couple of pieces that will take some time.

I had hoped to finish my second Color Inspirations at NJNF but it took most of Sunday too. This is my second piece from our Orna Willis class. All done now! The stitched piece (right) is supposed to reflect the colors from the magazine page (left). I’m very happy with the outcome.

Color Inspirations

Patrick (far right) joined us for the first time. And, from left to right some regulars: Lori, Rona, Ginny, and Buff. There I am in the bottom photo (left).



New Jersey Needle Festival Road Trip

Great weekend! Buff & I headed for Beyond Knits & Needles in Caldwell, NJ on Friday morning. I got some threads & Buff found a canvas. Wonderful store. Anne Marie is very nice and has friendly,  helpful customers  (Jane). Love the selection of canvases & threads. Incredible light in each of the 3 rooms.




And,  then we headed to Edwardian Needle for more threads & EdMar needles (me) and another canvas & threads (Buff).

A fantastic dinner and conversation with Buff, Brenda, Ginny, Rona, and Rosie at the Red Oak Grille. It would have been nice if Linda had made the trip too.

After a good night’s sleep,  we headed to the New Jersey Needle Festival (my 4th time I think). It’s so much fun to see everyone & what they are stitching. I think a dozen of us are working on Susan Hoekstra’s Stitch of the Month,  Feuilles d’ananas.  

We had a great group at our table! Sitting/standing left to right: Sylvia,  Rona, Melita,  Brenda, Lori & Ginny, Buff, Margaret.


And, the vendors saw robust sales!  I found an eyeglass / cell phone case made by Trish Vine & Karen from  Nimble Needle had the lamp I wanted. The cute bag from Susan was too cute to pass up.

Although I didn’t finish April’s portion of the design at NJNF, it was done before I went to bed Saturday night!


Road Trip & New Jersey Needle Festival 2015
April 27, 2015, 10:22 am
Filed under: 2015, New Jersey Needle Festival

What a great weekend! A second road trip with Linda in as many months!! We met around 8 am on Friday to visit 4 NJ needlepoint stores where we spent between 30 min to 2 hours at a shop. Details are presented in the order we visited:

Colonia for where we me Kevin & Alison, the owners who are getting ready to celebrate their 1-year anniversary. The variety of canvases and fabrics is impressive as is the pre-finished items (towels/blankets/tablecloths). There is more cross stitch/samplers than needlepoint. I forgot to look at threads but I thought I saw Anchor and the website says they have Presencia Finca Collection & Jar Designs hand-dyed floss and perle cotton (I wish I’d looked at them). I had no problem finding some interesting items including some Vintage canvas (they have a little tea staining effect which I’ll use for Laura Perin Secret Garden collages which has some open spaces)! The collection of 8 fabric samples pictured below was a thank you gift for first-time visitors. I’m not sure what I’ll use the heart & oval frame for yet but I love that they are self finishing! And, the leaf wire hanger was too cute to pass up. We wished Kevin & Alison the best of luck & headed onward!

Canvas selections     Vintage canvas

Fabric selections     Zweigart canvas

Heart Oval frame     Leaf wire hanger

Wyckoff for where we chatted more than shopped with a lovely group of ladies who were there for a “Stitch & Sit” (& a few who we saw the next day at New Jersey Needle Festival aka NJNF). The store has wonderful light (making photos difficult) & several areas to sit & stitch!


Fairfield for where we talked with Tony briefly before he had to leave but Pam & the other ladies were wonderful. We managed to shop more than chat with another group of women who were there for a stitch & chat session. A few of them were headed to NJNF too. They were kind enough to ask if we wanted to join them for lunch but we’d already eaten & so we spent time shopping. I needed threads for a project I am designing & they have threads!! I really lucked out finding the red, white, & blue Silk Lame Braid (I had to get both weights – for 13 & 18 count – it felt like Christmas & my birthday). The Dinky Dyes came in a nice red, white, & blue overdyed floss. It took more effort than I expected to find matching solids across various thread types for red, white, & blue but selected Frye Werks, Kreinik (red 421, white, 100, blue 033), and Soie Cristale silk threads.

Celebrate Red White Blue

and Mendham where Ann was busy getting ready for NJNF. We managed to get project organizers before anyone at the NJNF!

Project holders

We were only 10 min behind schedule for meeting Brenda, Ginny, Rona, & Rosie for good food, drinks, and stitching stories at a local restaurant! I forgot to get a picture of the gang – we were too busy talking. What a great day!!

The next day was just as much fun. Lori, Linda, myself, Brenda, Naomi, and Elizabeth (from left to right) shared a table together along with more great stories! And, the room was filled with needle crafters of various varieties working on wonderful pieces – so interesting to see everything. I am restitching Gentle Waves but won’t blog about it until after seminar – it is designed in honor of seminar being held in Myrtle Beach this coming September – you can sort of see my design in the picture below (bottom left).

NJNF 2015

And, there was more shopping with vendors including Susan Hoekstra’s table where I managed to find a leather Stirling bag which I understand is now discontinued. My first attempt at Gentle Waves will go inside the bag.

Stirling bag

Trish is going to make me a lanyard with 2 hooks instead of single center one. She is a member of my ANG Keystone Garden chapter, Projects VP, and maker of incredible items. Trish Vine Designs is not on the Web yet but you can email her for a brochure and price list at – I have her iPad holder, a notepad holder, & various sizes project bags from past NJNFs.

Quilted pieces     Trish Vine project bag

There was one vendor which makes a yarn/thread organizing system ( with holes along plastic bars that hang in file cabinets. This is her business card! So clever.

Waterfall Threads

Karen at Nimble Needle must be a mind reader – I wanted Tony Minieri’s Back to Basics DVD series & she had all 3 at her table!

Back to Basics DVD series

This weekend wouldn’t be possible without Susan Hoekstra who hosts the event, including her husband & friends who help make the day such a success! What an incredible amount of work to make something like this go so smoothly & be such fun. She put a cute gift in our bag from her business (

Foxview thread minder

Most of my thanks goes to Linda who is such fun to travel with & then the ladies at dinner, my table mates at NJNF, the store owners we visited & at NJNF, and all the women we met both days! Needlecraft is thriving in NJ!!



Bargello Techniques, Section 2

I can’t believe it has been 3 weeks since I stitched enough to blog about it! I put work & all obligations aside today to go to Susan Hoekstra’s New Jersey Needle Fest and had a great time. Thanks to Rona & Mary for asking to put at the same table with me – nice to sit with them again this year.

I had begun my Crescent River there last year & that is finished now. So, I took that & got lots of nice compliments on it. And, Susan showed off the Berlin Cardinal (her design) which I had stitched and had the Nimble Needle finisher do as a pillow. That is the pilot class our chapter did for her so she could be ready to teach it at seminar.

Bargello Techniques was a great project to take because it is a small project & worked in hand (the way I am doing it, section by section) – no need for a stand, etc. ! I had started it before I got there & when I wasn’t walking around looking at all the wonderful projects (another sold out event & that is 120 people), I was stitching this section. Vendors had some pretty things but I have so many WIP or ones I want to start that I resisted buying anything.

When I got home, I kept stitching & finished it (slightly bleary eyed). But, I am thrilled to be able to share Section 2 (adjusted to fit my space). Thanks Liz for saying, “If you don’t come out exactly the same, that’s OK! Just continue your pattern & fill in to the bottom.”

You’ll also see a needle in this picture because Mary gave me one her new favorite needles – an edmar gold-eyed needle – that is smoother to the touch than other needles and slides through the canvas. Very nice needles. But, you may not find any because Mary & especially Rona must have bought the store out! Thanks again for sharing them!

Bargello Techniques, Section 2