Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Dowager Countess, Violet Crawley, by Gay Ann Rogers
November 21, 2021, 2:54 pm
Filed under: Gay Ann Roger's, Dowager Countess, Other People's Pieces

This is the 4th piece of the Downton Abbey series by Gay Ann Rogers. I worked on the overstitching with the darker plum Impressions in the corners of the Scotch stitch variation yesterday at our ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter Stitch-in. Due to Thanksgiving next weekend, we moved it to a week earlier than usual. Robin was a most generous host with a great soup and chicken salad lunch and brownies made by Pat. Last night, I finished the overstitching and filled in the Smyrna stitches. This morning, I finished the overstitching on the long diagonal chains with black Kreinik 1/16 Ribbon. I love it!

Gay Ann Rogers was inspired by this photo of Violet Crawley. Once again, Gay Ann captured the look and feel of the photo in her geometric. According to her website, Gay Ann will be releasing “Dowager in the Evening” at some point but it will be larger and beaded. While I may get it, I have a plan to design two more Downton Abbey pieces based on pictures I have selected. Then, I will frame all six together (or maybe three and three). I’ve had the threads for my first piece for awhile (they were in the dining room mess). After Thanksgiving, I hope to have completed all or most of the design on the computer and start stitching it. Oh boy, that’s a fifth piece calling to me!



Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, More Pulled Work
November 13, 2021, 8:10 pm
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, Gay Ann Roger's, Dowager Countess

Last month, I realized that a few sections of Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham by Gay Ann Rogers were going to require extra concentration than can be done at our monthly ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter Stitch-in where chatting can disrupt with counting. We’ll be meeting next weekend which is a week early for our Saturday Stitch-in due to Thanksgiving.

So, I took advantage of this rainy afternoon after the morning Zoom session of ANG New Jersey Needle Artists Stitch-in to do the pulled thread stitch called Faggoting. My husband was grocery shopping and the TV was off. It was easy enough except on my hand. Pulling canvas threads on 18 count monocanvas hurts my hand. Congress Cloth would be easier.

So, rather than overwhelm my hand, I enlarged the holes (rows surrounding the center) as was done for eyelet stitches. I made all the holes larger along the whole row so that I could easily stitch the row without stopping. It worked out well. It gives a lacey effect and looks more and more like the Dowager Countess.

While I had the #8 Pearl cotton Ecru out, I stitched the slanting gobelin area with Smyrnas. With any luck, I will be posting a completed piece next weekend!



Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, Corners Done
October 24, 2021, 9:32 am
Filed under: Gay Ann Roger's, Countess of Granrham, Other People's Pieces

Last month, I stitched 2 corners of Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham by Gay Ann Rogers. They were less tricky this month but I still could only get the third corner stitched during my ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter members Saturday Stitch-in yesterday. Thanks again to Buff for offering her home and lunch.

There was still a lot of baseball left when I finished the fourth corner. So, I kept going and added more to the inner diagonal chains, added a motif to the top and bottom large center ‘stones’. The next part on the outer diagonal chains looked tricky. So, it’ll wait until I have fresh eyes. I’m not sure if any additional areas will be ones I can stitch, count, and chat.



Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, Next Step and a Portable Charger
September 26, 2021, 8:44 am
Filed under: Gay Ann Roger's, Countess of Granrham, Other People's Pieces

The corners of Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham by Gay Ann Rogers, were tricky. I couldn’t get the rhythm of the stitch on the first one during my ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter members Saturday Stitch-in yesterday. But, the second corner went better despite having one eye on a bad 50s female Dracula movie on TV. Even though I finally had the rhythm, I’ve put it away until next month’s Stitch-in. Hopefully, my mind’s muscles will remember the pattern. It’s a perfect size piece for traveling.

I had seen the Halo Bolt battery charger as a fundraiser for the Pacific Southwest Region of EGA. Very powerful at 440 Wh. It can jump start cars! But, at 3 lbs plus accessories, it was too heavy for my needs.

I mostly want to plug in my 2 prong light which has a clamp for Stitch-ins and classes. My rechargeable light just isn’t bright enough. So, I went with the SinKeu Portable Power Station Model HP5005 I found on Amazon. It’s only 88.8 Wh but will support the light for a full class day. There are 2 USB ports too. And, one of my chapter members plugged her rechargeable light into the unit when her light died. My Surface Pro drains the charger much quicker. But, I haven’t really tested it fully.

My charger is 6.75″ length x 3.75″ Depth x 1.75″ Height and weighs about 1 lb plus accessories. It displays the % of remaining power. So, the 2 units are about the same size and price but weight and power are different. So far, I am happy with the unit I selected.



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!



Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, Step 1
August 21, 2021, 3:01 pm
Filed under: Gay Ann Roger's, Dowager Countess, Other People's Pieces

The Dowager Countess of Grantham, Violet, is the fourth in the series of Downton Abbey inspired pieces by Gay Ann Rogers.

Another month, another in-person Stitch-in, and another ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter member, Sally, hosted 6 members at her house and 2 members attended via Zoom. Wonderful lunch and so great getting together. Lots of chatting.

I forgot to post my progress on the black ‘stones’ and ‘chains’between the 2 Stitch-ins. Today, I stitched the border using Watercolours 006 Amethyst. There was more brown than I preferred for this piece. So, I cut most of it out!

The border completes Step 1.



Violet, Dowager Countess by Gay Ann Rogers Begins
July 26, 2021, 9:47 am
Filed under: Gay Ann Roger's, Dowager Countess, Other People's Pieces

The Dowager Countess of Grantham, Violet, is the fourth in the series of Downton Abbey inspired pieces by Gay Ann Rogers.

I decided to get started on it Saturday for our first ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter in person Stitch-in since coronavirus.

One of the members, Buff, hosted us at her house. There were 6 in person and 3 via Zoom. Great lunch and to see folks in person again. But, we probably need more laptops to engage both groups. One camera can’t see 6 people sitting around a table. So, we’ll keep trying!

The Step 1A center eyelets and couched hexagon were easy to stitch as we talked. I was able to complete the rest of Step 1B after I got home.



Countess of Grantham, Cora, Final Steps by Gay Ann Rogers
April 1, 2021, 6:10 pm
Filed under: Gay Ann Roger's, Countess of Granrham, Other People's Pieces

The fillings of the leaves and pods were fun and easy to stitch. The border was done in no time. I turned the page and there wasn’t any more to stitch!

Gay Ann was inspired by this photo of Cora. She really nailed the colors (just very dark gray-brown, medium brown, ecru, and cream). And, look carefully at Cora’s right arm to see how the design matches!



Countess of Grantham, Cora, Step 2A by Gay Ann Rogers
March 5, 2021, 5:52 pm
Filed under: Gay Ann Roger's, Countess of Granrham, Other People's Pieces

I felt like this should have been a step in and of itself in Cora’s design by Gay Ann Rogers.

There was lots of counting that I did 99% correctly the first time. Perhaps the lesson I learned is that correct stitching can be done by focusing on the work rather than trying to stitch and watch TV.

It’s all cross stitches, double-running, and backstitching reminding me that counted cross stitch patterns are not easy just because they are all x stitches. I have several cross stitch designs in my to do pile that would be challenging.



Countess of Grantham, Cora, Step 1 by Gay Ann Rogers
February 27, 2021, 11:11 am
Filed under: Gay Ann Roger's, Countess of Granrham, Other People's Pieces

The Countess of Grantham, Cora, was actually the first in the series of her Downton Abbey inspired pieces.

Cora is an American and the only one who has just white, black, and a touch of brown. Looking back at various outfits she wore during the series, she didn’t wear as many colored outfits as the daughters.

The center motif, Step 1, is completed. The double-running stitches in black Kreinik for the petals and outer border remind me of black work. It really keeps the thread hidden underneath. And, I used long lengths moving out from the center in opposite directions. I find that very helpful in open areas. It was easy to follow the path because I did it with the TV off!