Melitastitches4fun's Blog

A Tip For Threads With A Twist & Tied Up With Celtic Knot
August 11, 2018, 3:12 pm
Filed under: Celtic Knot, Dare to Design With Orna Willis, General comments, Threads

Have you ever had threads get twisted when you stitch? Who hasn’t? Well, I heard people try and explain z twist and s twist. While I understand it, I can’t see it. Until I can see the different twists, I will use the simple tip I heard from Cleo at my EGA Brandywine Chapter meeting which is to use the thread as it comes off the skein. This means that the beginning of the thread goes in the eye of the needle. Then, cut the other end and finish with that end. I was seeing issues with Trebizond and now I’m not.

This is the beginning of the second design that has come out of my design class with Orna Willis. My paintings reminded Patrick from my ANG Chapter of a Celtic Knot. I don’t know if the stitched piece in my colors will still remind him of a Celtic Knot but that’s what I’ve called this design.

Here are the paintings.

I tried to paint in my stitched colorway but didn’t do great.

Here’s the inner area stitched (sequins and beads will be added last). I’m using Trebizond TRA 381 Orange Sherbet, 3586 Birds of Paradise, 343 Peach Sorbet, Bijout MMT 429 Jasper, Kreinik 1/16″ ribbon 2122, and Watercolours 144 Pomegranate in this inner area.

A different color of Trebizond, Bittersweet TRA 376, replaced the Orange Sherbet TRA 381 into the next surrounding area.

I love how it’s looking but it certainly isnt easy to stitch due to the nonsymmetrical features and the weaving. I could stop here and add beads and it’d be a pretty little thing but I am going to keep on going!! All these threads are from the kit that came with Orna’s class. Even after I finish this piece, I’ll have threads enough to stitch at least a third piece!

Dare To Design With Orna Willis, Finished
May 19, 2018, 4:21 pm
Filed under: Dare to Design With Orna Willis

Most of the stitches worked up well except for the Nobuko Stitch (green thread under the purple beads). They seemed to blend together too much. So, I made fewer of them.

It’s been an interesting learning experience.

I’m already excited to turn another watercolor picture into a stitched design. I’ve got plenty of threads still. This class isn’t over until July.

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.

Dare To Design With Orna Willis, Stitching Begins
April 9, 2018, 10:21 am
Filed under: Dare to Design With Orna Willis

I got started stitching last week so that I could take this to stitch on this upcoming Saturday at New Jersey Needle Fest, a day long stitching event with 120 stitchers and 8-10 vendors. Yes, back to back stitching weekends!

Overall, it’s a 5&1/2″ square. If I hadn’t designed it myself, I would have a hard time believing that everything I have planned to stitch is going to fit! However, that’s what happens when moving from 8 count paper to 18 count canvas.

Instead of a lot of ripping, I tested the stitch and threads on a waste canvas. The #8 Kreinik worked ok for the knitting stitch bottom far left but was too thin coverage for the mosaic bottom right. I also decided that you could see the knitting stitch better with the Planet Earth. I tested Kreinik #16 upper right which happened to be in my stash but felt it was too heavy for an area that I doesn’t need attention. So, I bought #12 which looks great. I wanted to establish the border to decrease counting errors. Now, I can stitch the focal point.

Dare to Design With Orna Willis
March 20, 2018, 3:24 pm
Filed under: Dare to Design With Orna Willis

I won’t go through all my iterations of stitches that I selected or color combinations I tried for this painted design. But, the key pieces ended up being a frame outlining the triangles (Knitting stitch and Mosaic stitches in light and dark purple) and connecting them. The center diamonds have 2 or 3 shared components (Wavy, Smyrna, and Nobuko stitches). The colors help tie them together. The base that the diamonds fit into are same except the color of the crescents and half Waffles differ. Little changes made a big difference. Oddly enough, a small Smyrna in place of the 4 red straight stitches in the center diamond looked awful. The other thing that allowed me some freedom was remembering the lessons from Orna Willis‘ class Color Inspirations. I didn’t need to replicate the exact design but I did need the balance of colors. So, I am done and very happy! I just hope the threads work with the stitches. On to her next lesson which is playing with variations of Jessicas!

Dare to Design With Orna Willis
March 8, 2018, 10:38 am
Filed under: Dare to Design With Orna Willis

We have been painting triangles filled with smaller shapes using watercolors. These triangles were to be filled with smaller shapes. I’ve been going bold with color selections. Then, we tessellated, turned, flipped, and manipulated them. The results are amazing!

I designed my initials into this one. See how different the effect is when you combine them differently!

More of other classmate’s pieces on Orna’s blog at

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 & 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.

Dare to Design With Orna Willis
February 6, 2018, 4:12 pm
Filed under: Dare to Design With Orna Willis, Other People's Pieces

We had our first session with Orna Willis who is teaching us how to design. We start out placing shapes in triangles.

Put them together and we have the start of a design!

And, combining them makes even more.

Dare to Design With Orna
January 30, 2018, 11:02 am
Filed under: Dare to Design With Orna Willis, Other People's Pieces

On another adventure with Orna. This is a 6-month class where we design our own geometric piece! I’m sure that Orna will make the process fascinating and fun. We have own own private Facebook group.

I picked up the kit yesterday and it includes:

  • 45 threads (Soie Perlee, Trebizond, Kreinik 1/16 ribbon, Kreinik #8 & #12 braid, Planet Earth 6-ply silk, Silk Mori, Neon Rays, Gumnut Yarns, Needlepoint Inc Silk, Silk ‘N Colors, Waterlilies, and Watercolours) in wonderful colors. There were 3 or 4 options to choose from. They came in a 2-sided hard plastic box. Orna packages are always lovely. But, I wanted to spread them out to easily see them all.
  • 11 packets of beads in various sizes and colors
  • 3 pieces of canvas
  • 24 watercolor pens and 3 brush tips (again, I wanted to spread them out to easily see them all)
  • Desert Island Stitches, Vol 1 for small spaces (which I didn’t have and from skimming it today, it’s a great reference)
  • Grid paper, a notebook, packet of blank stock paper, and a ruler

I’ve enjoyed looking over everything and am excited for class to start soon! It all fits in 5 of the plastic, stackable trays except for the grid paper (from the Container Store). And, I have made room in a cabinet so I can get to it easily.