Melitastitches4fun's Blog


A Stained Glass Violet Framed
December 23, 2022, 12:21 pm
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2018, Designing Geometric Sampler with Kathy Rees

A Stained Glass Violet is a 4″ square design that began in Washington, DC with Kathy Rees at her class, Designing Geometric Samplers in 2018. The piece uses Watercolours 296 Stained Glass and 232 African Violet (thus, the name).

I am finally done with my finishing frenzy for 2022! Actually, I still have unfinished stitched pieces but I don’t know where I’d put them anyway.

Months ago, I found a square frame off the shelf at Michael’s that fit this piece. I like the silver with the purple/blues and the piece will look good in my purple spare bedroom. The only thing I needed to do was add a border to fill in up to the mat. So, I found the card of Splendor S864 used elsewhere in the design and stitched an outer border of diagonal gobelin stitches over 4 changing directions in of the four quadrants. It fit snug in the frame without any blocking. Done in no time!



Seashell Ornament

Thanks to stitch suggestions from Susan Hoekstra in a Seminar Color class in 2019 and a thread from Rosie at NJ Needle Fest in 2021, I finished stitching this Seashell ornament. Fast forward to 2022 when I won fabric pieces as a door prize at Linda’s Quilt Guild Show. There are 19 pieces 5&1/2″ squares all different but coordinated. I narrowed the choices for the backing down to 6 and let my husband pick the fabric to coordinate with the seashell.

I did my cutting and ironing of the fabric and fusing web onto Skirtex as previously described.

On the canvas, I see areas that appear raised and want to accentuate them. So, I spent time cutting and tacking felt into the vertical areas along the bottom left and the larger upper right area. One layer of felt on the outer 2 vertical areas, two in center 2 vertical areas, and two in the upper right area.

Then, I attached the padded canvas to another piece of Skirtex in the unpadded areas to make the padded areas raised.

I tacked the edging back using invisible thread (not the lacing technique).

I didn’t have any cording I liked. So, I went into my stash and found Vineyard Silk Shimmer S-515 Toffee which is brown to match the back, frames the seashell nicely, and has a little gold sparkle. The skein was already cut into 38.5″ lengths. So, I thought I’d need 11″ without a hanger. The instructions for the Kreinik Custom Corder say to start with 3x what you need. Tension can vary ending length.

By tying together 2 lengths for one large loop and 2 for the other, I got 16″ final twisted cord which even allows for a hanging loop. Between the Kreinik written instructions and YouTube video, I made the cord and hopefully I got enough twist.

With more invisible thread and Wonder Clips to hold the back and front together, I attached the twisted cord between the two layers.

Plenty of time to clean up the dining room table before Christmas!



Ornament Blitz

Well, I channeled Cleo, of Busy Lizzy, a professional finisher, who works on multiple ornaments simultaneously. I saw her in her workroom during a Zoom meeting working on at least 6 ornaments. I have all the supplies on my dining room table but am working on a tray table in the living room going step by step. My husband is very tolerant of the mess. One more odd shaped ornament after these and then I will clear the table for Christmas.

Step 1. Make copies of the ornaments at 100 & 135%. Two diamonds are the same size. The Winter Sleigh is a painted canvas by Alice Peterson that ANG Main Line Stitchers discussed using 2 stitch guides in 2019 just before the shut down, the 2 large diamonds are by Kurdy Biggs from Needlepoint Now November/December 2015 issue that was a 2018 project with ANG Keystone Garden chapter that I finished in 2019, and the small diamond is by Vicky Witterschein which was stitched during a Zoom class in 2021 with my EGA Brandywine Chapter.

Step 2. Cut out paper templates and cut ornaments out of canvas allowing about a half-inch larger than the design.

Step 3. Using the larger of the 2 templates, trace and cut out fabric backs. All will get the new silver fabric and was an opportunity to use my Karen Kay Buckley micro serrated scissors (which stops edges from fraying). The right tool for the job helps.

Step 4. Cut the Skirtex and fusible web slightly smaller than front design for the fabric backing.

Step 5. Iron the fabric backing onto the Skirtex with fusible web (like that better than glue-much neater-as long as I make fusible web smaller than the smallest side).

Step 6. Using the exactly sized template, cut a piece of magazine board.

Step 7. For the sleigh, I cut 4 layers of felt smaller than the magazine board to make it puffy, tacked the felt in place, placed the magazine board on top of the felt. There are 2 layers of felt on the 3 diamond ones.

Step 8. I found my Wonder Clips and used them to hold the folded-over canvas while I laced the canvas side to side with invisible thread. One spool has 2,200 yards. I’ll never need another!

Step 9. Attach hanger for the 3 diamonds. I used a Kreinik #16 Braid which I tied into the felt to start and finish but run it up through the canvas and back down right in the center. Very easy! I am reminded of a Brian Regan joke sarcastically saying “you’re breaking some new ground there, Copernicus”. It’s probably not a new way to add a hanger but I can’t recall seeing it suggested anywhere.

Step 10. Get my Thimble Pack out because my index and middle fingers only made it through 2 ornaments. Using a small Crewel needle pushing through Skirtex and sometimes magazine board was tough on my fingers!

Step 11. I sewed a cord on the edge for the sleigh simultaneously with the backing but cord is not needed on the others. The others look fine with just raw edge I guess because the design has some open canvas. I’m very happy with the results and see improvements with each one. Reminds of the old adage, “Practice makes perfect”. I still prefer to spends the hours stitching.

Step 11. Hang and enjoy the ornaments!!



Snowflake Ornament

Michael’s usually has cute ornaments and this one caught my eye. It sat on my kitchen counter waiting for inspiration.

I had picked these designs up at Christmas in Williamsburg. Yesterday, I saw the ornament and remembered there were snowflakes in one of the four designs.

So, I selected the closest in size to my space and tent stitched the design, added some felt, and finished this ornament!



Stitched and Finished Colorful Forest

In the last post, you probably couldn’t see the partial sky I stitched using Silk Lame Petite SP02 White in the Colorful Forest (SS050) by Stitch Style Needlepoint. So, I ripped it out and restitched using a heavier overdyed sparkly light blue/white by ThreadworX (91015). Then, the snow fell into place.

I found this lovely piece of fabric for finishing this ornament (& hopefully others) at the Needleworkers Delight tables. They have an amazing collection of grounds of all kinds. I’m not sure anyone would stitch on this because it has so much pattern on it but it is perfect for my needs.

The fabric was fused to Skirtex (for stability) and the edge glued with Aileen’s glue. I folded back the edges of the canvas – no glue.

I placed 2 layers of felt behind the trees to fill in the space created. Another piece of fusible web went between the Skirtex and felt which only helped keep the 2 sides together as I sewed the cord into place using invisible thread.

A few final thoughts. A round shape is easier to finish than a heart. Additional stiffness from a piece or 2 of magazine board and additional layer(s) of felt would be good. If you puff up the front, then I suspect that you have to make the back slightly smaller so it isn’t bigger than the front because of the lift drawing it in and up. A piece stitched and finished in 10 days is a record! The overall ease of doing this one has encouraged me to tackle the rest of the ornaments. The rest? Yes, I have 4 Christmas ones and a seashell. ‘Tis the season and still early enough in December to accomplish this and enjoy them this year.



Framed Sevens Displayed

In order for Framed Sevens to fill in the 7.5″ x 7.5″ visible design area in Carol’s Fancywork Box by Sudberry House (Item #99021), I filled in the surrounding area with the T stitch using DMC #5 Pearl 310 Black. It fit exactly with 9 stitched and 2 empty canvas threads on each side without blocking of any kind. I’m using the glass to cover it.

Framed Sevens was published in Needlepoint Now (March/April 2022) and a thread kit is available from Colour Complements: https://colourcomplements.com/product/framed-sevens-thread-kit



Trees in Colorful Forest Grew in Just 3 Days at Williamsburg, VA
December 4, 2022, 9:05 pm
Filed under: 2022 Christmas in Williamsburg, Needleworkers Delight

Needleworkers Delight put on a very nice event in Williamsburg. Because the ANG NJ Needle Artists’ table was too full for Buff and I to join, we sat at the next table. There we met some lovely ladies, including Cindy who had been in my EGA MAR Overdyed Spools class last year and her friend Janet. Over the 3 days, a variety of other people joined us which was fun too. Even more people stopped to look at Crescent Journey (I brought the lavender colorway) which I displayed on our table with photos of the other colorways. After explaining it is the ANG Stitch of the Month for 2023, three people were interested enough in joining ANG to stitch it. And, I found the closest local chapters for them.

Despite the time spent in 2 classes, looking at other people’s pieces, chatting, and shopping, I did finish the trees, trunks, and part of the sky of Colorful Forest during the Stitch-in. Although the stitches came in the stitch guide, I didn’t quite follow it completely correctly. Nobody would know except me, Buff, Cindy, and Janet because they were there when I realized what happened. Starting at 10 am without my full cup of coffee caused me to miss that the stitch guide writer, Jenny Barney McAuliffe, started stitching the back trees first instead of from left to right which is how I started. No harm done (2 trees swapped stitches). And, the last stitch on the dark blue tree was supposed to be a double reverse Nobuko but doesn’t reverse here. And, I am fine with that too because that gives both blue trees a vertical effect.

Buff is an excellent travel companion and roommate but has the same delusion as Bill – that I snore!



Silver Classes

I took 2 classes with Michele Arsenault to make silver pieces and forgot to take pictures of my Day 1 class where I made 3 needle minders. So, here will be the photos of my Day 2 pieces before firing and polishing. She takes them home and finishes the process and mails them to us.

Believe it ot not, the “silver clay” is 99.99 silver content. The clay burns off in a kiln leaving the silver particles which bond together.

The clay gets pressed into the molds. Then, you pop it out of the mold. I used a cookie cutter-like piece to cut out the round pair and a different tool to carve around the other. Besides Michele describing the process, the longest part of class is going through her molds to find what you want. She has hundreds of them.

For the first class we worked with 10 grams and second class was 20 grams. So, I made 2 pairs of earrings and poked a hole near the top so that Michele can make them into earrings. The Day 2 class was more in depth than Day 1. And, if I were to take the Day 3 class, I could try making a ring which offers the opportunity to join 2 pieces together. But, I’ll pass. I’m good with what I have now. More pictures once these are returned.



Colorful Forest in Williamsburg, VA

Buff and I won a free registration for Christmas in Williamsburg event sponsored by Needleworkers Delight at 2021 and 2022 New Jersey Needle Fest events, respectively! Buff had deferred hers and now we’re here together.

We drove in rain throughout the morning but it broke around Washington DC. A break for lunch and we are checked in at Kingsmill Resort. Quite a lovely place. Our registration package included a piece of Anne Cloth Fabric with instructions to make 8 cute holiday designs. However, I can use the cloth on my dining room table underneath the centerpiece poinsettia!

During the Stitch-in, I will be working on Colorful Forest (SS050) by Stitch Style Needlepoint. The stitch guide is by Jinny Barney McAuliffe. I picked it up at Greystone Needlepoint earlier this year. It’s a perfect project for a holiday Stitch-in! I kitted it from my stash.

Talk about serendipity. And the instructions and threads fit perfectly in my lovely project bag that Linda made!

I may switch out Trio in favor of Pepper Pot Silk Cream 003 because it is whiter and providing better coverage. I threw that in at the last minute. But, between the lecture on appraising needlepoint, silver classes, and shopping at the boutique, will I get to the white background before I leave on Sunday? What are silver classes? Stay tuned!



Ginkgo Leaves Stitched and Finished

The Lee canvas (design size 8.5″ x 3.75), BR67, Ginkgo Leaves, was easy and fun to stitch. The Gloriana Duchess Silk threads I got from Busy Lizzy were great to work with – so soft. I mixed in some sparkly threads on the edges of the leaves and in the patterns of four leaves.

Patterns are from a variety of sources including Desert Island Vol 1 and 2 by Carole Lake and Michael Boren, Lone Star’s Grab-n-Go Stitches, Needlepoint Dictionary of Stitches by Susan Sturgeon Roberts, and The Needlepoint Book by Jo Ippolito Christensen.

Patterns in the top row from left to right are from: Desert Island, Vol 1, pg 29; The Needlepoint Book, Byzantine #1; Needlepoint Dictionary of Stitches, Carl; and Lone Star, pg 50.

Patterns in the bottom row from left to right are from: Lone Star, pg 37; Lone Star, pg 53; Desert Sand, Vol 2, pg 30; and The Needlepoint Book, Byzantine #2.

Basketweave with Pepper Pot Silk, Cream filled in the background.

I found a Vera Bradley bag online that has a lovely interior fabric and good pockets.

The front of the bag had a large enough area to apply the canvas. I cut out the design leaving 9 canvas threads on each edge (1/2″). I cut a piece of ultrasuede allowing a 1″ border on each side. Then I cut the window out to fit the design exactly. The piece of vinyl is about 4 canvas threads larger than the design area and rests on top of the design without being attached in any way. A little Aileens fabric glue attached the ultrasuede to the outer edge of the canvas not covered by the vinyl (waited 2 hours), more glue to attach the ultrasuede to the bag (waited 2 hours), and glue again to place the black trim on the outer edge. Thanks to Jacqui C for the trim suggestion – it really makes a difference although from a distance you probably can’t see black on black. But up close you can. Also thanks to Jacqui for telling me there is such a thing as fabric glue! I was going to use E6000. This was so much easier and faster than ornament finishing!

For those of you super observant people who noticed a piece of wood sticking out from underneath the bag (bottom right corner of photo), the bag came with straps on the bottom. They said it was for a yoga mat but it holds my Elan lap stand! I wouldn’t “travel” with it there but for going back and forth to class this bag will hold the stand, my charger, light, travel supply bag, bottle of water, and perhaps a small project bag.