Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Hearts For Hospice

One member of my ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter suggested that we stitch hearts for a Hearts For Hospice begun by the ANG Greater Kansas City Needlepoint chapter. They provide hearts to area hospice organizations.

“When a resident passes away, a heart is placed on the door which notifies those passing by to be respectful of others who are mourning the death of a loved one. The heart is then taken home by a family member as a remembrance of the care their loved one received while at the center.”

So, our chapter will stitch some hearts for them. We are using some threads that members from the 90s reviewed in our newsletters. I have 10 thread bags ready. Between Linda’s and my stash, we came up with 2 blue, 2 purple, 3 wine, and 3 magenta colorways. Each bag has 10 threads including a Perle #5, 2 silk floss, a wool and wool blend, cotton/rayon blend, rayon, and a rayon ribbon. One of our new members picked up a bunch of Wonder Twist in a grab bag-so we’ll each get a skein. Wonder Twist is a 100% nylon thread like perle by Beau Geste Inc which has been discontinued but still can be found online.

Stop by Starbucks at 218 Lancaster Ave at 7 PM tomorrow for our October 8th meeting. We’re also meeting there on the 4th Saturdays from 10 AM – 2 PM (October-March) for Stitch-in Time.

For this heart, I used Spring II which is now known as Threadworx Expressions (50/50 cotton/rayon blend) and Wonder Twist. I augmented those threads with Silk Lame Braid For 18 count SL151, Kreinik #8 Braid 051HL, and Kreinik Cord 051C.

The heart is about 4&1/2″ x 4&1/2″.

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Tulip Needles
October 4, 2018, 10:50 am
Filed under: General comments, Needles

Looking for Hiroshima Tulip Needles? Karen at Nimble Needle NJ has them. Why these needles? The Hiroshima region is known for making needles. And, the leaflet discusses their process including the finishing polish that creates the smooth passage through fabric/canvas which I can verify. I got 6 Tapestry needles in an assortment of sizes from left to right: 22, 23, 24, 25. They are nickle-plated steel with gold eyes. They are very similar to but slightly smaller than the EdMar needles. Both are very smooth and come in tubes.



My View Inside Scrim Discovery
September 17, 2018, 11:23 am
Filed under: General comments

The ladies at Scrim Discovery in Ocean City, NJ are nice to let me sit and stitch for a couple of hours as my husband golfs nearby. This is my view. Not only are bags hanging from the ceiling but canvases are thumb tacked to the ceiling! Every so often they have a ceiling sale. Not today.

I made a few thread purchases but I love a couple of the bags that I see.



Designing Geometric Samplers, A Stained Glass Violet
September 5, 2018, 12:36 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. You can only cover so much in a class but she covered the various elements behind designing very clearly.

I had a tough time deciding what to do in the corners and was overcomplicating the small design. So, I contacted Kathy after class who gave some good advice.

The piece uses Watercolours 296 Stained Glass and 232 African Violet (thus, the name), Splendor S864, Fyre Werks FT7, Neon Rays N144, and Petite Sparkle Rays (which I haven’t used much before and loved it because it laid so easily and doesn’t snag or fray).

Part 2 of class is designing a larger piece, a 12″ square. That means 9 squares of this size in one piece. It’s a challenge and that’s why I took the class!



Purple Mountains Majesty in ANG 2018 Seminar Exhibit in Washington, DC
September 4, 2018, 8:39 am
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2018, Melita's Designs, Purple Mountains Majesty

Purple Mountains Majesty didn’t receive a ribbon even though it scored 91 out of 100 (design=23, color=25, workmanship/technique=17, suitability=19, finishing=7). No real negatives were pointed out in this judge’s critique. Rather positives were pointed out including that the stitches themselves were well executed with a nice even tension, I manipulated the thread well to yield the affect I was looking for, and the areas that I refer to as ‘broken color placement’ (in my artist statement below) enhanced the overall design by providing depth to your landscape. She did make an interesting comment: “There are a few spots where the dye is not solid on the thread. There is nothing you can do about that unless you get a colored marker. Such a marker can be used on a thread before or after stitching. If the thread is too thin, you can color wash the canvas to prevent it from glinting through.” I didn’t realize using a color marker on thread was an acceptable practice!

My artist’s statement follows:

I wanted to explore using one overdyed thread with a few distinct colors to see how I could control the color of that overdyed thread in a single design that was pictorial in nature. This thread popped out at me because it had blue and green. I knew using an overdyed blue thread for sky and an overdyed green thread for grass is very effective. When I saw that the color shift was green to purple to blue, I heard “America The Beautiful” singing the lyrics “purple mountains majesties” and knew this would be great for the exhibit in Washington, DC. I thought I’d control the color best with the brick stitch. However, the various lengths of each color varied within the skein make controlling the color more difficult. There is some broken color placement which when viewed from a distance mixes optically to form the impression of reflected color. And, I obtained some aerial perspective with some of the mountains in the far distance which blurred into a bluish-purple haze.



Crescent Journey in ANG 2018 Seminar Exhibit in Washington, DC
September 2, 2018, 7:12 pm
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2018, Crescent Journey, Melita's Designs

Crescent Journey received a 3rd place ribbon at ANG Seminar and scored 94 out of 100 – anything in the 90s is fantastic! So, you know some other wonderful pieces were submitted in this category. I requested a Judge’s Critique and am thrilled especially with design and color scores – doesn’t get any better! The technique issue that continues to plaque me is twisted threads. I knew I was having issues with Trebizond. Apparently, some beads were not oriented correctly (I may have rotated my canvas as I stitched & if that was intended then I should have noted that in the statement) or they leaned a tad (I need to get out my magnifying glass as I stitch). And, the judges thought some stranded silks might have been more suitable and would have eliminated the twist issue. I can see them used as well although I think it would give a different effect.

My artist statement follows:

I’ve been through an enlightening journey with Orna Willis. During her “Color Inspirations”, “Come Design With Me”, and “Dare To Design” classes, I have learned techniques and processes that allowed me to discover designs within myself. Two of the earlier black and white sketches are shown to see how I developed this design. The colored sketches do not even represent the final design because portions didn’t stitch up as I expected. So, I discarded some stitches and kept others until I had the final stitched design.

Key elements were the way the crescents came together in the corners and the frame within the triangles (Knitting stitch and Mosaic stitches in light and dark purple). The base that the 3 diamonds fit into is same throughout the design except for the colors of the crescents and half Waffles. The center diamonds have 2 or 3 shared components (Wavy, Smyrna, and Nobuko stitches) adding to the continuity within the design. And, the placement of colors helped tie all the elements together too.

ArtistStatement

Crescent Crescendo framed



Designing Geometrics Sampler, Post Class
August 30, 2018, 9:40 pm
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2018, Designing Geometric Sampler with Kathy Rees

One step back and 2 steps forward is part of designing. Kathy Rees isn’t the first person to say it is necessary to try something different requiring restitching.

I didn’t like the center overdyed thread getting lost next to one color or another and outlining it wasn’t going to make it better. So, I took it out. Luckily, I put it in in such a way that it was locked into itself and allowed me to keep the solid purple overdyed, Watercolours 232 African Violet, Scotch stitches in the center.

Now, I’ve added Byzantine using the multicolored Watercolours 296 Stained Glass excluding the yellow and green portions. I did do some manipulating of the overdyed thread as I stitched but didn’t go crazy. This is better.

I am very excited about my plans for each corner. That’s next. Since the overall design size is 4″ square, this was an easier size to start with and is stitching up quickly. We got another canvas for an 8″ square design and lots more thread including Tahiti. This is our practice canvas!