Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Welcome A Ray of Sunshine, Fiona
March 24, 2020, 2:03 pm
Filed under: Melita's Designs, Welcome Baby Fiona

My husband and I have another adorable great niece. Norah welcomed a baby sister, Fiona, to our world in January. It took me awhile to decide what to stitch for her. Luckily, I decided on the design and obtained the Aida cloth and threads sometime in February.

When I started this about two weeks ago, I wasn’t even concerned about coronavirus. I was planning on it being my travel piece. Now, all travel seems unlikely for quite a while. But, by staying safe now, we’ll get back to traveling eventually. So, I continue to stitch this piece because the colors are bright and happy. And, we’re seeing cute posts on Facebook about the girls.

Normally, I would wait to post this until it is done. But, Fiona’s mom knows that I am stitching something for her. And, I doubt she reads my blog. I just won’t put this on Facebook.

Fiona is an Irish name meaning “fair, white, beautiful”. White light is composed of the seven colors of the spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo (blue-violet, not used in this rainbow), and violet. Those are also the colors which were used in Norah’s piece. Since they will likely share a bedroom, I decided to coordinate the design with that done for Norah. Instead of repeating balloons, I emphasized a rainbow theme adding 3 small rainbows in Fiona’s name. The alphabet is the same one I used for Norah but hers only had one rainbow in her name. The chart was modified to fit my height and width but is based on the Irish lettering in chart 73 on pg 26 from Leisure Arts 120 Alphabets Leaflet 2285.

I used as many of the same colors used in Norah’s piece including DMC flosses: yellow 444, green 701, green 700 which is a little darker for the green in Fiona, blue 825, violet 552, red 666, red 666, and orange 970. Again, I used Kreinik #12 braid 010HL for the pot and #8 braid 002 for the gold.



Hearts Galore!
March 20, 2020, 7:59 am
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, Hearts of Hospice

We are fortunate to have several new members in our ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter. In the last newsletter, I mentioned the Hearts for Hospice program we stitched for in 2018 and was asked what I was talking about.

I’d been including free heart resources and sharing them in our newsletter periodically in case people want to stitch more of them. So, I gathered all the information together and sent it to my chapter. And, it dawned on me that it might be a great resource to share with everyone now. Maybe you have some stash and want a smaller, easier project to keep you occupied during these difficult days. Perhaps you can make a heart for the ANG Greater Kansas City chapter, an upcoming ANG auction, or for a friend to lift their spirits.

The ANG Greater Kansas City Chapter began a Hearts for Hospice program several years ago. A heart, placed on the resident’s door, notifies passers by of 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 (multiple facilities may benefit).

In 2018, I came up with a design and provided stitch suggestions from Father B’s 21st Century Book of Stitches. The instructions got published in the Needle Pointer’s article, Caring Hearts, in Needle Pointer’s Jan/Feb 2019, Volume 47, No. 1, pages 22-29. ANG members need to log in to open digital versions of all issues (dating back to 2017). Go to https://www.needlepoint.org/page/NeedlePointers, scroll down to Click Here.

In the same issue on page 21, an article discusses the hospice program and how to contact them. And, they mention that Heart of Hearts designed by Barbara Richardson is available in the Needlepoint Now Jan/Feb 2019 issue which I stitched in blue threads from my stash (https://www.needlepointnow.com/product/january-february-2019/). There is another one done recently in that same design using an overdyed thread from Colour Complements (https://colourcomplements.com/2020/03/hearts-for-hospice-needlepoint-colour-complements.html).

Later, the instructions for my bargello heart were published in Needle Pointer’s Jul/Aug/Sept 2019, Volume 47, No. 4, pages 30-32.

Then, I stitched a variation of the bargello heart.

I haven’t gone back to the hearts since stitching those but there are lots more to choose from. Check out all these resources!

There are 12 wonderful, free heart designs at https://www.rainbowgallery.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/DDPScan_04_14_16001.pdf. They are 3½” x 3½” and that’s just big enough for the Hearts for Hospice program. It also looks like they are open patterns which will work up quickly and would even look nice on a metallic canvas.

Here are more free patterns for small hearts from the National Academy of Needlearts at: https://needleart.org/publications/free-patterns/hearts/ They also offer an excellent introduction to needlepoint piece at: https://needleart.org/publications/free-patterns/free-kente-patterns/

Lorraine (Colour Complements) has a wonderful line of hand-dyed threads and blogs regularly. She shared a couple of hearts designed by Sue Dulle that you can download for free. The hearts use threads from Colour Complements. Very pretty. https://colourcomplements.com/2019/11/hearts-for-hospice-needlepoint-colour-complements-embroidery-threads.html and at https://colourcomplements.com/2019/12/hospice-hearts-hand-dyed-threads-colour-complements.html

The Enriched Stitch, a needlepoint store in Wilton, CT has provided a free stitch guide for this heart at http://astheneedleturns.com/rhodes-heart-stitch-along-with-suzie/ which you can do with any variety of colors and threads.

There is an ANG Correspondence Course, Hearts of Gold, with Michele Roberts available at https://www.needlepoint.org/page/2020HeartsofGold. I obtained the booklet when ANG Cyberpointers offered it and am really glad I did. This is an extensive resource with so much more than just designs for hearts or teaching bargello patterns. This also covers:

  • Adding non-Bargello stitches.
  • How to achieve color separation through tints and shades of gold and light refraction.
  • Regular and consistent patterns, twilled, graduated, and staggered patterns.
  • Combining different patterns laterally, even if twilled or graduated.
  • Exposed and covered burden work.
  • Instructions on finishing and how to do beaded cording.

Free from DMC, there’s a bargello heart (https://www.dmc.com/us/bargello-heart-pattern-9007135.html) and a beauty should have you an expert in French Knots by the time you are done (uses just 2 colors but blended into each randomly). https://www.dmc.com/us/love-dots-pattern-9007137.html Both are great stash busters!

Hopefully, we can stay healthy (remain inside and isolated as much as possible), move/stretch (try seated stretches with Mike at https://youtu.be/ZTXfdk0G4Y4), be productive (clean/organize even if just an hour a day), manage stress and anxiety (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html), get rest, and get a lot of stitching done.



Woodlawn Needlework Exhibit 2020
March 9, 2020, 11:46 am
Filed under: General comments, Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition

March means that the month-long Woodlawn Needlework Show is going on again. I’ve been going since 2010 and the number of entries had been on a steady decline until this year. The highs were 600+ (681 in 2011) through 2013, dropped to 500+ through 2016, further dropped to 400+ through 2018, and the lowest last year at 360. But, it is nice to see it on the rise again at 484 entries this year. Because there were more pieces and some really large ones, some of the pieces were hung quite high way above eyesight. Bill & I picked a glorious sunny weekend to visit. So, some photos have glare from the sun coming in the windows or because of glass over the needlework. Since photos from a distance were allowed, I’ll show a few walls. And, closer photos are all Commercial pieces. If anyone can name the designer of the pieces I didn’t, please leave a comment. Thanks in advance.

Spoiler alert! I list winners of ribbons which are all listed on the website: http://www.woodlawnpopeleighey.org/annualneedleworkshow/ . It looked like more ribbons were awarded this year. But, even the ones without ribbons were great. I’m always glad I’m not a judge. And, that brings me to my review of select pieces with the entry number and category in parens. I identified any designers and websites that I know.

Last year there were only 2 original designs entered under Canvaswork Multi-Stitch (4+) Adult. This year there are 7 pieces. Mine is called Tahitian Treat with a 12″ square design area and it got 3rd Place (147, top piece in Photo 1). I was really taken by Joan’s lengthy panoramic view of seascape (893, Commercial Counted Cross, Senior, Honorable Mention, third one from the top in Photo 1). Lynn stitched the Maine Lobster Shack on Bailey’s Island which is by Sea Breeze Designs available at The Wellesley Needlepoint Collection online or in Wellesley, MA (30 minutes west of Boston if you are going to EGA National Seminar in Boston Sept 4-8, 2020).

Photo 1

It is very cool to see Heather from my ANG Keystone Garden chapter get 1st Place and a Judge’s Award (855) in the same category as mine. She also got 1st Place for a beautiful, very long Multi-Stitch Commercial Sampler on linen (857). Congrats Heather!

My piece hitched a ride with Linda who delivered 27 pieces from 17 people from New Jersey Needle Artists chapter members (127-153). And, 12 won 15 awards from 1st place to Honorable Mention! Most are in the Canvaswork Multi-Stitch (4+) Adult Commercial category. Congratulations to all the NJNA members!

I found 9 pieces stitched by members of NJNA who did Autumn Kaleidoscope by Lorene Salt for their annual group submission (see lorenesaltneedlearts.com). They are done in different colorways and all looked really good. Their 9 pieces (I hope I didn’t miss any) are spread out in different rooms. Don’t miss Diane’s SOTM in the small upstairs attic staircase with the Halloween pieces. Many or all of the current SOTM pieces are on the NJNA blog (blog.njneedleartists.org).

Jill got 1st Place (150, top piece in Photo 2). Also shown is Ellen’s Patchouli designed by Tony Minieri (149, bottom piece in Photo 2). That one’s interesting to me because I ran into Kristen from my ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter at the framer recently and that was one of the pieces that she was getting framed (see tonyminieri.com).

Photo 2

Although it didn’t get a ribbon, I was taken with how bold the colors were in Janet’s SOTM (139, top framed piece in Photo 3) and how the aqua cooled the piece down. Noelle from NJNA also caught up with last year’s SOTM designed by Debbie Rowley, Linda Reinmiller, Mary Knapp, and Pat Hartman (132, bottom framed piece in Photo 3). It was created for ANG Stitch of the Month in 2019 as a Mystery Project. All ANG SOTM designs which began in 1998 are available free to all members (see needlepoint.org).

Photo 3

There were 2 flags (do not know who the Commercial designer is) that have all the states listed by dates of admission into the United States. Margaret stitched one (140, 3rd Place) and Cynthia stitched hers with Virginia in another color because she lives in Virginia (102, 2nd Place, top piece in Photo 4).

Photo 4

A few familiar names to me who all won awards across a variety of categories included Norma Hiller (305, 306), Christin Loudon (307, Commercial Canvaswork Multi-Stitch Senior) for her 4-piece patriotic train which is sitting on the mantle in Photo 4, Donna LaBranche (381, 382), Ruth Dilts (478-479), Theresa Baird (483) for an original Multi-stitch Sampler Senior, Donna Pence (491), and Catherine Jordan’s original designs, Pilgrim Map and Whale Tales Journal (808-810, see where she’ll be teaching them later this year on her website at catherinesdesigns.net).

Norma Hiller (306) and Donna LaBranche (381) both stitched Ambrosia Honey which was published in EGA’s magazine, Needle Arts, in the June 2017, September 2017, December 2017 and March 2018 issues (see egausa.org). Norma’s is in the middle column, 3rd from the top in Photo 5. Also, in the middle column of Photo 5 are 2 pieces that didn’t get ribbons but really caught my attention. The top one by Natalie is a Counted Cross Stitch Commercial piece of a train in a city scene in a bottle (363). It was too high to get a good look at but the appearance of the glass and all the shading is fantastic especially around the edges and top in front of the cork. And, Whirligig designed by Joan Zimmerman (131, bottom one) by Joan from NJNA is striking and what a great frame. Shirley stitched Deborah Forney’s Healing Labyrinth 1 (173, Honorable Mention, left column, 2nd from the top in Photo 5) (looks like Deborah only has a Facebook page under ‘Deborah Forney Needlework’). An original design was cropped out of Photo 5. The Quilting Angel designed by Jim Shore was stitched by Michele (911, right column, top one).

Photo 5

Mary got 1st Place for her adaptation of a 2016 EGA Correspondence Course, Bargello Challenge, offered by Gail Stafford (347, upper left piece in Photo 6). I can’t find Gail’s website but she teaches regularly through ANG and EGA (try contacting either organization).

It was great to see Barbara’s Mystery of Life designed by Sue Reed (433, upper right corner of Photo 6) because I’d recently seen my Main Line Stitchers chapter member Linda’s finished piece. At suereed.squarespace.com, you can find her piece(s).

Photo 6

Donna Pence’s 32-count miniature tiger stitched on gauze won 1st Place and the Pope-Leighey Award (491, Commercial Senior, right column 4th one from top). In the second column from the right, 2nd from the top (344), Jim stitched a piece that was on the cover of Cross Stitch & Needlework, May/June 2000 issue. In the left column, 4th from the top (358, 1st Place), Caroline used Danish Flower thread, a thread I’ve never seen but I did find it online in the US at Alex-Paras NeedleArts, from a Danish kit.

Photo 7

There is another amazing piece depicting the Copenhagen Harbor by Caroline (359, Commercial Cross Stitch Senior, 2nd Place) that used a large variety of colors of Danish Flower Thread in the piece sitting on the mantle in Photo 8. The kit was from the Danish Handcraft Guild and measures 6 feet wide and 12 inches tall. I get lots of hits for books and kits using the term ‘Danish Handcraft Guild’. And, I found the North House Folk School teaching Danish Embroidery and so much more with fiber art, beading, basketry, and hand-sewn leather projects in Grand Marais, MN (see northhouse.org).

Photo 8

Ruth’s frame around a mirror (479, Commercial Canvaswork Multi-Stitch Senior, piece on the bottom in Photo 9) had some quite interesting patterns with some sparkling threads. This is a Susan Porta design. No wonder I liked it. I have several of Susan’s pieces in my To Do pile (see susanporta.com). Don’t know how I could have avoided having my shirt and purse strap showing in the mirror. Also pictured (144, in the middle of Photo 9) is another SOTM by Linda with NJNA done in bold colors and again with some cooling blues that I like as much as any of the others. The Pilgrim lady (447, on the top of Photo 9) is an ancestor of Patti, the stitcher, who used her own hair to enhance the piece.

Photo 9

There was another stitched frame done in cross stitch by Mary (419, Commercial, right piece in Photo 10) that caught my eye as well perhaps because the stitching is red against a black and white photo or because the inner corners are not squared.

Photo 10

In 2016, they allowed pieces for sale (at the request of the stitcher & priced by the stitcher with a commission applied). This year 30 pieces are for sale ranging from $50 to $5,000. I’m not going to show them but a peacock with a sculpted mat (928, Commercial Beadwork) and a tree with the sun chasing away winter (500, Original Surface Embroidery) that are the most expensive ones are heavily beaded and very colorful.

Speaking of beads, the piece done by Patricia in entirely in Delica Beads (Commercial Beadwork, not for sale) was absolutely amazing (453, top piece in Photo 11). I just love Monet & this depicts the colors in his Garden at Giverney. The Paris skyline (129, Commercial Canvaswork Multi-stitch, middle piece in Photo 11) was done by Rosie from NJNA and got 2nd Place. The stitch selection for the sky is quite different (not sure what it is) and shading really caught my eye. And, I’m not familiar with the designer of the geometric done by Kathryn, an original member of Nelly’s Needlers, (475, Commercial Canvaswork Multi-Stitch Senior, bottom piece in Photo 11) but the colors are amazing. It won 1st Place and the Adelaide Bolte Award.

Photo 11

There were 2 Commercial designs both stitched by Nancy with NJNA that I was familiar with including Diane Herrmann’s Walking The Water’s Edge (322, Canvaswork, Multi-stitch, top piece in Photo 12) which I have stitched (see dianeherrmann.com for her designs). And, Tropical Punch (320, Canvaswork, Multi-stitch, 2nd place, bottom piece in Photo 12) designed by Deb Rowley (see debbeesdesigns.com). An original design was cropped out of the photo.

Photo 12

Laura Perin’s Daffodil Collage done by Sondra (948, 2nd Place, top piece in Photo 13) reminds me that it is in my To Do pile. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at her designs (lauraperindesigns.net). Also in Photo 13 on the bottom is a beautiful example of Japanese Embroidery done by T Ann (397, Commercial Senior, 3rd Place).

Photo 13

Under A Copper Moon designed by Toni Gerdes was stitched by Barbara (368, 2nd Place, Photo 14). Toni uses a batik fabric applique in the lower left corner and a hot foil technique to create the first layer of the moon which is later appliqued in place. With the variety of techniques, I have been intrigued by this piece. And, I love the colors. See Toni’s website (tonigerdes.com) and where she’ll be teaching later this year.

Photo 14

I stitched Michele Robert’s CyberWorkshop called The Exodus Breastplate as did Marilyn Court Photo 15). Also, in the room is Marilyn’s piece from an ANG Correspondence Course from 1996 called Old Staffordshire designed by Kathleen Rake (bottomright corner in Photo 16). Neither are available now. You can see both and more past award winners in the special exhibit room upstairs that is celebrating the 45th anninersary of Nelly’s Needlers. There are several other special exhibits to check out including The Fiber Art of Roxana Alger Geffen (a local artist), The Shenandoah Valley Tapestry (spearheaded by the Winchester Chapter of EGA; 81 stitchers from US and around the world brought this piece to life along with 1,400 people who took just one stitch in the piece including myself), and Girl Power which are pieces created by children representing our next generation of crafters.

Photo 15
Photo 16

There wasn’t as many goldwork pieces as usual but what I did see was lovely including a small bird stitched by Raven (175, Commercial, 2nd Place), Sue Ellen’s butterfly (309, Commercial, 1st Place, Photo 17), Joyce’s Fleur de Lys (312, Commercial), Susan’s original design of a shell (407, 1st Place), and a purse with a long feather (874, Commercial, Honorable Mention).

Photo 17

There was a set of kneelers (329-333, 335-338, 439) all of which got Honorable Mention except for Barbara’s which got 2nd Place (335). They were all done with excellent technique. So, my guess is that Barbara who is also the designer of the original pieces got 2nd Place.

Many of the Commercial cross stitch pieces are very impressive because of all the detail cross stitch allows and partly because they are so large. I liked Lisa’s dog in leaves (110), Escher stairs with 50 shades of grey stitched by Michelle (319), Theresa’s A Stitch in Time (designed by Aimee Stewart – google her designs) which depicts 4 seasons, different rooms, sewing implements, and 20 stitchers throughout time (365, 3rd Place), Ronda Lynn’s A Bowl of Christmas which is a large framed half circle of a Christmas scene that was too pretty to be used as tree skirt (366), Renata’s rainbow band sampler which reminds me of an un-Twisted Rainbow Sampler by Northern Expressions Needlework that I saw there a few years ago but it’s probably not their design (858, 1st Place, Photo 18), Michelle’s large elegant lady (862, bottom left piece in Photo 6), Michele’s The Joy of a Beautiful Quilt (911, upper right piece in Photo 5), Annie’s red heart outlined by black stitching (923) and another large sleeping lady (942, bottom right piece in Photo 6). And, Doris’ original design of Santa with a flowing robe delivering a beautiful tree (941, Honorable Mention).

Photo 18

Bill used his People’s Choice vote for Anita’s original design Year of the Woman – From the Dawn of Time because of the originality and research involved. There are 180 of the most famous women throughout history based on contributions to society and the world that are depicted in the piece (486, Cross Stitch, 2nd Place). You can see this at the ANG New Jersey Needle Artists blog.

I voted for Karen’s original design of 4 seascapes (449, Surface Embroidery) that won 1st Place and a Judge’s Award. It really makes you hear the ocean, one of my favorite sounds. You can see this piece (diamond shaped piece as a whole and close up for each of the four sections) at EGA’s website https://egausa.org/gallery/2017-fiber-forum/

Before we left, I purchased a new guest bathroom towel stitched by a Nelly Needler (Photo 19).

Photo 19

Lastly, please leave a comment with the name and/or designer of any pictured pieces. Others may be interested. Many thanks. And, I hope you make the trip to see all the pieces in person. It’s a wonderful exhibit.



Arrival of Spring with Gail Stafford and ANG Keystone Garden Chapter
March 5, 2020, 4:54 pm
Filed under: ANG Keystone Garden Chapter

There is still time to sign up for Arrival of Spring with Gail Stafford for a 2-day workshop. You don’t have to be a member of ANG or the local chapter for this class.

Date: June 6 – 7, 2020 (Saturday and Sunday)

Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm with 1 hour luck break (and a couple of short breaks during the class)

Location: Buckingham Township Center, Rt 413 and Old York Road in Buckingham PA

Costs:

  • Class Fee: $140.00
  • Kit Fee: $84.00

Payment Schedule:

  • $50.00 non-refundable deposit
  • $174.00 balance due May 1, 2020

Supplies to bring to class: 10″ x 12″ stretcher bars, usual stitching supplies, light and magnification (no extension cords so make sure your light is battery operated or rechargeable).

Leave a comment and I will provide the contact person’s name and email address.

Arrival of Spring



Barbara’s Patchwork, Area F
March 4, 2020, 12:00 pm
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, Barbara's Patchwork

We are moving right along on one of the counted projects with my ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter which is ANG’s Stitch of the Month (SOTM) from 1999, Barbara’s Patchwork.

Area F is described as a patterned Bargello design. It’s certainly not a conventional Bargello pattern with stitches over 4 canvas threads. But, what’s in a name.

Please join us March 9 (always the second Monday of the month from 7-9 pm) at Starbucks in Wayne, PA (218 Lancaster Ave). We will show some of Toni Minieri and Amy Bunger’s DVD on Back to Basics. Then, after Show and Tell, we’ll be discussing the next section of Barbara’s Patchwork and Crescent Journey. Even if you’re not stitching these pieces, there are interesting discussions about color choices and stitch selections.



Needle Arts, EGA’s Magazine, Master Craftsman Program Canvas
February 26, 2020, 2:52 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Embroiderer’s Guild of America (EGA) magazine is called Needle Arts and the latest issue (Volume 51, Number 1, March 2020) arrived at home a couple of days ago and I just opened it up. Accompanying it was the Education Catalog 2020-2023. What a wonderful surprise it was to see my fish on page 5 advertising Step 1 of the Canvas Embroidery Master Craftsman Program.

Another women’s piece is shown for Step 3 to demonstrate diaper patterns.

Speaking of Step 3, I purchased Ann Strite-Kurz’s booklet and CD called Diaper Patterns. Ann signed it for me, “Welcome to my world of Diaper Patterns”. And, what a world! More like a universe. Not only does she walk you through how to create them but she has so many examples in the book and hundreds on the CD. I love the chapter with examples from a lot of designers and teachers.

I started playing with patterns almost immediately. Learning by doing is more fun than just reading. The possibilities are endless!


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Blanton’s Bottle Progress
February 22, 2020, 8:13 pm
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, Blanton's Bottle

There was a nice turn out for today’s Main Line Stitch-in with a surprise Show ‘n Tell from 3 members. I’m gathering photos of pieces to send to the graphic artist who will create our advertising postcard featuring a couple of pieces for our month-long exhibit at the Media Arts Council Gallery which will be starting July 11. It’s open to the public.

Today, I continued with the Woven stitch using 2 strands of Bijoux Tiger Eye MMT482 on the Blanton’s canvas. The open stitch and thin thread allows the colors of the canvas to show through. Since I really didn’t understand the white areas, I am happy that they are much less apparent. Next month, Saturday March 28, I should finish the glass bottle.

Please join us any fourth Saturday of the month from 11 am – 3 pm at Starbucks in Wayne, PA (218 Lancaster Ave).

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