Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Build Your Own Geometric with Kurdy Biggs
July 3, 2020, 1:37 pm
Filed under: ANG Cyberworshop, Build Your Own Geometric-Kurdy Biggs

Luckily, online classes are keeping me busy. Kurdy Biggs began Build Your Own Geometric with Lesson 1 on July 1. There will be weekly lessons for a month.

We were given a template to follow and shapes of about 2 dozen stitch patterns to cut out. Using a glue stick, we place stitches wherever we want. Fun!!

I made all the large and small points the same. I placed two designs in the six center motifs and did that the same in each diamond. Then, I decided to vary the rest of the large and small fills and rectangles from diamond to diamond.

Making the colors consistent while varying the stitches will add a cohesiveness and balance to the various motifs. Since this design is a little too much of the same in each smaller diamond, I will make another crack at the design.



Spring Sampler, Bands 4 and 22
June 30, 2020, 3:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I had hoped to get another band done before posting but decided that I really need more Silk Lame Braid Petite. So, here are Bands 4 and 22 in the overdyed Waterlilies with the last cross in Bijoux MMT441. The Scotch stitches are Splendor S809. Band 22 is from the stitch patterns that Kathy Rees provided in one of her classes. And, Band 4 is a variation of Square of Scotch with Tie of a Windmill from Sandra Arthur’s Shapes of Needlepoint series 1, page 67.

They tie into Bands 10 and 16 with the threads used but are larger. And, because I used the dark Splendor from the center band for the corner Scotch stitches, it ties the design to the center and as well.



Canvas Master Craftsman Program, Step 2

For Step 2 of the Canvas Master Craftsman Certification Program through EGA, I was tasked with a provided geometric design of 21 areas to be done in an analogous colorway using 21 different stitches in cotton floss. Some stitch patterns could accommodate 2 or 3 colors.

I selected Yellow, Yellow-Green, and Green for my analogous colorway (3 adjacent colors on the color wheel including a primary color; tints and shades allowed). There are a lot of greens. So many that you’d think it would be easy to get colors to look good together. But, it was tough. Not all of the first 15 colors worked.

So, I decreased the number of colors to 11 (5 yellow, 3 yellow-green, and 3 green), replaced one color, and spread out the colors relying on the 5 yellow colors to unify the design.

I mapped out the stitch patterns by area on my computer to minimize the amount of compensation because none of the stitches fit perfectly (probably by intention to test compensation ability). I thought I had everything where I wanted them but then realized I was off by 2 threads when I actually transferred the design to the canvas.

So, back to decide what went where. Only about 6 stitch patterns shifted. And, everything compensated better. A

After some practice stitching to settle on the number of threads needed for a stitch, I finally started stitching the real piece. The only section I had to restitch was the Turkey Work. As I worked from bottom to top, the nap of the threads were pressed downward. So, I didn’t notice that the coverage wasn’t as full as I expected when it was fluffed up. I used 2 strands in the left area and 6 strands (as Mary Corbet suggests in her YouTube video). Much better! At least the stitching was easy to remove from the backside.  

I was once again thrilled to find out that I passed with distinction and have been asked to send this for display at EGA National Seminar in 2021 along with Step 1 which would have been going to EGA National Seminar this year except that it was canceled due to coronavirus.

A few threads at the outside right portion of the Turkey work would benefit from additional trimming but overall is “good” (although it could have been squished in transit). I was particularly pleased to have the judges note the “very good” compensation between multiple areas and threads were laid well.

On to Step 3 and diaper patterns!

Read all about the program at https://egausa.org/certifications/master-craftsman-program/.



Barbara’s Patchwork Finished

I finished the counted project begun with my ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter. It is ANG’s Stitch of the Month (SOTM) from 1999, Barbara’s Patchwork. We decided to hand out the remaining 3 sections last month since people had time to stitch. Several of us have finished now and we enjoyed seeing the various colorways.

The final stitched area is 5″ x 5″.



Vase 3 of 5 Vases by Sharon G
June 8, 2020, 12:25 pm
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, Vases, Sharon G

This is a Sharon G painted canvas, Vases with Curly Bamboo.

Using single strands of Gloriana Silk Floss 018 Teal Twilight allowed the canvas to show through a lot. The overdyed effect of the thread is very subtle and you almost don’t see it. The Bijoux 480 Regalia is more evident in the Hungarian Variation (over 2, 4, 2).

I especially liked her suggestion to stitch right over the dragonfly so that the vase would show through the sheer wings. The wings are long stitches raying out from the body using Kreinik Cord 034C Confetti. Sharon recommended a black vein down the center of each wing but I prefer the iridescent effect. The black Kreinik Japan thread 110J was very nice to work with and was couched with Kreinik Cord 005C. Both are smooth and reflect a little light but are not sparkly like most Kreinik threads.

She gave us #5 gold beads that I thought were just too big and too gold. So, I went into my stash and found a more muted yellow-gold semi translucent bead in 2 sizes with the larger one used on the head and smaller ones along the body (probably 8/0 and 11/0 round beads). And, two Sundance 455 beads are the eyes.

These vases are working up quite nicely. I’m very happy that the shading on the vases are not entirely covered up. This vase has a more open effect than the past 2 vases and Amy Bunger’s third vase has the most coverage of her 3 vases. And, Tony Minieri’s stitches are covering most of the canvas as they did the first 2 vases.

Our ANG Main Line chapter members are enjoying the opportunity to see the approach to the canvas from the different stitch guide writers even though they are not stitching the piece.

Last month’s meeting went well via Zoom. Everyone enjoyed getting together. So, we’re going to keep going on Zoom until we can meet in person. To see the needlepoint best for Show and Tell, people sent me their photos and then I shared my screen. And, at this month’s meeting tonight on June 8, we’ll be looking at the 4th vase, the gold one.



Spring Sampler is Banding Along

I continue to make progress and have added 6 more bands 5-6-7 on top and 19-20-21 on bottom. This is an update on my symmetrical band sampler from the Making Stitches Work For You class with Carolyn Mitchell that has ended now.

Bands 7 and 19 are both over 6 canvas threads using the key thread, an overdyed purple thread (Waterlilies 006 Amethyst). In order to see the pattern of the stitch, I used just 2 stands. These are both cross stitch patterns from The Encyclopedia of Canvas Embroidery Stitch Patterns by Katharine Ireys. Band 7 is Triple Cross Variation over 6 and Band 19 is Brazilian Variation over 6.

Bands 6 and 20 are both padded with an oblong cross using 2 strands of Planet Earth Silk 6-ply Palm Beach 1126.  There are straight stitches over top on Band 6 and oblong crosses over top on Band 20 using Bijoux MMT423 (from Sherlee Lantz/Maggie Lane A Pageant of Pattern for Needlepoint Canvas and Sandy Arthur Shapes of Needlepoint Series 1, respectively). Little oblong crosses are in between each padded oblong cross using Splendor S864.

I came across two different but related stitches in two resources. Band 5 came from Lone Star’s Grab -n- Go Stitches which are unnamed but I am calling a Reverse Leviathan because Band 21 is called Leviathan in The Encyclopedia of Canvas Embroidery Stitch Patterns by Katharine Ireys. The rays either go toward the center or towards the corners. I used the same threads as in Bands 6 and 20.

I like how the diamond shapes are carrying throughout the bands.



Creating Klimt Kimono by Toni Gerdes, an ANG Cyberpointers Workshop
May 27, 2020, 7:43 am
Filed under: ANG CyberPointer's chapter, Klimt Kimono

Creating the Klimt Kimono is continuing with two challenges for me.

Couching Gimp from Painters Thread Collection with one stand of Soie d’ alger is difficult because there isn’t anything to anchor to when starting or ending the couching thread. Toni suggested a few pin stitches in “a straight area within the line you will cover” – that would help. I was only thinking about right where I was starting. Hiding the tails are not easy either.

I am using Stardust from brown paper packages for the first time. The thread which is a blend of silk, Merino wool, polyester, and nylon has a feel that I don’t care for. It feels artificial somehow. It’s also thick making its use in an eyelet tough. And, it’s a “Z” twist and I have a tough enough time getting the twist on the more common “S” threads. Toni was proactive in addressing the second two issues. She said that you can remove one of the silk threads, twist counterclockwise, and use shorter lengths which helped me alot wherever I need to use it. But, it’ll never be a favorite thread for me.

My only slight modifications are in the bottom left corner, the white diagonal gobelin is outlined with a long black thread of Silk Lame Braid for 18 count. I separated out one of the silk strands and used it to couch down the center of the thread every couple of canvas threads. And, the Smyrnas seemed too thick using Silk Lame Braid for 18 count. So, I pulled out one silk strand.

Areas 60-94 from Lesson 2 are done. I do love counted work and how this is looking. I’ve used all the threads now at least once.

I’m going to have to couch some swirls in between stitching Areas 95-130 from Lesson 3 or else I’ll be left with too much couching at the end. I hope that the more I do, the easier it gets.



Klimt Kimono by Toni Gerdes, ANG Cyberpointers Workshop
May 23, 2020, 4:51 pm
Filed under: ANG CyberPointer's chapter, Klimt Kimono

I signed up for Klimt Kimono by Toni Gerdes through ANG’s Cyberpointers chapter before knowing that we’d be in a coronavirus pandemic. I got the option that included the instructions, line drawn canvas, and threads. In other words, everything was supplied! Luckily, I had the proper sizes of Evertite bars and enough tacks.

The instructions are supplemented by a weekly release of notes from Toni. And, she answers questions via a private email group. All I did was stitch the tree so far because I was working on the other band sampler.

However, I didn’t realize this workshop only runs a month. I have been reading the lesson notes. Toni’s instructions are great, as usual. So, I should be fine. But, I am going to switch projects until the end of May to see if I have any questions.

I loved playing with the color shift on the overdyed thread. I made some vary by 1″ and 2″ increments for all 4 threads, for 2 threads, reversed some threads. After cutting ends even, I ended up with about 24″ length threads. That’s a great option for use of overdyed threads.

The markings you see are from a Copic marker that came with the supplies. Coloring in other areas with be optional.



Spring Sampler Continues to Bloom

One of the elements I applied from Carolyn’s sampler is that while different stitches are used, they appear related.

I do have another skein of Waterlilies in a different lot number. It is very close but closer to the blueish purples. The next two medium Bands 10 and 16 are Sprats Head with a diagonal base and Waffle, respectively. They used almost a whole skein of Waterlilies 006 Amethyst.

For two other larger bands, Bands 8 and 18, also serving as focal points and related to the center band, I selected two other composite stitches from Kathy Rees’ diagrams modified as needed for my space. I had one full card of Silk Lame Braid For 18 count SL110 and 144″ on a second card in my stash. I did the math to make sure I had enough for both bands. So, I was surprised to have 12″ left!

In between Bands 8 and 10 is Band 9 which is 3 canvas threads, I used another couching stitch, Diagonal Weave Couching. And, for Band 17 another row of 3 canvas threads between Bands 16 and 18 is a staggered cross stitch over a laid thread. For both Bands 9 and 17, the laid thread is Neon Ray’s N127 and couched by Splendor S812.



Barbara’s Patchwork, Area G
May 5, 2020, 2:30 pm
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, Barbara's Patchwork

We are more than half done 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.

The Byzantine stitch over 2 threads is the main pattern but there is an Eyelet added for interest. I chose Kreinik #12 Braid 421 for some sparkle.

I decided to remove the light Color A floss on the top and bottom edges of Areas B and D. Instead, I used the same Kreinik just used in Area G.

Due to the coronavirus, our chapter will meet via Zoom at our normal day and time. It’s nice that the ANG Area representative wants to join us and introduce herself in person as it were.

I think Show and Tell will take awhile because we’ve all been stitching so much. Then, we’ll be discussing the rest of the sections of Barbara’s Patchwork and see where everyone is with Crescent Journey. If time allows, I have a discussion planned about thread and stitch selections for a canvas other than the Vases canvas to see how it translates online. In case Zoom is our only option for a while, I better figure out how best to use it.