Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Woodlawn Roadtrip 2019
March 31, 2019, 9:53 am
Filed under: General comments, Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition

This year, my husband and I waited to go to Woodlawn until the last weekend in March and had some nice weather in Alexandria, VA. We arrived Friday and walked up and down King Street. Saturday was a really spectacular day for spring. So, we strolled around the Farmer’s Market before heading to Woodlawn.

As usual, the pieces were wonderful. The ones that I have stitched or ones that I own and want to stitch is one category of needlepoint that I love to see there. It’s also been great fun to watch all the members from the ANG New Jersey Needle Artists chapter submit the same design in different colorways. I love seeing pieces submitted by people I know or designed by people I know. And, getting to see such beautiful cross stitch makes me want to pull out some of those pieces that I have in my stash. I’m always in awe of people who stitch on really small count, 32, 40, and gauze! So, I basically I really enjoyed seeing just about everything.

There were about 360 judged entries this year. But, there was also exhibits by Richard Saja in French and English toile (which is cloth with a part of the design being embroidered), Catherine Hicks displayed her embroidery of various portraits, and The Washington DC Chapter of the Embroiderer’s Guild of America who is celebrating their 45th anniversary by displaying pieces entered into previous Woodlawn shows. So, lots of fantastic needlepoint on display.

I enjoyed seeing Deborah Merrick-Wilson demonstrating goldwork. My second goldwork class was with her. I ran into her a couple of years ago too. Couldn’t time my visits to better if I tried!

And, Elise B’s punch needle display of her embroidery and punch needle pieces were interesting. You can see them on her etsy shop or website under TheComptoir. Reminded me of the toile work displayed upstairs.

Carole B from NJ who used to be in my ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter submitted a couple of pieces including Jewels of the Tsars by Sue Reed. And, her piece in the box is a finial from a Tony Mineri mystery class (can be seen in Photo 3).

A Catherine Jordan design was done by Heather Lynn G, a member of my ANG Keystone Garden chapter. She painted the river and stitched a forest very similar to Catherines’s Birches on the River.

There were 2 Gay Ann Roger’s pieces called Queen Victoria Royal Bride (by Marian S) and Eleanor of Aquitaine (by Donna P) were lovely. Marian also stitched Day Into Night by Judy Souliotis which is stunning.

I think I missed one of the Stars of the New Millennium (a Tony Minieri design) (a docent said 9 were from NJNA including Mally, Sylvia, Nancy, Joan, Andrea, Barbara, Linda, Rosie and 1 from Mary W from VA). It would have been nice to see them all together in a room. The colorways were all great combinations. Two of these are shown in Photo 4 (upper right corner) and Photo 6 (top). Speaking of NJNA, Cathryn C stitched a beautiful canvas of gold which reminded me of Golden Friends by Toni Gerdes. I’ll have to find out that designer. And, Dee L stitched from the 2013 ANG Chapter Project Book called Starburst by Patricia Hartman which is another piece I’ve got to stitch. Carole B led that project and stitched it for my ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter (another WIP for me).

Laura Perin’s wreath was made into a round but flat (1 & 1/2″ thick) pillow (Janice M). Another one in my stash to do. Speaking of pillows, there was a bargello insert for a bolster pillow. Both were finished well and differently from the usual puffy pillow.

Every one couldn’t help but comment on the 3 dimensional cat (stumpwork) which raised the face off the canvas as it moved toward a totally detached left ear. And, Kristy G used real cat whiskers from her own cat!

The other animal show stopper was an adorable dog which got Bill’s vote (by Kris P). It was cross stitch on 32 count (?) & had so many colors including blues, grays, and black that could only be seen with a flashlight. Speaking of voting, mine went to Junior entry Nathalie S who stitched an exceptionally beautiful goldwork piece that I later found out was a Deborah Merrick-Wilson design and had been taught by Deborah. It is a strawberry, leaves, and a couple of raised flowers. Deborah said it was better than the model! Great praise and wonderful to see a 14-17 year old taking up the craft with such expertise. Another variation of that design was in the EGA room. Both of the pieces we voted for can be seen in Photo 1:

Kurdy Biggs’ large stocking (she designed and stitched it) had a large cuff the shape of home plate of a baseball field bedazzled with beads of all shapes and sizes on an amazing white bumpy fabric that looked really soft (I did not touch). It might be her design called All That Glitters. Kurdy’s is in the center of Photo 2.

Toni Gerdes’ Bronze Purse (by Betty Jo S) reminds me I have to decide what to do with mine. It’s stitched but not finished. Love it but afraid to use it as a clutch bag. So, I’m undecided about what to do with it.

I also could have easily voted for the white dandelion flower on a 12″ hoop done on gauze (Ausra M). French knots in the center, double dark brown threads going into them, and surrounded by single white threads. They displayed it hanging to get the effect of it floating in the air. No wonder it was sold (for $195).

Chris Louden (center of Photo 3), Donna LaBranch (bottom left of Photo 4), and Norma Hiller (center of Photo 5) all stitched a similar but different design called Holiday Patches by Sue Kerndt design. All the motifs are the same except 3 to 4 and colors change (Christmas, maps, and birds). Love these (it’s going to be added to my stash soon)! And, Norma stitched Rachel Atkinson’s Gordian Knot. Always love seeing that piece (on the right side of the mantelpiece with the stockings in Photo 2).

Gail Stafford’s Dusting of Snow (by Susan B) was fun to see because I will be taking that as a class with Gail and some of my ANG Keystone Garden chapter members in June. It’s the one on the right in Photo 3.

This year I saw another Angel of Hope, designer Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum (stitched by Margaret P). This is the same angel that I stitched for my sister, Anita. The frame is fantastic!

My Crescent Journey was at the top of the stairs (in a good sunny spot) at the bottom in Photo 6. I did not get a ribbon but I did get a good critique (first year that was offered and worth $25). The piece falls into the Canvaswork: Multi-Stitch (4+) Adult Original Design category of which there were only 4 entries and only Kurdy Biggs got Honorable Mention for her stocking!

Another change is we are allowed to take photos but not close up to a piece. So, I have included a couple of photos.

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Golden Needle Lee Purse
March 29, 2019, 10:08 am
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2017, Golden Friends by Toni Gerdes

The design, Golden Friends by Toni Gerdes, fit (almost) into the opening of a Lee purse that I have had for quite some time (years). The design was created for the Golden Needle Society of the American Needlepoint Guild.

The outer edge of the cubes are not seen but it’s ok. I really enjoyed stitching the laid fillings in the upper right and bottom left corners (the bibliography cites Jean Taggert’s Laid Fillings for even weave fabrics which I own but haven’t explored yet).

Since I put the piece in a purse, I buried the needle pretty well (especially the pointed tip) and even attached it through the eye. It’s in the upper right corner and represents “how are needlework friends are woven into our lives through membership and participation in the American Needlepoint Guild at the national level and in our local chapters”.

I plan to use the purse for Seminar and chapter events starting with my visit to ANG Delaware Seashore chapter on Monday, April 1. I got it finished yesterday thanks to watching the winning Phillies Home Opener (great game)! The purse was done just in the nick of time. We head to Woodlawn (for the needlepoint exhibit) and then to Rehoboth Beach (for an Overdyed Spools class, shopping at their new needlepoint shop called Stitch-Stash and the outlets, and play some par 3 golf).



Patchwork of Peace, Row 3 Red

Entice is not my favorite thread mainly because it frays badly. I will only use it once per row. In the 10th block from the right, I was using it for the bottom large oblong x but found it was too bulky. So, I thinned the thread down by pulling out 2 rayon strands and 1 polyester strand leaving 3 rayon and 3 polyester strands. I’ve also removed strands from Silk Lame Braid for 18 count which is a combination of silk, rayon, and metalized polyester and is a thread that I much prefer to use. Silk Lame Braid Petite is a similar combination but different percentages, thinner, and also just as nice of a thread to use.

Starting with the block on the right (#1) moving to the left (#11), I used the following threads:

1 – Elegance E820

2 – Planet Earth 6 Ply Silk 1005 (2 strands)

3 – Bella Lusso 764 and Kreinik #8 Braid 061

4 – Pepper Pot Silk 018 (1 ply) and Kreinik #8 Braid 061

5 – Pepper Pot Silk 017 (2 plys) and Needlepoint Inc Silk 503 (3 strands)

6 – Planet Earth 6 ply Silk 1009 and Kreinik #8 Braid 5505

7 – Needlepoint Inc Silk 502 (2 strands) and Silk Lame Braid Petite SP08

8 – Elegance E820

9 – Au Ver A Soie 100/3 499 (2 strands) and Soie d’ Alger 4624 (2 strands)

10 – Entice E239 and Planet Earth 6 ply Silk 1005

11 – Bella Lusso 764



Patchwork of Peace, Row 1 Red

It’s great to use reds and having no issues working with fewer thread options than I had with white. They fit in half of the Bohicket Bag.

I didn’t like the white showing through too much and there are a few stitch patterns open enough to want to color the canvas. Luckily, I had a perfect red Copic sketch marker (R29 Lipstick Red). So, I am going to cover just those blocks that wouldn’t be fully covered by stitches being very careful with the fine tip end not to touch the adjacent threads. The outer edge will be covered by a gold border but I have to be way more careful when I use the marker on the inner rows of the canvas.

Starting with the block on the right (#1) moving to the left (#11), I used the following threads:

1 – Bella Lusso 764 and Planet Earth 6 Ply Silk 1009 (2 strands)

2 – Au Ver A Soie 100/3 SMS499 (2 strands) and Splendor S1005 (2 strands)

3 – Kreinik #8 Braid 5505 and Planet Earth 6 Ply Silk 1009 (2 strands)

4 – Pepper Pot Silk 017 (1 ply) and Silk Lame Braid Petite SP08

5 – Needlepoint Inc Silk 502 (2 strands)

6 – Entice E239 and Splendor S820 (2 strands)

7 – Elegance E820 and Planet Earth 6 Ply Silk 1005 (2 strands)

8 – Pepper Pot Silk 018 (2 plys) and Kreinik #8 Braid 061

9 – Bella Lusso 764 and Planet Earth 6 Ply Silk 1005 (2 strands)

10 – Pepper Pot Silk 017 (1 ply) and Kreinik #8 Braid 003V

11 – Soie d’ Alger 4624 (2 strands) and Au Ver A Soie 100/3 499 (2 strands)



Hearts for Hospice in Needle Pointers
March 14, 2019, 10:41 am
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, Hearts of Hospice

Back in October 2018, I stitched these hearts and shortly thereafter, I was asked by Needle Pointers if they could publish directions for Crescent Journey. But, I hadn’t written them up yet and I was/am working on alternate colorways. Instead, I suggested the heart design instructions that I’d written up for my ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter members as we worked to support the Greater Kansas City Needlepoint Guild (GKCNG) Chapter’s Hearts for Hospice project.

Now, those instructions have been published and are in the article, Caring Hearts, in Needle Pointer’s Jan/Feb 2019, Volume 47, No. 1. As it turned out they were publishing an article about GKCNG’s efforts. So, this made a nice companion article. Coincidentally, Barbara Richardson has a lovely heart design published in Needlepoint Now Jan/Feb 2019, Volume XXI, No. 1. So, there are plenty of options to stitch. I do hope that others can stitch a heart and support GKCNG’s cause. Any questions about their project can be sent to Sue at HeartsForHospiceGKCNG@gmail.com

Caring Hearts 1

Caring Hearts 2



Vineyard Jewels and Colonial Persian

Two new threads for me are Vineyard Jewels and Colonial Persian.

I learned about them from a Rittenhouse Needlepoint’s newsletter:

  • Vineyard Jewels is Wiltex’s new line of metallic thread. The 100% polyester thread comes on 8yd cards. The colors are as bright as Vineyard silk but think metallic braid. The thread size is between a Kreinik #8 and #12 so one strand would be good on 18 count (but also lighter coverage on 14 count) canvas. We currently have the entire line available so make sure to add some “Jewels” to your stash!
  • If you haven’t tried using 100% wool thread because you think the colors aren’t vibrant enough, I have two words for you — “Colonial Persian”.  This is not your mother’s wool thread. We now carry the entire 258 colors in the line and they are gorgeous! The virgin wool combined with the experience and talent of the dyer equals colors that really pop!  Each card is 8 yards but since it’s 3-ply you’re really getting 24 yards if you stitch on 18 mesh canvas. So check out this new line for belts or bags where its strength and durability will be especially useful!

I also read more about them on Janet Perry’s Nut About Needlepoint blog:

I picked up a skein of each at Rittenhouse to test them for myself and to share results with my ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter. Unfortunately, I didn’t care for either. The Vineyard Jewels doesn’t feel or lay as nicely as Kreinik. The thread size is closer to #12 or slightly larger. Coverage wasn’t that great even on the diagonal.  And, Colonial Persian wears and is too “hairy” for me although would be good for certain projects where that effect is desirable. Coverage with one strand (of the 3-plys) on the diagonal is good but not vertically. And, using 2 plys vertically would be too bulky for 18 count.

Join us tomorrow Monday, March 11 at 7 PM in the conference room at Starbucks in Wayne (218 Lancaster Ave).

VineyardJewelsColonialPersian