Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Scissors
July 11, 2016, 4:29 pm
Filed under: General comments, Scissors

Over the past couple of years, I have thought more about the scissors I use – there are good and bad ones. AND, there are the right ones for the job. There are plenty of varieties to choose from.

I love the large Fiskars Amplify Razoredge Fabric Shears (8″) scissors with the protective sheath. They are great for cutting canvases because the grip is comfortable, placing less strain on my hand & they are so sharp. Thanks to Marilyn for mentioning how good these are.

2016-06-09 09.20.48

Below are other Fiskars: The larger one is the Amplify Razoredge Fabric Shears (6″) (protective sheath not shown), Folding Scissors (4″), and Thread Snip (4.5″). The Thread Snip is awkward to hold & use. I can’t get it close to the canvas because of the orange piece along the bottom. And, they don’t cut threads. Seriously, they are awful – in fact, I am tossing them away now. Normally, I donate stuff I don’t want but since these don’t cut, what’s the point. The other 2 work well. Thanks to an Amazon for the great deals.

Fiskars

Because the end curves up at the tip of these Gingher scissors, I feel more comfortable cutting threads close to the back of a piece. It too came with a fitted sheath made of a soft leather (not shown). They are sharp and I am reserving them for use with threads – never metallics. Thanks to Fireside Stitchery for keeping these near the checkout for me to find.

Gingher scissors

 

However, the tip is still kind of big on the Gingher for when I have to rip threads out. I mentioned that to Linda & the next thing you know this fold-in/retractable blade seam ripper (from Hoechstmass) shows up (bottom of the photo with a rectangular handle). Unfortunately, I have found out 3 times that it works really well. As with anything sharp, you just have to be careful not to nick nearby stitched areas or the canvas. Thanks again Linda!

I didn’t know until researching seams rippers for this blog entry but I already had one – the brown handle item is one that I have must have gotten from someone’s stash. It looks just like the Nifty Notions Surgical Seam Ripper (plastic cover not shown).

The Keepsake Thread Cutter Pendent is beautiful and has multiple openings with blades which actually work well. And, A.C. Moore has the combination flexible threader (great for really small eyes in needles) and single opener blade cutter. I’m not sure but I think I am thanking Patrick or Lori! I am sure Patrick gave me the beaded scissors fob.

These blade cutters work well on a plane especially for floss weight threads. I’ve also pre-cut thicker threads before flying to avoid needing scissors at all. More than likely, my next scissors will be blunt-tip scissors for the New Orleans seminar to see if they pass airport security. Or, I’ll check the bag with the pointed scissors. Seminar is a little over a month away!!

Thread cutters Seam rippers

Foldable scissors are good for tucking into my purse (smaller than Fiskars) but aren’t really as comfortable to use or as sharp (maybe I need a new pair – they look a little bit beat up don’t they – I threw an even worse pair away). Thanks again A.C. Moore.

Folded scissors

I found 2 Tamsco scissors (on the far left & right) and the one in the middle is Tool Tron. I doubt I used any of these & I don’t recall how I got them! But, they appear to be high-quality. One of them was probably for the scissors sheath that I designed for my ANG Main Line chapter using stitches diagrammed in 17th/18th century samplers (https://melitastitches4fun.wordpress.com/category/ang-main-line-stitchers-chapter/scissors-sheath-band-sampler/).

Misc scissors

The heart-shaped scissors (below on the right) from Red Hots Scissors by Kelmscott Designs were a perfect touch for my 2nd scissors sheath design that won 2nd place in origin design in 2012 (https://melitastitches4fun.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/ang-40s-philly-scissors-sheath-winner-of-ang-2nd-place-ribbon/) and was placed on the cover of NeedlePointers (https://melitastitches4fun.wordpress.com/category/melitas-designs/ang-40-scissors-sheath/). Many thanks to 123stitch.com where I found the scissors – they are still for sale there!

At the closing dinner, we were all given the  bird scissors (on the left) which cut well (using these for my metallics) & the sheath reminds me of the wonderful 40th Anniversary ANG Seminar in Philadelphia in 2012! I’ve seen these called stork, pelican, or crane scissors – not sure which bird is correct. Nothing identifies the manufacturer. Thanks ANG!

ANG scissors

 

 

 

 

 



NYC Road Trip
June 29, 2016, 5:22 am
Filed under: General comments

This past weekend, Linda & I headed to New York City to celebrate Linda’s birthday!  We stopped at Annie & Company in their new (moved about 2 years ago) location.  They are all on the first floor now with knitting supplies on the right & needlepoint on the left (I forget to ask permission to take a picture). But, I found several things including a couple of things that will be gifts (eventually) that I won’t show here. I got the bookmark for me! Linda found a few things on her shopping list.

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And, this is such a great idea. It would look great framed.

Northern Pine Design, Stained Glass Window #1

 

It was such a lovely day,  we walked to Rita’s Needlepoint where I found Patti Mann’s Nov Mums (9110).

Patti Mann Nov Mums 9110

There’s the birthday girl (standing on the right) inside Rita’s! Since we also got an earlier train than we expected, we had time to go to the garment district where Linda got some fabulous fabric to make into shirts. We stopped in 2 stores – amazing variety of fabrics!

Rita's

Today is her birthday and we are going to Fireside Stitchery!  Happy Birthday Linda!!



Forest Glen and Maine Roadtrip
June 5, 2016, 11:42 am
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, Forest Glen, General comments

While vacationing in Maine this past week, I wanted a small project to travel with and something not too difficult. And, Forest Glen, a design from Kick Back & Stitch by Terry Gifford was perfect.

I used Santa Fe Sage canvas (6) instead of the Victorian Green canvas (11) – samples are from a package with 25 colors that I bought from Fireside Stitchery. I do prefer to work on a lighter canvas.

Sample canvases

And, I used the same white Kreinik (032), DMC #5 (502), and DMC Floss (369, 368, 320) as suggested. But, I couldn’t find Leah’s Overdyed Perle 12 (243). So, I picked up Wildflowers Jade (066) which I figured out looks darker than the lighter green/white Leah’s overdyed thread from the picture. And, I didn’t find the DMC Perle #8 (320).

So, I was in Maine needing threads for a project.  Luckily,  Mary Jo Cole, owner of Needlepoint America in Kennebunk was open & suggested a yellow Kreinik which she generously gave me from her stash. She has tons of hand-painted canvases including lobster belts and other Maine memorabilia. She also carries a unique line of canvases, mid 1800s floral designs of William Morris that look timeless. I have reached a level of stash that must decrease before I buy more & resisted all urges!

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And, these lovely musical crib hanging ornaments. These were tough to pass on but I can always order one online!

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I decided to use the yellow Kreinik just in the 4 corners of each eyelet to add some sparkle. And, I used the light yellow portion of Needle Necessities Pearl 8 overdyed (866) that I found at Grace Robinson & Company in Freeport.  Good thing I am not a knitter! They have tons of beautiful yarns. Some painted canvases and threads (in drawers behind a counter). I told Meghan what I was looking for and the one she found came the closest but I decided to avoid the rust and green in the overdyed thread and just use the light yellow for 8 prongs of the eyelet. And, I filled in the remaining 12 prongs with the lightest and medium colors of the green DMC Floss. Now, the yellow Kreinik actually looks like it is yellow-green. That left me to use the more interesting overdyed Wildflowers on the outer border in place of the solid medium green DMC Perle #8.

Forest Glen



Road Trip Continues
April 30, 2016, 12:17 pm
Filed under: General comments

After dropping Bill off for golf, I headed to Stitch by Stitch in Cape May, NJ. Glad I went early because construction is causing some slow down.

They carry DMC, Sampler Threads, Weeks Dye Works (including #5 Pele that I never saw before), Crescent Colours, lots of Mill Hill Beads and charms. Tons of charts (mostly samplers and cross stitch) but they also have hand-painted  needlepoint canvases including Cape May scenes by a local artist.

Stitch by Stitch

They carry various hand creams but they said ‘Gloves in a Bottle’ is the best! 

Glove in a Bottle



Road Trip Along the Jersey Shore
April 29, 2016, 5:18 pm
Filed under: General comments

I hardly unpacked before I packed again. Thanks to my husband’s golf outing, I got to see Scrim Discovery in Ocean City, NJ on Friday on the drive to Wildwood.

Sally was very pleasant and has a lovely store. Great light. And, tons of threads & canvases! I love how she displays everything – see the purses hanging from the ceiling & canvases placed on the ceiling on the right side!

Scrim Discovery, threads

She has a lot going on (find her on Facebook to keep up on everything) & she had this cute bead buddy that will be handy for the Nancy Cucci piece. It’s got a magnet on the bottom so that you can place it near your stitching! Perfect as I hope to stitch as my husband golfs.

Scrim Discovery



Woodlawn Roadtrip 2016
March 20, 2016, 9:25 am
Filed under: General comments, Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition

The 53rd Annual Woodlawn Needlework Exhibit was fantastic again. This is my 7th year. I had 2 stitching friends with me this year (my husband stayed home & golfed). It was great fun to have Linda & Ginny come along especially because I mapped out a fantastic needlepoint shopping itinerary (3 stores on our way south Saturday) – yesterday’s post. We went last weekend & it was a busy week. I hope this encourages you to get therE before the end of the month.

For now, I’ll talk about just a few of the 510 pieces on display this year. I didn’t note how many pieces were on display in 2010, my first visit but 2011 had 681 (the most since I’ve been going). Both 2012 & 2013 had 600+ and 2014 and 2015 both had 500+.

Again, Linda was able to point out names of lots of designers of pieces & Ginny was spotting interesting things like the folk art/country piece in the doorway as you leave the sampler room that had the same piece stitched on different size ground (538 large cross stitch  by Joan & 585 miniature by Wendy which won 3rd place). We all agree that listing the designer name of the piece on the card would be fantastic. But, no doubt a time-consuming task & these (mostly) ladies do a fantastic job – lots of work to put on a month-long show like this!!

Patrick B (105) from my ANG Main Line chapter submitted a beautiful Christmas stocking he’d done for his wife, Donna. There were several other lovely ones as well.

If my mom were still alive, I would have left a note for Lauren (172 cross stitch) to find out who the designer was for her flower arrangement which was bursting with mostly oranges but also blue, yellow, and red.

Kurdy Biggs had one of her Classic Facets (28) win 2nd place. I have the Amber colorway in my stash but hers was a silver & gold colorway. And, her newest piece Concepcion (29) is stunning and won a 2nd place ribbon. Both can been seen on her website (http://www.threedles.com/06012011/2015/Classic%20Facets/Classic%20Facets.html and http://www.threedles.com/06012011/2016/2016Designs.html).

I was lucky enough to meet Ruth Dilts at our stop in Waste Knot. So, it fun seeing her pieces on display (123 and 124 which won 3rd place). She was the first of the daily demonstrators earlier in March. It’s just a wonderful touch to have people doing different crafts. We saw Tamara doing tatting. And, Ginny found out that she is the grandmother of the Nissa who stitched Mandala Alpine (158 ), an amazing piece  (http://europeanxstitch.com/collections/chatelaine-designs/products/alpine-seasons-garden-chat-049). The other Mandala (596  by Mary) was beautiful too. Woodlawn listed both as a multistitch sampler although 123stitch lists the Chatelaine designs under cross stitch (http://www.123stitch.com/cgi-perl/abcSearch/search.cgi?page=1&keyword=mandala&NewItems=0&OnSale=0&Clearance=0&FreeShipping=0&sortorder=relevance&searchid=&filteredby=&webpage=&type=&resultstoreturn=35&designer=Chatelaine).

Heather stitched Jean Hilton’s “Newport Sampler” (43) from Needle Pointers magazine. It was a 6-part series beginning in July 2002 (http://needlepoint.org/NeedlePointers/NP-back2002.php). I first remember seeing it on a friend’s Facebook page (Barbara L). It is impressive at 14″ x 36″ done in a combo of Hungarian Point and Jean Hilton stitches.

Joyce embroidered 3 of her dogs she’s had in her lifetime all cuddling together in one picture that was so adorable & such a wonderful way to honor them. It (521) rightly deserved a 1st place ribbon.

Catherine Jordan had a delicate surface embroidery of trees you can see through to a painted canvas background with a river flowing through the trees win 2nd place & Judge’s Choice (23). One of her Zentangle designs was on a hand-painted canvas combined with blackwork (22) and her other Zentangle was a cross between Zentangle and embroidery. Both very interesting as my ANG Keystone Garden chapter will be doing our own Zentangle later this year.

My ANG Keystone Garden chapter will also be doing Winter Scenery Variation by Martina Dey and we got to see that stitched by Barbro (527)!

Donna (220) submitted her Color Play by Jennifer Riefenberg she began at seminar last year (http://artofsunshine.com/workszoom/1566860) for a 2nd place ribbon. It’s 5 multi-colored hexagonal shapes. I was so surprised to run into her when I stopped in Nimble Needle NJ to pick up some finished ornaments yesterday but pleased to congratulate her in person!  What a fun coincidence.

Marlene’s wolf done on 32 count in cross stitch (559) looked like he was going to jump out at us (it was my vote for People’s Choice)! And, her tree was done in miniature (558) winning her 1st place and Pope-Leighey Award. We saw that stitched last year & Linda ordered that design and a couple other trees but hasn’t stitched any yet. Now, she is considering what size & type of ground to stitch them on. The package on the cross stitch tree designs says “photo provided by Brand X Pictures and pattern design by Mystic Stitch, Inc.” It appears that all of Mystic Stitch designs are photographs that they convert to cross stitch. Just beautiful.

Deborah Merrick Wilson won 1st place and the Woodlawn Award for an interesting bouquet of flowers in a stitched vase (652). The flowers were a variety of embroidery, layers of felt, turkey work, ribbons, and beads – my favorite of her 15 pieces in the exhibit. Some were for sale in the actual exhibit and a couple for sale in the lobby along with a couple of kits. Pieces being on sale is new this year. Proceeds get split between the stitcher & Woodlawn. Among her goldwork pieces were 3 small bulbous flowers (651) that won 1st place, a large Tudor rose (213) that won 2nd place, and a butterfly stitched in green and blue with a center goldwork body (211) that didn’t get a ribbon but was very pretty. In all she got 2 x 1st place, 2 x 2nd place, 3 x 3rd place, and 1 Honorable Mention.

What fun to see a flamingo Santa with his flamingo reindeer from Karen from Nimble Needle (37).

Rosie stitched Spirit by Sue Reed  in sage green cinnamon/rust colors. The New Jersey Needle Artists stitched A Different View by Kurdy Biggs (http://www.threedles.com/06012011/2011/WhatsNew2011.html#A_Different_View), a geometric piece – we got to see 5 colorways! They talked about it some on their blog (http://blog.njneedleartists.org/)

Mary got 2nd place for a lovely pastel colorway of Frankie by Michael Boren (505).

A first place and Judge’s Choice went to Terri for an interesting gauze fan with parrots (147).

It’s always fun to see Janet Zickler Casey Santa ornaments!

My original design (which I still won’t blog about until a much later date for a couple of reasons) didn’t win a ribbon. Maybe because professionals and non-professionals compete head-to-head at Woodlawn, I should just enter my original designs in ANG’s exhibit at the Annual Seminar where I am placed in the non-professional category. At Woodlawn, I should enter a counted piece or a painted canvas (my first year I gor 3rd place for a painted canvas). In fact last year, I thought I should send the canvas I picked up at In Stitches that year. It is from Dream House Ventures, Inc. (DH3825) and is called Swirling Leaves by a designer Linda Richardson under the name of Elements Fine Handpainted Needlepoint. I’m still working on it – far from done but it just got bumped to a higher priority!!

A fantastic event & I was glad to support Nellies Needleers by bring home a towel they stitched.

Butterfly towel



Roadtrip Before Woodlawn 2015
March 18, 2016, 3:17 pm
Filed under: General comments, Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition

What a great weekend! Another road trip with Linda & Ginny joined us!! We met around 9 am on Saturday to visit 3 needlepoint stores on our way south to Woodlawn in Alexandria, VA. We spent between 30 min to an hour at a shop. Details are presented in the order we visited:

Needles and Threads of Ruxton (7701 Bellona Ave, Baltimore, MD; right off 695 Baltimore; open 10-4; http://needlesandthreadsofruxton.com/) had lots of threads & canvases in a small space but well organized,  bright, 3 employees available including the owner Judy. There were 2 male stitchers, several women, employees, and us but never felt crowded. Everyone was so nice. What a wonderful first stop.

Judy Ruxton

We found some threads that we need for Xanadu, a Jim Wurth project that our ANG Keystone Garden chapter is doing this year from Needle Pointers. I found this bookmark that I have plenty of stash for.

Bookmark COP (JW323):

Bookmark

The Point of It All (5232 44th St NW, Washington, DC; deviate off Capital Beltway but not too far into Washington; open 10-4; http://thepointofitallonline.com/) had an interesting organizer called Needlecraft Palette that has 15  toggles & little pockets for specialty threads, scissors, etc. And, they had a very helpful stitched sample of each thread they sell stitched on 14- and/or 18-count canvas. We liked the red walls and canvas edging they apply.

Organizer:

Organizer

Stitch samples:

Stitched samples

Waste Knot (4502 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA; cross into VA over Chain Bridge; open 10-5; http://www.wasteknotneedlepoint.com/; shop 30 min) – they had a Mindy trunk shop going on & I didn’t get to my first Mindy canvas yet!! I met Ruth Dilts (her back is to us on the right) & Lori, the owner (her head is behind the computer monitor on the left).

Waste Knor, Lori

But, I found a JP canvas to make a companion piece (pillows) to the canvas I bought at Gazebo Plus where I just stopped in with Linda as she picked up her canvas not intending to buy knowing I was going on this shopping spree!! But, these are my 2 favorite flowers. They are both 16″ x 8″ on 13 mesh.

Gazebo Plus JP Bird of Paradise & Bamboo (O-038):

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Waste Knot JP Orange Orchid & Bamboo (O-039):

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And, how could I forget Bill!! He’ll get the Canvas Connection Golf Bag  (3″ x 4″) (GB-556):

Golf bag

Sunday after Woodlawn in the morning, we stopped at In Stitches (8800F Pear Tree Court, Alexandria, VA; open 12:30 – 4:30 pm; http://institchesneedlework.com/). I managed to find “Painted Canvas Embellishment: An Idea Book” by Carole H Lake & Michael Boren. I like the layout of stitches by category with tips in bubbles near the stitch.

 




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