Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Thimble Auction
April 9, 2015, 5:37 pm
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, General comments

A friend of mine has decided to part with her thimble collection. We were lucky enough to see them all in person when she brought them to our ANG Main Line chapter meeting last month. They’ll be on auction April 18, 2015. You do not have to be there in person to be to bid. All directions are listed on the website. There are many lots going on auction that day but if you search the word ‘thimble’, you’ll see the 18 lots. I counted 470 thimbles in various size lots. Here is the website: http://www.wiederseim.com

With her permission, I can share photos of several sample lots:

image image image



Rehoboth Beach Museum’s Fifth Annual Needlecraft Exhibit
April 2, 2015, 4:08 pm
Filed under: General comments

The 5th Annual Rehoboth Beach Needlework Exhibit was just as nice as the one I went to 2 years ago. And, Rehoboth Beach is such a pretty area. Linda, from my ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, & I went there Sunday after spending Saturday at Woodlawn. I could not take any pictures inside the museum & forgot to take any while we were walking around – it was quite cool & breezy but it was a beautiful, sunny day! We had a great lunch at Louie’s.

It was great to see Susan D and Patrick B from my ANG Main Line chapter submit several of their pieces here! Patrick’s scissors ‘Green Block’ got 3rd place in the beadwork category! Several others from their EGA Brandywine chapter submitted blocks as well (maybe when I retire I can handle a dual membership for ANG & EGA). It was fascinating to see some blocks done in beads (creating images of scissors, a threader, and others with light and dark beads), cross stitch, lace ribbons, embroidery patterns, a Penn State theme, cross stitch on padded linen with single thread, or on perforated paper. This is a nice idea for our ANG chapter project next year since we have 2 members who can lead us through the project! Patrick got 3rd place for ‘Sonoma Rose’ (quilt-like pattern of ribbons). Susan got Honorable Mention for her ‘Keep Me’ a house sampler (other smaller motifs with the alphabet, a tree, and a saying surrounded by a decorative border).

Best of Show went to Jean T for her ‘Inspiration Sampler’ done with a single thread of floss that had a wider than usual border – very interesting. She won 2 sampler and 2 miniature awards.

Several of us from Main Line met Geri W and Roseanne J from the ANG Delaware Seashore chapter when we joined them for a Nancy Cucci piece (one that isn’t done yet). They always enter and do well but how can you not when Geri submitted Nancy Cucci’s ‘Irresistible Iridescents’ (3rd place) or Roseanne’s ‘Summer Surf’ by Nancy Cucci (1st place) – great pieces. Geri also got 2nd place for Crystal Banner and Roseanne for ‘Summer Celebration’ (20 squares each with different red, white, and blue patriotic themes). Roseanne J also stitched the Orna Willis piece ‘The Village I Built’ on 40-count silk gauze with some of the houses in a sparkly thread was very cute. Also in the DE chapter that I met at that class was Brenda C whose ‘Spirit’ by Sue Reed was great in the greens and blues she used. And, it was featured on their advertising brochure (http://brendasneedlepointstudio.blogspot.com/2014/01/needlework-exhibit-2014-in-rehoboth.html).

I enjoy seeing mixed media & Kathleen M did several of her family by leaving faces and/or backgrounds of what may be an image placed (not painted) on Aida cloth (scanned from a picture and copied onto the cloth perhaps) and then select parts such as a woman’s jacket stitched or only the boats in a beach scene with the house and sky left unstitched. I don’t believe any other pieces were submitted in this category & she got 5 awards in the category. I got our group to do some mixed media by stitching directly onto pages from a magazine (search Fiber Art on my blog).

The ‘Native American Fashion’ by Julie R won 1st place and was stunning – the backs of 4 dresses were placed horizontally across and contained within a series of 3 mats. From inner to outer, there was a thin blue, wider yellow, and an even wider chili pepper red border with triangular cutouts in the corners allowing yellow to show. The frame was a mottled blue with thin red strips near the inner and outer edges.

There was a decent representation of quilting (traditional, crazy, and modern) of which I liked best the ‘Blue Heron’ which had part of the beak and tail coming out of the right and left sides – quite unique.

Linda C’s ‘Barnyard Animals’ used such a variety of stitches and threads to represent the 8 animals that we (Linda & I) studied this one a long time – interesting!

And, Alice F did a fantastic job (2nd place) on her ‘Crab & Shells’ by stitching webbed spider seashells with threads to form 3 distinct bands. Not only was the crab very thickly padded to be raised but so with the bottom of the sea where he was sitting. Since I couldn’t take pictures inside, I stitched a seashell to demonstrate what she did. I layed the spokes in the shape of a seashell and used the ridged spider web technique from The Needlepoint Book by Jo Ippolito Christensen. I used DMC #3 (746, 676, & 451) which is a thicker thread & woven looser than Alice’s so that I would finish quickly.

Seashell

Two needlepoint exhibits in one weekend!! It was such fun looking at these pieces too.



Woodlawn Roadtrip 2015
March 30, 2015, 9:27 am
Filed under: General comments, Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition

The 52nd Annual Woodlawn Needlework Exhibit was just as fantastic as previous years.

It was great to see Patrick B (170 & 171) from my ANG Main Line chapter submit his realistic looking giraffe & 3 dimensional frog. Also in the animal room, Mary W (616) stitched Tanya Berlin’s Bluebird on 200 count – amazing that it only got 3rd place!

Outstanding senior entry went to Marlene L (585) for an eagle done in cross stitch in 28-count ligano. Another 100+ year old, Florence N (424), got 2nd place for a large, beautiful paisley rug (hung above a door which I missed during my first walk around).

I enjoy seeing famous works of art stitched & Lauren B (121) did the “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt in cross stitch.

Sherri B (250) cross stitched a row of stems & leaves featuring flowers for buttons with butterfly buttons flying above. Pat G (303) stitched a working clock with buttons at each number around the face. These reminded me that I started a button collection with intensions of doing something like these (but have yet to get to).

Jean Hilton stitches always are fascinating to see in a design. Kurdy B (19) did a wonderful copper piece. Deborah L (562) did a Ro Pace design, Venetian Delight, as a single layer piece although it was designed to be done in 3 layers – hers was still beautiful.

I love seeing Janet Zickler Casey’s Santa ornaments & Jill B (130) did one of my favorites, the Christmas Light Santa. And, there was an adorable pumpkin done by Radonda R (100) in multi-canvaswork stitches (either triangle or square shapes) with the eyes, nose, and mouth done in dark greys against the bright orange pumpkin.

It’s always nice to see Nancy Cucci’s pieces and Dorothy B (227) did one but now I can’t remember which one. I have a partially started piece of Nancy’s in my stash & on my list to finish this year. Still have ¾ of a year left!

What a sight to see – the 11 Michael Boren “Frankie” pieces (in various colorways) were done mostly by New Jersey Needle Artists (all but one). Two of the ladies Rosie L & Linda M did 2 different colorways! Fantastic!!

Brenda C (641) got 1st place for her black & white ort box which I saw first at the Nancy Cucci class I took with her chapter in Delaware a few years ago. She also got 2nd place for Rose Swirls by Carol Algie Higginbotham and 3rd place for Beach Walk by Linda Reinmiller – both new ANG Correspondence Courses. I am quite sure Donna LaB (208) replaced some of the threads in Rachel Atkinson’s Gordian Knot (a returning ANG CC) with Kreinik to add some sparkle. Cheryl H (619) did a beautiful Stained Glass Sampler also designed by Carol Algie Higginbotham which was a previous ANG CC.

Christin L (520 & 521) got 2nd and 3rd place for very cute boy and girl pilgrims, respectively. She also did the Debbie Stiehler’s 2013 ANG Stitch of the Month. Christin had it finished very creatively in a diamond shape with beads dangling from the loser 2 sides and it was inserted on a stick in a potted plant.

Sara Leigh M (231) stitched the Orna Willis piece Color Inspirations – I am so excited about doing this class on June 12 & 13, 2015! There are still openings for this 2-day class in Philly – just ask for details.

It was fascinating to see Susan C (567) and Carol S (20) stitch Walking the Water’s Edge by Diane Herrmann slightly differently from each other. Carol stitched less water & more foam. And, Carol’s piece was surrounded by a narrow red mat, a wider blue mat, and then a third textured beige mat. The frame was a light wood (fantastic matting, only I would prefer a darker wood frame). I’m so excited about doing this class on October 10, 2015. There are still openings for this 1-day class one hour north of Philly near Peddler’s Village – just ask for details.

Rachel C (361 & 362) stitched Mindy canvases although I liked the one that didn’t win 1st place better. I saw other Mindy canvases by Marla F (421) and two from Maureen McA (322 & 323). But, I don’t know them by name nor can I remember them enough to search & name each design.

There were a few Charlie Harper designs including one from Rachel C (363) of birds sitting on a large upside down fanned out leaf called Put a Bird on It. And, one with a menagerie of animals but I forgot to note who stitched this large piece.

And, seeing Melanie D (556) stitch Pieces of Eight by Gail Bicknell means this remains a classic as it is still being stitched. It was originally in Needlepoint Now in 4 installments (Sep/Oct 1999; Jan/Feb 2000; Mar/Apr 2000; May/Jun 2000; Jul/Aug 2000) but is still available as a single reprint.

There was a striking piece of smocking done on a box top by Barbara M (727). And, Betsy M (233) had a castle scene done in embroidery and stumpwork which earned her 1st place and Judge’s Choice award.

Among Catherine Jordan’s always lovely pieces was The Gift which won 1st place & the Frank Lloyd Wright Award. That is the red & white ribbons wrapped around a glass block done with a variety of stitches (described in January 2015 Needle Pointer’s Awards Gallery). She also got 2nd place and two Honorable Mentions.

And, we had a nice talk with Deborah Wilson who was demonstrating her goldwork techniques that earned her 3 awards (1st place & the Eleanor Custis Lewis Award/Best in Show for a leaves/flowers design and two 2nd place of which one was a strawberry) in addition to the 1st place for a Christmas stocking for her son with his various hobbies stitched.

My husband didn’t make the trip this year but he would have enjoyed seeing the large gold themed ottoman by Joan deGM (167). He elected not to make the 2-day trip once I added in the stop at Rehoboth Beach exhibit and knowing Linda, a fellow ANG Main Line Stitcher, agreed to make the trip with me. Linda thoroughly enjoyed her first trip to Woodlawn & I thoroughly enjoyed her company! We agree it is inspiring to see so many beautiful pieces under one roof!! She knows so many names of pieces & designers which is why I can really talk about more pieces this year. And, because we spent 4 hours, including a delicious lunch break, looking at everything and chatting with the docents! Linda liked a few designs on display that she sent questions to the stitchers. But, I found one she was interested in when I googled “needlepoint sampler patterns”. I looked in images & there it was – Northern Expressions Needlework’s Twisted Band Sampler, under multi-sampler category, done by Anna B (235) for which she won a 2nd place ribbon. It has diagonal patterns with a butterfly near the top and is done in various colors along the color wheel.

The Queen’s Silhouette didn’t get a ribbon but I enjoy supporting the exhibit & will have to start on something for next year!! Perhaps it will be the canvas I picked up at In Stitches. 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. A different designer from Dream House Ventures also designed the canvas Daisy (aka Sunflower) that I got 3rd place ribbon from Woodlawn a few years ago – maybe that’s a sign! I was also taken by the one set of instructions for a geometric pattern, Teal-licious, by Freda’s Fancies. Apparently, there are at least 63 in the series and probably more!! How is it that I never saw these before? It’s time to search the internet again.

Swirling Leaves

Teal-licious

Thanks to everyone who sent in pieces. It is such fun looking at 500 plus pieces under one roof. I wish I could talk about all of them but it’s time to move on to the Fifth Annual Rehoboth Beach Museum Needlework Exhibit which we saw on Sunday!!



Plans for 2015
December 31, 2014, 3:24 pm
Filed under: General comments

It took hours but I went through my stash that has been accumulating in several piles around the house. I found a lot of projects & finishing items (frame, purse, tea tray, eyeglass case, tote bag, ornaments, wood box & lacquered box). The 2 dozen projects included painted canvas with and without stitch guides and charted designs (some kitted). There are 6 projects actually started to some degree & 6 projects that are stitched but not “finished” yet.

So, as I move into 2015, I am going to work on a variety of types of projects including my 2 oldest WIP (Dragonfly-Sharon G-a painted canvas with stitch guide, Stitches in Sterling-Nancy Cucci-a counted canvas with stitch guide, 3 ornament-sized painted canvas pieces from our latest trips to Phoenix & Chicago, a name tag for my ANG chapter, and 2 of my own designs. Hopefully, I do not see more fantastic projects because I’ve got charted designs that I picked up recently that I would like to stitch too. But, I  am optimistic that I’ll get to several of them! Somehow.

The bag on the right goes to the basement to remain WIPs (along with countless charts & kits sitting/waiting in a cabinet) & the two on the left stay upstairs to be worked on in 2015! Another thought about VISION in 2015 will be to reconsider how much of what I have stored in the basement now might or might not be of interest in future years.

Thanks for visiting my blog throughout the year & hope you have a Healthy & Happy New Year!

Projects



Disposing of Needles, A Celebration
July 20, 2014, 11:35 am
Filed under: General comments, Needles

I finally went through my needles and am throwing away the old ones of which I had a good number of bad ones. Since I don’t have a “sharps” container, I decided to google disposing of sewing needles. Once site recommended wrapping in a rubber band and placing that bundle into a disposable receptacle such as an empty take out box, makeup compact, or pill bottle. Keeping them contained prevents them from poking out of the garbage bag.

As I do this, in the spirit of Hari Kuyo, a Japanese festival of Broken Needles that has been celebrated for over 400 years, I will ask for improved skills, acknowledge my work over the past years, and thank each for their help and service. Hari means needles and Kuyo means memorial service. Traditionally, they were stuck into tofu and floated down a river annually. The tofu served to soothe the needles after their labor and protect from the points of the needles from doing harm. Read all about it at http://issuu.com/audsomee/docs/hari-kuyo

Needles

Since no sewing takes place on this day, I picked a good day to celebrate my needles because we are heading out to watch Monty Python live (Mostly), a 3-hour Fandango event with our Delaware friends, and dinner. Early birthday present for Bill!



Woodlawn Roadtrip 2014
March 14, 2014, 9:47 pm
Filed under: General comments, Gift Tags, Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition

Woodland’s 51st Annual Needlework Exhibition featured 500+ pieces which were fantastic (as always). The special exhibit (small but interesting) was “Needlework and the White House: A First Family Tradition”. It touched on the history of the needle arts in the President’s House. There were pieces made by first family members and holiday ornaments displayed that had been in the White House. By the way, this photo (http://www.needlepoint.org/Projects/WH-1995.php) shows the 1995 White House Christmas Stockings that were on display at the 1996 Exhibit at Woodlawn. But, the stocking I saw was from Barbara Bush’s 1991 Christmas tree decorations (bottom right corner of the brochure).

Woodlawn brochure

A few of the items I noted were the fire screen done President Washington’s granddaughter (Nelly as in Nelly’s Needlers) and great-granddaughter, 3D pieces such as a baseball glove, snail, giraffe, and drum from George Bush’s library, and Grace Coolidge’s samplers.

From there, I entered the room filled with pieces done by Junior stitchers which were fantastic with amazingly vibrant colors. I was most taken with Linda who did an original design (524) of a girl’s head with a fan in black work (all black on white fabric). I like bright colors but it made for a very busy room and maybe why I liked the black/white piece – it allowed my eyes to rest!

There were many samplers again including one by Nancy that included details about the life of a doctor relative of hers (516) – a more modern piece. Look for it in the corner of the room across from and diagonal to the stairs. But, it is low enough to read easily once you find it!

Catherine Jordan had several pieces (always a joy to see her work) including 2 book covers (one that looked like a knot garden), an open-work scene with see through layers of several trees, and 2 zentangle pieces (you can see examples on her website – very interesting).

Doreen’s stump work (533) with flowers and bugs leaping off the canvas were great but her surface embroidery (536) was so unique and delicate that Bill and I voted for it as our People’s Choice Award. She had three levels of cloudy shaped fabric mats to feature the design of a balloon basket containing the silhouette of a man and woman with the Eiffel Tower in background. It was stitched on such a fine piece of gauze that the balloon really appeared to be floating. There were even some beads adorning the basket. Only after the docent shined the light on the piece could you see the gauze more easily.

Becky’s Assisi white roses (33) were stunning done with black stitched outlines and a red background.

It always impresses me when people display multiples and large pieces. Ann’s 4 black footstools (451 452 453 454) displayed 3 flower designs and a dog. I doubt she shipped them!

Patricia made unique use of decorative white buttons of various sizes and shapes for the flowers which rested atop white cross stitch stems (310). I have a lot of buttons in various colors, sizes, and shapes that is on my list to use in a piece at some point. So, I was quite inspired by Patricia’s simple yet interesting use of the buttons.

Angela’s miniature Bluebird (610) got a First Place ribbon and reminded me of Carol’s (from TN) bird which won the ANG Princess Grace Award because Angela’s was small and done on a fine gauze too. You can see Carol’s in the July 2012 issue of NeedlePointers.

Thanks to Robin, I enjoyed seeing one of my favorite Charlie Parker designs (408), the cardinal sitting in a birdbath, B-r-r-r-r-rdbath.

Carol Ann did Ribbon Fantasy a Carole Lake design (584) which we considered for a chapter project – it has 7 ribbons each of 3 getting successively longer towards the longest center ribbon. Hers had small framed photos dangling from the end of each one.

Carol’s Solar Flare designed by Ro Pace with white in the center and red on the outer portion done on black canvas with tons of Jean Hilton stitches (22) can be seen in the 2013 ANG Awards Gallery (NeedlePointers Jan 2014 issue). In case you want to see the contrast, you can see Nancy’s Solar Flare on a white canvas in the 2010 ANG Awards Gallery (NeedlePointers Jan 2011).

Pat’s flag (321) done in small squares each with different stitches which reminded me of an ANG piece maybe that was passed around as I recall. I sure do wish I had a better memory at times like this!!

My “Crescent River” (didn’t win a ribbon) was in the same upstairs room as Christine’s (ANG’s current CyberWorkshops Committee Chairman) 2 very large pieces (116, 117) which are geometric designs stitched in similar purples which will no doubt make a stunning display in her home. I don’t know why they weren’t hanging together at Woodlawn – they were close but not next to each other. Despite being in the sunniest room in the house, you really didn’t see the reflective nature of my river until the docent shined the light directly on it. As she said, we will have to display it with a light to shine on it at home too. Kurdi did an original design with Jean Hilton stitches in three sections. There was an amazing amount of detail but I couldn’t see it good enough because it was too high on the wall. And, Eleanor submitted her 2013 ANG Stitch of the Month designed by Debbie Stiehler (850), a geometric pattern, using four-way Florentine stitches done in greens and blues. ANG offers tons of projects going back to the late 1990s even to non-members via http://www.needlepoint.org/Stitch.php – there are still several I would like to stitch!

Ruth had a small abstract design done on an orange background of unknown fabric with beads in the bottom left hand corner and rays radiating out to the upper right hand corner – a very modern design that was small but very interesting (324). It probably qualifies as “fiber art”.

Lots of wonderful stuff was in the Christmas room! John, stitched a Santa’s face that was absolutely amazing because of the very small count fabric and the shading that make it look like a photograph (212). The beautiful Christmas stockings on the mantle seem to be getting bigger and bigger each year. And, Joan made 3 standing Saints, each about 18″ tall on pedestals with 4 inch deep to give them stability (418, 419, 420). And, Laura’s train with the engine, five or six boxcars each lined with inside slots for candy canes, and the caboose was amazing (456). I can’t imagine how much that cost to get done by a finisher. But, a highlight for me personally was the piece Bill spotted first done by Pam which is the same piece that I gave to Dottie with the white trees and snowflakes (372) (https://melitastitches4fun.wordpress.com/2010/02/05/snowflakes/)!

Of interest to me because of our upcoming spring project was Marilyn’s long piece (like a Bell pull but longer and wider) of Chicago’s buildings and in the sky were several logos of the local sports teams.

Lastly, I had to go back to the displays outside the dining room to see the wonderful, very large, 3D butterfly (613) stitched by Lynn (a docent I had met upstairs) who used all silk ribbons. The butterfly must have been raised 2 to 3 inches off the surface – I wish it wasn’t so far back in the room and I can understand they don’t want people touching anything but it is so hard to see that far and get any details. Maybe I will bring binoculars next year!!

I wish I could talk about all the pieces I saw – all are worth talking about – another wonderful show. And, our weather was fantastic last weekend. If you can take the time to go, you’ll love it. We had eaten breakfast and so did not have lunch this year but it must have been good (as usual) because they were packed (as usual).

They have another raffle this year & I picked up some gift tags that were hand stitched by members of Nelly’s Needlers to benefit Woodlawn. It is a great way for a chapter to practice stitches and raise money!

Gift Tags



Basketweave Direction
February 23, 2014, 9:45 pm
Filed under: General comments

Last week, I happened to read through several old ANG NeedlePointer magazines and found an article on basketweave that explained what direction to stitch. This week, I picked up this piece for some easy stitching and realized that I could figure out the proper place to start. The article said, if you are right-handed, work up the horizontal and down on the vertical. And, I can see that clearly on this piece now!

I must come down on the vertical:

Basketweave




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