Melitastitches4fun's Blog


2017 in Review
January 1, 2018, 11:14 am
Filed under: General comments

Another wonderful year! Thanks to all of you who took the time to visit my blog (almost 6,700 visitors from all over the world).

Earlier this year (2017) Anuj Agarwal, the Founder of Feedspot left me a comment on my blog and said, “I would like to personally congratulate you as your Melitastitches4fun’s Blog has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 50 Needlepoint Blogs on the web (http://blog.feedspot.com/needlepoint_blogs/). I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 50 Needlepoint Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this! Also, you have the honor of displaying the badge on your blog.”

I thought it was spam and forgot all about his comment until just now as I review my blog and needlepoint accomplishments over the past year. And, I realize now that he is a legit website. So, I am pleased to display the badge!! Lots of good blogs are listed there.

As far as accomplishments go, I had many finishes: Come Design With Me, 20 trivets for some wonderful people, a second Crescent River, Bronze Purse, SOTM 2012 pillow, Mystery Project, Zapotec Rug, Fleur de Mardi Gras, Herringbone Happening, and a second Color Inspirations. Finishing for several projects was done through Karen/Nimble Needle of NJ and Jim/Repenning Fine Arts in Audubon, NJ.

Festive Fireworks was on the cover of July’s Needle Pointers magazine with instructions inside. Pam Gardner did wonderful diagrams of the design! I am not near her league but I did learn how to make my own diagrams with Excel from Cynthia Thomas at ANG Seminar this year. And, they are very helpful for my own designs.

I made some progress on painted canvases including Vases, Swirling Leaves, Embracing Horses, JP Bird of Paradise & Bamboo, and JP Orange Orchid & Bamboo. I was trying to focus on painted canvases this year but it appears I worked on counted pieces more. Maybe this year, I’ll FOCUS on alternating between counted and painted pieces. 

My thread stash (arranged mostly by color in drawers) and tools (in a lovely tool caddy made by Linda) were organized although keeping things in their place is challenging. It might help if I stopped adding stuff but what fun is that?

The classes and teachers at Blue Bonnet/Toni Gerdes, Nashville Needleworks/Laura Taylor, and ANG Seminar/Cynthia Thomas and retreats New Jersey Needlefest/Susan Hoekstra, Time for Needlepoint/Pam and Andrea from Edwardian Needle were fantastic. Learned a lot. And, the best part of these events is meeting old and new needlepoint friends!

I joined EGA Brandywine Chapter and enjoyed a talk by Doug Kreinik, a couple of Stitch and Chat days, and their Christmas luncheon. I haven’t met everyone yet but those that I have met are very friendly.

It’s very exciting to think about the time I’ll spend in 2018 on my various pieces in progress, another online design class with Orna Willis, a weekend ribbon class at Edwardian Needle, a 2-day class with Gail Sirna with ANG Keystone Garden Chapter, New Jersey Needle Fest, and the ANG Seminar in Washington DC for a design class with Kathy Rees. There will be lots of meetings and good times with everyone at ANG Main Line Stitchers, ANG Keystone Garden Chapter, and EGA Brandywine Chapter!

Most of all, I look forward to being with stitching friends in person and online!! Hope you all have a wonderful, happy, healthy New Year!!

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Christmas Brings Golden Friends and a Rose Bag
December 27, 2017, 2:40 pm
Filed under: General comments

My husband got me Golden Friends by Toni Gerdes for Christmas this year. The design supports the Golden Needle Society of The American Needlepoint Guild (ANG) and helps the goal of preserving this art for years to come. ANG has brought me many great new friends some of whom have taught me how to make gifts for many people over the years.

Speaking of great friends, Linda did it again!  First the tool tote bag earlier this year and now this. Isn’t this a lovely bag? Just look at the beautiful coordinating fabrics. It zippers shut and has pockets inside and out. Thanks Linda!! I do enjoy our times together. 



Making Cording
December 13, 2017, 4:11 pm
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, General comments, Threads

A few weeks ago, Doug Kreinik shared with a group of ERA & DVSHG folks what you can do with the various Kreinik threads. One of them used the cording tool. 

The basics are that for the length of desired cord using 2 threads, you need 3 times as much thread to start with. If you twist 3 or more threads, add 3″ for every extra thread. 

He recommended using a dark green Chenille and red Petite Facets to make a wreath. And, that was the “project” for my ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter Holiday Celebration this past Monday night. Here are my samples. Each one is about 1&1/2″ in diameter. I put one-sided adhesive felt on the back to make a small ornament. But, it could have couched onto a Christmas design or stocking too.



Larks Head Knot
November 30, 2017, 12:35 pm
Filed under: General comments, Needles, Threads

A tip from Doug Kreinik has proved useful with Bijoux thread and can be used with blending filament. 

I’ve used a Larks Head Knot to lock a thread on the canvas when I need to stitch with 2 stands. For this, you lock in the center of the thread. But, you can also use this knot to lock the thread onto a needle to prevent it from falling out of the eye. And, you can stitch with just one thread by locking it near one end of the thread.

First, put a loop through the eye of the needle.

Second, put the point of the needle through the loop.

Lastly, pull both threads to make it taut. Now, thread will stay in place as you stitch!



Road Trip into NJ
November 7, 2017, 8:48 am
Filed under: 2017, November, General comments, Time For Needlepoint

I set up our itinerary to stop at 4 stores on our way to The Edwardian Needle and the Time For Needlepoint Retreat. Friday we took off from our meeting place in Wayne with Linda behind the wheel, I was navigator, and Buff was wing woman (& luckily more familiar with that part of NJ). They are great travel buddies!!

In just under an hour we got to Knit One Stitch Two in Pennington, NJ. As their name implies, knitting is their main focus bit they had enough of threads and canvases to be an enjoyable stop and good local resource. I picked up another Bead Buddy because mine must be tucked away with a WIP.

KnitOneStitchTwo

Only 15 minutes away from there was Pins and Needles in Princeton, NJ. They had a lot more canvases including a Scott Church trunk show. And, more thread lines; some knitting supplies.

PinsAndNeedles

About 35 minutes later we found Needleworkers Delight in its new location on the second floor (almost didn’t find it – there is an elevator) and it is huge!! Look at all the supplies (the selection of needlepoint fabric and canvas has to be the largest)!! Can you find Buff & Linda busy shopping? I picked up a couple of Quaker Sleds for EGA’s ornament charity project. Linda found Finca and swapped out pink for blues in a project.

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NeedleworkersDelightAisle2

NeedleworkersDelightAisle3

Our final stop, another 35 minute ride, was Beyond Knits and Needles which Buff & I had stopped at before (also tough to find as the entrance is on the side street and the store is upstairs – there is no elevator). Lovely store with 3 rooms (photos in my 2016 road trip blog)!! I added “Decorative Backgrounds”, a June McKnight book to my collection. And, I saw the painted Patchwork For Piece 14 count canvas. But, I want to stitch it on 18 count.

From here, we were just 20 minutes to our hotel in Parsippany. Saturday was The Edwardian Needle and Sunday was the Time For Needlepoint Retreat (more about this in a second blog posting to come).

 



Stitch By Stitch in Larchmont, NY
October 21, 2017, 10:31 pm
Filed under: General comments, Needlepoint Shops, Stitch By Stitch

On my way home from our vacation (with my husband) in Westerly, Rhode Island, I stopped in Stitch By Stitch in Larchmont, N.Y. It’s right off 95 and was a great point to stretch our legs. A nice group of ladies were sitting about stitching working on some fun canvases.

I picked up the booklet, Patchwork of Peace. Another piece that I want to get to eventually!

Great selection of threads, canvases, and supplies. Also, a well lit store with good space for classes. I’ve been watching for the right class, teacher, project, and date to align so I can join them. Some day!



Needle Storage
July 1, 2017, 1:51 pm
Filed under: General comments, Needles

I got through my needle stash and found, along with many needles of unknown brands, that I have mostly John James, EdMar, and Bohin. I  also know that I can stitch every project with a fresh needle for the next 50 projects!

Now, they are stored in the EdMar tubes of which I had extra when I combined like needles with like. And, crewel (pointed) needles have their own tubes too. Howerver, without enough tubes, I used wool felt or plastic holders. Marilyn O shared with me that wool felt should be used for storing needles, and not the craft felt. The wool wicks any moisture away from the needle, while the craft felt will tend to hold moisture and the needles will rust. The ultrasuede I was going to use would be ok (I tested it by wetting the fabric and leaving a needle in it and no rust formed) but I had enough of the felt and containers.

I had the help of Michele Roberts’ article from NeedlePointers July 2007, “Let’s Get to the Point”, to help tell what size a needle was by length. And, it reviewed the styles of needles and how to pick the right size for the project. I read lots of back issues with timeless articles of Needle Pointers magazines recently. I wish I could keep all the back issues but space is limited. I’m so happy the magazine is available digitally now as well. I can always refer back.

All the needles are organized by style and size in a floss organizer. I’ll use all of these eventually but thanks to Ginny, my favorite needle is from EdMar. They slide so smoothly through the canvas. What’s your favorite?

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