Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Bead and Ribbon Classes with Sandy Arthur at Rittenhouse Needlepoint

What a great 2 days I had with Sandy Arthur at Rittenhouse Needlepoint. We worked with beads the first day and ribbons the second day. These are the first classes that I have taken since Rittenhouse moved. The classroom is well lit, seats were cushioned, and overhead projector was useful. Very nice room. And, Russell’s homemade breads are delicious!

We covered quite a few of techniques which Sandy Arthur has perfected. So, when you look at my samples, don’t look too close and remember that I haven’t done a lot of bead or ribbon work before and time was limited (5 hours each of 2 days). Using beads was easier for me.

We learned multiple ways to attach single beads and multiple beads. Basketweave beading was tricky – really had to focus. We covered a felted ball with beads and a wooden bead with thread.

There wasn’t enough time in class to try everything in Sandy’s handouts. So, I played with the leftover beads and made a butterfly. And, the flower on the lower left corner allowed me to practice Line stitching with the green beads and Lazy Daisy stitches.

We learned the Japanese Ribbon Stitch, Ribbon Roses, Wrapped Stitch, Lazy Daisy Stitch, Gathering with Running Stitch, Ruching, and other techniques with no particular name.

I learned a lot in both classes. Sandy knows her stuff and teaches it well. As with anything, it needs practice to show improvement. That’s why a doodle canvas or the 2″ border of a canvas is good for practicing.

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Visiting ANG Delaware Seashore Chapter for Overdyed Spools (correction to Diagram 2)

I was very appreciative of being invited to join the ANG Delaware Seashore chapter to lead my Chapter Project Book piece called Overdyed Spools. These ladies didn’t “need” me as they are very accomplished stitchers. Before getting started on Spools, I shared a lesson on overdyed threads that I prepared back in 2013 for my ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter. It included some information from June McKnight’s book about how colors of overdyed threads can get clumpy (left photo), stitching randomly eliminates that best (center photo), and tweeding or stitching by reversing the thread can help unless as with this double brick stitch the colors fall together (blue in the center of right photo). Her book, Shading and Thread Blending Techniques for Needlepoint, has lots more information on the subject.

Overdyed

I also brought stitched pieces using all overdyed threads that I selected for a Kathy Rees piece called Spirit of Jean; https://melitastitches4fun.wordpress.com/category/ang-correspondence-courses/spirit-of-jean-by-kathy-rees/ which demonstrated how I manipulated overdyed threads to have the color repeat in the same places along the Smyrna border, within the Amadeus stitches, and triangular waffles.

My Purple Mountains Majesty (https://melitastitches4fun.wordpress.com/category/melitas-designs/purple-mountains-majesty/) used a single overdyed thread with 3 colors which I stitched in a particular stitch pattern to get the color to fall where I wanted it to.

And, my newest and as yet unrevealed design using a combination of overdyed and solid threads where I manipulated the overdyed threads by cutting them specifically to fall in certain areas. That’ll be going to Seminar in Houston!

Then, we had fun looking for the repeating color pattern of various skeins of Watercolors. Even within several different dye lots of Lilac there were variations. So, several women’s skeins were particularly difficult to find the pattern. And, one we gave up on & we swapped it out for an extra skein.

There are differences in the Spools as originally stitched and Spools restitched. I widened Areas A & C. Therefore, the spools themselves are smaller in the restitched version (https://melitastitches4fun.wordpress.com/category/melitas-designs/spools/). I did find an error in Diagram 2 of Overdyed Spools.

Diagram 2 error

Their Cheer Community Center (20520 Sandhill Rd, Georgetown, DE) has a nice little cafeteria (great tuna fish). Good lighting in the room – no steps to go up or down. They meet the first Monday of the month from 10 am – 2 pm. Visit their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Delawares-Seashore-Chapter-of-the-American-Needlepoint-Guild-ANG-209178456136131/) or you can email them at delawaresseashorechapter@needlepoint.org . It was another fun time visiting my seashore neighbors!



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.



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)



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



Patchwork of Peace, Row 12 White
February 25, 2019, 10:08 am
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, General comments, Patchwork of Peace, Threads

The white rows are completed! There are 24 threads used in the 90 different blocks.

Looking at the blocks up close allows you to see the different textures. But, from afar, you can only see the change in color from very white to white to ecru.

Starting with the block on the right (#1) moving to the left (#19), I used the following threads:

1 – Elegance E800 and Soie Perlee SPS694

2 – Bella Lusso 001 and Treasure Braid Petite PB10

3 – Gloriana 261 (2 strands) and Gloriana 0057 (2 strands)

4 – Impressions 100 and DMC Floche Blanc (2 strands)

5 – Pashmina 000 (2 strands)

6 – Subtlety Y899 and Silk Lame Braid Petite SP100

7 – DMC Floche Blanc and Sparkle Braid SK06

8 – DMC Perle #8 Ecru, DMC Perle #12 Ecru, and Burmilana 3845

9 – Soie Cristale 0057 (2 strands) and Impressions 118

10 – Soie Perlee SPS694

11 – Au Ver A Soie 100/3 Blanc (2 strands), Elegance E800, and Kreinik #4 Braid 032C

12 – Designer’s Dream D02 (2 strands) and Pashmina 261 (2 strands)

13 – DMC Perle #8 B5200, DMC Floche Blanc, and Treasure Braid Petite PB10

14 – Burmilana 3845 (2 strands) and Gloriana 261 (2 strands)

15 – Wildflowers 100 and DMC Floche Blanc (2 strands)

16 – Elegance E800 and Gloriana 261 (2 strands)

17 – Soie Cristale 0057 (2 strands)

18 – Kreinik #8 Braid 102, Subtlety Y899, and Wildflowers 000

19 – Wildflowers 100 and DMC Floche Blanc