Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Rechargeable, Clamp on Light and Battery Charger
April 18, 2018, 9:09 am
Filed under: General comments

One of the benefits of attending an event like New Jersey Needle Festival is that we see people’s projects and their tools. Lori had a great rechargeable, clamp on light. It opens just wide enough for Evertite Stretcher bars and fits the interlocking wide bars easily. The brightest level of 3 is very good. It lights up the 12″ x 12″ canvas and especially the center 6″ x 6″ area where I’m stitching. It would last 4.5 hours at this level. The beam angle is 90 degrees so that it is focused and not shining in anyone’s eyes. The goose neck is flexible. It’s small and light weight. And, the bulb didn’t get a bit warm after 2 hours. I was shocked to get all this for $10.99. It recharges via a USB cord. I already had the USB wall plug portion that came with my phone.

On Amazon, search “LE Dimmable Desk Lamp, Rechargeable Clip LED Desk Lamp, 14 LEDs Gooseneck LED Portable Reading Book light, 3 Dimming Level, Touch Sensitive Table Lamp”.

We can’t bring plug in lights to ANG Seminars starting with Washington later this year. Because it only lasts 4.5 hours, it wouldn’t last a full day class. So, I’ll use the charger we bought for phone emergencies on trips. We got myCharge and a USB cable (sold separately) for approximately $25. In Amazon, search “myCharge RazorPlus 3000mAh Portable Charger With USB Port“. The USB cord that came with the light is compatible with the charger.

Now, after class, I just have to remember to recharge everything!

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New Jersey Needle Festival 2018 & Dare to Design

After I found Desert Island Stitches, Volume 2 regarding borders and this interesting kit (with threads that I have not used ever before) from Karen at Nimble Needle’s table, I settled down to stitch on my Dare to Design piece. By the end of the day, I had the center completed. However, the green stitch was bothering me. More on that later.

Throughout the day, I wandered around the vendors and looked at other people’s projects. It’s so fun to see what everyone is stitching. The ladies with New Jersey Needle Artists are doing another fascinating piece, Lorene Salt’s Autumn Kaleidoscope, in various colorways. Love them all!

Everyone was buying something from Trish all day long. I finally picked up this scissors case because it can hold more than scissors. And, her fabrics are gorgeous. This one reminds me of spring!

I forgot to get a group photo this year but we had a full table. Besides myself, I enjoyed the company of Buff, Kristen (first timer), Patrick, Linda from West Chester NY (first timer), Lisa, Lori, and Linda.

More on the green area. I’ve discarded Pepper Pot Silk Olive 095 because it was too heavy (not pictured) and Soie Perlee olive green 274 because it was getting lost in the canvas (see double motif upper left side next to red/oranges). In fact, all the double motifs appear to become one blob. Maybe adding beads in the center of each would help define each unit but the beads I selected are way too big. I contemplated using Planet Earth 6 ply silk Shrub V 1058 (the two right on the upper row and the second from the left on the bottom row) because it matches bugle beads I plan on adding. But, it too disappears into the canvas. In previewing the bugle bead, I also realize how a single bead isn’t as bright when it sits alone. The Au Ver A Soie light green 325 works best in the double motif (left on top row) but gets lost singly (left bottom row).

So, it took me all night but I’m doing a single motif in the Needlepoint Inc SilkLeaf Green Range 256 (bottom row right). The double motif seems blobby still (center bottom below the red/oranges. You can see the single clearly. However, I need new beads. I wish I had know this while I was at Edwardian Needle. Oh well! Beads will go on last. I’ll figure that out later. I could always do French Knots. It’s been an interesting learning experience to see how slightly different threads appear differently. No wonder Orna says she rips a lot out as she designs.



Another Day at Edwardian Needle and Crazy Quilt Finished
April 13, 2018, 8:51 pm
Filed under: Crazy Quilt/Ribbon Embroidery, General comments

I got to show off my finished crazy quilt to Pam and others at Edwardian Needle today. Everyone loved it. I had added some ribbon French Knots, strung some beads, placed some lazy daisy stitches along the bottom, and spun a cob web which are typical to crazy quilts as they represent good luck. And, I had excellent luck finding more ribbons and beads to make a second piece. It’s actually not luck because Pam has such an excellent selection. I’ll show my Main Line Stitchers Chapter some of what I learned about beaded and ribbon flowers probably in June. It’ll help reinforce what I learned.

I helped a woman pick an easy, less expensive canvas and Linda helped her pick threads. She never stitched anything and I couldn’t resist helping her (or is enabling the correct word?). As we left, she was being shown how to stitch basketweave. Welcome to our world!

What a wonderful store, owner, employees, and such welcoming patrons. There are even 5 tables for sitting and stitching. Today, 4 of the 5 tables quite full. You can sign up for time with Pam and she’ll help you with your particular canvas. It’s always fun seeing what other people are doing.



Crazy Quilt Day 2 and a Ribbon Knot
April 8, 2018, 5:45 pm
Filed under: Crazy Quilt/Ribbon Embroidery, General comments

Another great day at Edwardian Needle with Betty Pillsbury teaching. The class size increased by 3 today. A nice group of women. All great stitchers. Everyone’s pieces looked wonderful. I switched to a practice canvas because I didn’t have space to practice all of what we’d be going through on my stitched canvas.

I may add a background around the right flower and have it made up into a stand up piece. The center blue arrangement could get an edging stitch and become a bookmark. The left top isn’t finished so not sure what I’ll do with it. And, the beaded sample isn’t enough to do anything with.

As a reminder for me: To make a knot with ribbon, you have to place the needle through the end of the ribbon and then again 1/4″ inside before pulling the needle through the ribbon. If you do it inside to out, you won’t get a knot for anchoring on the back. I learned that firsthand.



Crazy Quilt Day 1
April 7, 2018, 4:33 pm
Filed under: Crazy Quilt/Ribbon Embroidery, General comments

Betty Pillsbury is giving us a great class on using ribbons, sequins, and beads. Learning a lot and got a lot done. Pam, from Edwardian Needle, provided a generous kit and Betty brought some more stuff for us to try. I’m the only one that stitched a base and Betty is accommodating me without any problem.

Pam also provided a lovely lunch of salad, eggplant parmesan, sausage/red peppers, roll, and 3 desserts!

Some stitching I did on a practice canvas but most stitching was right on my stitched canvas. Many of the kit’s contents I can use but I am using some of the threads and beads that I brought with me.



Crazy Quilt Canvas Ready for Ribbon Class With Betty Pillsbury
April 3, 2018, 12:04 pm
Filed under: Crazy Quilt/Ribbon Embroidery, General comments

Back at November’s Time for Needlepoint Retreat, Pam from Edwardian Needle gave us a line-drawn canvas, a stitch guide, and 2 skeins of Presencia in peach 1468 and light lavender 2687 (other colors were also offered) as a thank you gift for attending. She told us it could be used as a base for a crazy quilt/ribbon class she’d be offering in 2018 (smart marketing idea). I didn’t recognize the name of the teacher and googled her name, Betty Pillsbury. She’s written a book about crazy quilts and has taught beading and ribbon embroidery. She offers stitching how to videos on her website (greenspiralherbs.com). So, I am looking forward to this 2-day class this weekend.

As I was stitching my canvas in the week before the class, I realized that I was running out of the lavender after stitching 2 areas (upper 2 left areas) and nobody sells Presencia around here as far as I know. So, I decided to switch to DMC 210, a slightly darker lavender for the right 2 areas. And, DMC 209, an even darker lavender for the bottom and center areas. I was very surprised by the difference in appearance of the 2 right-sided areas stitched with the same DMC 210 and Presencia 1468. Both use just 2 threads but the top area is so much lighter than the lower area. Switching from a straight stitch to a diagonal stitch really affects the outcome. I’m glad that I ran out of the lavender because it will be a more interesting base now with some variety.

Because of the direction of the stitches, the final result does make the large bottom area (stitched with the darker 209) look more like the upper right (stitched with 210) than the center (stitched with 209). Interesting exercise.



Woodlawn Roadtrip 2018

Another cold March but the nor’easters decided to give us a couple of sunny, nice days. So, Bill & I did get to Woodlawn this year. We also stopped at a huge magic store outside Baltimore and saw Tony Kornheiser record his sport talk pod cast in Washington (2 of my husband’s favorite things, magic and watching/listening to sports).

Woodlawn had fewer judged pieces this year (407 listed in the handout; numbering starts at 100 and ends at 660 but large blocks of numbers were skipped in between). However, there are 2 special display rooms. One is Japanese Needlework from students of Antonia Evans. Other businesses shown below were also sponsors of the exhibit. They do beautiful work. Oops, there was a sign saying no photography in the Japanese room (so, I removed them from my blog).

And, there were a variety of wonderful pieces from the family of Mary Duckworth, once a longstanding member of Nelly’s Needler’s.

As usual, there were some great entries from all over the country. Winners of ribbons are listed on the website now too at: http://www.woodlawnpopeleighey.org/annualneedleworkshow/ . And, that brings me to my review of select pieces. I will comment mostly in order by entry number (in parens). And, if the entrant is a designer that I know has his/her first & last name on the web or is listed as an award winner on Woodlawn’s website, I’ll cite both; otherwise, I cite full first name and last name initial letter only. I didn’t get photos of other people’s pieces. Docents there today said just photograph your own piece. But, I didn’t think that included the special exhibits as no docents were in those rooms.

Catherine Hicks had amazing original embroidery with stumpwork pieces including a likeness of Diego Rivera’s Frida and Salvadore Dali with a handlebar moustache done in stumpwork (100-103; multiple awards including a Judges Choice Award).

I do like seeing pieces from designers I know like Jennifer Reifenberg’s Colorplay done by Patricia Tector (112; HonorableMention), Catherine Jordan’s original map of Florida celebrating 500 years since Ponce de Leon landed there (135; 3rd place), Long Dog’s ‘Death By Cross’ with 363 x 447 cross stitches over 1 thread on 52/60 count linen done by John Kazmaier (157; Pope-Leighey Award, 1st Place) in a reddish brown color, Deborah Merrick-Wilson displayed 10 stunning pieces either goldwork or canvaswork original designs (227-236; multiple awards including 1sr, 2nd, 3rd, Honorable Mention, and Eleanor Custis Lewis Award for Best in Show), a large version of Drawn Threads Forest designed by Catherine Jordan and stitched beautifully by Margareta MacGregor (305; Judges Award, 2nd Place), Imari Collage designed by Debbie Stiehler stitched by Rosie Lunde (418; 3rd Place) and by Donna LaBranche (507; 3rd Place), and Come Dance With Me designed by Orna Willis and stitched by Maria B (469; no ribbon but well done and this a piece that I stitched too).

Some other pieces that really caught my eye because they were stunning or amazing or both: Susan Baldassano’s fish on gauze (237; Honorable Mention), 2 large coy fish with 32,000 beads stitched by Katherine Ludlow Callahan (489; 2nd Place), Shirley Hutton’s large ribbon embroidery piece won 4 awards including

Adelaide Bolte Award

,

Outstanding Senior Entry

,

Judges Choice Awards

, and

First Place Ribbon

(503; she’s a member of my new EGA chapter and was at Woodlawn the same day as Bill and I); 9 fuchsia ribbon flowers on a muted background of stitches reminding me of a trellis stitched by Shirley Mucha (554; 2nd Place), Mary Vantyne used 324,025 cross stitches to depict Napoleon Bonaparte sitting on top of a horse that looked like a photograph (565; Honorable Mention), and an original design with lots of flowers using surface/Brazilian embroidery stitches by Karen Maier (Woodlawn award and 1st Place).

My red pillow designed by Susan Hoekstra for ANG’s Stitch of the Month in 2016 was in the Christmas room (415; no ribbon but a docent said she heard people complimenting it). And, there were 5 other framed SOTM pieces in various colors including yellow, gold, blue, and 2 greens. The centers were different in at least 2 of them including a beautiful beaded flower (600; Mary V) and another with a stumpwork flower (602; Mary W). It would have been nice to see them in the same room.

And, my original design is a Zentangle piece that I drew first and then interpreted in threads (416; Honorable Mention).

Drawing:

Another inspiring exhibit! Thanks to everyone who contributed.

Stitched: