Melitastitches4fun's Blog


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:

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Rittenhouse Needlepoint Road Trip
March 15, 2018, 4:17 pm
Filed under: General comments, Threads

Members of my ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter made an outing to Rittenhouse Needlepoint’s new store on Arch St near the Convention Center and Reading Terminal Market. Incredible store. Tons of space. Russell gave us a tour. We saw the finishers hard at work making ornaments, boxes, and a backpack prototype! You can take a tour too at https://youtu.be/TxrR8j855AE

As Russell talks about in the video, we discussed his plans for classes, retreats, and charitable opportunities.

I took some stitching and was going to sit and stitch but I helped my chapter members spend their money by helping find threads for their projects. With 150 lines of thread (and more coming), it was fun.

He was so sweet to make us fruitcake (& not like any other – this was actually delicious). And, he gave us this ort box with external pockets! Then, we headed to Reading Terminal Market for a late lunch. Great day!



Needlepoint Junction on Hilton Head Island
February 26, 2018, 4:39 pm
Filed under: Dare to Design With Orna Willis, General comments

Michele has a lovely store, Needlepoint Junction, on Hilton Head Island. So many threads and so well stocked. It’d be a joy to kit a project there. However, I have too many now to start another one. I didn’t even take a picture of the painted canvases (displayed on easy to flip through swinging big boards). But, you can get the idea of what a wonderful selection she has from these pictures. It looks like a wide variety of gorgeous supplies for knitters too. Worth a stop in person or online at needlepointjunctionhhi.com & enjoy!

Instead of another project, I added to my book collection. I got my second book in the Sandra Arthur Shapes of Needlepoint (Series III with corners, hexagons, ovals, and parallelograms). These shapes should help immensely with my ‘Dare to Design’ class with Orna Willis. By the way, right now, we are water painting to get a mix of shapes and colors involved to see changing focal points.



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!