Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Road Trip Along the Jersey Shore
April 29, 2016, 5:18 pm
Filed under: General comments

I hardly unpacked before I packed again. Thanks to my husband’s golf outing, I got to see Scrim Discovery in Ocean City, NJ on Friday on the drive to Wildwood.

Sally was very pleasant and has a lovely store. Great light. And, tons of threads & canvases! I love how she displays everything – see the purses hanging from the ceiling & canvases placed on the ceiling on the right side!

Scrim Discovery, threads

She has a lot going on (find her on Facebook to keep up on everything) & she had this cute bead buddy that will be handy for the Nancy Cucci piece. It’s got a magnet on the bottom so that you can place it near your stitching! Perfect as I hope to stitch as my husband golfs.

Scrim Discovery



Woodlawn Roadtrip 2016
March 20, 2016, 9:25 am
Filed under: General comments, Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition

The 53rd Annual Woodlawn Needlework Exhibit was fantastic again. This is my 7th year. I had 2 stitching friends with me this year (my husband stayed home & golfed). It was great fun to have Linda & Ginny come along especially because I mapped out a fantastic needlepoint shopping itinerary (3 stores on our way south Saturday) – yesterday’s post. We went last weekend & it was a busy week. I hope this encourages you to get therE before the end of the month.

For now, I’ll talk about just a few of the 510 pieces on display this year. I didn’t note how many pieces were on display in 2010, my first visit but 2011 had 681 (the most since I’ve been going). Both 2012 & 2013 had 600+ and 2014 and 2015 both had 500+.

Again, Linda was able to point out names of lots of designers of pieces & Ginny was spotting interesting things like the folk art/country piece in the doorway as you leave the sampler room that had the same piece stitched on different size ground (538 large cross stitch  by Joan & 585 miniature by Wendy which won 3rd place). We all agree that listing the designer name of the piece on the card would be fantastic. But, no doubt a time-consuming task & these (mostly) ladies do a fantastic job – lots of work to put on a month-long show like this!!

Patrick B (105) from my ANG Main Line chapter submitted a beautiful Christmas stocking he’d done for his wife, Donna. There were several other lovely ones as well.

If my mom were still alive, I would have left a note for Lauren (172 cross stitch) to find out who the designer was for her flower arrangement which was bursting with mostly oranges but also blue, yellow, and red.

Kurdy Biggs had one of her Classic Facets (28) win 2nd place. I have the Amber colorway in my stash but hers was a silver & gold colorway. And, her newest piece Concepcion (29) is stunning and won a 2nd place ribbon. Both can been seen on her website (http://www.threedles.com/06012011/2015/Classic%20Facets/Classic%20Facets.html and http://www.threedles.com/06012011/2016/2016Designs.html).

I was lucky enough to meet Ruth Dilts at our stop in Waste Knot. So, it fun seeing her pieces on display (123 and 124 which won 3rd place). She was the first of the daily demonstrators earlier in March. It’s just a wonderful touch to have people doing different crafts. We saw Tamara doing tatting. And, Ginny found out that she is the grandmother of the Nissa who stitched Mandala Alpine (158 ), an amazing piece  (http://europeanxstitch.com/collections/chatelaine-designs/products/alpine-seasons-garden-chat-049). The other Mandala (596  by Mary) was beautiful too. Woodlawn listed both as a multistitch sampler although 123stitch lists the Chatelaine designs under cross stitch (http://www.123stitch.com/cgi-perl/abcSearch/search.cgi?page=1&keyword=mandala&NewItems=0&OnSale=0&Clearance=0&FreeShipping=0&sortorder=relevance&searchid=&filteredby=&webpage=&type=&resultstoreturn=35&designer=Chatelaine).

Heather stitched Jean Hilton’s “Newport Sampler” (43) from Needle Pointers magazine. It was a 6-part series beginning in July 2002 (http://needlepoint.org/NeedlePointers/NP-back2002.php). I first remember seeing it on a friend’s Facebook page (Barbara L). It is impressive at 14″ x 36″ done in a combo of Hungarian Point and Jean Hilton stitches.

Joyce embroidered 3 of her dogs she’s had in her lifetime all cuddling together in one picture that was so adorable & such a wonderful way to honor them. It (521) rightly deserved a 1st place ribbon.

Catherine Jordan had a delicate surface embroidery of trees you can see through to a painted canvas background with a river flowing through the trees win 2nd place & Judge’s Choice (23). One of her Zentangle designs was on a hand-painted canvas combined with blackwork (22) and her other Zentangle was a cross between Zentangle and embroidery. Both very interesting as my ANG Keystone Garden chapter will be doing our own Zentangle later this year.

My ANG Keystone Garden chapter will also be doing Winter Scenery Variation by Martina Dey and we got to see that stitched by Barbro (527)!

Donna (220) submitted her Color Play by Jennifer Riefenberg she began at seminar last year (http://artofsunshine.com/workszoom/1566860) for a 2nd place ribbon. It’s 5 multi-colored hexagonal shapes. I was so surprised to run into her when I stopped in Nimble Needle NJ to pick up some finished ornaments yesterday but pleased to congratulate her in person!  What a fun coincidence.

Marlene’s wolf done on 32 count in cross stitch (559) looked like he was going to jump out at us (it was my vote for People’s Choice)! And, her tree was done in miniature (558) winning her 1st place and Pope-Leighey Award. We saw that stitched last year & Linda ordered that design and a couple other trees but hasn’t stitched any yet. Now, she is considering what size & type of ground to stitch them on. The package on the cross stitch tree designs says “photo provided by Brand X Pictures and pattern design by Mystic Stitch, Inc.” It appears that all of Mystic Stitch designs are photographs that they convert to cross stitch. Just beautiful.

Deborah Merrick Wilson won 1st place and the Woodlawn Award for an interesting bouquet of flowers in a stitched vase (652). The flowers were a variety of embroidery, layers of felt, turkey work, ribbons, and beads – my favorite of her 15 pieces in the exhibit. Some were for sale in the actual exhibit and a couple for sale in the lobby along with a couple of kits. Pieces being on sale is new this year. Proceeds get split between the stitcher & Woodlawn. Among her goldwork pieces were 3 small bulbous flowers (651) that won 1st place, a large Tudor rose (213) that won 2nd place, and a butterfly stitched in green and blue with a center goldwork body (211) that didn’t get a ribbon but was very pretty. In all she got 2 x 1st place, 2 x 2nd place, 3 x 3rd place, and 1 Honorable Mention.

What fun to see a flamingo Santa with his flamingo reindeer from Karen from Nimble Needle (37).

Rosie stitched Spirit by Sue Reed  in sage green cinnamon/rust colors. The New Jersey Needle Artists stitched A Different View by Kurdy Biggs (http://www.threedles.com/06012011/2011/WhatsNew2011.html#A_Different_View), a geometric piece – we got to see 5 colorways! They talked about it some on their blog (http://blog.njneedleartists.org/)

Mary got 2nd place for a lovely pastel colorway of Frankie by Michael Boren (505).

A first place and Judge’s Choice went to Terri for an interesting gauze fan with parrots (147).

It’s always fun to see Janet Zickler Casey Santa ornaments!

My original design (which I still won’t blog about until a much later date for a couple of reasons) didn’t win a ribbon. Maybe because professionals and non-professionals compete head-to-head at Woodlawn, I should just enter my original designs in ANG’s exhibit at the Annual Seminar where I am placed in the non-professional category. At Woodlawn, I should enter a counted piece or a painted canvas (my first year I gor 3rd place for a painted canvas). In fact last year, I thought I should send the canvas I picked up at In Stitches that year. 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. I’m still working on it – far from done but it just got bumped to a higher priority!!

A fantastic event & I was glad to support Nellies Needleers by bring home a towel they stitched.

Butterfly towel



Roadtrip Before Woodlawn 2015
March 18, 2016, 3:17 pm
Filed under: General comments, Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition

What a great weekend! Another road trip with Linda & Ginny joined us!! We met around 9 am on Saturday to visit 3 needlepoint stores on our way south to Woodlawn in Alexandria, VA. We spent between 30 min to an hour at a shop. Details are presented in the order we visited:

Needles and Threads of Ruxton (7701 Bellona Ave, Baltimore, MD; right off 695 Baltimore; open 10-4; http://needlesandthreadsofruxton.com/) had lots of threads & canvases in a small space but well organized,  bright, 3 employees available including the owner Judy. There were 2 male stitchers, several women, employees, and us but never felt crowded. Everyone was so nice. What a wonderful first stop.

Judy Ruxton

We found some threads that we need for Xanadu, a Jim Wurth project that our ANG Keystone Garden chapter is doing this year from Needle Pointers. I found this bookmark that I have plenty of stash for.

Bookmark COP (JW323):

Bookmark

The Point of It All (5232 44th St NW, Washington, DC; deviate off Capital Beltway but not too far into Washington; open 10-4; http://thepointofitallonline.com/) had an interesting organizer called Needlecraft Palette that has 15  toggles & little pockets for specialty threads, scissors, etc. And, they had a very helpful stitched sample of each thread they sell stitched on 14- and/or 18-count canvas. We liked the red walls and canvas edging they apply.

Organizer:

Organizer

Stitch samples:

Stitched samples

Waste Knot (4502 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA; cross into VA over Chain Bridge; open 10-5; http://www.wasteknotneedlepoint.com/; shop 30 min) – they had a Mindy trunk shop going on & I didn’t get to my first Mindy canvas yet!! I met Ruth Dilts (her back is to us on the right) & Lori, the owner (her head is behind the computer monitor on the left).

Waste Knor, Lori

But, I found a JP canvas to make a companion piece (pillows) to the canvas I bought at Gazebo Plus where I just stopped in with Linda as she picked up her canvas not intending to buy knowing I was going on this shopping spree!! But, these are my 2 favorite flowers. They are both 16″ x 8″ on 13 mesh.

Gazebo Plus JP Bird of Paradise & Bamboo (O-038):

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Waste Knot JP Orange Orchid & Bamboo (O-039):

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And, how could I forget Bill!! He’ll get the Canvas Connection Golf Bag  (3″ x 4″) (GB-556):

Golf bag

Sunday after Woodlawn in the morning, we stopped at In Stitches (8800F Pear Tree Court, Alexandria, VA; open 12:30 – 4:30 pm; http://institchesneedlework.com/). I managed to find “Painted Canvas Embellishment: An Idea Book” by Carole H Lake & Michael Boren. I like the layout of stitches by category with tips in bubbles near the stitch.

 



What a trip to the Framers!
February 12, 2016, 7:21 pm
Filed under: General comments

I took 8 pieces (most but not all stitched in 2015) to the framer before Christmas.  Linda helped me pick out frames along with Jim the owner of Repenning Fine Arts in Audubon,  NJ. I’m very happy that Karen at Nimble Needle recommended him. Nice selection of frames, he has a good eye, and is reasonably priced. We had a lot of fun – it took some time too with 8 pieces! But, it was a successful group experience. Three pieces I can’t show yet – they were framed as a single. It was tough to get good pictures of the dark frames. But, they look really great.

Patchwork Quilt by Pat Donaldson

Patchwork Quilt, framed.jpg

 

And, Tootsiebubbles: Pinwheels and Whirligigs by Brenda Kocher

Tootsiebubbles, framed

Color Inspirations by Orna Willis

Color Inspirations, framed

Three Leaves by Margaret Kinsey

Three Leaves, framed

Gilded Acorns by Deborah Wilson

Acorns, framed-1

 



2015 in Review
January 4, 2016, 9:28 am
Filed under: General comments

Thanks to everyone from 88 countries who took the time to come and read my blog in 2015 (especially Brenda & Sue). According to WordPress, I had a total of 20,000 views with 370 hits in a single day! Read all about it at https://melitastitches4fun.wordpress.com/2015/annual-report/

I followed my 2015 mantra, VISION, by using some of what I had in my stash but I brought in more new pieces some of which were finished & others were added to my stash. But, I’m happy looking back at what was accomplished. I finished 13 projects including 4 of my own designs (2 are not going to be shown here until they appear somewhere else which is very exciting), 2 goldwork pieces (1 ANG seminar class project and 1 ANG Main Line Stitchers class project which were with great teachers and I learned a lot) & 7 charted designs. I finished Walking the Water’s Edge with just 12 hours left before we rang in 2016! That’s more pieces than I realized I had done. Not only did I enjoy stitching them but also learned a lot.

Now, I am getting back to Spirit of Jean (hope to finish in Jan).  And, I will spend time on another of my own designs and a small painted canvas. Since each one needs a particular mindset in order to do it correctly, I think I’ll go back to FOCUS as my stitching mantra in 2016. I think that has been a guiding principle since 2014 anyway. And, I don’t have to focus on the same piece every day until it is done. Rather, I look at focusing on finishing a particular section when I sit to stitch. That way I am accomplishing exactly what I want to do on a given day.

I did have to rest my hands for a couple of days because I was getting quite a bit of pain from too much stitching. So I spent the time cleaning up my camera & computer folders. And, I see I have been remiss in posting various stitching related items. So, the next couple of weeks will be catching up – starting with scissors. If you don’t have the proper tools, stitching is more difficult. I’ve been using the Friskar scissors for a couple years now (since Marilyn O recommended them). And, I have given them as gifts. But, I love the curved Gingham scissors I picked up using part of the gift certificate I got this year from my ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter for my efforts on projects & newsletters. It feels safer clipping closer with the curved blade. Both scissors are so sharp.

Friskar scissors

Gingher scissors

 



A Needlepoint Christmas
December 28, 2015, 10:45 am
Filed under: General comments, Other People's Pieces

By ordering earlier and having my husband put them away, I had totally forgotten about the first two needlepoint gifts shown below.

This is a Mindy canvas called Hearts in Color.

Hearts in Color

I’m sure that I’ll learn a lot from this color tool.

Color Tool

And, I’m finally getting a subscription to this magazine.  I resisted for years because I didn’t want to be tempted by more projects.  But, it’s fun to read anyway!

Needlepoint Now



Scarf
November 29, 2015, 8:48 pm
Filed under: General comments

This beautiful black, gray, and white scarf was from a fund raiser in Naples,  NY. Each table paid a fee towards the fire department & proceeds from what each table sold they kept. In this case,  the money went towards the Narcissa Prentiss House in Prattsburgh, NY – her birthplace. She was a pioneer,  missionary,  and teacher who traveled with her husband,  a minister,  from the East Coast to Oregon. Narcissa rode sidesaddled and one of the first two white women to cross the Continental Divide. The house would be interesting to see with artifacts, quilts, antique clothing, a room dedicated to the Pratt family, founders of Prattsburgh.

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