Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Purple Mountains Majesty in ANG 2018 Seminar Exhibit in Washington, DC
September 4, 2018, 8:39 am
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2018, Melita's Designs, Purple Mountains Majesty

Purple Mountains Majesty didn’t receive a ribbon even though it scored 91 out of 100 (design=23, color=25, workmanship/technique=17, suitability=19, finishing=7). No real negatives were pointed out in this judge’s critique. Rather positives were pointed out including that the stitches themselves were well executed with a nice even tension, I manipulated the thread well to yield the affect I was looking for, and the areas that I refer to as ‘broken color placement’ (in my artist statement below) enhanced the overall design by providing depth to your landscape. She did make an interesting comment: “There are a few spots where the dye is not solid on the thread. There is nothing you can do about that unless you get a colored marker. Such a marker can be used on a thread before or after stitching. If the thread is too thin, you can color wash the canvas to prevent it from glinting through.” I didn’t realize using a color marker on thread was an acceptable practice!

My artist’s statement follows:

I wanted to explore using one overdyed thread with a few distinct colors to see how I could control the color of that overdyed thread in a single design that was pictorial in nature. This thread popped out at me because it had blue and green. I knew using an overdyed blue thread for sky and an overdyed green thread for grass is very effective. When I saw that the color shift was green to purple to blue, I heard “America The Beautiful” singing the lyrics “purple mountains majesties” and knew this would be great for the exhibit in Washington, DC. I thought I’d control the color best with the brick stitch. However, the various lengths of each color varied within the skein make controlling the color more difficult. There is some broken color placement which when viewed from a distance mixes optically to form the impression of reflected color. And, I obtained some aerial perspective with some of the mountains in the far distance which blurred into a bluish-purple haze.

Advertisements


Crescent Journey in ANG 2018 Seminar Exhibit in Washington, DC
September 2, 2018, 7:12 pm
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2018, Crescent Journey, Melita's Designs

Crescent Journey received a 3rd place ribbon at ANG Seminar and scored 94 out of 100 – anything in the 90s is fantastic! So, you know some other wonderful pieces were submitted in this category. I requested a Judge’s Critique and am thrilled especially with design and color scores – doesn’t get any better! The technique issue that continues to plaque me is twisted threads. I knew I was having issues with Trebizond. Apparently, some beads were not oriented correctly (I may have rotated my canvas as I stitched & if that was intended then I should have noted that in the statement) or they leaned a tad (I need to get out my magnifying glass as I stitch). And, the judges thought some stranded silks might have been more suitable and would have eliminated the twist issue. I can see them used as well although I think it would give a different effect.

My artist statement follows:

I’ve been through an enlightening journey with Orna Willis. During her “Color Inspirations”, “Come Design With Me”, and “Dare To Design” classes, I have learned techniques and processes that allowed me to discover designs within myself. Two of the earlier black and white sketches are shown to see how I developed this design. The colored sketches do not even represent the final design because portions didn’t stitch up as I expected. So, I discarded some stitches and kept others until I had the final stitched design.

Key elements were the way the crescents came together in the corners and the frame within the triangles (Knitting stitch and Mosaic stitches in light and dark purple). The base that the 3 diamonds fit into is same throughout the design except for the colors of the crescents and half Waffles. The center diamonds have 2 or 3 shared components (Wavy, Smyrna, and Nobuko stitches) adding to the continuity within the design. And, the placement of colors helped tie all the elements together too.

ArtistStatement

Crescent Crescendo framed



Celtic Knot Dilemma
August 21, 2018, 9:24 pm
Filed under: Celtic Knot, Melita's Designs

Well, I’ve done some stitching wrong again. Everything outside the darker crescents on the upper right and lower left corners is wrong because I rotated the canvas 90 degrees. The upper left and bottom right are correct. So, do I rip out the upper right and lower left, continue to rotate 90 degrees and see what happens, or finish it at this point by just adding beads and sequins and add more Kreinik around the whole irregular edge?

If I continue, I have to buy more Trebizond threads in several colors anyway. If I rip, I may run out of the Watercolours. Do I want to invest more time and money in this design? I’m happy with how it looks at this point especially after adding beads and sequins. I’ve learned from it but other projects may be time and money better spent.

At this point, I welcome your thoughts on what to do. So far, I have 3 rip and restitch. This was very valid advice, “Depends what you will do with it. If you love it enough to get it done by a finisher and display it, then fix it to be correct. If not, then move on.”

I’m going to see if additional threads match what I’ve used so far and continue to ponder my options.



A Tip For Threads With A Twist & Tied Up With Celtic Knot
August 11, 2018, 3:12 pm
Filed under: Celtic Knot, Dare to Design With Orna Willis, General comments, Threads

Have you ever had threads get twisted when you stitch? Who hasn’t? Well, I heard people try and explain z twist and s twist. While I understand it, I can’t see it. Until I can see the different twists, I will use the simple tip I heard from Cleo at my EGA Brandywine Chapter meeting which is to use the thread as it comes off the skein. This means that the beginning of the thread goes in the eye of the needle. Then, cut the other end and finish with that end. I was seeing issues with Trebizond and now I’m not.

This is the beginning of the second design that has come out of my design class with Orna Willis. My paintings reminded Patrick from my ANG Chapter of a Celtic Knot. I don’t know if the stitched piece in my colors will still remind him of a Celtic Knot but that’s what I’ve called this design.

Here are the paintings.

I tried to paint in my stitched colorway but didn’t do great.

Here’s the inner area stitched (sequins and beads will be added last). I’m using Trebizond TRA 381 Orange Sherbet, 3586 Birds of Paradise, 343 Peach Sorbet, Bijout MMT 429 Jasper, Kreinik 1/16″ ribbon 2122, and Watercolours 144 Pomegranate in this inner area.

A different color of Trebizond, Bittersweet TRA 376, replaced the Orange Sherbet TRA 381 into the next surrounding area.

I love how it’s looking but it certainly isnt easy to stitch due to the nonsymmetrical features and the weaving. I could stop here and add beads and it’d be a pretty little thing but I am going to keep on going!! All these threads are from the kit that came with Orna’s class. Even after I finish this piece, I’ll have threads enough to stitch at least a third piece!



Scotch Stew Published in Needle Pointers
July 10, 2018, 6:38 pm
Filed under: Melita's Designs, Scotch Stew

Needle Pointers magazine has published Scotch Stew in the May/June 2018 issue! The magazine is late reaching our homes but it got posted online a week ago. So, I knew that it wasn’t on the cover. But, it’s so rewarding and fun to see my design published. I can’t show much of what was published due to copyright issues but this should be ok.

Again, Pam Gardner did a magnificent job of diagramming the stitches and clarifying text I suggested. I was able to send her better diagrams than previous published pieces and she said that made it much easier for her. I sent everything to her shortly after Seminar last year and was able to practice using computer skills that I learned from Cynthia Thomas.

This was my second attempt at an all Scotch stitch design. Here is the piece framed (by Repenning Fine Arts in Audubon, NJ). It received a third place ribbon at Seminar last year. Both of my Scotch pieces will look great on our newly painted bedroom walls.

Postscript 1. I was thrilled to hear that a favorite designer of mine stitched this in another colorway and shared it with me – very pretty. Also, nice to hear that it was easy to follow the instructions and diagrams. She’s going to use it as a lead-in to a meeting program about changing colors or threads in a published project.

Postscript 2. I got a lovely thank you note from Diane from Needle Pointers magazine for sharing the design and I got an extra copy of the magazine.



Scotch Flower and Hearts
June 24, 2018, 9:14 pm
Filed under: Melita's Designs, Scotch Flower and Hearts

This design was my first attempt at an all Scotch stitch design. But, I almost didn’t finish this design because of the reversed heart pattern in the corners. It was a tricky pattern that I needed to chart out for each corner because the hearts remain upright. I couldn’t rotate the canvas.

For the rest of the outer border, I used Scotch and Smyrna stitches.

The center flower used a Watercolours, Baby Breath. The skein is from the stash of a deceased member. It has a hand written dye lot but no color number assigned. So, it’s quite an old skein. I love the colors and was particularly careful to have the threads color movement match on each side. And, it goes with peach and teal/turquoise very nicely including Crystal Braid CR17, Vineyard Silk Classic C-079 & C-184, Trebizond TRA701, and Splendor S818 (I’m not sure what Kreinik threads I used). I charted the center using offset scotch stitches over 3, 4, 6, and 7 threads before stitching.

I put the piece away quite some time ago and just recently found it. So, I decided that my own design wouldn’t beat me! And, it didn’t. It’ll make a nice companion piece in our recently repainted bedroom.

If I were to do this again, I wouldn’t be so particular about the color movement in the center flower. And, I would use a Mosaic stitch on the sides instead of all Smyrna stitches just for variety.



New Crescent River Finished 
November 19, 2017, 1:03 pm
Filed under: ANG Keystone Garden Chapter, Crescent River

Thanks to my ANG Keystone Garden Chapter who wanted to stitch this for a project,  I restitched it using different threads.

I can’t remember where I found this stitch for the grass but it worked well. The shades of green Watercolours Wasabi 271 provided most of the grass. The slightly dark grass is from Watercolours Guacamole 206. I wanted the shading to look like sun making certain areas lighter. I think I added too much grass. So, I may have the mat cover some of the right grass area.

And, the wild flowers are either Diamond Eyelet from Stitches by Effect by Suzanne Howden and Beth Robertson or Diamond Eyelet Variation from Plants & Animals by June McNight. To avoid a streaky effect from Watercolours Autumn Frost 143, I didn’t always complete each eyelet. Rather, I would start a second or third in order to get to a new color along the overdyed thread.

This one doesn’t have the threads showing under the crescents but it seems to lack the contrast that the first one had. I forgot to check the gray values of the threads. Others are still working on the project.