Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Christmas 2019 with Gay Ann Rogers and Susan Sturgeon Roberts

I asked Santa for Gay Ann Roger’s series of designs inspired by Downton Abbey including the Countess, Lady Mary, and Lady Edith. Hopefully, she adds a fourth based on the Dowager Countess.

And, I expect to learn a lot from Susan Sturgeon Roberts in her book, Tips & Techniques for Needlepoint. After some cooking, I will settle down with this.

Happy Holidays to all!



Holiday Patches by Susan Kerndt
December 21, 2019, 5:41 pm
Filed under: Holiday Patches, Other People's Pieces
My stitching birthday present earlier this year was Holiday Patches by Susan Kerndt. I was hopeful that I would have started this by now but another project that came along took priority (and I can’t share it for awhile). With Santa bringing even more projects, I decided that I would share this now.

Susan has beautiful diagrams in her booklet. I love how there is a grid on each page with large colored diagrams and instructions for each section.

I saw three pieces of this design all stitched differently at Woodlawn Needlework Exhibit this year. Each very pretty! I would love to do several of these.

I’m hopeful that my stitching buddy will have some extra fabric in Linda’s Boutique that I can have or even save some scraps for me. She buys lovely coordinating fabrics for her quilting projects. It doesn’t need large pieces. Then, we can go shopping to get coordinating threads. More fun for 2020!



Watercolor Poppies Stitch & Zip
July 21, 2019, 7:31 am
Filed under: General comments, Other People's Pieces, Stitch N' Zip, Threads

Having a small, easy piece to stitch and carry with me is great for trips. And, Stitch & Zip pieces fulfill both requirements. I found this eyeglass case in a corner of a gift store called Wonderful Things in Great Barrington, MA in May 2018. The only needlepoint in the store was a few of these. So, I had to pick it up! It’s called Watercolor Poppies.

I found a few threads appropriate for 14 count canvas in my stash including Vineyard Merino a violet M-1042 Dark Earth, 2 greens M-1065 Martini and M-1067 Foliage and 2 roses Silk & Ivory 161 Lida Rose, 162 Rosie O’Grady.

But, I still needed lots of colors so I found more Silk & Ivory in August 2018 while stopping at Point of It All (before ANG Seminar) including yellow 241 Maize, 2 shades of orange 213 Banana and 215 Clementine, 2 shades of pink 185 Cosmopolitan and 119 Grenadine, a red 199 Tamale, and 3 blues 198 ahoy, 36 Admiral Blue, and 69 Forgot-Me-Not.

Apparently, Silk & Ivory pills more depending on which end is threaded! If you thread Silk & Ivory one way, it pills. If you thread it the other way, it doesn’t. So, if you find which end splays more, you should always thread that end into the needle’s eye. I didn’t find any pilling issues but these are small areas and the canvas is 14 count. Good tip!

I found this tip in an earlier blog posting and it’s worth repeating: In order to get the top edge to angle like the rest, turn the canvas upside down and stitch left to right with the needle moving straight up, the thread ends up angled correctly (like basketweave).

I was surprised to see how the colors in the photo of the stitched example differ from the canvas colors.

I stitched more closely to the canvas colors.



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.



Sandy Arthur Class at Rittenhouse Needlepoint
February 2, 2019, 11:26 pm
Filed under: Beading and Ribbon-Sandy Arthur, Rittenhouse Needlepoint

Yesterday, Linda and I made a trip to Rittenhouse Needlepoint for some threads. I enjoyed helping Linda find silk threads to replace cotton floss for a project of hers. The subtle variations in color are endless. Luckily, Rittenhouse has a variety of silks to choose from and we are lucky to be so close to the store.

I picked up 2 skeins of new threads they stock now but that’ll be the subject of another post.

What I want share here are the demo samples of what we’ll learn during Sandy Arthur’s classes on beads and ribbons the first weekend in April. We’re (Linda and I) not taking the third class on hairdos. Nor are we following her to Stitch-Stash in Rehoboth, DE for a lovely red, white, and blue basket although the condensed pilot class regarding “Conventional Techniques Using Unconventional Resources” sounds intriguing. There is probably room in all classes if you are interested-just call the store (s). And, here’s a link to Sandy’s blog: sandyarthur.blogspot.com or http://sandyarthur.blogspot.com/2019/01/face-2-face-appearances-time-for-us-to.html?m=1

This will be my first classes with Sandy and I’m sure I’m going to enjoy them as Sandy is just a fantastic lady and she knows beads and ribbons!!



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!



Rose Eyeglass Case Stitched
July 19, 2018, 9:04 pm
Filed under: Other People's Pieces, Stitch N' Zip

This is a Stitch & Zip eyeglass case called Roses (SZ309 from 1999) by Alice Peterson Co. It’s a painted 14 count canvas. It comes with cotton embroidery thread but I replaced that with threads from my stash including Silk & Ivory (50% silk and 50% Merino wool; colors: 55-kiwi, 56-lime, 161-lida rose, and 162-rosie o’grady) and Vineyard Merino (100% wool; color: M1136 conch). Using wool and stitching with basketweave should improve durability.

I couldn’t get the top edge to look like the rest – the angle was straight instead of angled. I saw my stitching buddy, Linda had stitched a Stitch & Zip with the proper edging. She explained and showed me how to do it. I don’t quite understand why it works but by turning the canvas upside down and stitching left to right with the needle moving straight up, the thread ends up angled correctly (like basketweave).

We got a wonderful new neighbor in the Spring and couldn’t be happier that she bought the house. Her name is Rose and she has a son who lives with her and occasionally watches his 5-year old son. He’s a cutie – loves science – smart kid. We are not Facebook friends yet so I can post that this will be a gift for her. A rose design for Rose.

But, first, I want to line it and again Linda has agreed to help me. She’s very good with sewing and is always generous by sharing her knowledge and experience. Thanks in advance!