Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Lotus Kimono Background
June 4, 2018, 11:00 am
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, Lotus Kimono

I looked through a half dozen books and settled on the Balloon Stitch from Sharon G’s Simply Essential Needlepoint Stitch Explanations for the background. Perhaps I was influenced by her saying it has a bit of an Oriental flare to it and suggested it for a kimono. Several Lantern stitches from Keys to Canvas Embellishment by Julia Snyder were nice options too.

It’s a dark blue thread, Impressions, which makes seeing the pattern a little difficult in the photo. The black collar, cuffs, and hem are just a Satin stitch using 4 strands of Splendor.

Interestingly, one of the stitch guides recommended a lovely open composite stitch. It looks really nice but since it is for a background, I wonder if it might distract the eye from the focal point. So, I selectd a completely filled in pattern that will certainly remain unobtrusive.

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The Thistle
June 3, 2018, 4:46 pm
Filed under: The Thistle

The Thistle by Carole Lake and Michael Boren is a free project from my ANG Keystone Garden Chapter. We got an antique blue canvas (8″ x 8″) and similar colored threads from what’s listed in the instructions from Needle Pointers magazine (Sept 2014).

The thistle was stitched first and I made the green leaves bigger than I realized. So, I had to make the border a little longer causing the side gold areas to be adjusted to fit the open area. Turned out fine. The design is not large-only 3″ x 4&1/2″.

I switched the navy DMC floss to the navy Impressions 7011 mainly because I didn’t want to lay the two borders of backstitch. And, I’m very happy that I did because it made wrapping the backstitch borders so easy and gives a very uniform appearance.

And, instead of the muted lavender blue overdyed Watercolour 162 provided or the baby blue white overdyed Thread Gatherer Silken Pearl 15/3 SP5 081 recommended, I used Thread Gatherer Sheep’s Silk Lilac SPS075 for a more imposing realistic appearance.

The chapter encourages participation in projects by awarding points toward a gift certificate. The more completed, the more money. This is my first completion for one point this year. Larger projects are worth 2 points. And, showing up for our meeting during the busy month of December gets you one point.



Lotus Kimono
May 24, 2018, 10:36 pm
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, Lotus Kimono

My ANG Main Line Chapter got canvases, threads, and a stitch guide from Fireside Stitchery and one from Amy Bunger for 4 canvases. Three of us, Buff, Linda, and myself, selected Lotus Kimono by Lee (SPM 279). I selected a second canvas but it will have to wait. I didn’t get the other 2 canvases because I don’t have time to do every project (bummer).

Linda and Buff are going to bring the threads and stitch guides they got to a couple of meetings and discuss the differences or similarities. It’s an excellent learning experience even for people not stitching the piece.

Today at Rittenhouse Needlepoint with input from Linda and Buff, I picked my threads. We had a great time looking at all the threads. Thanks again to both!

I’ve got Splendor S801 for the trim; Elegance E801 for the black seam lines; Kreinik #4 and #8 Braids 002V for gold; Gloriana 185, Gloriana 048, and Silk ‘n Colors 1068 for the trumpet flowers; Gloriana 288, 096, and 117 for the lily pads; Chameleon Shades of Africa Two Oceans (Au Ver a Soie) for blue lotus flower; Needlepoint Inc Silk 877, 571, 501A, and 501 for the salmon lotus flower; and Impressions 7011 for the navy background.

Apologies to the staff at Rittenhouse because I had a dozen combinations of greens out before I settled with what I have now. They didn’t want me to put the threads back! I’m so fortunate I had that many options.

I’ve been looking over my books tonight to select stitches. I’ll be doing the background first. Does anyone want to make a suggestion? I have 2 in mind but would love to know what you’d select!



Dare To Design With Orna Willis, Finished
May 19, 2018, 4:21 pm
Filed under: Dare to Design With Orna Willis

Most of the stitches worked up well except for the Nobuko Stitch (green thread under the purple beads). They seemed to blend together too much. So, I made fewer of them.

It’s been an interesting learning experience.

I’m already excited to turn another watercolor picture into a stitched design. I’ve got plenty of threads still. This class isn’t over until July.



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!



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.