Tuesday, February 27, 2024

SOTM 2023 Crescent Journey - Updated 2/27/24

February 27, 2024--Picked up this gorgeous project from Michael's Arts & Crafts frame shop yesterday and I love how it turned out.  The photo doesn't show the beaded "bling" and how much sparkle there is.  

SOTM 2023 Crescent Journey Finished

December 5, 2023--Fini!  All that needed to be done with this month's lesson was to add black seed beads and gold bugle beads which added some dimension and sparkle to the piece.  

I'll wait until next month to take it to the framer--they have enough to worry about getting things done by Christmas.

SOTM 2023 Crescent Journey Lesson 12 December

November 5, 2023--Well, that was easy.  All we had to work on this month was a Greek stitch around the edge and a square eyelet stitch in the corners.  Now for the really fun stuff next month.  Almost done.

SOTM 2023 Crescent Journey Lesson 11 November

October 8, 2023--This month's lesson had us stitching a herringbone pattern in two colors of silver around the edges.   Almost done.  Two more months of stitching and bead work and it'll be ready for the framer.

SOTM 2023 Crescent Journey Lesson 10 October

September 10, 2023--September's lesson, the 9th this year, is done and it looks like all the "empty" canvas areas are pretty much filled in.  I believe the borders will be next along with some beading.  Yay!

SOTM 2023 Crescent Journey Lesson 9 September

August 15, 2023--The stitching through the August lesson is done and it continues to be an enjoyable challenge.   Four more lessons.... looking forward to finishing this project and getting it framed.  I know exactly where I'm going to put it.

SOTM 2023 Crescent Journey Lesson 8 August

July 10, 2023--This project is beginning to look very lacy.  Every month's installment is a challenge, but so enjoyable to see how it looks as it is worked up.  Here's the 7th installment for 2023.  Five more to go.

SOTM 2023 Crescent Journey Lesson 7 July

June 10, 2023--The installment for June is done and the areas yet to be stitched are nicely defined.  I love how lacey it looks.

SOTM 2023 Crescent Journey Lesson 6 June

May 4, 2023--Here is the addition of the May installment to ANG's Stitch of the Month (SOTM) project.   In future months, more will be added to the squares as well as to the project's edge.

SOTM 2023 Crescent Journey Lesson 5 May

April 19, 2023--This beautiful ANG Stitch of the Month (SOTM) project designed by Melita Glavin is now stitched through the April lesson and I'm loving the process.  There's lots more to do, but the lessons are distributed one month at a time, so I have to wait until next month for more.  This process actually makes the project very manageable and not so daunting when you have a year to complete it.

Here's Crescent Journey through the April lesson:

SOTM 2023 Crescent Journey Lesson 4 April

March 8, 2023--The March installment of ANG's Stitch of the Month (SOTM) project called Crescent Journey by Melita Glavin is now stitched and everything put away until the April instructions are published on the ANG website.   This is really a fun and challenging project so far.  Each section worked up adds to its beauty.  Here's a photo of what it looks like so far.

SOTM 2023 Crescent Journey Lesson 3 March

February 14, 2023--Happy Valentine's Day!!!  This blog, however, isn't about hearts, but instead about the 2023 ANG Stitch of the Month (SOTM).  So far, I've stitched both the January and February installments and below is a photo of the results to date.  

Whew--the center medallion was certainly a challenge, but a fun one and I can appreciate how much more beautiful it will look with the addition of beads.  Looking forward to the March instructions.

SOTM 2023 Crescent Journey Lesson 2 February Closeup

SOTM 2023 Crescent Journey Lesson 2 February

January 5, 2023--I just completed the first month's lesson to this year's Stitch of the Month (SOTM) project designed by Melita Glavin and available for free to members of the American Needlepoint Guild (one of the wonderful benefits of membership).

This lesson focuses on stitching the outline on 18 count mono canvas, and I love the stitches used by the designer.  Instead of the usual gobelin or smyrna stitches, Melita chose Mosaic and Diagonal Knitting Stitches, and the results are very attractive.  I chose to work this up in the Neutral Colorway which incorporates golds, silvers, beiges and black (with some beads thrown in).

SOTM 2023 Crescent Journey Lesson 1

  1. Glad to hear you and see you got through the center area!

  1. Looking good. You are getting this done fast each month. Not too challenging for you?

    1. It's an excellent challenge and fun to stitch. Thanks.

  1. Definitely lacey. Glad you're enjoying it. Looks great. Melita

Monday, February 19, 2024

Ribbon Christmas Sampler - Updated 2/19/24

February 19, 2024--Picked this up from the pillow fabricator a few days ago and can't wait to display it under the tree at Christmas.  

Ribbon Christmas Sampler Finished

January 5, 2024--Ta da--first finish in 2024.  For the most part, I loved stitching these Christmas ribbons.  Each one was a challenge on to itself with tons of compensation, composite stitches, interesting techniques, designs, etc. 

Ribbon 2 did give me some issues, however.  The designer suggested the wreaths and bows be stitched last after everything else was done.  I now understand why she made that suggestion.  If I had stitched the wreaths immediately after finishing Ribbon 2, I probably would have given up on the project out of absolute frustration.  Trying to place the wreaths on top of the white ribbon worked up in a diagonal stitch made it nearly impossible to figure out where to place the stitches for the wreaths.  It took lots of eyeballing and ripping out.  The red bows done in a daisy stitch weren't much better.   I'm not happy with how those bows look but stay they will (a syntax nod to Yoda).  

My favorite ribbons are 7 and 13.  Both took some serious concentration, and I love how they turned out.   You may notice that ribbon 4 looks crooked on the canvas due to the back and forth of the design elements.  The spaces between the ribbons were stitched with white and pale green thread to make it recede while the background of the poinsettia is done in all white.  An interesting effect.  The edge of the design is stitched with 2 rows of continental red thread to match the pillow fabric.  

Now off to the pillow fabricator

Ribbon Christmas Sampler Completed

November 2, 2023--All but two ribbons are now completed (ribbons three and four) out of 16 (stitched ribbons one, six, seven and eight since my last blog post).  After that there's the background to stitch in basketweave as well as some outlining of ribbons, and adding wreaths to ribbon number two.    Still plenty to keep me busy on this project for a few more months.
Ribbon Christmas Sampler 14 Ribbons Completed

October 12, 2023--All the horizontal ribbons are stitched as well as two vertical ones for a total of ten ribbons.  Six more to go.  I love the depth each ribbon has due to the composite nature of each one.  Some of the ribbons require up to 8 different combinations of threads and stitches to complete.  I plan on making a box pillow with this, so will add 2 extra rows of continental stitching around the edges so no canvas will show at the pillow's edge.

Ribbon Christmas Sampler 10 Ribbons Completed

October 3, 2023--A total of 8 ribbons have now been stitched following the order given in the instructions.  Now I can stitch the next 8 ribbons in any order I choose.  I'm thoroughly enjoying this project due to the complexity and variety of the stitches.   Now, will I get it done by Christmas of 2024?  It certainly won't be this year.  LOL.  

August 3, 2023--Ribbons 2 and 13 are now stitched.  Ribbon 2 will have little wreaths added to it at the end.  The plaid worked up in Ribbon 13 is very different from any other I've done.  Instead of working the design horizontally, it was stitched diagonally using back stitches.   I found it easiest to work up one color at a time in all 5 areas.  It was fun to see the pattern develop.

Ribbon Christmas Sampler Ribbons 2 and 13 Completed

July 25, 2023--The next step in this project called for ribbons 12, 14 and 16 to be stitched, so that's what I did.  Mindy English's graphs are wonderful.  She charts out each section of a ribbon which shows all the compensation stitches required.  Easy peasy.   I really like the bottom ribbon consisting of small red flowers.  This ribbon, along with many others, will be outlined when they are all done.

Ribbon Christmas Sampler Ribbons 12, 14, 16 Completed

July 12, 2023--Just finished stitching the poinsettia located in the upper right corner of this Christmas ribbon project.  There's lots of dimension in the petals and leaves which surprised me.  I even learned a new stitch--Colonial Knot placed in the poinsettia center.  This stitch used two strands of two different colors of Perle 5 thread.  Bulky but effective.

The background of the square is stitched in basketweave.  I'll save this for when I'm at various stitch-ins where I'll want to socialize more than concentrate on the project at hand.

Ribbon Christmas Sampler Poinsettia Completed

Ribbon Christmas Sampler Pointsettia Completed Closeup

June 22, 2023--While at my EGA Brandywine Chapter's stitch-in earlier this month, I was able to peruse items from the estate of a past member and take home a delightful, counted project called Christmas Ribbon Sampler designed by Mindy English, copyrighted in 1995.  This is a large piece stitched on 15" x 15" 14 count canvas and a wonderful stash buster using many skeins of DMC reds and greens.    I just completed the first step of outlining the ribbon widths with basting thread.  Whew--that was a large job and required lots of counting.  Now that's done, I plan on getting started with the upper right corner poinsettia.   Stay tuned.
Ribbon Christmas Sampler Basting

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Spring Sampler - Updated 2/18/24

February 18, 2024--Picked this up from the pillow fabricator yesterday and love how it looks sitting on an extra dining room chair.  The colors work perfectly with the furniture, wall paint and draperies. 

Spring Sampler Finished into a Pillow

Spring Sampler Pillow on a Dining Room Chair

January 22, 2024--The stitching is complete on all 21 bands.  Loved working on this project and I especially love the colors.  Next step is to meet with my pillow fabricator to determine what color will look best for the pillow back and whether or not she'll need a few rows of tent stitches around the edge so the canvas won't show. 

Scroll to the very end to see a full list of my threads used for each band as compared to those used by Melita.  Hope you will find this helpful if you decide to stitch this wonderful piece.

Spring Sampler Completed

January 6, 2024--Now thirteen bands are done, and each one complements the other beautifully.  I'm putting this project away so I can continue stitching on it at EGA's CampWannastitch in Ocean City, MD.  Stay tuned.....

It's interesting how different rows 6 and 16 look from each other because of the way my window light hits the canvas at a slant.   When all the stitching is done, I'll find another way to photograph this piece so the light shines evenly on it.

Spring Sampler Bands 5 through 17 Completed

December 29, 2023--Eleven bands are now stitched, and I love the colors.  As we work from the center outwards (in this case, up and down), Bands 6 through 16 are done.  

Spring Sampler Bands 6 through 16 Completed

December 12, 2023--When I took the photo below on November 1 that shows a partially stitched Band 6, I stopped working on it to confirm with Melita, the project's designer, that the thread used was too bright and light.  She agreed, and I finally had an opportunity to purchase a new thread color from Waste Knot Needlepoint in Arlington, VA on November 20th on my way to Thanksgiving in Ohio.

Sampler Spring Border 6 Question

After looking at all the ribbon-like threads, nothing struck my fancy.  Finally, I found the color Mermaid, #5009, by Kreinik.  Size 16 Medium Braid and it works perfectly--and I love the sparkle.  So, I put away the RG Sparkle Rays PS68 Light Sage for use in a future project.  Of course, I had lots of "frogging" to do and tucking away of tail ends, but I got it done in no time. Here's the result.

Spring Sampler Bands 6 through 15 Completed

The next Band, number 16, uses the same colors and similar patterns as in Band 6, That will balance the project nicely.  

October 10, 2023--I've now stitched seven bands (8 through 14) on this delightful sampler (about one-third done).   I want to take this with me to the New Jersey Needlefest event that takes place in a week and a half, so I'll hold off on doing any more until then.

Spring Sampler Bands 8 through 14 Completed

October 5, 2023--I couldn't resist starting this project instead of waiting for the class that begins later this month.  Melita's instructions are wonderful, so I haven't had any problems so far.

We are instructed to start with Row 11, the center row, then work our way north and south.  So that's what I've done, then I added the top and bottom Rows 10 and 12.  The colors are developing into an interesting combination.  Now I'm really looking forward to adding more rows to see how the colors play together.

Spring Sampler, Rows 10, 11, 12

September 9, 2023--I recently signed up to take Melita Glavin's Spring Sampler project (photo below) through my local EGA chapter at Brandywine (near Wilmington, DE).   This is an award-winning piece designed by Melita and I'm very excited to begin working on it.  

But first, choosing the threads.  This could have been a daunting task if it weren't for the fact that Melita, and her friend, chapter mate and stitcher extraordinaire, Linda M., were willing to meet with a few of us at Fireside Stitchery in Malvern, PA, only a 2.5-hour drive for me from southern Delaware.

I brought some fabric swatches and a paint sample with me upon which I would base my project's color palate.  Linda M. volunteered to work with me and I'm so glad she has the patience of a saint.  I just couldn't imagine how her suggestions would look and kept her constantly finding alternatives.   But in the end, everything came together and I'm very happy with the colors chosen.  Melita was also consulted on some of the color choices and thread substitutions and offered invaluable assistance.  All in all, a very fun day (almost as much fun as going to the casino).

My color palate (fabric and paint swatches from my living and dining rooms are on the right)
Spring Sampler Thread List Revised

And best photo of all--Melita's project photo (hers is done in purple):

Spring Sampler designed and stitched by Melita Glavin--Project Photo

Class will be held towards the end of October, but I may not be able to wait that long to start.
Thread List by Band and Stitch


MelitaJanuary 5, 2024 at 9:48 PM0

It's coming along really nicely. Love the new darker thread in Bands 6 and 16. Perfect! Can't wait to see it in person on the 17th. Don't forget to bring it!


Brenda M. CôtéJanuary 6, 2024 at 10:25 AM

Thanks Melita. I'll bring it to the meeting on the 17th and also to Camp Wannastitch.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Tumbling Stripes - Updated 2/1/24

February 1, 2024--I just finished the first seven or right-angle stripes of this adorable project.  The next 5 stripes will move diagonally to the left.  Those will be more of a challenge to work up since the edges of each stripe are stitched on the diagonal which will require me to pay more attention to stitch placement.  Here's what it looks like so far.

Tumbling Stripes Through Stripe 7

January 25, 2024--This interesting project, called Tumbling Stripes, is designed by Marilyn Owen and was offered by ANG's CyberPointers Chapter in April of 2021.  However, I never did anything with it and filed the .pdf instructions under "Projects on Hold" on my PC, thinking it would never see the light of day.  Well, it has now come out to play with the NJNA Chapter of ANG whose members have started working on it this month, and I've decided to join them (I'm also a member of the chapter).  

I like this type of project because of the wide variety of stitches and interesting pattern.  It has 12 rows or "stripes" repeated in 4 areas or quadrants.  The first 7 stripes angle to the right while the bottom 5 stripes (A through E) angle to the left, giving the appearance of a rolling or tumbling ball.  

I'm working up my project in the blue and red colorway and below is a photo of the first two stripes stitched so far.  

Tumbling Stripes through Stripe 2

Here's a photo of the completed project as stitched by the designer.

Tumbling Stripes designed by Marilyn Owen Project Photo

1 comment:

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Camp Wannastitch 2024 - 1/17/24

January 17, 2024--Had the pleasure of attending the January 2024 EGA Camp Wannastitch retreat held at the Ashore Hotel in Ocean City, MD.  What a blast! 

Find Waldo (aka me).  Hint--blue plaid shirt on right side, about four rows down.

The retreat normally runs for 5 days, but I could only attend for 2.5--from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning.  Enjoyed sitting with my EGA chapter mates, some of whom are also ANG members.  As I walked around the HUGE ballroom where we were stitching, I met more ANG friends from Northern Virginia and Checkerspot chapters and enjoyed making new friends.  Also had the opportunity to see what everyone was stitching, check out the tables set up with boxes and boxes of "give aways," and peek at the silent auction items.   Relished wonderful dinners out--on Friday went to Spain Wine Bar and on Saturday ate at Liquid Assets.  Both are highly recommended, but get there early--they are packed!

Looking forward to next year.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Santa Sugarplum 2022 - 1/9/24

January 9, 2024--Wanted to start something new, so what better way to begin the year than with one of Janet Zickler Casey's santas--this time Sugarplum Santa from 2022.  Since I didn't stitch any of her santas in 2023, I hope to get two or three done this year (as of today, I've stitched 16 santas and have 11 more to do).

Here's what's done so far with Sugarplum.  Per instructions, the face is always stitched first (I'll do the moustache, eyebrows, and outline of the eyes last).   Next, I'll work from the top down, stitching the hat, band, and beard.  These sections are the most fun to work up and will get done quickly.  Stay tuned for its completion.

Santa Sugarplum Face Stitched
This was a class given by Janet Zickler Casey at the 2022 ANG Seminar in Tucson, AZ.  Even though I had signed up to take the class, I was unable to do so since I was quarantined for half of the seminar with COVID.  Dang.  But I've done enough of her santas that I feel confident I can stitch this with written instructions only.

Here's a project photo showing what the santa will look like when stitched.  He's a cutie.

Santa Sugarplum 2022 designed by Janet Zickler Casey Project Photo