Yes, I’ve another bit of holiday stitching to show you!
Last week I shared photos of the first half of my holiday along the coast of Australia between Adelaide and Sydney…
We actually finished our drive at Kiama, a beach resort about one and a half hours south of Sydney. We were there for a family wedding which took place at a hotel in Kiama, outside in the sunshine, of course. I wore (after last minute wobbles!) a dress I’d made for a friends wedding a couple of years ago. I also took an ivory shawl with me, it was interesting as in Yorkshire I wear a shawl for an extra layer, a little bit of warmth against the evening chill, here in Australia, the same shawl kept me cool against the hot midday sun!
It was a wonderful wedding, very personal to the couple, I loved the way they included a vow to be a good step dad and all that that entails.
Helen, my daughter, came over for the wedding too. The next morning we both woke up early and went to watch the sunrise over the beach…magical moments!
I started another page to my stitch sampler whilst I was there. Chain stitch was always going to be a double spread as there are so many variations.
I started off with three rows of basic chain stitch, followed by a square chain and then a lazy daisy stitch or two. The next row of twisted chain looks remarkably similar to another stitch! Underneath the names of the bride and groom is a row of cable chain, this is one of those stitches that I can’t quite work out how it works…but it does!
The row down the left is called broad chain in my book. Effectively it is exactly the same as chain stitch, just done the other way round, some people find this much easier to get neat and I can see why,.
The second row is called Portuguese Border stitch, it’s actually made on a framework of straight stitches, with satin stitches woven in between to make a sort of heavy looking chain.
The third one is a raised chain band, which again is stitched on a framework of straight stitches and chain stitched formed over the framework. I finished that page with a bunch of flowers in lazy daisy and some individual broken chain stitches.
Up to this point I’d stitched each page with a single floss colour from the DMC variegated range, I do like their variegated threads!. On the next page I broke with tradition and used two!! Living dangerously!! Several of the stitches needed a contrasting colour and 4065 (whilst being a useful colour) is a bit of a wishy-washy shade to do a whole page in! I stitched most of the page in 4045 which is a really useful mix of leaf greens. I wish DMC would do more subtly variegated threads like this one, they would be really useful.
After the wedding we flew to Bali, we had a lovely couple of days doing nothing in a quiet village called Manggis. It is the first time we’d been to an Asian country such as this and it was fascinating to learn about the different cultures. After three nights there we moved to Ubud, known as the cultural centre of Bali. Our hotel was was between the monkey jungle and paddy fields.
It was Nieppe whilst we were there which is the Hindu New Year, the evening before there were processions in every village and town of huge models of the bad spirits, these are made by the young people of the village on a bamboo framework covered in what sounds like paper-mache. They are seriously big, they have long poles to hold the electric cables out of the way so they can pass underneath, though this one was so big they were having major troubles! Every household makes lots of noise in every corner of their home to drive out the bad spirits and leaves lots of offerings too. The models are processed through the town to the local cemetery where they are ceremoniously burned, though a few did seem to survive the night from what we saw the next day!
Nieppe itself is a day of silence and fasting. As I understand it, the idea is that having driven the bad spirits out the night before, they are as quiet as they can be in the hope that the spirits will pass by. There is no TV, minimal internet, no transport (airport is closed) visitors are not allowed out of their hotel and after dark if electric light is to be used the blinds must be down.
The advantage of all this is there is absolutely no light pollution. Our hotel left the sunloungers out and suggested we went stargazing. I have never seen stars twinkling as bright, it was amazing, we even saw a shooting star. We laid for ages just watching the stars, it was a magical end to our wedding anniversary.
The first row of chain on this page was alternating barred chain, I rather like this one. The second row was meant to be interlaced cable chain stitch, unfortunately I only realised afterwards that I had stitched standard chain, rather than cable, so it’s just interlaced chain stitch! I think it would be better in a firmer thread such as a perle really.
I stitched flowers from berry stitch, picot and lazy daisy, stitched some short lengths of stitches such as magic chain and singalese chain, altogether on the double page spread I’ve stitched over twenty variations of chain stitch, I never knew there were so many! I finished off with a lattice pattern simply stitched with individula chain stitches.
I think the green thread of 4045 worked particularly well on this page and very apt for such a lush place as Bali.
I’ve finally thought out a way of recording the different stitches on each page, my friend gave me two little note books for Christmas, very pretty and only 3.5 x 5″, just a little smaller than these pages. I’m going to put the information in this book and then when I make the sampler book up I’ll stitch a pocket on the inside back cover for my notebook!
Our final stop on this holiday was to visit family in Kuala Lumpur, he lives in a secure compound just outside KL, this was my first experience of compounds, I was amazed how big they are, the size of a market town in England! It reminded me of the ‘new towns’ here in England such as Milton Keynes, it had a similar feel and was just as easy to get lost in ! I did managed to get to the fabric shops and market in KL and bought a few lengths!
I’m linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday, why not follow the link and see what everyone else has been hand-stitching.