A few weeks back I went on a workshop at Fabbadashery by Deborah Mullins. We had a talk by her at my Embroiderers Guild and her work was beautiful. I’d already pencilled in her workshops at Fabbadashery so seeing her work just made me even more interested in attending.
Deborah spent three months in Palestine studying their embroidery whilst her husband was on sabbatical there. Originally each area had a distinct style and their own patterns but with all the troubles over the last few decades techniques and styles are being lost. The course I went on was on Tahriri embroidery. These are strips of embroidery that adorned their dresses, making panels for the bodice and also down the skirt.
The embroidery is predominantly couching with the pattern worked out so it’s one continuous thread. Having mastered basic couching with the outer straight lines and the central wiggle, we moved on to the more intricate flowers and hearts bit. We drew the pattern before hand on paper so our brains could get the design in our minds, a bit like we do with quilting patterns.
When I left the class, this is how far I’d got…
I popped it in my travelling sewing kit, so whenever I had a few minutes to spare I could do a bit more.Once I finished the couching I started filling in the flowers and hearts with satin stitch, with hindsight I’d probably have been better with a plain thread instead of a variegated, but I was away from home when I started that bit with limited choice of threads.
Today I went to Harrogate for a zip, arriving an hour before the shop opened, so I sat in the sunshine on a park bench and finished it.
I decided to make it into a bookmark, I usually have two books on the go and I only have one decent bookmark! I found some batik that matched the colours pretty well, so I stitched up the two sides and hand-stitched the top and bottom over.
I’m pretty pleased with my Tahriri embroidery, it’s not perfect by a long stretch, but it’s pretty and having seen how colours and threads work I’ll be much better placed to choose colour schemes when I do the next workshop on Bethlehem embroidery in September.
I’ll be linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday, why not follow the link to find lots of hand-sewn inspiartion.