Bethlehem SAL

Last year I went on a workshop at Fabbadashery in Halifax, they hold some pretty good embroidery classes there. This one was by Deborah Mullins, I had been on one of her earlier courses and made a bookmark from a strip of Palestinian style embroidery…

Deborah spent three months in Israel and Palestine when her husband was on a sabbatical there. She chose to learn all she could about the different styles of embroidery there. Each area had a distinct style originally and Bethlehem embroidery was considered the best. The next workshop I attended of Deborah’s was called Bethlehem Embroidery, she was keen to point out it is inspired by and not a true representation of Bethlehem embroidery, especially as it’s on handmade felt, rather than dress fabric.

It was a one day workshop and Deborah taught us the various aspects of the embroidery, there wasn’t time to finish it, so by the time I left it was looking like this…

I’d learnt the chevron stitch, couched the central spiral of copper wire and couched a decorative thread next to it. I’d just started couching spirals of wire round the next border…and there I stopped until last night!!

The copper spirals are quite fiddly to do as you have to estimate how much wire you need, fold the end loop and then form the spiral in your fingers before stitching it down. The tricky bit is the estimating! Some of mine are bigger than others, some more widely spaced…it’s organic!!!

I’m just stitching the last spiral, so it looks like this now…

I now have to decide how to proceed. Bethlehem embroidery is traditionally done with lots of continuous couching patterns – the bookmark above is made with one thread going up each side of the central wiggle, forming the flowers, hearts and loops. I might do a bit of couching to accentuate the spirals but then use other stitches around it. I haven’t decided which thread to use either, as the thread used so far is like a thick perle, I have very little like that so I have to decide whether to order some, or use a finer thread, or change to DMC stranded cotton. ..decisions! If you follow the link to Deborah’s website you will find several examples – here work is stunning!

This SAL is orgainised by Avis from Stitching by the Sea, we share our progress on a project every three weeks, please follow the links to see what every one else has been creating.

AvisClaireGunCaroleSueConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHeidiJackieSunnyHayleyMeganDeborahMary MargaretReneeCarmelaSharonDaisyAnneConnieAJJennyLauraCathieLindaHelen

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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16 Responses to Bethlehem SAL

  1. This looks interesting and very different.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. claire93 says:

    such pretty colours!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. kathyreeves says:

    I’m glad you are going to finish this, it is such an interesting piece. I am looking forward to what you decided to do next!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sharon says:

    I hopped over to Deborah’s page and fell in love with everything! Her work is exquisite! Your doing an awesome job. I love your color choices too. So excited to see this finished 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s wonderful and you have a good result ! I saw fantastic works on the Deborah website. Thank you for sharing it. I always learn new things!
    Hugs, Carmela


  6. Both of those are stunning! I can’t imagine trying to couch wire, but it really looks intriguing.


  7. Now this is when I realise (again) that I have no artistic ability. It’s beautiful. I love the bookmark too.


  8. CathieJ says:

    The Bethlehem Embroidery is quite interesting and different. I don’t think I have ever seen embroidery that uses wire.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Christina says:

    Very cool! Love that chevron stitch!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. rutigt says:

    I love it! So exciting to see and follow this!


  11. Mrs K says:

    Very interesting technique and lovely result. Another thing to add to my ‘have a go when I have time’ list.


  12. Laura says:

    What fun to learn new techniques!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. teamwilsun says:

    You always find the most amazing workshops! This piece is beautiful and I am looking forward to seeing what you do next.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What a cool piece and I love your palette 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Carole says:

    Wow, that is so pretty! Can’t wait to see what else you do with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. magpiesue says:

    My goodness, what an ambitious piece of work! I admire your willingness to try new things all the time. I’m almost afraid to go look at Deborah’s website… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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