It’s three weeks since I shared my Bethlehem embroidery, this is the piece from a workshop I did last year with Deborah Mullins. She was keen to stress it was’inspired by’ not a true representation of Bethlehem embroidery, which is considered to be the finest of the regional Palestinian embroidery styles. Last time I was just finishing the copper wire coils…
I ordered some more perle threads, found the ones originally provided in the workshop, and debated how to finish it. I was tempted to go more down my usual repetoire of stitches to complete it, rather than predominantly couching which seems to dominate this style of embroidery. I then happened to mention the embroidery to one of our doctors at work who is Palestinian. He was so enthusiastic and keen for me to meet his wife (once social restrictions are relaxed) as she is very keen to keep the embroidery traditions alive, that I haven’t the heart to not finish it ‘properly’!!
I started to couch some turqoise variegated perle thread around the spirals, using a soft copper colour to couch it down. I liked the first spiral and initially I liked the second spiral…until I tried to continue on to the third one. Palestinian embroidery is traditionally done with one long continuous thread, if you look at the bookmark below which I made in a previous Deborah Mullins workshop, each side with the flowers, hearts and loops is done with a continuous thread…
…so I tried to have it contiuous which meant couching either side of the spiral. The first one (second spiral!!) didn’t look too bad, but the third one was much closer together so it really wasn’t going to work. I then decided to stop each thread at the Y junction and restart in the centre. I think it looks much better.
Once I’ve stitched the last two spirals and sorted out the second and third one, I can then work out another couching pattern to fill in the spaces. I can’t quite decide between leaves or hearts! There’s also another row of chevron stitch to go on the border between the orange and the teal background. So still a fair bit of work to do!
This stitch-a-long is organised by Avis of Stitching by the Sea, we post our progress on our chosen projects every three weeks. Please follow the links to see what everyone else is stitching.
Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Mary Margaret, Renee, Carmela, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ, Jenny, Laura, Cathie, Linda, Helen