It’s three weeks since I last showed you my Bethlehem embroidery, I was still prevaricating over the filling in designs round the spirals and I was still only half way round the outer border…
Well it was the first thing I packed for my weekend away as I was determined to crack it – though I did take a few other back-up sewing projects too! I took a variety of threads, mainly perle ones, it would have helped if I had spotted the instructions from the original workshop in my workbox all the time…the workbox I took with me to the cottage…but I didn’t spot that til yesterday!!
I was struggling with the areas around the spirals, not helped by the fact they vary so much in size, it needed to be a fairly organic design. I tried couched hearts but that looked messy, so I unpicked that. I then tried more pointed sort of hearts, that worked better, I used a finer thread in a variegated orange so it didn’t detract too much from the blue spirals. I felt it needed filling in, so I chose a mid orange which didn’t look right. I then found out how difficult it is to unpick embroidery from a thick felt background!! In the end I stitched over it in a darker orange thread. I’m still not 100% on this bit of the design, but it’s done, it fills in a gap!
Obviously I wanted something different on the outside, I decided to do a sort of zig-zag to fill the shape in, a bit like a scribbled Christmas tree. This could easily be adapted to fill any size shape. I used a darker rusty orange and couched away one evening. This works much better I think.
So it’s finished! I like the overall effect, the only bit I would change is those pointy hearts, but from a distance it looks OK. I particularly like the clarity of the central spiral with the plain turquoise felt behind. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it, I might put it on a cushion, but I think it would also make an interesting textile book cover – it’s heavy enough!
This is the second piece of Palestinian embroidery I have stitched, both from workshops with Deborah Mullins at Fabbadashery in Halifax last year. Deborah spent some time in Palestine when her husband was on sabbatical there and she spent the time studying the different regional styles of embroidery. Her work is stunning, do have a look at her website. The first workshop I did was on Tahiri strips – I made mine into a bookmark…
These Tahiri strips would be used (from what I can gather) on garments, such as down dress sleeves and skirts, a more ordered and symetrical panel (as opposed to my stylized version) would be used for a front panel on the bodice. Each region had it’s own distinct style and patterns but Bethlehem embroidery was considered the finest. There’s lots of couching in one long continous thread from what I can gather. I do find it interesting looking at different styles of embroidery in different countries, depending on what textiles were available to them and their needs too.
So it’s happy dance time for my SAL, I just have to decide what to stitch next…maybe another UFO!
This SAL is organised by Avis, we each plot our progress on our projects every three weeks, it does help keep me motivated! Please follow the links to see what every one 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