Tuesday, May 4, 2010

sparkly mornings

The mornings this week have been lovely. Clear and sparkling. It rained a bit over the weekend but cleared up for my walks. The bushes by our front door were sparking with raindrops on Sunday morning.We ran errands and had a pretty quiet weekend. We visited the Illinois State Museum Gallery at Lockport to see their new exhibit "On and of Paper." It was, as always, interesting. I was tempted, but did not succumb, to visit the nearby quilt shop Thimbles.In my digging last week I found a bag of ufo of ethnic embroidery taught by lynn vandenburg in the late 1980s. She taught some lovely classes on Mediterranean and Middle Eastern ethnic embroidery before leaving the area. I believe this design was Palestinian in origin.

The original project was to fill the fabric with several of these motifs (which were to have filled in areas with a second variegated perle color). The fabric is a barely countable, rather harsh feeling polyester. It is what the immigrants from that area Palestine, who were living in Chicago, were using to make their clothing.

The motifs were to have been stitched with random variegated perles. Students were instructed to pick up a new color, at random, each time a thread ended. We were also instructed not to pay attention to which way crosses crossed. This was a taste of the real thing--how generally rural women who wore elaborately embellished traditional clothing created it.

As you can see from the little sample here, I did not take well to it. I studiously tried not to pay attention to how my crosses crossed. And I do have loads of mistakes in counting--for the simple reason that I could not see to count this ground. But the color, I just could not do random there.

After the fun memories finding this partially completed motif rekindled, I realized that with a little bit of stitching I could have a motif that looked, more or less, complete. So I did that bit of stitching and declared this piece done. Given the dark color and serviceable fabric, I plan to make it into a book cover. someday.

I also found, not photographed yet, a small sampler with examples of three types of Mediterranean embroidery. It's about 1/2 to 2/3 done. I've been working on a bit of the Greek Islands motif. There's enough done and it's a pretty enough piece that I may complete it. At least this is on a natural linen so I can see to count it!

I also know that somewhere in the massive ufo pile is the beginning of an Eastern European Goddess Towel stitched on 36 count linen, also from a class by lynn.

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