Monday, September 6, 2010

Holiday eye-candy

I recently reconnected with a friend. I took some classes with lin back in the 80s (it amazes me how much time has passed!) Russian display towels and the goddess motif, a sampler of motifs from the eastern Mediterranean, a traditional Palestinian motif. In a bit of serendipity, I came across some of these pieces in my ufo pile around the same time lin found this blog and wrote me.

She stitches and gardens, both with an intensity I admire. Her embroideries tend to be complex and fine counted thread designs based on traditional patterns she researches. (She likes it when the linen count is high and the stitches small!) Hare some of her lovely pieces that she is letting me share with you. The two samplers above are taken from traditional Latvian patterns. I'm going to let her words take it from here.
Certainly you may put the Latvian sampler on your blog. It would be nice for others to see embroidery so unfamiliar outside of Latvia. The Baltic states are interesting. Lithuania, the southernmost, still has more weaving than embroidery. As you go north to Latvia, there is more embroidery done and further north to Estonia, even more. For this sampler I selected only the cross-stitch patterns from a book on Latvian costumes. Cross-stitch is actually a minor part of their embroidery tradition. Most of their embroideries feature several stitches in one piece, such as double running, counted satin stitch and counted stem stitch. I'll attach photos of 3 such pieces.Most of Latvia embroidery originates with ornamentation of the costumes. Long shawls were adorned with a wide band of embroidery on the narrow ends and thinner borders along the long sides. The cross-stitch designs of the sampler come from the white linen blouses and would have been stitched on collars (some standing, some folded over depending upon the cut of the blouse), cuffs and along the front opening (the narrow designs), and sometimes in bands at the shoulder or top of the sleeve. Men's shirts were also stitched, the most elegant in ornate whitework (all counted). The designs also appear on household items, such as table linens.

I'd like nothing more than for other embroideries to see what is available "out there" in the rest of the world.
Pretty cool, isn't it? Sometimes I feel no matter how much I see, there's always something new to be discovered.


terryb said...

What gorgeous bands! I love monotone designs, and the top two are in beautiful shades of blue, my favorite color. But the multicolor bands are appealing as well; I especially like the wider band on the narrow scarf or runner.

Elena said...

What beautiful geometric patterns! I love them, they are so colorful!

Lee Albrecht said...

grafico gratuito Latvia Sampler