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Thursday, February 21, 2019

Morocco Projects-Certificate Course

On the last Saturday in January there was a large gathering for the first of the SA Embroiderers' Guild's Certificate Workshops.

One of the convenors of the Certificate Course, Barbara Mullan, takes embroidery tours to India and Morocco. A number of Guild members, including Christine Bishop, the other Certificate Course Convenor, accompanied her to Morocco in 2018.

This workshop presented information about Morocco and taught three aspects of Moroccan embroidery.

No wonder so many attended the workshop!

Our first project was making a Djellaba button. A djellaba (the purple garment on display to the left) is a garment worn outside, over other clothes, by Moroccan men. It resembles a kaftan, and is secured all the way down the front by tiny hand-made buttons.

Fortunately for us, Phyllis Coxhill, who taught this segment of the workshop, had prepared a much larger teaching tool!

I'm sure, once you have the hang of it, this becomes quite rhythmical and practised. It will take me a while to reach that point!

Our second project of the day was Fes Embroidery, taught by Christine.

This is counted thread work, in double running stitch, on linen, usually two-toned, and often blue.  It usually follows a border and corner pattern. Some Moroccan women seem to do this work by eye, without actually counting.

Christine charted two edging motifs for us.

The third stitching session for the day was on design, using Berber symbols. We were asked to design a carpet, or more accurately, a rectangle, which we could stitch, using running and weaving stitches found on Berber carpets.
My effort was certainly not complicated, but I have ideas for it!

At home I got carried away with Fes stitch. This is going to be a year of improving my counted work.

The fact that Moroccan women often do this work by eye, rather than counting, gives me encouragement. I did count, but when my eye-sight lets me down I am not going to stress!

I took this work with me when I visited Sydney for a few days the week following the workshop. It worked well as a grab-and-go.

On my return home, I was inclined to leave the piece in one colour, rather than filling in the shapes with light blue. I was encouraged by several Guild members to leave it as is, so I did.

I found a piece of Japanese cotton in my stash (yes, a bit of cultural impurity) with which to line it, pulled some threads and worked a gusset with loops.

I then made a twisted cord.

I had intended to make djellaba buttons for the ends of the cord.

After a bit I gave up, and covered the plastic tubing with needlelace.

I am delighted with week's work and my bag.

I also have a plan for my carpet design - but that's another story!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Zenbroidery 3.1

I last posted an update on my latest zenbroidery project in September 2018. This is a grab-and-go project that has not seen much activity in the light of the other things I've had on the go.

I have worked some of the larger, more solid flowers in a version of Portuguese knot stitch and lots of the leaves in a variety of filling stitches - trying things out.

I've tried to flow the colours across the piece, shifting from red-yellows into blue-purples.

I just love working these pieces. It is freeing, experimental work and the results make useful bags (always an incentive!).

I've played with bullion knots  needle-weaving and stars.

I still have a bit to finish, but  probably not enough to take it with me when I travel in March. It is a good grab-and-go project, but only has a few hours left in it, so it is in my sights to finish before the end of the month.

Let's see how I go!