Thursday, February 28, 2019

Rabari Weaving from India

On occasion, I (Teri) like to browse online auctions to see if I might stumble upon some fun finds relating to textile arts. Not long ago, I placed a fairly low bid on an "Exceptional Indian Wall Hanging, Kutchi" and—to my surprise—won the piece. The description claims it to be "an old and particularly fine Ribari tribal weaving, the mirrored panel of hand woven linen, of classic design." Of course, that piqued my interest to learn more.

As Kara mentioned last week, preparing for the Academy of Appliqué is consuming most of our time, as you can see from these shots of my kit-making endeavors, but I did take the time to do a bit of reading about the embroidery of the Rabari people.

Quite simply, the Rabari people are traditionally nomadic shepherds—herding cattle, camel, and goats—located primarily in northwest India. The majority of Rabari today are settled in small villages or towns. I read in numerous accounts that the women are known for their intricate embroidery, and it is an integral part of their lives. Typically, designs are bold in color, with motifs used from their surroundings. Mirrors are quite often incorporated into their designs. 

I hope you will enjoy these close-up views of my newest treasure.

The center motifs, bordered with mirrors—I love how the animals each face both directions.

I didn't find any other cow motifs in my search, but it makes sense to include a cow, since the Rabari are known as cattle herders.

I did find an example of a weaving with a very similar elephant motif. 

The flowers are centered and surrounded by small, glass mirrors.
 A few of the mirrors have cracked, but they were so expertly attached that they remain in place.

A bit of water damage: you can count on those reds to run.

Evidence of the marked pattern—these seemed to have been missed; there is no evidence of stitch marks.

Top right corner of the border

While all the embroidery is hand-stitched, the borders are attached by machine.

The back

Close-up of the back, with a peek inside—the top is attached to a linen backing, but there is no batting in between.

If you would like to learn more about the Rabari people and their exquisite embroidery, here are a few links to get you started.

I am off to continue packing for the Academy and will soon pick Kara up from the airport. There is a chance that we will be so involved with Academy activities next week that we may not post, but we will try to make up for it the following week. Until then—

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

An Inspirational Walk Through Liechtenstein

At this time of year, for Teri and me (Kara), our dining tables have disappeared under copious amounts of threads and ribbon as we put together kits for the Academy of Appliqué

While Teri is diligently working on kits, I had to get my end of things finished a week earlier, as my husband and I would be heading to Bavaria for a work conference this week. Needless to say, putting a blog post together for either of us was going to be a challenge. With that said though, I thought why not bring our readers along, through pictures, on our trip to the Alps—specifically Liechtenstein!

Our daughter flew in to join us on the front end of the trip. She lives in Bangladesh, so it was a long flight and a very drastic change in climate for her. One of the things we wanted to do while she was with us was to visit Liechtenstein. Kaitlin had participated in Model UN in high school, and the country she represented was Liechtenstein. It had always been a dream of hers to visit, so off we went. 

We chose to go to the capital, Vaduz, to take a hike, view the castle, and see the state museum. All three things on our agenda did not disappoint, and hopefully you will enjoy our trip as well!

A view through one of the castle gates

The Prince of Liechtenstein and his family still live in the castle, so we could just view it from a distance.

A storybook view!

A beautiful stone carving along the trail!

It was 50 degrees on our hike, and these snowdrops were a glimpse of the coming of spring.

After our hike, we went to the Liechtenstein National Museum. Unfortunately, we arrived there with just an hour to go through the museum, but we made the most of it. It was definitely worthy of a trip back. I love being inspired by other cultures!

A beautiful national hat

Another hat with some fantastic embroidery!

A decorative handbag.

Crocheted lace collars

This wonderful example of filet crochet has many Liechtenstein symbols and crests.


A stunning tapestry depicting the life of Christ


A collection of religious jewelry

Not quite a quilt, but this certainly qualifies as appliqué!

A close-up of the coat of arms

I fell in love with these wooden hearts used to decorate the cows
as they come down from the mountains.

The "IHS" is in thanksgiving to He who has preserved the cows and kept them during this time.
They are called Apabfahrtsherz.

A block used for fabric printing

Last but not least, a beautifully preserved Kingfisher. I think this may be the next bird we stitch!

We hope you were inspired by our quick trip to the little country of Liechtenstein. While it may be small, it is big on beauty and inspiration! 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

A Sampler of Lace, Linens, and Love

If you have been reading the blog for a while now, you will know Teri and I have a great love for all things vintage—especially linens, clothing, or lace. Teri recently shared her story about a special dress in A Vintage Pinafore, Tea, and Friends, and I shared the story of my apron collection in Apron Strings. We even wrote a post together about our quest for vintage treasures in a Hershey, Pennsylvania, antique mall in Vintage Treasures Newly Acquired. We love seeing the handiwork of those who have stitched before us! 

Long ago, hand work was a required skill for many young women all over the world. Whether it was  stitching on everyday items such as bedding, or a skilled craft such as lace-making, creating beauty with one's hands was far more commonplace. Thankfully, my time in Germany has allowed me to find and view some vintage treasures found here in Europe.

On our trip to Wales, not only were we able to see the fantastic Welsh quilts in Jen Jones's collection, but there also happened to be a sampler exhibit on display at the same time. It's a challenge to get good pictures of framed items, but here are a few of the wonderful samplers in the exhibit:

Sarah Evans, 1866

Sarah Jones, 1875

Mary Evans, estimated 1850

Gwenllian Jenkins, age 14, 1836

Anne Edwards, no date

Margaret Davies, 1829

Anne Evans, 1856

M. Reeves, 1883

Anne Williams,  age 15, 1861

Recently, I traveled to Brugges, Belgium, which quickly became one of my favorite European cities thus far. We were there for a beer festival, but thankfully, we were able to do a little window shopping. Belgian lace is a beautiful, bobbin-made lace that has been around for centuries. While I wasn't able to bring any home this time around, I was able to take a few pictures of the shop windows.

Some beautiful examples
I don't know how they keep all those bobbins straight!

I still don't know why one of these pendants
didn't make it into my suitcase!

Fun lace bags

Not all my recent travels have been to other countries. Thankfully, there is a wonderful lady here that puts together antique and thrifting adventures. It has been on a few of these adventures that I have picked up some vintage linens to add to my collection. 

I fell in love with this apron and am excited to add it to my collection!

Maybe they had laundry fairies long ago!
"Good Weather"

I think this might have been a table runner at one time.

A bread bag from the past

Dutch themes must have been popular.

While I do enjoy finding old linens, I love old trims and laces as well. My collection is accumulating, and sometimes it is nice to create with some of them. Last week, I was invited to a brunch with a few of my German quilting friends. They often give little gifts at these brunches, and I have been on the receiving end many times, so I thought I would make something for them. As Valentine's Day was approaching, hearts seemed like a good choice. I ransacked my collection of trims and scraps and came up with a little heart bag that would be able to carry a piece of chocolate. My ladies enjoyed them, and they were very easy to make. I was also happy to use some of my antique trims.

A little bit of vintage trim, an antique button, and some wool

A rosette made with the trim topped by the button
Stitched together with an opening at the top

A little bit more trim for a handle and they are ready to carry their piece of chocolate!

Hopefully, you have enjoyed a little view of the stitching prowess of European stitchers of the past.  From samplers to bread bags, needlework (and bobbin work) is such a wonderful way to add beauty to everyday. Do you enjoy collecting vintage linens or trims? Pinterest is full of ideas for ways to use them creatively. Now, if I just had a few more hours in the day...

Happy Valentines Day!