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Saturday, November 29, 2008

The nightmare in Mumbai is finally OVER!!!

The heart is heavy and the mood is sombre.After almost 60 hours of fighting the city of Mumbai has been released from the bloody hands of the terrorists.The past 3 days have been equivalent to a nightmare.We were all glued to the television, hoping ,praying, for things to come to an end and indeed, today morning it all ended with the body of the last terrorist falling out of the window of The Taj.
That beautiful heritage building is in shambles,so is the Trident Oberoi. The Nariman house seems no longer livable.All these buildings stand silent witnesses to gory happenings that went on inside.Bodies are still being taken out from Taj. Number of deaths have reached 200 and may still increase.
What was all the more heartbreaking were the funeral scenes of the young Major and that of the Anti terrorist cell chief who went down fighting. The buildings could be restored,businesses could be built up ,but what of those who lost their lives? Can someone bring them back? And look at the irony- the one terrorist who was captured, pleads that he wants to live!!! Didn't he think for one moment that others too would have the same wish,to live,to be with their loved ones? Why can't these terrorists just let people be irrespective of belief or country? Does it matter that a person is Hindu, Christian ,Muslim, British,American or Jewish? Is it not enough that he is not an animal,but a human with a heart ?
Nothing more..
Let us shed a drop of tear for the martyrs...
Let us light a candle...
Let us just pray..may this never happen again...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lavangam Stitch-Indian Embroidery

Today Iam going to tell you about a stitch called Lavangam stitch.The word 'Lavangam' means clove and the name came about as this stitch resembles the spice clove .Now, tell me which is the stitch that resembles a clove?
It is nothing but the Pistil stitch (long tailed french knot)which is one of the common stitches used in dimensional embroidery.It is best worked with milliner's needle or straw needle,but since these needles are not available in India,we make do with the ordinary embroidery needles.
Lavangam stitch is used usually along with sequins and beads to make sarees and dress materials more attractive.Once the thread is wrapped around the needle, before piercing the fabric,place the sequin and take the needle through the hole in the sequin and pull the thread as usual to complete the stitch.

A Lavangam stitch flower with shadow worked center.Phew!! it does require patience!! All these while I've just pistil stitching stamens of flowers.Petals with pistil stitch is first time for me.
An earlier half hearted attempt...
By the way, can you imagine what will happen if you try to embroider with a 3 year old trying her level best to help you out to choose the colors? This...

A tangled mess...waaaaah.... :(

And then what does she do???


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Petal Stitch-ROSE project

A new week has begun and I've learnt a new stitch for ROSE.Shall I share it with you?

This time the stitch is called Petal Stitch aka pendant chain stitch.It is a combination of two well known stitches - outline stitch and detached chain or lazy daisy.Needlecrafter has a diagram for it and another illustration is here . Both illustrations refer to stem stitch and lazydaisy combination.Needlecrafter points the chain downward whereas fruncesybordados stitches it upwards.The method differs slightly in both the cases.I tried both and I think Petal stitch is a combination of outline stitch and lazydaisy rather than stem stitch.Only then the name Pendant chain suits it.When you see the pics you'll know why.

Petal Stitch - right one is outline and dc.Left one is stem stitch and dc .Have you ever seen a pendant pointing upward ? So outline stitch it is...
Here's a quick tutorial...

step 1: Up at A,down at B and come up at C.

step 2: pull the thread through

step 3: Make a detached chain at c. Come up at a point half the length of the outline stitch.

step 4: Take the needle through the detached chain for the next outline stitch.

Having some fun ;)

My learning for the week is done.I've stitched it on my ROSE sampler and written the name of the stitch alongside.If anyone is learning a new stitch and recording it, do let me know.I too would like to try it out.
Love,Luck and sunshine,

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tulip Stitch

Often while searching around the net for embroidery stitches, I come across stitches which are not commonly used.Many a times I just bookmark the page and leave it for later reference .Of late a teeny weeny idea has been taking shape in my mind-why not document it as I come across -like some of you do.And guess what?? I've started it!! -unlike all my earlier ideas which do sprout :) in my head but never grow.And I've decided to call this effort of mine ROSE - Recording Old Stitches in Embroidery . The stitches may not be that old,but I like the name :)

The first stitch that goes into ROSE is Tulip Stitch. I had never heard of it before,but when I saw it I was surprised-it was just a variation of detached chain.Many of you might have attempted it while trying variations of detached chain.

How to ...

Stitch a lazy daisy first .Then come up on one side and pass the needle through the tacking stitch of lazy daisy and go down at the other end.

Some attempts...

Iam not trying to create any beautiful embroidered piece.Iam trying to learn and to put the stitches down in one place for quick reference.So don't expect any perfection in the work done.

The actual Tulip stitch

Attempted in multiple colors.By the way, if you extend the loop part a little more you get the Berry Stitch which is also called the double detached chain (purple and green bud above)

Some variations.

A rather shabby attempt
nah..I didn't like it at all...
If any of you would like to join me in discovering old and uncommon stitches please leave a comment.When you try a new stitch do link back to me and let me know so that I too can try it out.Let us make it an enriching process!!!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Shadow work & li'l bit of Kantha embroidery

The quota of festivals for us Indians have come to an end.The year end is approaching and so is Christmas.I've been breaking my head over what Xmas gift should I send to a friend of mine in the U.S. It should be unbreakable,lightweight,should represent Indian culture and shouldnot be too common-whew!! Time is running out and Iam blank!!

On the stitching front, I did manage to finish the blue on blue shadow work.I did the leaves using the Indian darning method- back stitch the outline first and then weave the thread in and out through the stitches.
I badly wanted to capture the blue shade of the cloth-hence this pic :)

A close up..

I did something else too.. Here's the pic

yeah.. it's my attempt at Kantha embroidery.The pattern too is typical to kantha and represents a tree.
For those who are unfamiliar,Kantha (pronounced kaatha) is a type of technique used in making quilts using rags (old clothes) It is a 'poor man's technique' and uses running stitch.Of late,any embroidery which uses running stitch to outline and fill the pattern is called Kantha.

My next step would be to fill the leaves and trunk with running stitch.I want to try the fill with another color -may be a lighter green for the leaves. Not too sure how it would end up.

By the way, have you ever seen anyone carrying a handkerchief with a tree pattern? -if you haven't - then be prepared..if you see a very beautiful lady(heh,heh) carrying the above piece, do come and say hello..coz its gonna be me... ;)