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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Golden Peacock

Life's busy.Lectures,assignments,presentations are all what I think about these days. Needles and threads have been relegated to the background ,but they have not disappeared from the scene.So you can hope to see something in the next few days.

While I was not exactly in the mood for starting something new today, I did try to finish off a fabric painting that I had started a couple of months back. Not exactly a professional finish,but for someone who wields brush once in 6 years, I think have done a reasonably neat job.

The pic looks better in the original .The only color used is Gold metallic on a white base. Took me around 6 hours to complete. The circles on the feathers seems to need one more coat.

How would the same pattern look with multiple colors or embellishments? I have a good mind to try the variation. Will give this to be framed this weekend. Iam yet to decide if to keep it or gift it.

See you soon with another needlework adventure,

Love,luck and sunshine,

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Floral Sampler update and a call for group buy

Another two weeks+ have gone by since I posted about my floral sampler. Well, I've stitched a little more and considering that my lectures have started and Iam surrounded with 165 assignments to correct (55 students and 3 assignments for each) , this is quite an accomplishment.

This time, I've ventured into an area that Iam not quite comfortable with - needlepainting (long and short stitch) and shading.

The instructions specified 3 colors for the long and short stitch. I was not sure what the third color should be(my color sense is below par) and it looked a little too many for such small petals ,so I 'adjusted' with 2 colors. I put together the combination you see above with whatever colors I had .

For the petals, I did contemplate a combination of white and orange,but it just didn't look right- what do you think? Iam still not happy with the way shading has come out- have a long way to go to reach Trish Burr's standards!!!

In this flower, I varied the shading a little - instead of two strands of pink at the top , I tried one strand of pink and one strand of the darker shade at the top (just wanted to see if it looks more natural) and repeated the two strands of darker shade at the bottom. You can see the difference in this third picture below. Click on the image for a better view.

This is how the pattern looks at present. Which style should I go for the rest of the flowers? - first or second?
By the way,did I tell you source of this pattern ?The pattern is a free project available at Coats and Clark. Click here to download the pdf of the pattern and instructions.

Calling my fellow Indian readers for a group buy :
Since I've broached the topic of Needlepainting and shading, I thought of asking if someone would be interested in buying Trish Burr's Long and Short kits . Iam interested in getting a couple and would like to know if some one else would be interested. If you're ready please get in touch with me. We can place the order in bulk and thus probably share the shipping charges.Even if you don't want any, please go and have a look at her work - they are absolutely gorgeous!!!
Disclaimer : I've no business interests in this group buy. Trish burr doesn't even know that Iam planning something like this. I've been drooling over her kits for a long time and I badly want one.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Lucknow Chikan work

Over the past few weeks, I've immersed myself neck deep into researching on chikan work - especially a particular stitch. Why this sudden interest in chikan? It is all because of this....

Not satisfied with the view?..Here's one more...see below.

This is the 'pallu' (portion draped on the shoulder ) of a lavender colored pure Lucknow chikanwork sari. Click on the image for a closer view. Some years back I'd bought this and gifted to my mom. Few weeks backs ,she gave it to me for drywash. I've been trying to decode the stitches used on it since then. I'll show you a few more close ups of the design.

This is the bottom most portion of the pallu -the wavy line is couching and the flowers- well, that's what Iam trying to find out.Will talk about my findings(??) towards the end. Just above the wave is a row of rather big paisleys with a fancy leaf alongside.

Here's a close up of the leaf - doesn't it resemble the pulled thread work ? I think this is called 'Jali work'. Jali means mesh or net.

Above the big paisley, comes a row of small paisleys. If you've noticed, all use the same stitch.Some kind of satin with a twist around it.

The little flowers that are placed above the paisleys are also stitched with the same technique.

The topmost portion again has some wavy lines with leaves to the inside and a diamond shaped block inside. On top of these waves,you can see a lotus shaped flower executed in shadow work. The diamond is repeated throughout the body of the sari.
There's still more to the top,but it is a repetition of the images already shown.

After seeing this whole lot, aren't you curious about the stitch used all over repeatedly ? I too was (am). After feeling the embroidery, I've every reason to believe that this is the embossed (raised) style of chikan work. After searching far and wide and getting inputs from some resources and a friend of mine( thanks Mahalakshmi) , I finally tried to stitch a similar flower.

I thought I had succeeded- but when I looked closely - the differences were too obvious and the back of the embroidery in both cases were like heaven and hell :) Anyways, Iam not too disappointed - coz I've learnt a new stitch. This too is part of chikan work and is known by the name Phanda stitch or phanda work. Anyone keen on learning this?

Oops, my post has extended far too much. Will cut short for now.

Love,luck and sunshine,

P.S By the way, Iam no expert on chikan work .All what I've learnt is through the internet.Unfortunately there are no images available for any specific stitch and I've to depend on the written explanations to sort out a method. Iam trying to learn and share whatever I've learnt with you all.If someone disagrees with my interpretation and would like to correct me , please leave a comment or get in touch with me through my mail id on the side bar.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Excellent resource for needlework ideas

Here's an excellent resource for all needlework related news and crafty stuff. If you've been a frequent visitor to this blog , and if you've checked out the links on the sidebar, probably you've already visited the place - but let me remind you about it once again - the site is .

While you are there,checkout their needlework section . It has!!! ,!!!! ,hundred thousands of tutorials, freebies and other needlework related compilation from all around the internet.

I usually spend hours browsing,drooling and appreciating all the creative and clever craft work done by people around the world. The needlework section is compiled by Denise Felton and I must say, she does a magnificient job. I often wonder about the time she must be spending browsing around.

By the way, I've no commercial interests in promoting the above mentioned site.

Enjoy your visit,


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Wee bit of stitching

Get up early in the morn

Make tea, breakfast

Prepare 'healthy' snack box for daughter dear (for the whole year... sigh!!)

Wake her up, (this takes 20 minutes)

Brainwash li'l daughter to go to school ...

Brush her teeth, convince her to go and sit in the loo for some time..

Make her eat something.

Get her dressed.

Drop daughter at school

Come back, cook lunch , check mails

Open university textbook for lecture preparation... (zzzzz...) between all this, take a little time to stitch

This is a small floral sampler Iam working on. Whatever you see is what I've accomplished in the past two weeks. Everyday a little bit.

This one is infact a free pattern. I'll give you the link when I post the update next time.No time at present, have to go and pick daughter up. She comes back by 12.30. The rest of the day will just pass running behind her.

See ya,

Love, luck and sunshine