December 26, 2016

Hamsa embroidery

I've also been doing some embroidery.  It started back in the spring of 2014, when I began doing a variety of embroidery stitches on my "Plain Spoken" quilt.  I eventually ripped out all that embroidery on that quilt because I didn't like the look of the varying stitches on this quilt.  But I did like doing the embroidery.  I used some of the stitches for borders on hand-dyed napkins.

And I've also used them on a series of embroidered hamsa gifts.  A hamsa is protective/good luck amulet, common to Middle Eastern cultures.  I made two for friends in cancer treatment.  The first was incorporated as a block into a quilt made by friends.  The second hangs from a loop of thread.

This fall, I made four more as gifts for several adults in my congregation who I tutored for their collective b'nai mitzvah ceremony this November.  This first of these I did in a class with Laura Wasalowski, fusing pieces of my hand-dyed fabric.

I liked the look of the applique, which gave a multi-color base on which to embroider, but I didn't like stitching the embroidery through two or three layers of fused cloth--very difficult to get the needle through.  So, I did the three others with needle-turn applique, no fusing.

Before changing to applique, I had stitched a blue outline on some violet cloth.  So I've continued stitching that one.

Difficult to see, but I used shiny gold thread for some of the stitching in the outer fingers.  Looks nice in person!
Before making the recent series of hamsot (Hebrew plural of hamsa), I tried out a variety of stitches that I could use as a reference for myself as I chose stitches.  After checking out several embroidery books from the library, I bought one that had clear instructions and a large number of stitches, the Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Embroidery Stitches.  The page numbers noted on my sampler reference that book.  I haven't yet made it through the whole book, but stopped when I had plenty to use on the hamsa project.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely work and you sure got your practice in. I find embroidery very soothing and relaxing.