Wednesday, 17 January 2018

WIPW - Mola Embroidery

Work In Progress Wednesday this week features, as promised last week, embroidery on the

The original and traditional Molas made by the Cuna Indians of Panama are sometimes, but not always, adorned with some embroidery, usually the most basic stitches.
My friend Julie of My Quilt Diary has an original Mola panel and says the Chain Stitches on it are so tiny there are eight stitches on a cm.

I have also used some of the basic stitches - Running, Chain, Fly and Herringbone.
Instead of a single strand of cotton floss, though,  I used perle #8 and made bolder stitches.

Next, and final, job - turn this Mola panel into a bag.

Mola - Snippets of Interest
The word Mola originally means bird plumage.
(Source: Sandals Islands official website)

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Sunday Stitch School - Lesson 49: Colonial Knot

It is time for another History lesson.

Today we are looking at a stitch used by many of the women settlers who travelled West into unknown areas of North America.

The pioneers had with them very limited supplies. Worn clothing was cut apart to make patchwork quilts. It was harder to find thread. Sometimes fabric was painstakingly taken apart and separated into threads. Naturally this 'thread' was not very strong.

However, 'thread' could be found amongst the supplies needed for the annual chore of candle making. The 'wax' used was either tallow, fat from animals collected at slaughter, or sheets of beeswax. The core of the candle, the wick,  is a four stranded thread.

The colonial women found that wick made excellent thread for embroidery and quilting. The four strands could be separated and thereby supply the women with enough thread for various quilting or needlework projects.

Sheets, pillow cases and bedspreads in white cotton were decorated with embroidery in Stem and Outline Stitch, Padded Satin Stitch and French Knots.
A new form of knot was created, as it supposedly requires less thread, the Colonial Knot.
Together these stitches form the embroidery style Candlewicking.

Here are some links to interesting reading about candle making and candlewicking.

Today's stitch is the Colonial Knot, also known as Figure 8 Knot.

Work it like this:

Get out a Milliners needle and a thread with a firm twist, here I used perle #8.

Place the fabric in a hoop.
Tighten the tension.

Place the working thread over the needle like in the picture.

Cross the thread over

and under the needle.

Insert the needle close to where it came out.

Tighten the knot and pull the needle through the fabric

Make dotted patterns with the knots.

Here is a line on my Aida sampler

1) Add a sprinkling of Colonial Knots

2) Dig out previous work and show on Friday.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Friday Homework for Lesson 48: Detached Up and Down Buttonhole Stitch

It was fun to add lines of this chunky Detached Up and Down Buttonhole Stitch  to the collection of previous stitches.
Yellow perle, rost coloured thin silk and blue metallic.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

WIPW - Filling in the Bottom

Work In Progress Wednesday today is once again all about

where work was done to add colour to the bottom area of the panel.
Also the glaring red triangle at the top left corner was calmed down with some green.

Next job will be to add embroidery.

Mola - Snippets of Interest
Mola panels are not allowed to be sold outside Panama and Columbia. The Mola is seen a cultural heritage, and the Cuna forbid the sale outside these countries.
(Source: San Blas Islands official website)

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Sunday Stitch School - Lesson 48: Detached Up and Down Buttonhole Stitch

Wishing you all a Happy New Year full of creative activities with needle and thread.

Let's begin the term with History.
Stitch #48 is an Elizabethan Stitch, the Detached Up and Down Buttonhole Stitch.

I found the stitch here at Baroque Embellishments, and I have never seen it before. Although it looks easy and great for filling in areas where you want a lot of texture, I will simply use it as a thick outline.

Work it like this:
First make a line of Running Stitch, (I did mine from right to left).
 Come out one step below the last Running Stitch.
Take the needle under the first rung of the Running Stitch, without biting the fabric. Keep the working thread under the needle.

 Next tug the thread upwards and take the needle under the same rung, but upwards. Keep the working thread under the needle.
Continue in the same way for each rung of the Running Stitch line.
When you come to the end of the line, anchor the thread just above the stitched line.

On my Aida sampler I got a nice braid-like line.

Let some nice 'Elizabethan Braids' join the other stitches.
Experiment with different thread in the foundation Running Stitch and the Detached Up and Down Buttonhole Stitch.
Experiment with different tension.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

WIPW - Re-Starting in the New Year

Happy New Year! May 2018 be a creative and productive year.

The first Work In Progress Wednesday report of the year shows that a lot of work was done during the  new year holiday.

Most of the work was put into the right hand side.

Mola - Snippets of Interest
There is a great interest in Molas, and visitors to the San Blas archipelago can buy various items, cushions, pouches, spectacle cases, pot holders... these things are made for the tourist industry. 'Antique' or second hand Mola panels are also sold. The panels have been removed from the blouses as the Cuna Indians don't want tourists, or non Cunans, to wear their folk costumes.
(Source: San Blas Islands official website)