pintangle. Pintangle is a website with amazing examples and tutorials for Surface Embroidery.
As a gal who loves texture and design details, this is right up my alley. If only I had more time.
I used to embroider all the time. And by all the time I mean every evening, or on long car rides, or on the bus. I think I was probably the only teenage girl working with needle and thread. More than once I caught the eye of an elder woman and we shared a small smile. Embroidery takes time, it takes commitment and it takes patience. And she was letting me know she knew this.
So I can just imagine the time and effort that went into making this sample shown above. Then imagine this as part of a larger quilt. Months, years even of selecting just the right button and stitching it on in place.
To this day, there are several large embroidery projects around my parents' house. Some are pillows, some are wall hangings. But each is treasured because they were made by hand over many, many hours.
Traditionally, women would get together and work on their projects, exchange the recent gossip (who's cow had gotten out of the pasture and trampled the prize winning begonias, who was seen walking together after church last Sunday). And they would learn skills and techniques from each other. This doesn't seem (nice pun) to happen anymore; at least not here in Vancouver, BC. Which is why websites like pintangle are so essential for sharing these ideas and methods.
In our fast paced world of mass production, give me a piece of material, some thread and some beads or buttons; a comfy corner with good lighting and a cup of hot tea. And then leave me for hours at a time and I will be perfectly happy.