Thursday, February 17, 2011

How and Who 4

In talking via email with a neice, I was reminded of the embroidery work that my my mother-in-law spent many hours creating.  She took up this type of Embroidery in the late 1970's and continued to make a variety of pictures, embellishment on quilts, as features on the top of trinket boxes and other things. I had not seen this kind of embroidery work before - she called it Brazillian Embroidery and had taken some classes though a group that she was active in.

 Brazillian Embroidery is a dimensional system of creating knotted work that became tiny flowers and textured miniature leaves.  The threads were shiny rayon and she had to order them specifically for this type of embroidery.

I have not ever seen anyone else do this type of embroidery -- but of course there has to be others, for where else would she learn it -- and it's popularity is enough that there are web sites and online supply stores specifically for the rayon threads that are used.  Here are a couple of links if you wish to investigate this type of stitching a bit further.

This is what Wikipedia says about Brazillian Embroidery.

Brazilian embroidery is a type of surface embroidery that uses rayon thread instead of cotton or wool. It is called "Brazilian" embroidery because the use of high-sheen rayon thread in embroidery was first popularized in Brazil, where rayon was widely manufactured. Brazilian embroidery patterns usually include flowers formed using both knotted and cast on stitches. Although many of these stitches are used in other forms of embroidery, the technique used to create them is slightly different.

The difference is caused by the method used to manufacture the rayon thread. For example, cotton thread uses an S twist when the fiber plies are combined into a strand. Rayon thread uses a Z twist. One type of twist turns the fiber plies clockwise; the other turns them counterclockwise. When forming the knots of Brazilian embroidery, the embroiderer must wrap the thread onto the needle in the opposite direction from that used in other types of embroidery. Otherwise the fibers of the thread will unravel and make the resulting stitches and knots unattractive

I used to keep a couple of the stitcheries that she made on the wall in various rooms, but over the years they got switched out with other things -- but sentamentality made me keep the things of her that I had been given.
So I went looking for the pieces that my mother-in-law had given me in the years that I knew her.  I know that together we created a piece that I entered in a guild quilt show - at least 10 years or more ago and it came home with a third place ribbon.  I think it received that ribbon because of her beautiful stitchery, not because of my quilting...

I am lucky enough to have been given some examples of her lovely work and even though I did not take up this form of stitchery to great expertise it took me into silk ribbon embroidery that I used fairly often on some of my crazy quilts or blocks.

The next few photos are close up images of the different flowers that she did on the little round "Plaque" above.  Everytime I look at those stitches I am amazed at how she twisted and knotted the threads  so carefully and intricately to create those tiny flowers.

Aren't they lovely?  I am so glad that I had people in my life willing to take the time to show me these crafts and often how to do them...

Sometimes as a daughter-in-law, I did not see eye to eye with my husband's mother, but I certainly admire her skill as a stitch artist!  She was so very meticullous about the way she worked and I am glad she was generous enough to share her work.  Now all these years later, I appreciate them so much !