My latest embroidery piece is a variation on an Albanian design from the DMC book on Turkish Embroideries. I did a version using the pattern in the book way back in 2017, which you can see here. Despite its title the designs have little to do with Turkey, but feature 19th century patterns from the Balkans. The one I am using is from a towel trimming from Albania. This time I have varied the design to use only squares as this fits more easily into a hoop, which I wanted for this piece. Here it is.As you can see I have gone for red in a big way, with a little light blue for contrast. The fabric is a 16 count Aida in bright red. The vertical and horizontal surrounds for the squares I stitched with Caron Watercolour, one of my favourite cotton variegated threads. This one is Flame and I used just one strand for the simple straight stitches.
There are two patterns for the insides of the squares. One is a simple diagonal stitch, which covers nine meshes at the long diagonal. For the red squares I used one strand of a luxury silk thread from Debbie Bliss. Created for knitting I use them now and again for embroidery. Gorgeous soft feel and shine finish.
The blue is a Perfect Blue from the Rajmahal Artsilk thread, which is made of rayon and some silk. Very shiny and very difficult to stitch with. I used all six strands in an effort to fully cover the space. Needed some extra rows to achieve this.
The remaining squares are filled with what the book calls openwork cross stitch. Looks a bit complicated, but is really quite simple, once you get started. As the book describes it, you make two journeys going and coming. The first is worked upwards and downwards over three meshes. The second is worked horizontally from right to left and back again.
The book recommends using a tammy cloth, whatever that is and for the openwork cross stitch you are supposed to draw the thread tightly to secure an open, pulled effect. This drawing and pulling does not work with Aida fabric, so there is nothing in the way of an open look to these squares. Still they do give the finished piece a different look.
The hoop for this a Nurge No 4 which is just over 19cm diameter. These are lovely, solid wooden hoops, easy to use and good to look at. So far I have spent around 13 and a half hours just on the stitching. Still to tidy up the back and make a cord for hanging. Happy stitching.