Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Whitework Wednesday....A Cottage Industry

A Cottage Industry

     I took this picture of a picture in one of the displays - 2 women sitting and sttiching!  While the dress has changed, the act of sitting together and stitching is timeless.  One of my favorite things to do is to get together with my friends to stitch.  Our smocking guild has several retreats each year in Santa Barbara where we can sit and stitch, sew, (read, rest, relax, or what ever strikes us!) in the company of women who love to stitch.


     This is one of the teachers who helped us at the Imperial Bordados, where we took our lessons.  (I was so young!!!)

     This is another one of our teachers.  I do not speak Portuguese (or Spanish, which is close), and they did not speak English, but the universal sound of tsk, tsk and the shaking of the head let us know when we were doing something wrong!
     It was amazing to watch these women with a needle - they could make it sing!  They would stand next to each other, chatting away, and would barely look at the needle or fabric as they were stitching! 
These women learned how to stitch as a child and it has been their livelihood, as well as a skill and talent.

     This cute little girls is sitting next to her mother and stitching, just as the rest of the women are.  We had a chance to spend some time stitching at the home of one of the agents (but more about that later) and this little girl came along with her momma!
     The embroidery skills are handed down from mother to daughter, through the generations.  
     Last week I showed some pictures of the patterns and the gentleman that was marking the patterns and fabric.
     This is the beginning version of the tea towel that we worked on - the white linen is marked with the blue pounce ball.  We used white floche for the cutwork edge and grey floche for the granitos, outline stitch, and padded satin stitch.  We had grey linen that we used the Madeira applique' technique to add the leaves.  I bought an extra kit so that I could remember what the beginning looked like!

     This is a hankie that I found at an antique mall - not true whitework, as it has color, but has the traditional whitework techniques - cutwork, granitos, madeira applique', and padded satin stitch.
     My doorbell just rang - the FedEx guy with 5 boxes of (sigh) the last issue of Australian Smocking & Embroidery - Issue 100, along with the Indexes.  I am going to run and start working on these - I am going to try to get most of them packaged up tonight.
     See you next week for Whitework Wednesday (I am going to post it before I go to Atlanta) and some of you I will actually SEE on Wednesday at the SAGA convention in Atlanta -yeah!

Happy Stitching,




  1. Vaune, I am totally enjoying your posts! See you next week.

  2. OH what a trip of a lifetime. I would love to do that. Thanks for sharing.