“Heiwa” 平和 Handkerchief

10 01 2010

Sampler of buttonhole scalloped edges, pulled work lace, needle lace stitches and damask patterns on pineapple-silk fabric

Started: September 23, 2009

Finished: December 3, 2009

Number of Hours: 79 hours

Cotton/Polyester sewing thread from Ikea on Pineapple fiber-silk handwoven fabric from the Heritage Arts and Crafts, Philippines.

This is my entry to the joint project of the German Embroidery Guild and the Lace Guild, the competition “Fadenkreuz” in 2010.  The theme is to combine embroidery with handmade lace, either embroidered or pillow lace (bobbin lace).

Heiwa is the japanese word for peace. The worn-out, old WWII  japanese army helmet symbolizes peace, which we experience when there are no wars.  Japanese soldiers brutally killed many innocent Filipinos during the WW2.  The handkerchief  symbolizes the tears of pains and loss that were shed by loved ones.  In the Philippines, the legend of the  pineapple teaches children to refrain from pretending not to see truthfully. A bad girl named Pina met an accident, because she kept pretending not to see what her mother asks of her. On the earth where her body lie, a strange plant with many eyes grew. The people named the plant after Pina, and called it “Pinya”.  The pineapple´s eyes symbolizes seeing truth and knowledge. I planted a pineapple on the helmet, because it means we should see the truth behind wars, and know that peace is what the world needs.  Heiwa Hankerchief is a message of peace, and this I kept in mind while stitching this project.

I painstakingly embroidered various stitches using polyester thread on a very special and rare fabric made of silk warps and of pineapple fibers wefts from the leaves of Red Spanish variety pineapples, and handwoven in Aklan Island, Philippines.

here is the first draft with the details and instructions:


The finalized Design, corners reduced to one design and scallops are chosen. Ink on silk paper, stitched directly on the natural pineapple-silk fabric. It will be destroyed during the stitching. No duplicate. I forgot to reproduce the original. hmmm

Heiwa final design

The first WIP photo. I am quite satisfied. I am learning a lot regarding techniques. I have never done this so fine embroidery. My eyes are like bleeding!!!

a. stitch outlines as accurate as possible, fill padded areas with stitches, finish the detailed leafworks and eyelets

b. stitch the ajour or drawn work laces

c. cover all outlines with  either buttonhole or overcast stitches

Heiwa Sept 26, 2009 After 7hrs

Heiwa Sept 26, 2009 After 7hrs

(Update October 18, 2009)

I seem to unconsciously like ajour or pulled work and cutwork better than other techniques I have tried so far. I am thinking of filling the whole background with samples of pulled work stitches. But then wouldn´t it be too much? Here is another photo of my slow progress…

Heiwa Oct. 18, 2009 After 27 hours

Heiwa Oct. 18, 2009 After 27 hours

I decided to use Needle lace stitches to the leaves instead of repeating some damask pattern stitches. Here is my latest progress:

Heiwa Nov. 4, 2009 After 41hours

Nov. 18, 2009 Update: Starting the pineapple, the leaves almost finished, all silk paper are removed and the handkerchief is transferred on a new frame.

Finally, it is ready for the competition.

I wanted to come up with a traditional lace handkerchief from the time of the Spanish occupation in the Philippines, using the antique patterns of scalloped edges and sprays. I wanted the design to be ornamental, so that one can hang it on display, without losing its message. The design is also strange enough to start conversations. There is enough craftmanship in it to attract both experts and laymen in needlework . This work is very precious to me. It does not have to win a prize. I believe by finishing this, I already won. I am thankful to the competition for giving me the chance to explore my creativity.

Handarbeit / Stickerei in Berlin, Deutschland.

About these ads



20 responses

11 01 2010

This is simply stunning. Such beautiful workmanship

12 01 2010

Thank you Avital. I have never worn out my eyes like I did in this one. i think it was the light colors of the materials.

18 06 2013

Je suis en admiration devant ce si magnifique travail .Félicitations et mes pensées de paix dans le monde vous accompagnent.P.Julien Canada

11 01 2010
Lorelei Halley

Wow!!!!! I’ve never worked on so fine a scale and never will. This piece is absolutely marvelous. You really are working a traditional piece in the traditional manner and close to the traditional scale. A truly impressive piece. And the design is also very very good.

I’ve deliberately kept mine simple and much larger in scale. I didn’t think anyone in the world was working this kind of thing on this scale. You should post a message in the stitchinfingers “pulled and drawn thread” group with a link to these photos and your blog. There are a few of us there doing pulled thread and I think they would love to see this.

18 01 2010

love your website Lorelei! handmade lace!!!

11 01 2010
Lorelei Halley

Could we have some detail photos of the pulled parts and the damask stitches?

12 01 2010

Thanks for the nice comments Lorelei!
You will have to wait for new pictures of the Heiwa handkerchief. It is now in the hands of the Embroidery Guild for the competition and exhibit in March.
You can always click the pictures for the original format and see if the stitches are large enough for you to enjoy. :)

11 01 2010

obviously, you deserve a treat for such beautiful and fine work !!!

12 01 2010

Thank you Michelle! what would be a nice treat? I need new scroll frames…lol

12 01 2010

Vincent, this is just wonderful. Superb. I hope it is highly placed in the competition.

14 01 2010

Thanks, Jane. It really depends on what kind of judges will be around for the competition. If they are the types who favor the impressionistic style, then the work will not be recognized.

18 01 2010

Good luck for the competition, Vincent! Such beautiful work you have!!! I had to write about your work today !!!

18 01 2010

Thank you for the comment and the write-up, meri! Your blog is so exciting, compared to mine. lol! Even if I do not win the competition, I have won the approval of the president of the guild, and she is so encouraging me to continue the peace series.

18 01 2010
Mary Corbet

I’ve got my fingers crossed for you, Vincent!

The fine detail in this is absolutely amazing – stunning work, as usual!

18 01 2010

OMG, it is Mary Corbet commenting on my blog!
Your blog is my daily bread, lol! I open my emails everyday and look forward to read your posts! You are an inspiration for all of us, for me you are a pioneer in blogging about embroidery, from books to news to projects. Thank you for sharing with us your passion!

20 01 2010

What beautifully detailed stitching. I fear I would go blind attempting something on this scale. Thank you for sharing this.

21 01 2010

You have to see it in person. The silk warps are so fine, so it´s double silk warps to 1 pineapple fiber (weft). My eyes did suffer like never before. But when it was finished, I have never felt so good. lol!

25 01 2010
Momsy Ilona

You are so so multi-talented! I’ve always loved your art with threads but I did not know you are so gifted. So proud of you!

25 01 2010

Hi Mommy Ilona! nahiya naman po ako. hihi. thank you po! gusto ko naman po talaga na maging proud kayong lahat sa akin, kahit hindi ako makagraduate-graduate. :-)

2 08 2010
anna india c. legaspi

vincent, so nice to see your blog. inspired to have one, too. i have to correct email address you posted. it’s heritagearts_craft @yahoo.com it is underscore not dash. thanks, vincent. God blesss you. the piña legend is very interesting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 333 other followers

%d bloggers like this: