WIP: White Tara Thangka Update

23 11 2013

Yes, I am still stitching. I was busy with exams and other stuffs.

The artwork is based on a tibetan thangka painting by master Migmar Tsering. (photo from www.chinatibet.people.com.cn)

Migmar Tsering

Migmar Tsering

(Jan. 22, 2011) After 222 hours…

after 229 hours

(Nov. 23, 2013) After 342 hours…(click on the picture for a larger view.)

After 342h

After 342h

This is so far my largest needleart. Can you find the needle?

The Golden Circle

14 03 2011

update March 14, 2011:  The Golden Circle wins “Public´s Favorite” Award at the 25th Foundation Anniversary of the German Lace Guild!

Der Goldene Kreis gewinnt “Publikumsliebling” auf der 25. Jubiläumsjahr der Deutschen Spitzengilde e.V. !

updated March 10, 2011: The Golden Cirle is disqualified from the competition (I posted this blog which is considered as publicly exhibiting the work prior to the contest proper.)

Der Goldene Kreis ist vom Wettbewerb ausgeschlossen (ich habe in diesem Blog darüber berichtet,und galt als Veröffentlichung eines Werkes vor dem Wettbewerb .)

The Golden Circle (Der Goldene Kreis)

Started: February 2, 2011

Finished: March 2, 2011

Number of Hours: 128 hours (128 Stunde)

Techniques: Tambourwork, Cutwork, Bead embroidery

Materials: Black Silk fabric, metallic threads, seed beads, sequins

Size: 39cm x 36cm

The theme for this year´s German Lace Guild competition is “The Circle”. This 2011 the guild is celebrating its 25th year of existence.

I got inspired by how everything is connected and how we hurt ourselves if we hurt everything else in nature, including our fellow human beings. The intertwining of stylized acanthus plant in ornamental designs reminds me of this complex network.

Das Thema des diesjährigen Wettbewerbs der Deutschen Spitzengilde e.V. ist “Der Kreis”. Die Spitzengilde feiert ihr 25. Jubiläum dieses Jahr.

Meine Inspiration ist die Wahrheit dass wir alle miteinander verbunden sind. Dass wir uns selbst schaden, wenn wir andere Lebewesen verletzten, einschließlich unserer Mitmenschen. Die Verflechtung von stilisierten Akanthus-Werk in ornamentalen Mustern erinnert mich an dieses komplexe Netzwerk.

Playing with the sunshine…

Ein Spiel mit der Sonne …

worksofhands Berlin

Reminiscing 2010

10 03 2011

I almost forgot to make a review of my blog in the year 2010. So here it is.

I finished 8 needlework projects and painted 11 tambourwork roses.

I won a competition too.

And got featured in Country Bumpkin´s Inspiration magazine.

I learned to do boutis quilting, appliqué quilting, silk thread painting, stumpwork and tambourwork embroidery. I also started to learn how to make a ball-jointed doll.

I went to Florence, Italy and went needlework store-hopping.

I got to finish projects I started last 2009.

I joined HEN´s online exhibition but didn´t know what happened to the results, because the whole thing just disappeared from the cyberworld. lol.

I promised to keep on painting, but finished only 2 watercolor paintings in 2010.

I also started a lot of new projects, but never got to finish them before the end of the year. Some of these might never be finished before I die and some of these might be finished this year.

Cherish Bear

White Tara Thangka

More Trees in Spring

I hope 2011 will be a better year.

worksofhands Berlin.

“Le Paix” Boutis quilt

29 05 2010

Started: April 28, 2010

Finished: May 29, 2010

Number of hours: 43 hours

Materials: Variegated Cotton embroidery Thread on hand dyed Silk, stuffed with red polyester yarn

Dimensions: 48cm x 34cm

Description: “Le Paix” is french for “the peace”.

This is the first time I am doing a boutis quilt. I refered to several youtube videos on making the mitered bias. And I look up the photos on the french book of Magic Patch about boutis technique. I bought the book from agomago store in Florence.

here is a WIP photo showing the sketch of the design. I drew directly on tissue paper and the design is destroyed as I runningstitched over it.

Boutis quilts are reversible. This is the back part:

WIP Photo as I start to stuff the channels with yarns:

WIP Photos May 05, 2010 After30 hours with all the main design stuffed.

Finally, after discovering a faster way to fill in the diamonds with yarns, here is the finished boutis. Both the back and front can be appreciated, except that my signature will not be readable at the back and the design will be reversed. Most boutis uses symmetrical designs which make it reversible.

Here is the back part, which is also the working part or where the needle went through. The back fabric is a bit worn out from the stitching. ^_^

And this is the front part. They have different colorways.

Handarbeit / Stickerei in Berlin, Deutschland.

“Pau” Appliqué

6 05 2010

Started: May 3, 2010

Finished: May 6, 2010

Number of hours: 21 hours

Materials: japanese cotton printed fabrics, cotton threads

Dimensions: 34cm x 48cm

Description: “Pau” is the Catalan word for peace. The iris stands for good communication and the helmet took over a new job as flower pot.

This is my first Appliqué project and I am learning a lot. It is hand-quilted and has hand embroidered details. I refer to the photos on the japanese books I bought from agomago in Florence. Though I do not understand japanese, the photos are easy to understand. You can read more about these books in my library and where to buy them.

Here´s the appliqué plan:

1. Choosing the fabrics

2.Ironing and Cutting the Fabrics (I used a light box, transfer papers, chalk pencils and (disappearing ink) textile pens on transfering the pattern to the fabrics.)

3. Making the bias tape

4.  Sewing the appliqués layer by layer.

Hand-sewing of all appliqué parts finished in one day:

All embroidery finished.

Quilting the pieces (frontpiece, batting and backing) comes next.

Finishing border with mitered corner.

My first appliqué quilt is finished:

Handarbeit / Stickerei in Berlin, Deutschland.

WIP More Trees in Spring

2 05 2010

Started: April 12, 2010


Number of Hours:

Materials: DMC Cotton embroidery threads on natural linen

Dimensions: 32cm x 19 cm

Description: This is the 2nd installment to the series of “More Trees”. I brought the project to Florence, Italy and made progress there. I originally wanted to make a sampler of buttonhole stitches. But I changed my mind.

Photo of the sketch:

More Trees in Spring

WIP photo: May 5, 2010 After 27 hours

My 2010 Florence, Italy Vacation Part 2: Antique Textiles in Museums

23 04 2010

There are quite a few very important antique textiles in Florence museums, which are considered very important in the history of embroidery. It is not strange to find that the designers and embroiderers of these works are males. (Quoted from Davanzati Museum): “Embroidery from the Middle Ages to the end of the 18th century was a highly qualified male profession, although 16th century documents attest to the activity of highly qualified female workers who, during the course of the 19th century – with the end of the Corporations – completely substituted the male embroiderer.

1. I will first start with the Davanzati Museum. It houses the largest collection of antique laces (both bobbin lace and needlelace) and embroideries (mostly samplers) in the highest quality, despite the small rooms. Most of the laces and embroideries are hidden from light in drawers so take time to inspect these drawers.  Also don´t forget to read the descriptions of the exhibit. Groups of needleworkers around Florence, like the cross stitch group, hold events at the Museum every now and then, so be sure to ask for information. About antique embroidery techniques in florence, they have 3 types: the stitch (ricamo a punti passati), the appliquéd (ricamo in applicazione) and the drawn or pulledwork ( ricamo sfilato e tagliato) embroideries.

Entrance to Palazzo Davanzati

2. Next important place to visit is the Museo dell´Opera del Duomo, whichis located at the back of the Duomo (Cathedral). Fee is 6€. It houses antiquities which are found in or made for the Dome, including Michaelangelo´s unfinished Pieta. The Museum used to be a workshop where masters like Donatello used to create masterworks.

Entrance to the Museo dell Opera del Duomo

Though largely damaged, the Life of San Giovanni series in Or nué (Silk shading and goldwork embroidery) are the most important textiles in the museum. It is designed in the later 15th century by Antonio del Pollaiolo for the Baptistery. The techniques used are extensive.

San Giovanni baptizing believers

3. The last piece of embroidery is the largest of the embroideries and is difficult to find. It is the piece called The Coronation of the Virgin Mother with 8 Angels and 14 Saints (Incoronazione della Vergine fra otto angeli e quattordici santi) and is located at the 2nd level of the Galleria dell´Accademia, where Michaelangelo´s David is also a resident. This embroidery is more than 4 meters wide and more than a meter high. The male master embroiderer was Jacopo Cambi. The embroidery is preserved very well,  considering it was finished in 1336, compared to the John the Baptist series! It has both gold and silver threads, and silk embroideries. This altar piece has interesting embroidery techniques in the ornamentic details on the borders, the clothes and jewelries (including the halos) of the figures. The silkshading of the leaf work on the borders are also impressive. Except for the Dome Museum, it is forbidden to take photos or videos. I can only share photos of the entrances.

Entrance to the Galleria dell´Accademia

4. Though the costumes at the Costume Gallery in Palazzo Pitti seem a lot, I do not find the collection to be important to hobbyist needleworker, unless you are interested in making costumes. Most of the collection are from the 19th century. I find the oldest pieces to be the most interesting, but they are heavily damaged. No photos as well.

Entrance to Palazzo Pitti

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