Applique Work in India.

Hello Everyone:

I am excited to begin the series on applique work in India. Applique work is practiced in many parts of India and some are more popular than others. It is mostly done by hand but sometimes, it is done on a sewing machine and later hand-embroidered. The work you see today are examples of the applique work from the state of Rajastan and are completely done by hand.

I am sure that most of you know what applique work is. It involves cutting pieces of a fabric and stitching them on top of another fabric to form a design.

This white on white/white on cream appliqued pillow cover is characteristic of Rajastani applique work. "Tree of life" which is the central design here is a widely used motif.

Here is a a close up of the bird that is appliqued. If you look closely you'll see some stitches to mark the eye and the neck of the bird.

Here is another close up of the animal that is appliqued again with a few stitches to mark the eye, neck and the body.

Next comes an interesting twist to applique - the reverse applique. It is just as or more appealing than regular applique. In reverse applique also, two layers of fabric are used. The bottom fabric is revealed when the top layer is cut, tucked under and hemmed. It is a beautiful piece, isn't it?

Here is a close up. I hope you can see how the top fabric is tucked under and stitched.

Finally, a treasured piece from my wardrobe. This piece has Rajastan written all over it!! The lower fabric is a red 'Tie and Dye', otherwise known as 'Bandhani' in India. (It is a dyeing technique practiced in Rajastan). A long strip of this fabric is first hemmed in place, and then the design is carefully cut out from the upper fabric.

I hope you can see the design better here. The applique design is continued to the sleeve as well.

Another close up of the same design.

I have more to share on applique work including a short tutorial. Will see you soon!!

Happy Embroidering,


Long and Short Project: All done!!!

Hello everyone:

I am back to share my completed project :) ta-da .....

The project was very fulfilling and relaxing. It took a little longer than I anticipated, but mostly because I could not devote much time to it in the last few months.

For this particular stem, I began the short and long stitch at the bottom and went all the way up. This makes for a very interesting finish because there is no split stitch at the bottom.

After I completed the long and short stitch on all the stems, I went back and added a few veins in a single strand of dark green thread using stem stitch.

That's all on this project. Thanks to everyone for all your wonderful comments during this project. In my next post, I will be getting back to Indian Embroidery, talking about Applique Work.

Till then,
Happy Embroidering.



Hello fellow bloggers and friends:

I am back to share my progress on the long and short project. Thank you all very much for those thoughtful comments and the patience!!

I am almost done with the project. And here it is.

As you can see I have about 10% of the work left before I can frame it.

Picking up from where we left off..., the first thing I did was complete the flower center in shades of yellow. It was quite simple and easy, being a small area. The stamen in French Knots was also surprisingly easy and super fast. I haven't used French knots before but it is quite easy to do.

The next part I worked on was the base of the stem in different shades of green. I divided this into three sections and outlined each section with split stitch. Next I drew guidelines, very lightly using a pencil to mark the direction of the long and short stitch. This is a very important step. It is also a good idea to draw them every time there is a change in the direction. I may have mentioned this before - I had to undo a petal completely because the direction of the stitches were wrong.
Lastly, I outlined the long stem and the turnover leaf to the right using split stitch. As you can see, I have just started working the long and short stitch on the long stem.

I am actually quite excited that I am almost at the end of the project. I hope to be done within a week. See you then!

Happy Embroidering!