A couple of weeks ago, I went to Sacred Arts Dance Camp in Oxfordshire. 300 people camping in a field, cooking over open fires (great when it’s sunny – not so much fun when it’s raining 🙂 ). For about five hours each day, on and off, we did Dances of Universal Peace in a Big Top, which was wonderful. Other things like crafts, yoga, circle dancing, taize singing, etc., were also going on throughout the week.
Many people who do the Dances are Sufi, although you don’t have to be. I am, so when I see something that links Sufism with embroidery, I am bound to be interested!
On the Wednesday, there was a craft market, and someone there was selling embroidered bracelets/cuffs with the Sufi emblem of a heart with wings beaded on them. I thought they were great, but they were about two inches wide, and too ‘chunky’ for my slim wrist. So, when I got home, I decided to embroider my own version, on a daintier scale.
I first drew out the motif I wanted, to fit a one inch wide band. I selected some materials – some cream close-woven cotton fabric, some Anchor threads, thin gold Ophir thread, and some tiny red and gold beads. And a lovely piece of red metallic kid leather that I’ve been hoarding, waiting for the right project to present itself. In the end, I didn’t use the beads or one of the thread colours.
I transferred the design from my pencil drawing to the fabric by tracing the design onto thin tissue paper, then placing it on the fabric and stitching through it onto the fabric with small running stitches with sewing cotton, then tearing off the paper.
For the central heart motif, I cut a tiny heart shape out of red felt, and a larger one out of the red kid leather. I stab-stitched the felt heart on, then did the same with the leather, to make a smooth padded shape.
Then I worked lazy daisy stitches with the gold thread, starting at the outer edge of the wing and working towards the centre. I did these freehand, and one side has more ‘feathers’ than the other, but never mind! Then I worked a second row, finishing with a third row just of satin stitches. At that point, it looked finished, so I didn’t bother adding beads, etc., as I’d originally planned to.
I backed the embroidery with a piece of the same cotton fabric, stitching it into a tube and turning it, before adding two tiny press studs for a closure.
The finished bracelet will hopefully look good with a red and gold salwar kameez that I’ve got, at the next Dance Day that I go to.
9 thoughts on “Finished embroidery: a bracelet with the Sufi flying heart motif”
That’s gorgeous! I would love this with a tank and jeans.
That is SUPER pretty.
It looks lovely, Janet
That’s the nicest use of lazy daisy stitch I’ve seen!
Now, I picked up an image of this project under a Google/Image search for red kid leather – I want to use some in an embroidery project.
I don’t suppose you remember where you got yours??
Do you mind replying to my e-mail? It’s so hard to track blog comments!
For anyone else who’d like to know where I got the red kid leather, it was http://www.golden-hinde.co.uk – and they do lovely gold threads, silk Dupion, etc, too!
That is lovely. The lazy daisy feathers are beautiful.
Love this, would you consider making and selling?
Sorry, no – it’s far too specialed to make it worthwhile, and I simply don’t have the time!