My mother in law, like I mentioned before, was an immensely talented lady – she was not only the most accomplished needlewoman, she knitted and sewed beautifully and her cooking – it was divine! In fact, when she first came to Jaipur in the late forties, she was one of the few women who could bake and was begged by the local Ladies Club to hold cookery classes. Many of the ladies taught by her went on to start their own bakeries and launch their own cooking institutes.
I share today pictures of embroidery done by her when she was just ten years old!
This was originally a cushion cover. While the colours of the silk embroidery thread were as bright as ever, the hooks used as fasteners had rusted, staining the fabric in a few places. I thought that this beautiful embroidery needed to be framed for display and to preserve it.
The long and short stitches are all done with single thread.
Just look at that ribbon!
Here is another close up…
I never tire of admiring this perfection. Here is another, final look at this master piece!
I shall soon share with you all a saree she embroidered for me when I married her son – something which is one of my most prized possessions!
I made this when ladies used handkerchiefs – delicately embroidered pieces of soft muslin and cotton, decorated with hand crocheted and tatted laces, one to match each saree!
Those lovely hankies – especially the `special’ ones taken out only for parties and celebrations – were carefully tucked away in equally painstakingly embroidered `hanky cases’ . If you did not own an imported perfume, or belonged to the more traditional families – into the hanky case pocket went jasmine and rose petals.
But all that belonged to a long lost, more leisurely age. Before `use and throw’ ugly paper hanky tissues took over. I started making a hanky case for my future daughter-in-law when my son was ten(!) just like my mother-in-law had made for me! But have not completed it – I dont think my son’s wife will know what to do with it when she does come into the family…
So here is my labour of love:-)
Fabric – Silk; Stitches – Long and short, stem stitch, chain stitch, satin stitch in single and double thread using Anchor embroidery silk skeins. Foam batting.