Gloat: Two Little Embroideries from Madagascar

I couldn’t believe my luck today! My friend, the impossibly glamorous and chic Jan Carter (also mentioned in yesterday’s post) bought five of these adorable hand embroidered pieces when she was in Madagascar (not recently, I gather…she told me she’s hung onto them for ages) and today, over coffee, chocolate slice and Macbook bonding, she gave me two of them. Just gave them to me! I was over the moon!

Can’t really say much more than that, all I want to do is squeal like a piglet in a truffle trough…

I mean, LOOK at these little beauties! Not a bit of fabric showing, the embroidery is densely worked, and the attention to detail is delightful—the little houses, the stripey hills, the men and women working in the rice paddies…there’s something so innocent and folksy about them…no fancy stitches, no counted threads (no hoops or frames, either, if the slight puckering is any indication), just one basic filling stitch, worked freehand onto the fabric, and depicting scenes from their very villages, their daily lives.

Kris was in Madagascar for three years, and says he often saw the women sitting in groups on the ground under a tree, holding their embroidery just in the hand and just stitching all day. Awesome!

I love that these anonymous embroiderers have used color so fearlessly…there’s some serious no-holds-barred color action happening here! And I love that they see the sun as a red ball, and not a yellow one, as we do.

Note: Each rectangle is approximately 260 mm. long and 160 mm. wide , and the actual embroidery about 220 mm. long, 130 mm. wide.
Worked mostly in a kind of couched stitch (the background filling stitch) with straight stitches for little details…birds and plants and whatnot.


4 thoughts on “Gloat: Two Little Embroideries from Madagascar

  1. What a nice kind of naive but very colourful and beautiful embroidery. I like your story about it too. 🙂 And your blog is awesome. Nice work.


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