Giants of Embroidery: The Power of The Pen

Machine pieced and quilted. The pens are executed entirely in French knots! *swoon*

The Pen (April 1996) by Nadia Mamelouk

Have a look at this art quilt by Nadia Mamelouk. I came across her photo on stitchinfingers, and thought at first that the pens were worked in machine-stitching. My jaw dropped when I realized they were embroidered by hand. Those fountain pens, people, are executed entirely in french knots. This work leaves me at a loss for superlatives, so I won’t even try. The dimensions of the quilt are 36″x50″/90cm x 124cm.

You know, some days, things seem pretty good and la-di-da…I make a bunch of applique creamsicles and pat myself on the back. On other days, I run into work like this, by embroidery deities who live on Mt. Olympus, and I think maybe I should retire my needles and take up chicken sexing, instead (er, my friend Danielle tells me you flip the chickens upside down to see whether they’re wearing pink or blue underoos… 😉

Please take time to read the moving historical essay that accompanies Nadia’s quilt—a story about struggle, revolution, and the power of words, in Tunisia. I have a friend from Tunisia, and I thought of him when I read Nadia’s post.

via MulticoloredPieces: The Pen, Part II: Living Through a Revolution.


8 thoughts on “Giants of Embroidery: The Power of The Pen

  1. Oh WOW, Nat! That’s gorgeous! O_O I can’t even make a decent French Knot outline embroidery for a simple seashell. Gaah.

    Off to read her blog post now. Thanks for sharing this! 🙂


  2. Awww, shucks, Nat, you’re making me blush! Thanks so much for putting “The Pen” on your blog and commenting. I’m enjoying your blog, too, while trying to beat the heat. Your creative projects are great and your embroidery is lovely.


    1. A visit from a goddess! Nadia, thanks for sharing your work with the rest of us. The Pen is a superb work, and it’s an honor to be able to talk about it. Thanks for your commenting here, too!


  3. I’ve always wanted to try this. I have a 20×36 paint by number pattern for The Last Supper I saved for 20 years. My intention was to use it for a relief carving. I can’t even thread a needle though and must have my 88 year old mother sew on buttons for my shirts.


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