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Posts from the ‘Textile’ Category

Miao Embroidery

September 19th, 2013

Daniel Pontius

I’ve been researching the narratives of Miao Embroideries. This one I sourced in China. I’m still working on the narrative so I’m going to write about some technical aspects of the embroidery.

This is a reverse appliqué with a plaited couching stitch finish. The off white is the background fabric. The pattern would have been drawn or stenciled on the darker fabric of the foreground, then cut out. The cut-out darker fabric was then sewn directly to the white with a running stitch along the edge of the pattern–a basic running stitch because later it is covered with the plaiting.

The cord or plaiting is made from an inner thread like raffia or hemp and then wound with silk to make the plait. After this is all done, it is couch stitched over the running stitch made earlier around the edge of the fabric.

As for the design, I used to think they were clouds. But now, I think the pattern is based on the butterfly–butterfly antenna and the trailing floating pattern of their flying from one place to another. More about that as soon as I do a little bit more writing. Spend some time staring at the images and let me know what you think. Perhaps someone has written about a similar pattern, let me know.

The embroidery is 25 x 27 not including surrounding frame.

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A detail of the fraying edge of the darker cut fabric and the couching stitch.


Color Combinations

April 16th, 2013

Daniel Pontius

This fragment jumped off the shelf at me when I looking for Fez Textiles in Paris this past June.  Probably Greek  late 18th to Early 19th C– a fabulous piece of inspiration- long and narrow with 3 odd but delightful patterns embroidered in silk and metallic threads on a homespun linen. Bellow are details of the embroidery.

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May 13th, 2010

Daniel Pontius

All Hail the Sodomite

January 9th, 2009

Daniel Pontius

If you haven’t read Nancy Mitford, you must. Her historical biographies are amusing, insightful and a bit catty. She had been criticized in her time for having just written another one of her biographical novels when The Sun King was first published. The only difference, it was said, was that it was set at the court of Louis XIV instead of the 20th century English Countryside of her childhood. 
The quote,  that I embroidered with vintage cotton threads on a linen ground over a 6 month period in 2006, is from the book, The Sun King. It illuminates the life of not only Louis XIV’s brother Monsieur, Philippe of France, Duke of Orleans, but what is possible for all homosexuals. Indeed, we set our sites too low, constrained by convention. 
This is all ready for the framers, and then will be for sale. 


April 28th, 2008

Daniel Pontius

“I began with an enormous rug; it’s that bell-pull by the fire place,” said Auntie Mame.
I’ve never sat by a loom for hours, but I have considered it. I started to do needlework several years ago. I immediately purchased a large free standing hoop. I never got beyond a stitch of what I think is called “cushioning” and I’ve never used proper wool; always cotton, which I think gives it a chic but naive feel.
The first piece I did (bottom pic–double click to enlarge) is a quote by Nancy Mitford taken from The Sun King done on linen. It was going to be a pillow but just kept getting bigger so it’s now tossed over a new chair.

The pillows in raw silk were done for a client. Quotes: Dante and Eddy, respectively. Although Eddy is misquoted because really, she just wanted to get some.

Hook Rug Love

February 2nd, 2008

Daniel Pontius

My friend Barbara, a Landscape Architect, up in Eastern Washington sent me a photo of her newest obsession. She found this hook rug at a garage sale last fall. She said she wanted to give the woman a lot more for the rug because it was so beautiful, but she paid the asking $3. Yeah, for $3.

As a kid I did hook rugs and for several years when I lived in Seattle I used to collect them as I had a vision of attaching them all together and making a large patchwork rug, but along the way of moving from one place to the other, and several failed attempts at binding them together I let them all go. I never found one as nice as this one that Barbara found. It is lovely with the bright but muted colors with the sweet folksy scene of a jaunty figure in a landscape. The scale of nature vs. human walking on a winding path through the woods next to a bend in a river-many delightful narratives could be developed from the reading of this piece.