Palestinian Embroidery 101: "Bottom of Coffee Cup" Motifs on Aida Cloth
Date(s) - 11/30/2019
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Middle East Books and More
Organizer of Palestinian Embroidery 101: "Bottom of Coffee Cup" Motifs on Aida Cloth
WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
For generations, Palestinian women have gathered with their daughters to work collectively on embroidery projects, bonding with one another over a cup of coffee. Guided by Wafa Ghnaim, who began her training in embroidery with her mother at age 2, learn the basic Palestinian cross-stitch to create one of the most unique motifs in Palestinian embroidery, the bottom of the coffee cup, on 11 count aida cloth. In Palestinian culture, when one has finished drinking their cup of coffee, they swirl the remaining grounds and flip their coffee cup upside down on their saucer — waiting for it to dry so that they can have their fortune told. The figures and forms that are created by the dried coffee grounds are then interpreted by women, which is how this motif name may have been born. Drinking coffee is an act of bonding, forgiveness, respect, celebration and Memorial in Palestinian culture, and the motif speaks to a language created through cross-stitch, used and taught by women, to women.
Open to students of all skill levels, the workshop covers the basics of transferring a pattern to fabric, threading a needle, the use of ombre thread, two methods of cross-stitching, and motif repetition. Pattern cards include a variety of motif options for beginners and more creative, seasoned stitches. All supplies are provided. No experience is required.
Students take home an embroidered design, as well as personal insights into the role that embroidery plays in Palestinian cultural traditions.
Image from the book “The Journeys of Motifs: From Orient to Occident” by Margarita Skinner