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Resht Applique Complete

Resht Applique Complete

Last week I showed you the beginnings of an applique sample. I guess I wasn’t the only one that had never heard of Resht work. Always good to learn something new, isn’t it?

So I started with chain stitching the central flower parts down. I didn’t follow the example exactly but it is similar to the inspiration photo. I had drawn the stitch lines on the background out in advance but didn’t adhere to the drawing exactly. This actually stitches pretty quickly as the chain stitch is easy and stitching through handmade felt is wonderful. I’m not sure why I’m surprised each time I stitch a lot on a piece of felt. It is so nice to hand stitch. I have a tendency to be a bit minimalist so I might have stopped here but the sample was pretty heavily stitched so I decided I would add more.

So on to what I’m calling the drop shadow stitching. I added the dark blue violet chain stitch using a Sulky #12 machine thread. It worked great. Slightly lighter weight than the perle cotton #12. I was really surprised at the impact the dark thread made. Again, I shouldn’t have been surprised because it did need some darker values in the composition. I also added a regular blanket stitch around the leaves with a red violet thread. This pulled the red violet from the central flower out into more of the background.

Then I decided that I needed some yellow orange in the flower. So I added just a little bit of that and decided it was complete. I actually could keep adding more stitching but I didn’t want to overdo it.

I will definitely be cropping off the edges so here’s how it will look cropped. And I thought you’d like to see the surface from a side view. It was a fun piece to try and again reminded me why I like to stitch on felt.




Resht Applique Sample

Resht Applique Sample

I am taking a two year course from the Gail Harker Creative Studies Center, Advanced Studies in Experimental Stitch.

Part of my homework for the second session is looking up different forms of applique and doing a few samples of different applique techniques. One of the suggestions on our list was Resht work. Having never heard of this one, I decided to see what it entailed. I found several wonderful examples and learned that it was a Persian technique that used mainly chain stitch to attach cut felt pieces to a background, sometimes felt and sometimes wool cloth. That sounded like a perfect reason to make some felt and give this technique a try.

I printed out one of the examples that I had found. This one was on 1860-1960 One Hundred Years of Fashion and Accessories. I picked out some short fiber merino batt in similar colors to create my background and the pieces that I would cut and applique.

Here’s the felt pieces I created. I didn’t worry much about the edges as I was going to cut them anyways. I did want fairly thin felt as it gets a bit thick to stitch when layered. I did great with this except for the yellow orange piece. It was a bit thick.

Next I worked out a simpler design in the size that I needed. The final piece will be 7″ x 7″.

I traced the main design on tissue paper and cut out that as patterns to cut the felt. Originally, I thought I would overlap the pieces. But once I had them cut, I decided that would be too thick. I didn’t make any pattern for the yellow orange leaves. I just cut those free hand.

Here are the pieces all cut out and pinned on to the background. Now I needed some threads for the chain stitching.

Here are some of the hand dyed thread choices. Now on to chain stitching. I will show you the results in my next post.

Slow Stitching

Slow Stitching


This is the landscape (on the left) that I showed you in my last post. I made a few changes including some new felt to indicate mountains in the distance and changing the diagonals in the foreground.  I was originally going to machine stitch this in place on its background of white felt but decided to do some “slow” stitching. So I am hand appliqueing all the pieces down. I didn’t want the machine stitch to overpower the simple shapes.

Here you can see the stitches a bit closer. I am using a machine thread and a short sharps needle to stitch each piece in place. Some of the pieces are overlapping and some are butted up against each other.

Most of the sky is stitched down and because I didn’t have a big enough piece of dark blue felt for the sky, I cut up the pieces into irregular triangles. I’m not sure if you can see or not but this is felt that had been printed and then over-dyed so there is some pattern in the sky that along with the triangular pieces is definitely giving some interest that a single, plain blue piece of felt would not display.


I have now started stitching down the blue mountain shapes and as I stitch, some of the felt pieces have shifted a little. I may also add either some more color to some of the mountains as the white is definitely bringing them to far forward and is distracting. But I will work on that once everything is stitched in place.

I do have a piece of silk that is shown in the upper left of this photo that I am considering using as clouds. I would have it in much smaller pieces and I’m not sure I’ll even use it but I might. What do you think? Do you think it needs clouds? Is that fabric too light in value against the really dark sky? I hope you don’t get bored with this piece as it will take me a while since I am stitching by hand.

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