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About the designer

http://spiritofbelarus.blogspot.ca -- pa-belarusku (in Belarusan)

Iryna Varabei, embroidery designer. Unique ...

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United Family Mini Rug Canvaswork Patter

from Iryna Varabei
(10) Name: 'Embroidery : United Family Mini Rug Canvaswork Patter
United Family Mini Rug Canvaswork Patter
United Family Mini Rug Canvaswork Patter
United Family Mini Rug Canvaswork Patter
United Family Mini Rug Canvaswork Patter

Basic Skills Necessary:

  • canvaswork
  • straight stitches
  • chart reading

Pattern Description:

Traditional Belarusan embroidery is more than beauty and creativity. Belarusan women consider their stitching as communicating with the spiritual world, and their stitched pieces are like letters and prayers to God. Traditional decorative motifs represent mosaic patterns assembled with geometrical figures which are used as pictographs for symbolic writing. In old times, for example, it was possible to 'read' all about a person's social status from embroidered patterns on his/her clothing. Also, a stitcher could make her complimentary 'postal card' in the form of stitched article, rug, or a special towel called 'rushnik'.

A 'rushnik' is a favorite medium, and when embroidered, it has a significant meaning in Belarusan culture and history; it has been used in all authentic customs and rite, representing the 'road'the linkbetween the physical and the spiritual worlds. It is believed that if you 'write down' your wishes with stitched symbols on a towel, your prayer will surely be heard.
Other beloved mediums for 'fulfilling' or 'stitching' women's wishes and aspirations are bed/pillow covers and wall rugs and tapestries. Rug and tapestries are however a separate and more complicated topic as they encompass whole stories such as tales, ballads, songs, personal life stories and so on...

Guess, the stories our fore-mothers (those who first created the patterns and designs for us to use) told in their stitching are the same as the hopes and wishes of today's women, and are universal. Our wishes and hopes for good marriage, kind husband, healthy children, decent mother-in-law, grandchildren, in essence it's all about family.

Among the other symbols in Belarusan motifs representing 'children', 'mother', 'boy', 'girl' etc., one in particular represents 'family', as in "united family". In Belarusan language, the word for 'family' consists of two roots: 'seven' and 'me' - 'seven-of-me'. And such is the symbol for "united family"the rhombus divided into several pieces, which is also evolved into an intricate pattern within a pattern.

For me as a designer, the challenge in recreating the rhombus symbol was in designing it in straight stitches only.

As you stitch United Family, I hope all your wishes about your family come true.

Sizing / Finished Measurements:

  • Stitch count - 165 x 152 stitches
  • Design size - 16 x 15 cm (6.1/4" x 6")


  • Fabric - white canvas 24 count
  • Threads - DMC floss and DMC Pearl cotton, 6 colors

You Will Also Need:

  • fringes making skills - optional

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