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7th Creative Happening, a gathering of craftswomen and craftsmen organized by Viva Kreativa and OmnisArt took place in Zagreb on Saturday.

The gathering provides crafters with an opportunity to exhibit their work and exchange experiences, and it gives visitors a chance to see that imagination and handcraft have no limits. It is also a place where you can learn something new, as workshops on different craft techniques are organized.

I was privileged with an opportunity to hold a workshop on hand embroidery. I love the craft so I love to share it with people who are interested in it.

What did we do during the workshop? The first thing was to learn how to transfer a pattern from paper to fabric. Then I showed the ladies how to do four simple stitches: Stem stitch, Chain stitch, Lazy Daisy as a variant of the Chain stitch and the French Knot stitch.

And then, practical work. As the Happening was dedicated to tradition, we used traditional fabric: linen. However, not completely the same as ladies in the old times used to – linen we used was unbleached and slightly rough and canvas-like. The embroidery pattern depicted a traditional thing: licitar. Licitar is a cake in the shape of a heart that in Croatian inland you would traditionally give to someone as a sign of love and friendship. Traditionally the cake is red with white, yellow and green decorations.

This is how it looked like.

hand embroidery workshop starting steps

Licitar drawing transferred onto fabric, practicing first three stitches, and pieces of fabric with examples of how the basic stitches are done, as a reminder.

hand embroidery workshop working

The ladies who attended the workshop got the technique very quickly and started embroidering their own hearts using the combination of stitches they have just learned.

hand embroidery workshop group of girls

There is something really nice, very calm and relaxing atmosphere, when a group of ladies sits and embroiders together. You’ve got to try it!

hand embroidery workshop observing and assisting

We were honored by visits and kind support of other ladies who share the same love for embroidery – thank you ladies!

hand embroidery workshop

This is the work of the ladies who attended the workshop: the work in progress, completed licitar and – a view on the back side of the embroidery: making it as neat on the back side as it is in the front is a sign of mastery!

hand embroidery workshop embroidery completed

Finally, the ladies and their work at the end of the workshop. Sanja, Tina and Svjetlana, congratulations!

Hope you will continue exploring the endless possibilities of embroidery and enjoy it. Thank you for your enthusiasm, it made my day!

And a big thank you to everyone who stopped by to see what we were doing and shared their knowledge as well as memories of hand embroidery done by their grandmothers with us.

I am looking forward to the next opportunity, and in the meantime I will be posting tutorials on the basic stitches from the workshop here.