Lets go to Nepal....

Today Design*Sponge is sharing the third installment of my Embroidery 101 series, a Nepali Tiger satin stitch project. This pattern comes straight from Nepal from a once in a lifetime trip a few years back. I thought it would be fun to share a little of the adventure and the background story of the pattern.

We set out on a short hike to Swayambhunath, a monkey temple, weaving our way through an open field and then small homes with open doors, across a small bridge over a trash filled river with the carcass of a giant boar. We followed a dirt path and soon came to road where kids were playing and vendors had stands and small restaurants lined the dirt street. At the base of the temple there was an elaborate, colorful archway and monkeys were running around everywhere. In India we had learned not to hold bags or any items loose in our hands with monkeys around because they will run up and steal it hoping there is food inside.

We met a very streetwise, smart, charming kid who was about 10 who spoke perfect english. He and his chubby silent friend were curious about us, wanted to be friends and really wanted us to buy them lunch, which naturally we did! We walked up very steep, narrow steps to the temple, which were lined with vendors declaring that "Looking is free" and I met a man selling  punch needle embroidery tools.

The young boy was now my interpreter and guide explaining to me what the man was saying. He explained how to use the handmade punch needle, how he transfered patterns, and showed me all the many patterns he had made. I bought a few sets and this project with D*S is the very first time I've used the patterns. I've been meaning to for-ev-er, and I'm so glad that I get to share it on D*S.

Each pattern is made from hundreds of small pin pricks on a waxed paper. He demonstrated how gasoline mixed with powdered pigment is rubbed over the pattern on top of the fabric leaving a doted pattern behind. It was bizarre to see gasoline used so casually on fabric.

He was a fast and skilled maker. He tried to show me a few times how to use the punch needle and I couldn't figure it out. Very impressive to see a master craftsman using tools he made himself.

I love reminiscing a bit here. I really wish I could go back to Nepal and India. Would you like to see more travel pictures and more stories? I have over 200 gigs of images and no shortage of enthusiasm for this trip!!


  1. I absolutely adore those thread colours! I have always wanted to go to Nepal, what beautiful photos. x

    1. Thanks Kitiya! I took your class at Etsy awhile back and have followed you since. I bought some of those threads and haven't brought myself to use them yet. Need a special project.


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