A New Zellig – Happy Valley Tile

I did a zellig tile last year on vintage canvas stitched with greens and light rose. Before I get it framed to hang up in our house, I thought I should stitch a companion piece. So today I’m showing you the start of the Happy Valley Tile.

One of the first places I visited in Morocco (over 40 years ago) was a place called Happy Valley. Lush plants, waterfalls, and walkways all over the place. I tried to find it online today but I guess it no longer exists. So I went through photos I have on my computer. I spent a year scanning in all the photos I’ve taken over the years (and photos from my mother and father as well). I found this one to show you.

To stitch the new tile, a friend has given a few skeins of DMC’s Satin Floss (their new rayon floss) in similar colors to my piece from last year. I’m using the same vintage canvas as the previous tile, brown on sage green. Here’s the canvas with the threads I’ll be using. On the left I have two shades of brown and I’m not sure I’ll be using them. Next to them I have some overdyed floss from Needle Necessities that I hope will work well with the brown in the canvas. On the right side of the canvas are the 3 colors I’ll be using for most of the time. This tile will be a little smaller than the one I stitched last year, but not much.

I started in the center with the dark green, and created an 8-pointed star. I’m leaving canvas showing in this design and will not be stitching a second version that has all the areas filled in.

I’ll work on the area just above, below, and beside this star next. I’ll come back to the center later on to fill in a small design to highlight the middle.

I’ve read Emma’s Floss Guide which I found on the DMC site here. She recommended that I wet the threads by running the thread over a damp sponge and let them dry, which didn’t take long at all. They seemed more manageable this way. Though by the time I was halfway through the star, I was not wetting them anymore. I was getting the hang of stitching with this thread. I used three plies doubled over through the eye of the needle and made a slip knot at the eye. After I made the first stitch, I didn’t have to worry about the strands moving around. I started by using my laying tool, but quickly abandoned that as well. I’m moving along well now. I’ll be back in a few days with more progress and photos.

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5 responses to “A New Zellig – Happy Valley Tile

  1. You might need to be careful with wetting or not wetting these threads, as sometimes it creates a permanent change in the appearance of the thread. Personal experience, here1

  2. A new project, a girl after my own heart! Love all the colors you’re planning on using including the canvas which should also add to the uniqueness (?word)lol. I applaud your courage in using the rayon threads and am very pleased to see that you’re not having the frustrations I find I have when trying (and then abandoning) them. Seems like a good idea to wet these slippery strands. In any case I’m proud you’ve mastered them in short order. Looking forward to watching your progress. Having never been out of the Americas I am off to view your Morrocan images.

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