Two Amarna Princesses – having to think again

Spotted Cushions

Spotted Cushions

A little while ago, the Ashmolean Museum tweeted another reproduction of that fresco of the two little princesses, this one in black and white, and it brought to the fore something that had been less clear in the colour reproductions I had seen – the girls are actually sitting on cushions. Originally, I had interpreted the lowest border design as fabric covering a divan of some sort, but now I found myself developing some possible cushion fabrics..

Once again, as with the drapery, I stitched patterns with additional needlefelting in mind. I decided in the end that the satin stitch spots weren’t working very well. Sorbello stitch is the stitch I used for the villages on the Map of Amarna. It’s another stitch I rather like, as it produces a neat, square stitch, with an interesting texture – more obvious with some fabrics and threads than others, of course. The cross stitch spots are in a colour closer to that of the felt, and should produce a more subtle effect.

What I have done is to stitch the patterns on a section of felt, and then pass it under my embellisher. I hope that this will create enough fibre entanglement that when I cut out the cushion shapes, the stitches will not unstitch themselves.

I wonder whether it will work…!


  1. Lady Fi says:

    I like the texture of those Sorbello stitches.

  2. Dima says:

    I’ve never heard of the Sorbello stitch. Will have to look it up later.

  3. CathieJ says:

    I really like those sample cushion stitches. I am looking forward to seeing the whole piece.

  4. Catherine says:

    How fascinating and what great timing to have seen that new image! I think the Sorbello stitch is my favourite from your samples, butit is all about the whole piece!

  5. Good luck Rachel! Can’t wait to see your progress.

  6. Lin says:

    I love sorbello stitch – the cross stitch one looks good. xx

  7. Karen says:

    I adore your litttle sample images….they belong in an archive of stitch samples.

  8. I always learn something new from you – this time sorbello stitches.

  9. Sue Jones says:

    The sorbello stitches do steal the show in that little line-up. I suspect that boring old cross stitch will come out of the embellisher as the winner, there’s more for the machine to grab. But maybe some contrasting sorbellos in the spaces afterwards?

  10. I am sure it will! To my eye the Sorbello Stitch looks closes to the pattern on the cushions in the black and white picture. I think though that your embellisher might struggle with the thick stitches.
    Good luck!

  11. jenclair says:

    I’m always learning about new stitches when I visit here! And interesting ways to use them!

  12. Carolyn Foley says:

    Sorbello stitch is one of my favourites. They look good here.

  13. Karen says:

    These are the best kind of adventures 🙂 Look forward to seeing the outcome.

  14. Terrie says:

    Like to read your mixed media creation – stitches and felt. Eagar to see the finished Lok.

  15. I love reading your design process and testing out of different stitches and methods. When the piece is finished, it’s going to be fun to look at it and see what final choices you’ve made and how it all fits together.

    Thanks so much for linking up to last week’s Stitchery LInk Party. Aloha hugs!

  16. Susan says:

    I’ll bet it works perfectly! I’m so glad you found out about that detail. I just learned, and you may have said this, but it didn’t make an impression, that the reason all of them were bald was to prevent head lice infestations. Apparently, in those days, lice were rampant everywhere and hard to get rid of, which I can imagine. They aren’t exactly easy to eliminate now! I like the faces you’ve drawn on.