July 25, 2013

Mãos de fada - fairy hands

Olá! In the past weeks I've been working on some Portuguese traditional patterns, trying to gather some motifs that I want to make available. Fiancé kerchiefs were the first ones to claim my attention. I've done some research, trying to understand which are the most authentic motifs, the ones that respect the certification process that now rules this type of embroidery.

I share with you some of my finds...
There are not very precise rules for the motifs nor for the colors... However, love is the most important source of inspiration and primary colors are the most common. Tracing appears to be very asymmetric on the popular kerchiefs and the triangular interpretations predominate. There is a list of stitches that are accepted but I would say that stem stitch is really the one that characterizes this regional embroidery, followed by satin stitch.

Soon I'll tell you more about the most typical symbols found on this type of embroidery... Today I bring you some very simple but beautiful pieces of embroidery using patterns inspired by fiancé kerchiefs.

They were brought to me by a dear neighbour that lives down the street. They were embroidered by someone that has mãos de fada (fairy hands) an expression we use describing someone with a special ability and talent for handwork... Her name is Maria Alice. And they were not gifts of passion but gifts of friendship.

Fiancé kerchief patterns
Hearts - one of the most popular symbols used in fiancé kerchiefs
Small fiancé kerchief
A very small fiancé kerchief - together forever, year of 2007
Fiancé kerchief pattern
To keep a jar of jam...

Next week I have more...



  1. Layla (Made By Dolly)July 26, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    So beautiful! Love that Jam Jar bag - what a nice present that would make.

  2. Absolutely lovely.:)

  3. These a re so pretty.