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More Embroiderers, More Embroidery, More Towels!

Some time ago I posted about Modelene and the embroidery work she has been doing. Your responses have been so encouraging. The poor girl can hardly keep up with orders! 🙂

Last week was Mardi Gras break so everyone was off of school. Modelene was able to come a lot during that week and got a lot of work done. But in addition I found 4 new embroiderers!

Wilda, a woman from our community who is now helping out at our house through the week, casually mentioned that she had learned to embroider about 12 years ago when Lemuel (then based in PauP) had sent a lady up to teach sewing and embroidery. Modelene and I had been (half!) joking about how many orders she had to fill so I gave her a piece of fabric to practice on and lo and behold, she was great! I quickly traced an image on a towel for her and put her to work! 🙂

Josiane, whom some of you may know from past posts, had come home for the week from the city where she is in school. She hangs out at our house a lot and was there during my shock of Wilda knowing how to embroider. The NEXT DAY (yes, she waited a whole day!) she told me that she too had learned to embroider from that same woman and asked if she could try too. I was floored! I gave her a little test piece and she too did great. I again quickly traced her an image and put her to work too.

Since I already had a veritable embroidery workshop in my dining room I decided to call the two top students in Wiltha’s embroidery class, Kesline and Naphtalie, to see how they were doing. They had learned well and after tweaking a few little things, I got them to work as well.

Wilda, Josiane, Naphtalie and Kesline are not yet able to do the figures like Modelene does, that will take some time (and since everyone is back in school now, probably won’t happen very soon). BUT they are able to do some beautiful outline images. At the end of the week we had quite a stock. Three had already been purchased (two of which Modelene had done in the weeks before) before I got these pictures but here are some of the towels that were embroidered last week.

Modelene’s took the longest to complete as it is the most complicated. She was able to use new techniques she has learned such as using stem stitch to fill in and to shade (the house).

Josiane finished two of these towels. Under the nest is a Haitian proverb that means

“Little by little the bird makes its nest.”

Wilda didn’t have quite as much time to embroider but she was able to finish this one of a hibiscus.

Kesline finished these two hummingbirds.

Before I show you the two that Naphtalie worked on I have to tell you that this next image is in honor of all of those who have spent at least one night here and have enjoyed the melodious sound of the roosters WAAAAAY before sunrise…

At the end of the week all of the girls were able to sell their towels at Natif Natal. It was exciting to see them make an income, but even more exciting to see the realization hit them that they, with their own hands, could do something to EARN an income.

Kesline and Naphtalie at Natif Natal with their products and their payment envelopes.

Wilda continues to work on another towel every day after work. Kesline and Naphtalie come every Tuesday and Thursday morning and work for a few hours before school (they go to school in the afternoon). Josiane is back in the city but she took a complex towel with her to work on when she can. Modelene continues to come every Saturday and whenever she can during the week as well.

I don’t know what the future will hold for these girls, but I do know one thing… they have learned that they are capable of creating something beautiful – something that has value even to others.

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