Last year after an exhaustive day touring the Vatican and all its textile treasures, we were invited to have dinner in our tour guide's home. Located right in downtown Rome, Simonetta's apartment had a beautiful terrazza where we ate the most delicious meal. We weren't there long before we started to notice the various embroidered household linens in use around the house. When asked about them, I expected Simonetta to say that she had done them herself but she said they were all done by her mother. I begged her to let me get a closer look and take some pictures.
All the linens were in use, so you will notice that some have stains because we did spill during dinner. Simonetta took it in stride telling us not to worry, she knew how to get out stains. It would be a pity to to put the linens away where no one ever saw her mother's beautiful work and she said that it felt a little like her mother was with her, to have her things all around.
This tablecloth has a design of applied Crochet chain lengths in different shades of Coral with Drawn Threadwork criss-crossing in sections around the edges...
This serving tray cloth is stitched in Punto Stuoia [Rush Stitch] which is similar to Roumanian Couching. It is an excellent stitch to use for filling areas as it is a self-couching stitch and gives great coverage without bulk as most of the thread lays on the front side of the work and only the tiny couching stitches show on the back (see the post on Bizantina Ars for an example of front and back):
This was my favourite and I took many pictures but this one shows a little of all the features. Padded Satin Stitched roses in an Art Nouveau (known in Italy as Liberty) design, Drawn Threadwork lines connecting motifs of Netting worked in the Linen Stitch (also known as the Cloth Stitch). It was exquisitely worked.
The wine stain was an excellent Chianti Riserva that we picked up at the Castello di Verrazzano on our way through Tuscany. They had the most interesting embroidered curtains... but we'll talk about that another time.
Our last evening together in Rome was spent in the very best way: among friends with great food and wine, admiring Italian needlework!