This pattern is from a pillow embroidered by Olga (Shkodzinska) Tomkiw in the early 1950s, in Ontario.
The stitch is known as ‘poltavski hlad’, a type of satin stitch from central Ukraine.
On loan to the exhibit from the collection of Olga Tomkiw.
“Embroidered Memories” is a folk-art installation featuring over 750 Ukrainian Canadian embroidered pillows often referred to as podushky [подушки]. The pieces were created between 1920 and 2015 by over 150 artisans who so skillfully expressed their personal and cultural heritage with a needle and thread. For some, the beautiful podushky evoke a deep, intuitive cultural bond to the Ukrainian homeland and immigrant experience. For others, they represent thousands of hours of detailed stitchery and artistic excellence. Whatever the connection, embroidered podushky have become keepsakes out of respect for our ancestors, as well as the sheer beauty of the craftsmanship. “Embroidered Memories” was created by renowned Canadian artist/curator Larisa Sembaliuk Cheladyn as an extension of her Master’s thesis in Ukrainian Folklore at the University of Alberta.
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