I found a wonderful cross-stitch book, “Palestinian Embroidery Motifs: A treasury of stitches 1850-1950, ” by Margarita Skinner and Widad Kamel Kawar. Melisende Publishing, London and Rimal Publications, Nicosia, 2007. ISBN 978-1-901764-47-5.
It has over 150 pages of charts and photos of Palestinian cross-stitch (see this example from Dr. Shirazi’s collection). There’s an amazing variety of motifs, borders, and designs, all stylized and very interesting. Somehow they have a totally different flair from most of the cross-stitch designs you find in the US.
I was even inspired to try it myself! This is as far as I got before remembering that I really just don’t enjoy cross-stitch. I love the patterns though, so maybe I can trace them and work them in other embroidery stitches, after I finish up some of my other projects. Isn’t it a neat little flower border?
Here’s a few pages from the book with photos of finished work (plus check out the cover!). There are tons of charts too, but I didn’t think that would be OK for excerpts. The book has a huge variety of interesting designs in it and I definitely recommend it.