Well, it appears as though I’ve gotten the hang of this.
I filled the “flower” shape and then free-handed a little leaf to the bottom, and I am really pleased with how even the stitches are. I didn’t even catch the silk on itself too much this time! Here’s a close-up of the leaf (the color is way off, but that’s not the important part):
There are some seriously tiny stitches in there. I kid you not. And then I filled the little blobby thing off to the side:
I have no idea what it’s supposed to be, other than an example of my progress along the tambour learning curve.
And so then I got really ambitious, and looked through my block-printing book (the one from the Kelsey Museum), and chose a design I thought I could modify to somewhat resemble the patterns I’ve seen in Mewari miniatures (one I haven’t scanned myself, but is from the Caurapanasika). I have a fair amount of creative license here, since extant pieces of fabric are pretty rare, and the miniatures don’t show a lot of detail. The one I like has these big, round, flower-shapes on the ghagra of one of the women, and the blank area is filled with curlicues. There are some printed patterns in the book that sort of match (apparently block printing was a cheap alternative to brocaded or embroidered fabrics, so I don’t think this is a gigantic leap of logic). This is what I’ve got so far:
I am very pleased with how it looks. It has taken me a little longer than I’d hoped, but that’s probably because I’ve been watching TV while working on it.
I really need to get my own tambour needle.