I admit it: I have a weakness for other people's embroidery. It's an art I appreciate, but do not love enough to do myself.
My trip to Chiang Mai brought me alarmingly close to the epicenter of gorgeous tribal embroidery: an area known as the Golden Triangle.
Encompassing chunks of Northern Vietnam, Northern Thailand, Southwestern China, and Laos, this region is home to a bunch of ethnic groups with rich textile traditions, including the Lao, Hmong, and Bai peoples (among many).
I found some great embroidery and hand-woven specimens on this trip, including old collar tabs at Chatuchak Market in Bangkok, reverse-applique sleeve decorations at Kesorn in Chaing Mai. Also in Chiang Mai, a managed to find a random tent on the side of the street full of embroidery of varying qualities. There were truly some hidden gems (and in case you were wondering, yes, my dear husband did wait in horrific tropical heat for me to dig through several piles of embroidery so I could find just the ones I wanted. He got a cold beer right after, but still deserves a medal.).
I'm combining the embroidery pieces with indigo fabrics and hand-wovens into blocks for a quilt that I hope will to justice to the hours and hours and hours spent making them.