After drawing the eggs for the border (Pysanki Easter Eggs Border) I couldn’t resist picking out a few of my favorite characters for a more simple Edge to Edge pattern. In all the Pysanki eggs I looked at I did not see even one bunny, but in the U.S. that’s what we expect at Easter time. So I created one in what I hope is the Pysanki style.
Let me tell you about Pysanki.
These uniquely decorated eggs are traditionally made at Easter time in the Ukraine region. The designs are filled with meaning and the good luck they are purported to bring is legendary.
If you’re not familiar with the term, Pysanki, let’s think of it in terms a quilter would recognize. They are “Batik Eggs.”
Now that only makes sense if you know how Batik is made. It’s done with a wax resist. Melted wax is used to “write” on the egg (or fabric in the case of Batik). After the first designs are drawn on the egg, the wax is allowed to harden and the egg is dipped in a light color dye – possibly yellow. Then more detail is added to the design, the wax hardened and the egg dipped in the next color of dye – maybe orange. The process is repeated with increasingly darker colors – purple, brown, black – until an intricate layer of design is built up. Then the wax is removed and what remains is a beautifully decorated egg. It’s an Easter Egg that’s truly a keepsake. (Not that it can be kept forever, because they are traditionally raw eggs.)
Through the centuries they have been given as special gifts. The designs were illustrative of hoped for blessings.
In drawing the patterns of MeadowLyon’s “Pysanki Series,” I’ve chosen the motifs I thought most charming. Although geometric designs are, by far, most popular in real Pysanki, I find them more difficult to draw and to stitch in “continuous-line” without a lot of risky backtracking. I hope you’ll enjoy the images that I’ve created in leaning a bit more towards what we, in the U.S., think of as Easter designs.
Some of them are a bit intricate because I wanted to achieved the flavor of the little wax dots and embellishments in the design. If you desire, in many cases you can by-pass the stripes and loops leaving a simpler outline of each animal or motif. Also, I don’t mind if you want to enlarge the “Eggs” in the Easter Egg Border. They would be lovely in quilt blocks.
I hope you’ll have as much enjoyment from them as I have.
Happy Easter, Judy Lyon
Re the eggs not being kept forever — if you don’t break them, you can! The raw egg gradually dries up over the years.
It’s fun recognizing the patterns from my library of pysanki books. 🙂
Thanks for the information Lucinda. It sounds like you really enjoy Pysanki. How fun!