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bright colours and movement

What is Dia de los Muertos?

Australia is long, long way away from South America. Aussies looking for exotic adventures travel there. We hear the rhythmic drum beating across the ocean and we dream of the bright colours, unsurpassable scenery and vitality of its people. In recent years we have been introduced to some their indigenous culture. Dia de los Muertos is one such cultural observation that has caught the eye of the Art world.

But what is Dia de los Muertos?

Beautifully decorated sugar skull-
Day of the Dead 'in the hoop' machine embroidery design by swpea.com

The beautifully decorated sugar skulls have attracted much attention Worldwide, with their bright colours and pretty floral decorations it is easy to see why artists and designers are wanting to create their own versions.

Dia de los Muertos is not Halloween

When I first saw these beautiful works of art I immediately associated them to Halloween BUT I could not have been more incorrect.

Halloween originated about 2000 years ago by The Celts, who lived mostly in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France. It is believed to have started as a ceremony to warn off ghosts and evil spirits. It is thought that it may also be related to the medieval custom of "souling" in Britain and Ireland, when poor people would knock on doors on Hallowmas (Nov. 1) offering prayers for the dead in exchange for food. Halloween was introduced into Northern USA in the early 19th century when a lot of Irish emigrated there.

Dia de Muertos is a fusion of pre-Columbian religious traditions (Olmec, Mayan, Aztec, etc.) and the Iberian ( Spain and Portugal) observance of the feast days, itself a complex blend of Christian and "pagan" traditions.

Dia de los Muertos is a celebration of life and death

Dia de los Muertos also is celebrated around the same time as the Catholic religious observance of All Saints Day and All Souls day. The Catholic Holy days are very different to Dia de los Muertos in practice but they both serve to remind everyone to celebrate life and not to fear death. Death comes to everyone.

Dia de los Muertos is a celebration involving paying respects to loved ones who have deceased. Rather than displaying grim or gory decorations, families tend graves and leave offerings of plants, flowers and trees. They also wear the clothes of their deceased relatives, and build altars in their homes.

One of most popular parts of the festival is people turning themselves into skeletons with make up and masks. Their skeletal appearance is highlighted with flowers, bright colours and artwork. It is this striking image that has now become an icon of the Day of the Dead.

We hope you enjoy our Dia de los Muertos inspired 'in the hoop' machine embroidery designs.

Day of the Dead laptop bag - 'in the hoop' machine embroidery design

This laptop bag has a beautiful applique and embroidery design on the bag. This design is an ITH in the hoop machine embroidery design. The bag requires three hoopings altogether.

There is a divider inside and a zipper closure. To add the divider and zipper requires slightly more advanced sewing skills but they can be left out if required.

The design comes in three sizes - the 5x7, 6x10 and 7x12 hoops. All three sizes are included in your purchase. The bag is completely lined and has no raw seams. The lining and borders are added with your sewing machine.

Finished dimensions (approx.):

5x7: 31.75cm wide x 21.5cm long x 7cm deep (12.5” x 8.5” x 2.75”)

6x10: 41cm wide x 30cm long x 7cm deep (16” x 12” x 2.75”)

7x12: 51cm wide x 38cm long x 7cm deep (20” x 15” x 2.75”)

Full photo instruction and directions are included with your purchase.

It is our intention to offer you the best service always and for our designs to be of the highest quality.

Designs come in all formats except ART. Bernina's can use EXP. Formats pes, hus, sew, xxx, jef, vp3, vip, mit, dat, dst, exp etc. All formats are included with your purchase.

Instructions come in German and English.

Dia de los Muertos inspired Articulated Skeleton
'in the hoop' machine embroidery design by swpea.com

Articulated Skeleton design

This Articulated Skeleton is made entirely in the hoop for the 4x4, 5x5 or 6x6 hoop size. The skeleton requires 8 hoopings in total. Each part of the skeleton can be joined together using ribbon or 'O' split rings (which we used for ours).

The skeleton itself consists of both appliqué and embroidery. The design comes in three sizes - the 4x4, 5x5 and 6x6 hoops. All three sizes are included in your purchase.

Finished dimensions (approx.):

  • 4x4:10cm (shoulder to shoulder) x 40cm (head to toe) (4” x 16”)
  • 5x5:13cm (shoulder to shoulder) x 53cm (head to toe) (5” x 21”)
  • 6x6:16cm (shoulder to shoulder) x 63.5cm (head to toe) (6” x 25”)
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