A Bell Ornament for Trimming the Tree

December is approaching – time to think about ornaments for trimming the tree. This year a bell will be added to the collection of Christmas ornaments.
A bell design with a double outline is transferred to 13.5/cm thread count linen. The original size is 7 cm X 9 cm.
Using coton à broder No. 16, Coral Knot stitches are worked along the inner line. Using coton à broder No. 20 for Blanket stitches and the outside Chain stitches, Chain stitches are first worked a small distance outside the Coral Knot stitches.
Then the outside Chain stitches are covered with densely worked Blanket stitches between the outline and the Coral Knot line. A half-eyelet scallop at the top creates a perfect hole to fasten a hook or hanging string.
Using coton à broder No. 30, Chain stitches are worked directly inside the Coral Knot stitches. The shape is filled with pattern “478.” Thread withdrawing and instructions for working this a simple drawn thread filling pattern can be found here.
After washing, starching, and ironing, the piece is cut.
It is now ready to decorate your tree.

Schwalm Costume – The White Aprons

In addition to the dark aprons, white aprons were also a part of the Schwalm festive costume.
However, these were reserved for young girls up to marriage. They were worn on bright warm days in addition to the white bodices and the red costume.
In the year 1941, Heinrich Metz (1897–1973), a pastor with a profound appreciation of Schwalm habits and costumes, made a survey of an average Schwalm bride’s trousseau. [Source: Schwälmer Jahrbuch 2000]

Regarding the aprons he found:
Although the basic construction of the white aprons was similar to the dark aprons, there were more elaborate details. For example, the two strips needed for the width of the apron were sewn together with a fancy seam.
The aprons´ waistbands were embroidered with the finest whitework and additionally decorated with needlelace.
The hook-and-eye closure was covered with gold-plated clasps.
Often the initials of the owner and small ornaments were embroidered with Cross stitches on the flat middle sections at the waistlines of the aprons.
Sometimes the year was also added.
Especially magnificent examples had additional small whitework borders on the flat sections on both sides at the waistline
or on the flat middle section at the waistline.
Between the flat sections, the apron was gathered with tiny pleats.
There are aprons with withdrawn thread work
and some with patterns lying on top of the fabric, as seen below in the heart motif
and in the circle motif.
However, the most common were small borders embroidered with Satin stitches
in many different patterns,
and border patterns worked with Coral Knot stitches and Satin stitches.
A large number of small border designs can be found in my publication Schwalm Curved Lines, Narrow Borders, and Ornamental Stitches.
The needlelace was also worked differently and elaborately.
Besides very simple examples,
multirow needlelace with pyramids and different picots were worked. One can find detailed instructions for working needlelace scallops, needlelace pyramids, and picots in my publication Schwalm Needlelace edge decorations – easily embroidered.
And finally, the costume consisting of the neat white apron, the black skirts, the black waistcoat, the white bodice, the red bottom edges of the skirts, and the red caps became very wellknown in the world as Little Red Riding Hood’s costume.

A Narrow Autumn Wreath

Autumn leaves drift from trees and bushes.
My narrow autumn wreath also gets into a muddle.
The once orderly wreathed sprigs
lose their leaves, and these flutter away.
This seasonal exercise, designed by the artist Gudrun Hartwig, is perfect for practicing small pointed leaves.

Early Schwalm Whitework – A Gorgeous Table Runner

It makes my day every time I view this very special table runner.
The excellent design is from Barbelies Schäfer. The design incorporates traditional patterns and was part of adult education classes. Irmgard Mengel embroidered it perfectly.
On the very fine linen, the “old” filling patterns, in combination with the raised whitework, are especially effective.
Although early Schwalm whitework does not include withdrawn-thread patterns,
the variety of filling patterns in this appealing technique is considerable. Many surface filling patterns can be found in my publication Early Schwalm Whitework.
In addition to a couple of looped stitch patterns and interlaced stitch patterns,
there are Chain stitches in many variations and Satin stitches.
Most impressive are the evenness of the stitches (in early Schwalm whitework stems and outlines are made using Stem stitches instead of Coral Knot stitches)
and the perfection of the leaves.
This is an absolutely thrilling pattern that has been turned into a truly spectacular example of excellent needle art by Irmgard Mengel!
If you would like to try your hand at this technique, you can get this design printed on linen by Irmgard Mengel. Please email me with your request.

Stars – All New Filling Patterns

It has been a long-standing goal of mine to create a publication dedicated to these beautiful filling patterns, and now – just in time for Christmas, but adaptable to any purpose – I am happy to announce that it is finally finished. Honestly, I think that this just might be my favorite title.

In this book you will find unique patterns that up to now were unknown. And you will find that I have broken down complex patterns into easily understandable, precise, clear, coherent, and detailed instructions ensuring that you will be able to replicate them perfectly.

This is the publication that many embroiderers, while visiting my exhibitions and viewing the embroidered star pattern projects, have asked for over and over again.

“Stars – Filling Patterns illustrated with step-by-step instructions” includes eighteen different star elements with 133 variations.

Essential elements of the stars are Satin stitches, Blanket stitches, Double Back stitches, Lazy Daisy stitches, Four-Sided stitches, and many others; these make the stars always different and keep the embroidering always interesting.

Solitary small stars are particularly effective on wintry embroideries.
Stitched en masse and combined with other stitches, they become eminently impressive filling patterns. The different possible combinations make the pattern variety nearly limitless – by changing single elements there are always other variations to be discovered.
Fifty-eight especially attractive filling patterns are presented in this new publication. In addition, there are many project examples showing how one might use the patterns. Last but not least, some line-drawn designs are included to facilitate your getting started.

I invite you to discover the beauty and the nearly limitless possibilities of Stars in my latest book.

Filling Patterns
illustrated with step-by-step instructions

101 pages
616 images
text: English
plastic comb binding


Luzine Happel
Am Schindeleich 43
37269 Eschwege
Telefon: 05651-32233


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