blog

Blanket Stitch Eyelets

23_20-2017_Thumbnail

Blanket stitch eyelets are small elements commonly used to fill the areas between the larger shapes in Schwalm whitework,

A Blanket stitch eyelet is a small circle covered with closely worked Blanket stitches. All stitches start from the center and are worked counterclockwise. The loops create the outside edge.
1_20-2017They are often embroidered singly as centers of small flowers or for other purposes, but they are also found in groups of three or more and in groups of differing sizes. The following pictures show the different arrangements of Blanket stitch eyelets on traditional and contemporary whitework.
2_20-2017A single Blanket stitch eyelet is used as small accent flower to a larger circle motif.
3_20-2017Single Blanket stitch eyelets, connected with Coral Knot lines, adorn the center of a design.
4_20-2017A single Blanket stitch eyelet is embroidered as an eye of a traditional bird motif.
5_20-2017A grouping of three – close together –
6_20-2017or with a small distance between is often worked.
7_20-2017Five Blanket stitch eyelets are connected with a star stitch to create a small flower.
8_20-2017Six Blanket stitch eyelets are worked closely together establishing a small flower.
9_20-2017Six Blanket stitch eyelets are arranged like a bunch of grapes.
10_20-2017One Blanket stitch eyelet encircled with four half-eyelet scallops is found in the dense embroidery of a parade cushion border from 1826.
11_20-2017A similarly formed small flower is used in a small border.
12_20-2017One Blanket stitch eyelet encircled with five half-eyelet scallops is found in the dense embroidery between large shapes on a parade cushion border from 1826.
13_20-2017One Blanket stitch eyelet encircled with six Blanket stitch scallops is the center of a small flower. In addition, there are many Blanket stitch leaves.
14_20-2017It is common to find single Blanket stitch eyelets surrounded by circles worked in Satin stitches; some of these circles can be smaller
15_20-2017or approximately the same size as the Blanket stitch eyelet.
16_20-2017A Blanket stitch eyelet can be also be surrounded by Bullion Knots,
17_20-2017small undivided or
18_20-2017divided Satin stitch leaves.
19_20-2017A single Blanket stitch eyelet can also be used as the center of individually designed flowers, as seen here in an embroidery by Thekla Gombert.
20_20-2017A Blanket stitch eyelet small flower, Blanket stitch leaves, and Blanket stitch half-eyelet scallops decorate the areas between large shapes.
21_20-2017Blanket stitch eyelets of differing sizes can be arranged in the manner of a tendril.
22_20-2017The simple Blanket stitch eyelet is a very important element of Schwalm whitework. I hope this article shows that this simple element is readily used, and used in many creative ways.

Small Pointed Leaves and Tendrils – Practice Exercises

10_19-2017_Thumbnail

Combinations of tendrils and small pointed leaves can establish many beautiful patterns. Here I present two designs for continuing the band with circle designs. Both are suitable for practicing small pointed leaves and tendrils.
1_19-2017The designs are transferred to the linen by ironing using a DEKA pencil.
2_19-2017First, the preparatory work is done per the explanations in the leaves practicing article.
Using coton à broder No. 20, the first tendril offshoot is worked up from the tip of the leaf.
3_19-2017After finishing the tendril, the working thread is slid through the stitches on the back to come back to the base, where stitching the leaf is started.
4_19-2017Finishing the leaf, the stitching naturally merges into the second tendril offshoot.
5_19-2017The design looks pretty washed, starched, and ironed.
6_19-2017Preparing to work the second design is the same. Then the tendrils
7_19-2017and the leaf groupings are worked.
8_19-2017When finished you have another nice and quick-to-work practicing piece for small whitework elements.
9_19-2017

A Small Band for Practicing Exercises

12_Thumbnail_18-2017

For practicing tendrils, forks, and leaves I have already provided some circle designs. These and some additional designs – which will be published in future articles – are perfect for decorating a band of linen.
I used a linen strip measuring 18 cm X 135 cm.

The center line and the center points of the designs are marked on the linen strip to ensure an even distribution in a straight line. I decided for a distance of 12.5 cm from center point to center point, this will result in a distance of 5 cm between the individual circles. Placement of design elements is always difficult when starting a new project that doesn’t have a pattern example. Viewing the finished band, I am satisfied with the distribution of the shapes. However, one could also choose to move them a little bit closer together.
1_18-2017The designs are transferred to the fabric by ironing and then embroidered.
2_18-2017After finishing the single shapes – ten in all – the sections for the hem are prepared. I wanted to finish the short sides with an open mitered corner. So, on along the two long edges, two threads are withdrawn. The first thread is withdrawn 1 cm inward the edge, and the second thread is withdrawn 3 cm inward the just established withdrawn-thread line.
3_18-2017The fabric is folded to the back along the outermost withdrawn-thread line.
4_18-2017It is folded again to the back so that the first fold reaches the second withdrawn-thread line.
5_18-2017The hem is pinned, basted in place, and then secured with Antique hem stitches.
6_18-2017One short side has a selvage, the other is secured with zigzag stitches.
7_18-2017With right sides together, the short sides are sewn closed.
8_18-2017The band is boiled, starched, and ironed. Ironing is done from the back, making sure to iron only one layer of the mitered corner. Then the piece is flipped over, and the remaining part is ironed. In this way, the fold will not make an impression on the front of the fabric.
9_18-2017Ironing the piece face down on a thick and soft surface (such as a terry towel) and sustaining the heat of the iron, makes the embroidery wonderfully striking.
10_18-2017The beautiful small band – established as a practicing piece for small whitework embroidery elements – can dress up any table.
11_18-2017Hanging vertically, it is a pretty decoration for small wall recesses or wooden door frames. Fastened on a window, the embroidery is especially effective.

Small Pointed Leaves – Practice Exercises (1)

10_Thumbnail_17-2017

Today I present two more designs, with diameters of about 7.5 cm, that are perfect for embroidering a band. These designs are also well-suited for practicing small pointed leaves. Other same-size patterns will be featured in future articles.
1_17-2017
First, the center points of the designs are marked on the strip of linen to ensure an even distribution. I decided for a distance of 12.5 cm from center point to center point; this will result in a distance of 5 cm between the individual circles. Linen with a 13.5/cm thread count is used.
2_17-2017Transfer the designs to the linen – keeping in mind that the design ends up mirrored when ironing it to the linen.
3_17-2017Coton à broder No. 16 is used for Coral Knot stitches, No. 20 for Blanket stitches and for Chain stitches. At the outside edge, Coral Knot stitches are worked along the inner line. Chain stitches are worked a small distance outside these Coral Knot stitches. The outside Chain stitches are covered with densely worked Blanket stitches between the outline and the Coral Knot line.
4_17-2017Using coton à broder No. 20 for the Satin stitches, the leaves are worked. Please remember: Densely work the stitches following the shape of the leaf; that means the stitches do not lie quite parallel – at the center of the leaf they are slightly closer together than at the outside edge. Always turn the piece so that the needle runs horizontally from right to left. The stitch at the tip of the leaf should run straight from the middle line to the top point. So that the leaf looks truly pointed in the end, this stitch is made 1–2 mm beyond the outline.
5_17-2017The second side of the leaf is worked from the tip back to the stem, always taking the needle down at the outside edge and bringing it back up at middle line.
6_17-2017On the band, the second design is not placed directly next to its variant. Rather, alternate designs with tendrils, designs with leaves, and designs with other small elements.
7_17-2017The image above shows a section of the finished band.
8_17-2017Washed, starched, and ironed both practice designs look pretty.
9_17-2017

Traditional Schwalm Bodice (D) Embroidery

12_thumbnail_16-2017

The embroidery of the dyed-to-blue Schwalm bodice (D) is extravagant. The picture shows the entire border in a photomontage.
1_16-2017The linen used has a 23/cm thread count, thus it is very fine. The border design is 18 cm wide, making it especially large for a bodice embroidery.
2_16-2017Initials and small ornaments were worked both at the bottom and at the top of the border. Only openwork filling patterns were worked in the motifs.
3_16-2017One can note that Coral Knot stitches were used but only rarely. Only tendrils and some stems were worked with Coral Knot stitches. And only three shapes at the top middle have Coral Knot outlines; the center shape was outlined with two rows of Coral Knot stitches. The Chain stitch outline is missing in this motif. Stems worked with Chain stitches are clearly visible. The rounded leaves are worked with Blanket stitches.

Looking closer to the design, it looks a little bit awkward and heavy.
4_16-2017The shape in the top middle was filled with an openwork pattern without a Cable stitch grid being worked first. A zigzag Rose stitch pattern was worked, but the pattern was not centered in the motif.
5_16-2017The circle motifs to the left and right of the top center shape are not true circles. It is remarkable that the thick stem is outlined with two Coral Knot lines and that these lines merge into the outline of the shape. Usually motifs are outlined separately, and the stems are attached. An additional row of Chain stitches inward of the Coral Knot stitches is missing.
The circle motif was outlined with Blanket stitch knife points. The shape was filled with a Rose stitch openwork filling pattern without a Cable stitch grid.
6_16-2017There is an odd shape at the top right and top left of the design; I suspect these should be tulip motifs. These are naive representations. The shape is outlined with one row of Chain stitches and Blanket stitch knife points or Blanket stitch scallops. The motif is filled with an openwork pattern. It is remarkable that parts of a Cable stitch grid alternate with sections of Rose stitches that were worked without a Cable stitch grid. The zigzag line of Rose stitches was worked on the Cable stitch grid – all other Rose stitches were worked without a Cable stitch grid.
7_16-2017At the side of the middle section of the border, there is a motif combination that looks like it was meant to be a cloverleaf. The center circle connects four similar shapes. The center circle is outlined with one row of Chain stitches and Blanket stitch scallops. It is filled with a Rose stitch openwork pattern without a Cable stitch grid. Three of the surrounding “leaves” are outlined with one row of Chain stitches and Blanket stitch half-eyelet scallops, whereas the fourth “leaf” is outlined with two rows of Chain stitches. Opposite shapes are filled the same – the openwork pattern showing the squares is a Rose stitch pattern embroidered on a Cable stitch grid. Whereas the openwork pattern showing the rhombi is a Rose stitch pattern without a Cable stitch grid.

Conspicuous is the arrangement of the tendrils; here they have been haphazardly placed. The tendrils on the same arrangement on the opposite side of the border have been placed with more intention and care.
8_16-2017Between the two “cloverleaves” there is an arrangement of four circles with a small tulip between.
9_16-2017The circles are outlined with one row of Chain stitches and Blanket stitch half-eyelet scallops. The tulip is outlined with two rows of Chain stitches. The bottom circles are embroidered with a Rose stitch openwork pattern without a Cable stitch grid, whereas the two upper circles are worked with Rose stitch openwork patterns with a Cable stitch grid. Although the tulip in the center is very small, it is embroidered with alternating rows of Cable stitches and Rose stitches.
10_16-2017There is a heart motif in the center of the bottom section of the border design; it is flanked by big leaves. Hearts – turned upside down – are situated above each of the leaves. All hearts are outlined with one row of Chain stitches and Blanket stitch half-eyelet scallops, whereas the leaves are outlined with two rows of Chain stitches. The filling patterns in the upside down hearts have been worked without a Cable stitch grid. The center heart shows a combination of rows of Rose stitches and rows of Cable stitches. The smaller hearts were embroidered with Rose stitches only. The openwork pattern in the leaves is made with a Cable stitch grid filled with a Rose stitch pattern. Distinctive tendrils are worked in the remaining areas between the motifs.
11_16_2017The last motifs at the bottom sides of the border design are tulip shapes – outlined with one row of Chain stitches and, where the room was wide enough, Blanket stitch half-eyelet scallops. The shapes were filled with an openwork Rose stitch pattern with a Cable stitch grid.
Looking again at the photomontage, it is striking how inconsistently the border was embroidered. In some areas the left side looks more orderly and balanced, in other areas the embroidery is more consistent on the right side. Unfortunately I did not find a year, but I think it was made about 1850.
Embroidered on such a fine linen fabric (23/cm thread count!) without the possibility of electric lighting, eyeglasses, or magnifier, it is a work of art that radiates the charm of traditional hand embroidery.

Carefully studying the details, we can learn a lot.

Contact

Luzine Happel
Am Schindeleich 43
37269 Eschwege
Deutschland
Telefon: 05651-32233
Website: www.luzine-happel.de
E-Mail: leuchtbergverlag@aol.com

Language:

Luzine Happel - Logo