Traditional Schwalm Bodice (B) Embroidery


The embroidery of the Schwalm bodice (B) has many variants. The linen used has a 21–24/cm thread count. The picture shows the entire border in a photomontage.
MiW2_1The border design has a width (from needlelace to needle-weaving band) of about 9.5 cm. The following pictures show the embroidery enlarged; the embroidery is actually very fine.
MiW2_2A seven-unit mirrored pattern was worked as a needle-weaving band. For more information about needle-weaving bands – the different kinds and the different ways of working – please look to my book Fancy Hems.
MiW2_3The bottom edge of the sleeve cuff has an elaborate needlelace edging.

Between the needle-weaving band and the needlelace, a band was embroidered with Schwalm whitework. Please notice that there is nearly no unembroidered fabric between the motifs. And please compare the Chain stitches of this bodice with the Chain stitches of the Schwalm bodice A.

And now the pictures shall speak for themselves. Enjoy a close and careful look.

A Wide Hem with a Folded Peahole Edging


In previous articles I showed how to work a folded Peahole edging and how to work the corner of the folded Peahole edging. Now I present a wide hem with a mitered corner and a folded Peahole edging.
Linen with a 13.5/cm thread count is cut to measure 26 cm X 26 cm. The center is marked.
From the center point, count 40 horizontal and 40 vertical threads, and cut the forty-first thread; withdraw the threads to their intersection point.
The section of the withdrawn thread measures 3 cm. The opposite thread end is now withdrawn about 3.5 cm.
Outward from the withdrawn-thread line, leave 4 threads, and cut the fifth thread where it aligns with the center; withdraw it about 3.5 cm to both sides.
Starting at the left at the vertical withdrawn-thread line, work Four-Sided stitches over 4 threads between the two horizontal withdrawn-thread lines. Work 20 stitches in all and stop.
Cut the vertical thread to the right of the center mark (again, the forty-first thread) and withdraw it about 3.5 cm in both directions.
Leave 4 threads to the right, and withdraw the fifth. Turn the work 90° counterclockwise,
and continue working Four-Sided stitches around the corner.
After working 21 (counting the Four-Sided stitch at the corner) Four-Sided stitches, withdraw perpendicular threads in the established way. Also withdraw the cut thread of the first withdrawnthread line about 3.5 cm and the fifth thread outward from this line. Work Four-Sided stitches around the entire square.
Leave 6 threads outward each side, and cut the seventh in the middle of the side. Leave 4 threads outward, and cut the fifth in the middle. Withdraw the thread ends of the outermost cut threads to their respective intersection points.
Now withdraw all the cut threads on the inside up to these lines. The thread ends remain there. They will disappear in the hem later.
Around the square work 20 Four-Sided stitches between the outside withdrawn-thread lines on each side; these stitches must match the inner Four-Sided stitches. The corner sections remain free.
Cut and withdraw the remaining 6 threads. Baste the thread ends in place and work Peaholes.
Now prepare the section for the wide hem. Therefore, a number of threads divisible by 8 plus 2 are needed. In this example I chose 34.
So, out from the outer withdrawn-thread line count 34 threads, and cut the thirty-fifth thread. From now on all threads can be withdrawn up to the edge of the linen.
Please note, if you will work a wide hem as I show here, this counted section is the front of the hem.
You must have enough remaining fabric for working the Peaholes, the back side of the hem, and a fold. Please keep this in mind so that you do not have too little fabric in the end.
Leave 4 threads outward and withdraw the fifth.
Work Four-Sided stitches around the entire square.
Withdrawn more threads:

leave 8 cut 1
leave 4 cut 1
leave 34 cut 1

Work the Peaholes for the folded Peahole edging and trim the fabric for the hem fold to about 1 cm.
Mark the sewing line for the mitered corner. The line should run diagonally through the outside Four-Sided stitches.
Fold the piece exactly – right sides together. Sew by hand or by machine.
Trim the seam allowance to about 1 cm.
Turn the hem corner. For more information about hemming please look to my book Basic Principles of Schwalm Whitework.
Fasten the hem, work the corners of the inside Peahole hem. Continue working the folded Peahole edging.
Wash, starch and iron the piece. Leave it as it is – a nice little doily. Or use it for making a beautiful lavender sachet. If you were to add a loop for hanging and a tassel, it is also well-suited for a lovely ornament for trimming the tree.
If you would like to work a larger project, square or rectangle in any size, counting fabric threads from the center of the piece is nearly impossible. And the order of working is somewhat different from the order presented in this blog post.
So, I made a leaflet for downloading; it explains in great detail how to withdraw fabric threads, how to work wrapped Peaholes for both the hem and the folded edging, how to make a mitered corner in the hem, and finishing.
On 17 pages, illustrated with 70 pictures, you will find all the needed step-by-step instructions for working a wide hem with a folded Peahole edging.
Titel Erbslochkante deutsch

A Wide Hem with a Folded Peahole Edging
described in great detail
illustrated with step-by-step instructions
17 pages
7,8 MB file size
Text: English
15,00 € (12,61 € + 19 % value added tax)
download here

Quick and Easy Cording


At the end of last year’s workshop, cording was needed to finish projects. Sally found my established and traditional way of making cording (twisting with the help of a pencil) archaic
Kordel_1and asked if I had a twister. Unfortunately, I did not know about this special tool. So, this year she brought one along for me.

A twister is a small, light, and handy tool that is about 13 cm long.
Kordel_2It is composed of a handle, a hook for holding the threads, and interlocking gearwheels.
Kordel_3When the handle is turned, the gearwheels cause the hook to rotate, thus twisting the hooked threads.
Kordel_4How much faster, easier, and more evenly a cord is twisted when using this small utensil. It is great fun!
Kordel_5To achieve a tightly twisted cord, the ends of the twisted thread are held with the hand, the hook is taken out and hung on the twisted thread as a weight,
Kordel_6and the twisted thread is folded onto itself to twist into a thicker cord.
Kordel_7It is also fun to twist cords with 2, 3, or more colours.
Kordel_8Thanks for sharing, Sally!

How to Thread a Needle


Do you feel the same way? As we get older it gets more and more difficult to do simple tasks like threading a needle. One does not always have access to a needle threader, so here´s a clever way to thread a needle without using a special tool.
Einfaedeln_1Place the thread loosely over the index finger of the left hand.
Einfaedeln_2Place the eye of the needle upon the thread and press it lightly against the finger.
Einfaedeln_3Hold the needle in this position, and move the finger back and forth in the direction of the thread.
Einfaedeln_4The thread rises through the eye after only the first movements.
Einfaedeln_5Move your finger a few more times until the resulting loop is large enough
Einfaedeln_6to pull the thread through the eye.
In order to understand the technique, you should practice with a large-eye needle and a thin thread.
It took some practice for me to achieve success, but now it works well, even with fine needles and heavier threads.
Brenda shared this tip with me during the last workshop, as she watched me struggling to thread a needle without a tool.
Thanks for sharing, Brenda!
Just I realized, that Susan Greening Davis was the one who taught Brenda and also all her students the needlethreadin after the last 30 years. I hope, you are not angry with me because of sharing.

Another Workshop Presented in English

Thumbnail 3

Recently, ladies from the “Still Stitching with Susan and Sally” group again visited Eschwege to further their knowledge of Schwalm whitework with me. The women came from the United States and the Netherlands. Unfortunately, Susan Greening Davis, one of the initiators, could not be present this time, so Sally Criswell alone accompanied the group.
W_2016_1In all there were nine participants, many of whom had already successfully worked through Lesson
#1 (the Happel Hearts) and Lesson #2 (the Tulip Wreath) in 2015. Included in the group were three needlework shop owners: in the United States, Sally Criswell of Suwannee Valley Cross Stitch and Kimberly Young of Sassy Jacks Stitchery, and in the Netherlands, Annemiek Koning of De Handwerk Boetiek. Both Kimberly and Annemiek plan to stock all the needed materials and equipment for Schwalm whitework, especially the Weddigen linen with 13.5/cm thread count! In addition, both ladies plan to offer Schwalm whitework classes in the near future.
W_2016_2In my opinion, every student should be able to finish the workshop project within the workshop time frame. Because the workshop was extended to four days, it was not as strenuous as last year to manage this. Of course, only a small piece can be embroidered within a restricted time frame.
Lesson #3 involved a circle design with an openwork pattern. To prevent any confusion due to language barriers, I made a detailed step-by-step instruction booklet, which was perfectly edited by my professional editor Joey Colbert. It also enabled the embroiderers to continue working in their spare time.
The hotel provided a room with plenty of space for the women to work comfortably. They were very motivated and concentrated very hard. Sometimes it was so quiet one could hear a pin drop. As a result, other topics of interest to the students could be explored.
W_2016_3The finishing work of boiling, ironing, and cutting was done in the workrooms at my exhibition.
This meant that I didn’t have to bring all the necessary equipment to the hotel, but it also allowed the women to visit the exhibition (which was, of course, on the agenda anyway). The ladies were astonished at how the shrinking from boiling positively affects the appearance of the piece.
W_2016_4In the end, all the students were happy to take a finished piece home. Some were especially proud to have finished two pieces!
W_2016_5Everyone learned a lot throughout the workshop – including me. What? I’ll tell you in a future post.


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


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