Schwalm Parade Cushion Border (B)

One of the cushion designs shown in the previous post has met with great interest among my blog readers. Therefore, I now show this embroidery in detail. It is about a very special and rarely found Schwalm border pattern. It was embroidered on a parade cushion. The pillowcase is about 200 years old. It measures 45 cm X 82 cm. At 24 cm x 80 cm, the border occupies more than half of the cushion plate.

It is essentially early Schwalm whitework.
Coral Knot stitches are hard to find. But in addition to surface filling patterns, there is also a couple of withdrawn-thread patterns.

In addition to heart, tulips and sunflower, there are many other flowers, pomegranates and leaves in various forms. Some stems are kept wide and elaborately decorated. Blanket stitch eyelets are arranged in the shape of grapes. Instead of spirals, there are often intricate tendrils.
Not only the tree of life structure emanating from the basic vessel is interesting, but also the cross formations surrounded by the branches.

The embroidery also includes some very interesting filling patterns, which will be discussed in a separate article.

Schwalm Parade Cushion Border(A)
Transition from Early to Later Schwalm Whitework (1)
Transition from Early to Later Schwalm Whitework (2)
Transition from Early to Later Schwalm Whitework (3)

Closures of Pillowcases (2)

A traditional method is tying. I have found this method on many pillowcases, often more than 200 years old.

For this purpose, ribbons of sufficient length are attached in the same position at the lower edge of the front and back part of the pillow and tied in a bow.

The strips were usually made of the same fabric as the pillowcase. Bobbin lace ribbons were also used in some examples. These are thinner, usually smaller and therefore not as bulky. They also have an additional decorative effect.


Depending on the firmness of the cover fabric and ticking used, as well as the stability and width of the ribbons used, the bows under the put up cushion are more or less visible.

Closures of Pillowcases (1)

Closures of Pillowcases (1)

Cushions are easiest to obtain when the opening is at the bottom edge and across the entire width.

There are different ways to close these openings. The simplest version is sewing – preferably by whipstitching.

However, this type of closure is only recommended for covers that are rarely striped. Because often repeated unstitching and sewing damages the fabric over time.

In order for the closure edges to be clean and stable, it is advisable to provide them with a narrow hem.

One can proceed as follows:
After completion of the embroidery, the piece is washed to bring the fabric by shrinking to the final expansion. Then the linen is ironed and then cut to the required size.

The pillowcase should have a 2 cm wide hem. It is cut from a piece of linen and folded at the top edge. Before the sides are sewn together, the pillowcase is brought to the required height – here: 2 x (desired finished height + 1 cm fold + 2 cm inside hem width). Then two threads are withdrawn – one 1 cm, the second 5 cm from the lower edge, both on the front and the back.

Before closing the side seams, the withdrawn-thread lines of the front and the back are placed exactly on top of each other and held in place with pins.

One should check on the back whether the pins have also meet the withdrawn-thread lines there.

Also holding against the light facilitates the precise assembly.

Both layers of fabric are carefully basted in the seam area and then sewn together with the machine. After the seam has been applied, the following image appears from the right side of the fabric:

The fold is folded along the withdrawn-thread linel to the inside. Thread line is placed on thread line. The hem is pinned, basted in place and then fastened using Antique hem stitches. In the area of the side seam allowance, one has to check the run of the stitches on the outside with each stitch.

In this way, you get an all around clean hem.

Pillowcases prepared in this way can be closed in different ways. This one, as already mentioned, is to be sewn by hand with overwhelming stitches. Due to the hem, the lower edge remains stable; if the hand stitches are not too fine and not too invisible, the pillowcase can be unstitched, washed and sewn close again without any problems.

Merry Christmas

With a pictorial representation of the Christmas Eve in the Schwalm many decades ago to all of you I wish a

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Embroideries by Rosemarie Landsiedel-Eicken (7)

You, too, will be delighted by Rosemarie Landsiedel-Eicken’s last embroidery project!

Shortly after completing her impressive wall hanging, she began another unique and complex project.

Based on illustrations by Ruth Koser-Michaëls, Rosemarie artistically arranged scenes from various fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm to embroider as a wide border around the perimeter of a blanket.

You can see representations from the following fairy tales:

The Bremen Town Musicians

The Six Servants

Hansel and Gretel

The Frog King

The Hare and the Hedgehog

Snow White

The White Snake


The Star Money

The Wolf and the Seven Young Goats

The Fisherman and His Wife
Clever Elsie

Little Red Riding Hood

The Spirit in the Bottle

The Blue Light

Doctor Know-all
The Singing Bone

The Wolf and the Fox

Looking closely at the work of an artist and observing the development of a talented embroiderer has certainly been very informative. I would like to thank the Landsiedel-Eicken couple very much for making the many photos available and for allowing me to share them with you.