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

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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.

The Corner of the Folded Peahole Edging


The folded Peahole edging can be easily worked along a straight edge, but one can also turn corners while stitching this edging.

Shown here is a practice exercise only.

First, some distance from both edges, withdraw threads for the folded Peahole.
Erbslochecke_1Starting at the point shown in the picture below,
Erbslochecke_2work a number (it doesn’t matter the exact number since this is a practice piece, but it should be an even number) of Four-Sided stitches.
Erbslochecke_3Turn the piece 180° and work Four-Sided stitches lined up to the first row of Four-Sided stitches.
Erbslochecke_4Work them around the corner.
Erbslochecke_5Starting at the place shown in the picture below,
Erbslochecke_6work the remaining Four-Sided stitches.
Erbslochecke_7Withdraw the threads for the Peaholes
Erbslochecke_8and work the wrapped Peaholes.
Erbslochecke_9Cut the corner diagonally so that the cut is directly outside the Four-Sided stitches—taking care not to damage them.
Erbslochecke_10Along one edge, fold the edging so that the backs of the Four-Sided stitches lie on top of each another and begin securing the triangles.
Erbslochecke_11Reaching the corner, fold the edging of the perpendicular side
Erbslochecke_12and continue securing the triangles around the corner.
Erbslochecke_13From the back it looks like this:
Erbslochecke_14Four threads inwards from the bottom of the previously worked Four-Sided stitches, withdraw one more thread along each side (on both the front and the back). (Please carefully look at the picture!)
Erbslochecke_15From the front of the fabric, work one row of Four-Sided stitches catching both layers.
Erbslochecke_16Now, on the back side, trim the remaining fabric close to the stitches.
Erbslochecke_17A nice hem is created – admittedly, the triangles in this example are not the best (this was one of my first attempts at working this edging, since then they have improved a lot).

How to Work a Lavender Bag


Begin with a piece of 13.5/cm thread-count linen cut to measure 20 cm X 25 cm.
6 cm down from the top edge (an edge that measures 20 cm wide), withdraw threads for the folded Peahole edging.
Beutel_1A Peahole hem is worked starting directly over from one side – it makes no difference if it is the right or left. Therefore, two rows of Four-Sided stitches are worked. Please note that these rows must contain an even number of Four-Sided stitches. Any excess fabric is cut along the entire side after finishing both rows of Four-Sided stitches.
Beutel_2The Peaholes can be worked later.

Using a contrasting thread color and Running stitches, mark the seam allowance (8 fabric threads from the side edge) along one side, the longitudinal axis, and also the middle between the two just marked lines.
Beutel_3A Limet-Filling pattern in a square shape should be worked. And the pattern should fit fully into the square. So it is necessary to withdraw fabric threads step by step, exactly counting out the correct size.

Withdrawal of threads is done from the back.
About 5 cm up from the bottom edge, in the middle between the two marked lines, a vertical fabric thread is cut and withdrawn toward the top – step by step – about 3.5 cm.
Beutel_4(Please keep in mind, the above picture shows the back side of the bag. By placing the Limit-Filling pattern to the right of the center mark on the back side, the cording – when all is finished – will emerge on the left side of the bag. If you want the cording to be on the right side of the bag, you need to place the pattern on the left side of the longitudinal axis.)

At the bottom end of the vertical withdrawn-thread line, a horizontal thread is cut and withdrawn to both sides about 1.5 cm each.

Now, away from the vertical withdrawn-thread line, more threads – 7 on the left and 7 on the right – are withdrawn leaving 3, cutting 1. They are cut at the horizontal withdrawn-thread line and withdrawn about 1–2 cm. Fifteen vertical withdrawn-thread lines are needed. If needed, carefully lengthen the horizontal withdrawn-thread line to accommodate all the needed vertical withdrawnthread lines.
Beutel_5Both outermost cut threads are withdrawn 3.5 cm.

Between these, more horizontal threads are withdrawn by leaving 3 and cutting 1 – fifteen in all. If needed, carefully lengthen the vertical withdrawn-thread lines to accommodate all the needed horizontal withdrawn-thread line.
Beutel_6Now the remaining vertical threads are withdrawn step by step up to the upper line and cut.
Beutel_7So a Limet grid, correctly sized for a special pattern, is created in the middle of the bag.

To secure the cut threads, Satin stitches should be worked outlining the Limet grid. To facilitate this, one more thread is cut in the middle of each side of the square, leaving 3 threads between. Both ends are withdrawn to their respective intersection points. The thread ends remain; they will be covered by the Satin stitches later.
Beutel_8Now, from the right side of the fabric, using coton à broder No. 20, and working counterclockwise, one row of Satin stitches is embroidered between both outside thread lines.
Beutel_9Then filling pattern 480 is worked into the Limet grid and the Peahole is worked.

One horizontal thread is withdrawn 1 cm from the top edge to mark the seam allowance. A second thread is withdrawn 1.5 cm down from there to mark the casing seam for the cord. This withdrawnthread line has a distance of 3.5 cm to the Peahole hem.

Down from the bottom edge of the Peahole hem one more horizontal thread is withdrawn at a distance of 3.5 cm, a fourth thread is withdrawn 1.5 cm below.
Beutel_10Now fold the piece along the longitudinal axis, right sides together. Sew together both layers along the marked line with Back stitches. This can be done hand or machine. For accuracy, it is more easy to do this step by hand. Start directly at the second withdrawn thread line and work up to the Four-Sided stitch of the Peahole hem. Secure working thread there.

Start again at the opposite Four-Sided stitch of the Peahole hem and work up to the third withdrawn-thread line. Secure working thread there.

Start again at the fourth withdrawn-thread line and work along the remaining section the side and then along the bottom.

The keep the seam secure, work the first and the last stitch of each section several times.
Beutel_11Trim seam allowance at the corner.

Open up side and bottom seam allowances and smooth them with the thumbnail.
Beutel_12Fold down the seam allowance of the top edge and smooth it along the first withdrawn-thread line.
Beutel_13Fold it down again and lay the hem so that the first folded edge lies directly above the last withdrawn-thread line.

Baste in place with short Running stitches. You will notice, that the under layer lies slightly curved and needs to be pressed a little bit to match the upper layer.
Beutel_14Secure the hem along the withdrawn-thread line with Antique hem stitches. So that the Antique hem stitches create a line of Back stitches on the right side of the bag, make sure that the vertical parts of the hem stitch catch only the two upper layers.
Beutel_15Turn inside out and work one row of Back stitches along the remaining withdrawn-thread line, catching both layers. Make sure to also meet the inside withdrawn-thread line by looking inside when the needle is on the inside of the bag.
Beutel_16Secure the triangles of the folded Peaholes. In the area of the side seam, make sure to catch both layers of triangles so that they end up looking like one.

Insert a cord into the casing.
Beutel_17Decorate the bottom edge with needlelace arches.
Beutel_18Wash and iron the finished piece, put an appropriately sized lavender pillow into the bag and close it.
Beutel_19A cute whitework embroidery is finished and ready to be admired.


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


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