Awarding of the Certificate of Honor

It is with great pleasure and also a little pride that I announce that the Hessian Minister for Science and Research, Art and Culture – Mr. Minister of State Timon Gremmels – has awarded me the Certificate of Honor for Art and Culture.

This honors my contributions to the cultural tradition of Schwalm whitework. Such certificates have been presented since 1993 for the consolidation and further development of culture in Hesse. It acknowledges my tireless commitment to practicing the valuable tradition of handcraft and passing it on to future generations.

In a solemn ceremony at this year’s Hessentag in Fritzlar, I was given a big stage.
A moderator skilfully led through the initial conversation before Minister Gremmels gave his laudatory speech and presented the certificate of honor to a grateful recipient.
Several members of the state parliament also took part in the event.
The photographer Nicolas Wefers captured the event in pictures:

Schwalm Band (7)

Filling Patterns of Section 4 b II

The circle lends itself to a needlelace pattern. Since it is much easier to work needlelace over intact fabric, the fabric in the center of the circle is not cut away for now. First, markings are made – a circular line approx. 4mm from the outline. The inner circle is divided into eighths, with every other line following the grain and the others lying diagonally in between. All eight lines are marked at the same distance from the center.

Using coton à broder No. 16, Buttonhole stitches (not simple Blanket stitches) are first embroidered between the outline and the circular line.

Then threads are stretched three times over the straight lines and wrapped tightly on the way back without picking up the fabric. Even with further stitches, the fabric must not be accidentally picked up. The resulting center point is circled twice with needleweaving stitches.

At the level of the markings, the straight bars are connected in a circle in two rounds of laid threads. These connecting sequences form the basis for the needlelace pyramids. Start with five Blanket stitches. Work in back and forth rows, each time reducing by one Blanket stitch. The tip is attached to the Buttonhole stitches on the edge, the working thread is returned to the base along the edge of the needlelace pyramid. In the next section, the next needlelace pyramid is worked in the established way. Once all eight needlelace pyramids are finished, you can carefully cut away the fabric from the back of the work. The double knot of the Buttonhole stitch would hide the raw edge.
I decided to leave the fabric.

How to work the needlelace pyramids can also be found in my publication Schwalm Needlelace edge decorations – easily embroidered .

If you don’t have much practice with needlelace pyramids, it’s good to work with thick thread. Then you can tell the individual stitches better apart. Coton à broder No. 12 would also be possible – if available.

The tip above the circle is given a pattern without thread withdrawing: slanted, opposite Blanket stitches with a little space and with the loops along the center line (coton à broder No. 20.

The bellflowers also have a pattern without thread withdrawing. I chose closed herringbone stitch (also called closed feather stitch) (coton à broder No. 25). I also like to use this stitch to represent wide stems.

The first large heart should have an openwork pattern. The thread is withdrawn 2:2 and the thread grid is secured with Cable stitches (coton à broder No. 30).

I actually wanted to embroider a pattern with a diagonal structure (pattern 128 or 132 from Openwork Needleweaving Patterns). But then I decided on pattern 72 because the slant of the pattern fits better to the outline of the heart.

So section 4 b II has already received filling patterns.

Schwalm Band – Outline Design
Schwalm Band (1) Design Transfer
Schwalm Band (2) – Preparatory work of section 5
Schwalm Band (3) – Preparatory work of section 4
Schwalm Band (4) – Preparatory work of the sections 3 – 1
Schwalm Band (5) – Filling Patterns of Section 5 II
Schwalm Band (6) – Filling Patterns of Section 5 I

A Small Exhibition

Elisabeth Erdmann leads an open whitework and lacemaking circle in Karlstadt, where women meet once a month on the first Saturday to work together. Up to 20 active people then come together to indulge in their hobby. Newcomers join us every now and then to get a taste of the subject matter and learn something so that they can one day pass on their knowledge themselves.

For International Museum Day on May 19, 2024, there was the opportunity to to provide a small but fine exhibition of whitework in the Museum Prassek-Scheune in Kreuzwertheim .

Elisabeth took the opportunity to present skillfully beautiful,

mostly elaborately embroidered exhibits

in the special ambience of the museum.

So many visitors to the museum in Bavaria had the opportunity to get to know the noble Schwalm whitework on this day. They were thrilled by the effect of the diverse designs and patterns. Such individually stitched embroidery are impressively displayed not only in the special ambience of a museum, but also in a state-of-the-art domestic facility.

Schwalm Band (6)

Filling Patterns of Section 5 I

The bird’s belly has a relatively large area, which, due to its shape, can be used to embroider the Limet pattern “Cones” (Limetrosen I, page 79), but embroidered from top to bottom. To ensure that the pattern does not turn out too coarse, the thread withdrawing is made 2:1

and embroidered with the pattern using coton à broder No. 25.

I think this pattern represents the bird’s plumage well.
The pattern of the bird sitting opposite is worked in mirror image.

For the small bellflowers, the outer petals are surrounded with Chain stitches (coton à broder No. 30).

The center of the flower receives a simple horizontal thread withdrawing 3:1.

Wave stitches are embroidered using coton à broder No. 25.

The opposite flower is in the middle section also embroidered with Wave stitches.

One could decorate the petals of the carnation with daisy stitches, I left them unembroidered, as well as the crest of the right bird, its middle tail feather and the center of the wing.

Schwalm Band – Outline Design
Schwalm Band (1) Design Transfer
Schwalm Band (2) – Preparatory work of section 5
Schwalm Band (3) – Preparatory work of section 4
Schwalm Band (4) – Preparatory work of the sections 3 – 1
Schwalm Band (5) – Filling Patterns of Section 5 II

Schwalm Band (5)

Filling Patterns of Section 5 II

After all the preparatory work has been done, comes the exciting time of deciding on the filling patterns. The band has around 80 motifs. The mirror-image ones are decorated with the same patterns. Nevertheless, around 50 different motifs remain,
which I want to fill with a wide range of different options. I start at the bottom and work my way up little by little.

First, the areas to be filled are surrounded with Chain stitches (Coton à broder No. 30). Then the desired thread withdrawing is made.

I notice that the threads can be withdrawn very easily.

The basket should have the Satin stitch Limet pattern “Fence Wickerwork – double with a gap” (Wickelstiche, page 75) (Coton à broder No. 20).

I also notice that the top edge of the basket is crooked. Therefore, I try to set the pattern in such a way that this no longer immediately catches the eye at the end – the focus is on the second to last row with the double-width Satin stitches and the free spaces in between.

I initially just surround the areas in the handles of the basket with a Chain stitch border. I won’t decide until later whether I’ll incorporate a pattern here too.
After preliminary completion of the complete embroidery at the end, I find the handles of the basket too empty overall. Therefore, I make thread withdrawing 3:1

and embroider the area with Diagonal Cross stitches (Coton à broder No. 20).

The circles should have an openwork figurative pattern. To do this, I create an openwork grid of threads with an intersection of two withdrawn thread lines in the center and stabilize it with Single Faggot stitches (Coton à broder No. 30) from the back. Since the fabric isn’t even weave, I end up with more squares horizontally than vertically. The pattern I was considering – hearts similar to filling pattern 470 – is not suitable because it would emphasize the different distances up and down or to the sides.

So I draw different designs in an appropriate grid until I find a suitable one.

I decide on a pattern that emphasizes the diagonals and is therefore equidistant from the edge of the area at the end points. The needle-weaving is made with coton à broder No. 20.

The small heart receives a simple vertical thread withdrawing 3:1.

Satin stitch bars, the angle adapted to the shape, are embroidered with Coton à broder No. 20.

The middle part of the tulip should have the square eyelet pattern “Magic Net” (Limetrosen I, page 70). So that the pattern doesn’t look too clunky, I reduce the thread withdrawing and draw 2:1.

The pattern is embroidered with Coton à broder No. 25.

The outer tulip part should have a horizontal striped pattern – rows of Easy Eyelet stitches should alternate with rows of Satin stitch bars. To do this, a 3:1 thread grid is created.

With Coton à broder No. 20 the pattern is embroidered.

The ovals should have an openwork, diagonal striped pattern. Since the surfaces are relatively narrow, the threads are withdrawn 2:1.

I choose a pattern similar to filling pattern No. 550, but with only one row of Rose stitches and Cable stitches each, embroidered with coton à broder No. 25.

This way section 5 II has received very varied surface filling patterns, which I really like in combination.

Schwalm Band – Outline Design
Schwalm Band (1) Design Transfer
Schwalm Band (2)
Schwalm Band (3)
Schwalm Band (4)