Global Schwalm Sampler – Update (8)

Global Schwalm Sampler – Update (8)

Today I can present five new contributions to the global sampler.

Taeko Ueki from Japan is currently learning Schwalm whitework from Yasuko Kobayashi. She was very happy to be involved in a joint project during these times and to be accompanied by her teacher. She chose a fan (the typical Japanese Sensu) and filled it with typical Schwalm motifs.

She wrote: „モチーフには”扇子”と Luzine Happelさんデザインをアレンジしたものを選びました。

“By the way, this motif is Sensu (folding fan in Japan-taste) and arranged-designs of yours.
As Sensu spreads out wide toward the end, we Japanese consider it as a symbol of good luck.”

The teacher Yasuko Kobayashi from Japan chose her favorite motifs (asanoha and sensu) and arranged them opposite. For her they stand for cohesion in order to get through the days with COVID-19 better.

She wrote: “力を合わせてCOVID-19を乗越えられるように、幸運モチーフを選びました。

“I select some favorite designs in order to pull ourselves together and also to get through these days with COVID-19.

The motif “flax-leaf ” is the symbol of long life. (Hemp was in the past more popular than flax.)

The motif “Sensu (= folding fans)” looks like delta and it is the symbol of good luck. I have arranged with “flowers of plum and bamboo leaves”, which are the traditional New Year’s items.

Tendril is one of the typical Schwalm motif, which can naturally be connected with Japanese motif.”

(note: Asanoha (hemp leaves) pattern
Hemp has played a much greater role in Japan than flax [linen] in the past. Hemp flowers were used in Japan in ancient times, among other things, for oil production. Above all, hemp bast was used for centuries as a raw material for textiles, along with silk, until the cotton came to Japan and replaced hemp as the most common textile. Until the end of the Second World War, hemp cultivation took up as much land in agriculture as rice cultivation!)

Jennie O’Brien-Lutton from Australia has chosen a native bird, the Kookaburra, as her motif.

She wrote: “My inspiration from nature is a kookaburra sitting on a gum tree branch. Both are a very common in many parts of Australia. Kookaburras and gum trees feature in Australian poems, songs and paintings and I´ve always had a particular liking for kookaburras. As soon as I had decided to embroider a kookaburra, I heard one laughing in a tree next door. Coincidently, some days later as soon as I started to stitch, I heard a kookaburra laughing again. The kookaburra is sometimes called Laughing Jackass (der lachende Hans). I hope very soon Covid19 will be under control, we´ll be allowed to socialise and all the world will be laughing with the kookaburras.”

Monika Müller from Germany often skillfully converts individual ideas into elegant embroidery; she has done so again with this submission.

She wrote: “I took nature “literally.”
The tulip symbolizes the flora, the bird symbolizes the wildlife. Plants and animals are nature. For me, nature is valuable. That’s why you should be careful and respectful of it.”

Margrit Michaux from France justified the choice of her motif very charmingly.

She wrote: “ce papillon est un peu moi !!
il aime la liberté ,et ne connait pas les frontières,
il aime le beau temps, le soleil,
il tourbillonne et se pose sur les fleurs .“

“I chose the butterfly. He’s a little like me – loves freedom, stands where he wants and loves air and beautiful flowers!”

You can see more contributions in Update (7).

Baskets and Flowerpots

Baskets and Flowerpots

In Schwalm whitework borders, the heart often used as a base for the triple shoot, was sometimes replaced with a basket or a flowerpot. But there are also designs where baskets or flowerpots stand alone. The variety of shapes is great, the range of design options even greater. Initially, the motifs were closely embedded in the surrounding embroidery, but over the centuries they have become more clearly delineated and emphasized.

Global Schwalm Sampler – Update (7)

Global Schwalm Sampler – Update (7)

Elisabeth Erdmann from Germany has designed a pretty picture herself; it contains all the typical motifs of Schwalm whitework – such as heart and tulip. In doing so, she cleverly integrated the heart outline three times.

She addresses the choice of her motifs as a thank you to me.
She wrote – roughly translated: “Basket, heart, suns, birds and pomegranate –
the abundance of your patterns
they are making us wholehearted
always friendly and willing
in the shortest possible time
available all over the world.”

The picture became a real little Schwalm sampler cloth due to the elaborate embroidery. In addition to simple withdrawn-thread patterns, openwork patterns and Limet patterns can be found. The “suns” were yet decorated with the finest needlelace. In addition to very numerous small leaves, there are also eyelets, half-eyelets and many tendrils.

Marlies Martin from Germany embroidered stars.

She wrote – roughly translated: “My good mood producers in the Corona crisis were the stars – for me synonymous with sky, flower meadow and fulfilling embroidery hours.”

As a former long-time instructor, Marlies Martin has taught fine white work to generations of embroiderers. Now, due to failing health and fingers that no longer make fine work, she seldom embroiders. So you can imagine my surprise when I received from her a submission for the global sampler! This great old lady of whitework has filled a diamond with a total of forty-nine small stars! To do this, she chose a challenging pattern from my star book. I would like to give a special thank you to Marlies Martin.

You can see more contributions in Update 6.

Global Schwalm Sampler – Update (6)

Global Schwalm Sampler – Update (6)

So far I have received the sampler contributions in various packaging: envelopes, rolls, and parcels.
I want to let everyone know that it is okay to fold the embroidered linen so that it fits inside an envelope.

When the pieces are folded dry, I can iron them completely smooth again, as the following pictures show. So you do not have to incur increased postage costs for large or special packaging.

Two more contributions to the global sampler have arrived.

Emi Tamura from Japan embroidered a wreath design.

She wrote:

“Some people think this wreath just as a wreath, cooperation, Japanese flag or virus itself. Anything is ok, and feel we are united people on the earth getting together on the virus.“

The teacher of Schwalm whitework at a well-known handcraft shop in Sapporo has put together traditional motifs such as hearts, tulips, and birds in a wreath shape and surrounded them with many tendrils, leaves, and eyelets. In the finest work, she has embroidered a wide variety of filling patterns. Limet patterns, openwork patterns, and also patterns without thread withdrawing can be seen. This was possible because the linen used is not very densely woven. The elaborate wreath was framed with a double border of Satin stitch patterns.

Thérèse-Marie Marsollier from France shares her passion for Schwalm whitework with us and thinks the initiative is wonderful. She chose the motif of a bear – but that of a teddy bear.

She wrote: „Le motif de la peluche “OURS” s`est presque imposé bien que ce ne soit pas un motif traditionnel.
Est un besoin d`insouciance, un retour vers l´enfance qui a dicté mon choix ou bien la situation actuelle face à cette pandémie, je ne sais pas.“

Roughly translated: “The motif of the plush bear ultimately prevailed in my choice, although it is not a traditional motif. I don’t know whether my option was a need for carelessness, a return to childhood or the current situation with which the pandemic is facing us.”

It was a pleasure for Thérèse-Marie to take part in the collective work of art featuring Schwalm whitework. The teacher of fine embroidery skillfully combined various simple withdrawn-thread patterns and Limet patterns in order to achieve the necessary contrasts. She also managed to incorporate traditional elements such as tendrils, small leaves and flowers, Blanket stitch eyelets and half-eyelets into the embroidery.

You can see more contributions in Update 5.

Fillings of Interspaces

Fillings of Interspaces

In Schwalm whitework it is common to fill the areas between or around large motifs with small elements of surface embroidery; these establish a nice contrast to the simple large figures embroidered with withdrawn-thread patterns.

There is a long list of possible small elements used in the Schwalm. Most common are spiral-shaped tendrils embroidered with Coral Knot stitches; undivided and divided Satin stitch leaves; divided and rounded, but sometimes also undivided and pointed, Blanket stitch leaves; Blanket stitch eyelets – sometimes surrounded with Eyelash stitches, Blanket stitch half-eyelet scallops, or 2 short-2 long stitches; circles, tulips, or hearts embroidered with Satin stitches; curved lines; now and then French Knots; rarely Bullion Knots. All of these are used to fill the open areas.