Advent Calendar 2019 – Christmas Wreath

I would like to again end the year with another advent calendar. I began presenting advent calendars on my blog in 2016. That advent calendar consisted of twenty-four delicate wreath designs, and many of my blog readers were enthusiastic about them. Thus encouraged, I continued to think up holiday projects. In 2017 there were small projects embroidered with typical Schwalm motifs, and in 2018 there was a meeting of angels.

This year’s project is a big wreath motif – representing the

Nativity scene.

Some will surely ask: “Once again the Christmas story as the motif? Are there not yet enough different designs on this subject?” I don’t think so.
This pattern is something special. It is a beautiful and coherent composition that was designed by an artist; an embroidery designer made slight changes to ensure a better stitching experience, and finally a graphic designer rendered the pattern into the clean line drawing you see in the end of this article.

Even if you have already embroidered a project with the Christmas story, it is worth further realization with the present design. It’s a lot of fun to work out the very different characters. And although some might encounter difficulties in some details, rest assured that I will help you with suggestions, instructions, and many pictures. I hope the daily – starting tomorrow! – detailled instructions will delight you.

The design is laid out as a wreath. The external diameter measures between 60 cm and 66 cm. The design is suitable for a special cloth, a wall hanging, or a curtain.

Of course the single characters or the groups of figures can be arranged in other ways. For example one might choose to create a band, to arrange them as a square or rectangle, or to cut them a little bit similar to Jessica Grimm´s project.

It is suitable and easy to mount single characters or groups of figures in an embroidery hoop for a casual holiday display, like the angels shown in the bottom parts of Advent Calendar 2018 – No. 1 and Advent Calendar 2018 – No. 15.

I can imagine very well the embroidery mounted on a LED panel for decorating a wall.

But if one wishes to hang it so that it is backlit (e.g., hung in a window), threads carried on the back side will be visible. One can remedy this by using double knots at the beginning and end of each small section separately and trimming the thread tails short.

The embroidery is richly diverse and leaves room for one’s own creativity. It is really fun to embroider this beautiful design!

Christmas Wreath
Advent Calendar 2019
line drawings
23 pages, text: englisch, 4.2 MB file size
(inc. 19% sales tax, so it is EUR20.17 for customers outside the EU)

Schwalm Whitework – Oval Cap Designs

Drawing on the rich designs found on cap bottoms as inspiration, I asked the designer Christa Waldmann to draw outlines for whitework; she created some beautiful designs.

Using these motifs, three different projects have been embroidered so far: a pretty table runner,

a nice pillowcase and my favorite piece, a fancy tea cloth with scalloped edges.

Of course there are many other possible layouts for gorgeous Schwalm projects.

I am so happy with these special designs, and I think you will be, too.

There are three different series:

1. Oval Cap Designs (1)
Same size ovals with scalloped edges in five different point symmetric designs; includes five pictures of embroidered examples.

2. Oval Cap Designs (2)
Same size simple ovals in eight different axially symmetric designs; includes one picture of an embroidered example.

3. Oval Cap Designs (3)
Same size ovals with scalloped edges and fancy edge borders in six different point symmetric designs with eighteen variants in all; includes six pictures of embroidered examples.

Oval Cap Designs (1)
line-drawn designs
Same-sized ovals with scallop edges in five different point symmetric designs and in addition five pictures with embroidered examples.

  • 10 pages
  • 4,32 MB file size (2 different pdf-files in all)
  • text: English

download here

Oval Cap Designs (2)
line-drawn designs
Same-sized simple ovals in eight different axially symmetric designs and in addition one picture with an embroidered example

  • 9 pages
  • 3,46 MB file size (2 different pdf-files in all)
  • text: English

download here

Oval Cap Designs (3)
line-drawn designs
Same-sized ovals with scallop edges and fancy edge borders in six different point symmetric designs with eighteen variants in all and in addition six pictures with embroidered examples.

  • 24 pages
  • 11 MB file size (3 different pdf-files in all)
  • text: English

download here

Especially for Left-Hander

More and more left-handed people want to learn Schwalm whitework. So I have decided to increase my service in this respect. Perhaps you have already noticed the special instructions for left-handed people in my latest blog posts regarding filling patterns. In future articles I will continue to include left-handed instructions using the same format as seen in Filling Pattern 543 and Filling Pattern 544.

During my many years of teaching, I often cooperated with left-handers, and so I was able to gain different perspectives. Some of them told me that when they were young they had to learn to embroider using the right hand. But even with a lot of practice stitching with the right hand, using the right hand will never feel 100 percent natural to the left-hander. Stitching will be a strain and less enjoyable for the left-hander forced to conform to right-handed methods.

Others suggested to turn the instruction books upside down to get the correct view of the images, but this is not true for all stitches. Moreover, the accompanying text is not readable in this position.

For some techniques like Cross stitch, where one only needs to learn one stitch, it is conceivably possible for the left-hander to work without special instructions.

But Schwalm whitework is made special by the multitude of different stitches used in one project. And this makes learning it difficult for all, but left-handers are especially overwhelmed without exact instructions.

Years ago, at the request of and in cooperation with a young lady, I decided to publish a left-hander edition of my basic book. The left-hander edition was totally revised with new text and pictures. The young lady worked step-by-step using my instructions and did not experience any difficulties. Later translations to English and French followed. With the help of Mary Corbet´s website, I found embroiderers to test my English publication. They also did not have difficulties following my instructions, but they found the project much too elaborate for a beginner. It is, and will continue to be, a good reference book for advanced embroiderers.

Next I reworked – for the left-hander – my lesson #1 booklet. I received many thanks and compliments for “such great left-handed instructions” but also requests for more left-hander instructions. Now all my lesson booklets have an edition specifically written for the left-hander. They are available in my shop.

Details of the contents are found in the following blog posts:

New Lessons for Beginners – An Overview

Lesson #1 for lefthander – Happel Hearts

Lesson #2 for left hander – Tulip Wreath

Lesson #3 for left-hander – Openwork Circle Design Ornaments

Lesson #4 for left-hander – Needle-Weaving Band Sampler

Finally left-handers can also learn – without going against their natural inclinations – all the many facets of beautiful, diverse, and immensely interesting Schwalm whitework.

Do you know left-handed embroiderers? Please feel free to forward this good news to them.

Angels – Advent Calendar 2018

At first, I was not sure how this year’s Advent Calendar theme would be received. However, because many of my readers have asked for the corresponding outline patterns, I have learned that the interest is great. So I passed all my drawings on to a graphic designer, who then made the necessary graphics for me.

Now the patterns are put together in a new publication.
There are a few designs that were posted on my blog for which I have no rights. Therefore, the designs of the tea cloth posted on day 2 and the table runners posted on days 5, 12, and 19 are not included. But nine other pretty motifs take their places for a total of twenty-seven basic designs.

Since some of these are shown in several variations, you will find a total of seventy-one variations inside this booklet – included are the three wreath designs 9a, 9b, and 23.

To complete the collection, three charts of angel motifs for openwork were added.

All single designs are shown in the original size embroidered by me. The wreath designs are scaled down to a double-page format.

Because of the different formats, the publication is downloadable in two separate files.
Of course it is also possible to get this publication as a printed booklet for the same gross price (including 7% sales tax) plus shipping charges. This option is not shown in my online shop, so please email me with your request.

27 Basic Designs + 3 Charts
Advent Calendar 2018
line drawings in 71 variations
43 pages and 7 double-pages
3.68 MB + 4.81 MB file size
Text: English
€24.00 (includes 19% sales tax, so it is €20.17 for customers outside the EU)
download here

Traditional Schwalm Cross Stitch Sampler

Embroidering Schwalm whitework samplers was and is popular and common, as I have shown in various previous articles. But Schwalm women also created Cross stitch samplers in addition to whitework samplers.

In the Schwalm, Cross stitch was used to complete whitework – to mark the the linen with initials and years, to separate initials with small square ornaments, to round out grand Satin stitch crowns with small embellishments, or to develop single-stitch crowns.
Some examples are found in my articles “Historical Schwalm Whitework and Machine-Made Lace” and “Schwalm Costume – The White Aprons”.

Besides letters, numbers, and different small square elements; hearts, tulips, and small crowns played a major role. Baskets, stars, and trees of life were also represented. But there were also other embroidered elements that were important in the daily life of these women. Most important were the many different bird motifs.

Because of their motifs, Schwalm Cross stitch samplers are different from samplers of other regions.

I succeeded in finding a very special – because of its especially colourful palette – traditional Schwalm Cross stitch sampler. And I would like to share it with you. The small cloth measures 28 cm high X 29 cm wide. The sampler’s stitch count is 168 wide by 137 high. It was worked on loosely woven linen with 13–14 threads per centimeter.

Presuming your interest in embroidering, I made an enlarged, clear, and coloured chart – divided into 30 sections.

I tried to find the original colours, but not all of the old colours are available today. I have included both Anchor and DMC colours that match the closest. A complete chart with a foldout colour key can be found in the back of the booklet.

Schwalm Cross Stitch Sampler

15 Pages
text: English
file size: 5.116 MB+
file size 426 KB
item price: €15 (including 19 % sales tax), €12.61 for customers outside the EU

Is this sampler missing from your collection? No problem, you can order it now. The document is available as a file for downloading.