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.

Lesson #3 – Openwork Circle Design Ornaments

Of the three types of withdrawn-thread patterns (simple, Limet, and openwork) in Schwalm whitework, openwork is the most important and richly diverse group. This is because shapes can not only be filled with endless patterns but also with figured patterns. The variety of figured patterns is vast – in addition to hearts, tulips and stars, birds and manikin are found. However, one can also find other animals and crowns. The Schwalm embroiderer loved diversification and liked to combine all the different possibilities.

Openwork patterns are especially durable because the embroiderer usually embroidered the shape twice – once for securing the grid with Cable stitches and again when working a pattern using Rose or needle-weaving stitches into the established grid. Learning to embroider openwork patterns is a little bit more arduous. But having learned the basic principles, countless and very different creative possibilities are opened up.

linienförmige Anordnung | arrangement in a straight line
The Ornament project is a continuation of the Happel Hearts project. It provides the opportunity to practice Coral Knot, Chain, and Blanket stitches that you learned in lesson #1, and it introduces new techniques and challenges:

1. Design transfer of a circle design
2. Thread withdrawal for an openwork grid with a square in the center
3. Working a Cable stitch grid
4. Openwork filling stitch: needle weaving
5. Working from a filling pattern chart
6. Openwork filling stitch: Rose stitch
7. Finishing
8. Thread withdrawal for an openwork grid with an intersection of bundled threads in the center

In addition, you will
• create your own different edge embellishment in basic star pattern charts,
• create your own star pattern chart,
• study more different pattern charts,
• study more embroidered star patterns.

The main focus of this lesson is to introduce Schwalm whitework’s third type of withdrawn-thread patterns – openwork patterns. (Simple withdrawn-thread filling patterns and Limet-Filling patterns have already been covered in lesson #1 and in lesson #2 respectively.)

In this lesson you have to establish an openwork grid, stabilize it with Cable stitches, and fill it with different figured patterns using needle weaving and Rose stitches. In the end, excess fabric is cut away.

Other finishing possibilities are square ornaments, coasters, and bands.

The project is small, but there is so much to learn!
Everything you need is included in the kit #1. Did you order it already?
To save you shipping costs, I made this document downloadable. Of course, a printed version is available upon request; should you prefer this option, please email me.

Schwalm Whitework
Lesson #3
Openwork Circle Design Ornaments
31 pages
more than100 images
text: English
21.95 MB file size
item price: € 20 (including 19 % sales tax), 16,81 € for customers outside the EU


Advent Calendar 2017

Since last year’s Advent calendar for whitework was so very well received, I decided to again prepare new embroideries for the first twenty-four days of December. I asked my designer for matching designs, and she came up with gingerbread figures, nuts, and many other designs often associated with Christmastime, but this was not what I wanted. I had in mind nice little Schwalm-typical motifs suitable for creating an advent calendar. So she started anew, and the results exceeded my expectations. I liked the designs very much.

The designs do not share the same aspect ratio, but that should cause little concern.

One might choose to use them to work, for example, only small bags, ornaments, or some other item. To show the wide variety of possibilities,
I decided to make twenty-four different small pieces – presenting one every day, beginning on 01 December. Please look forward to them!

You will see that most of the projects and the motifs are appropriate for anytime of the year.

So, if you would like to work them yourself, I offer the different designs here. Included are twentyfour different designs and two variants as well as a pattern for a stocking.

All designs come in at least three different sizes – some for delicate work and the others for more comfortable embroidering.

Best of all I made a modular design system in which all the designs with a comfortable and matching size can be cut out as cards to be arranged into a design for an Advent calendar, a sampler, a long band, a two-row table runner, or …

24 Designs + 1 Stocking Pattern
Advent Calendar 2017
line drawings in several sizes each
43 pages
8.08 MB file size
Text: English
24.00 EUR
download here

Of course it is also possible to get this publication as a printed booklet for the same price plus shipping charges. This option is not shown in my online shop, so please email me with your request.