small projects

Small Pointed Leaves and Tendrils – Practice Exercises


Combinations of tendrils and small pointed leaves can establish many beautiful patterns. Here I present two designs for continuing the band with circle designs. Both are suitable for practicing small pointed leaves and tendrils.
1_19-2017The designs are transferred to the linen by ironing using a DEKA pencil.
2_19-2017First, the preparatory work is done per the explanations in the leaves practicing article.
Using coton à broder No. 20, the first tendril offshoot is worked up from the tip of the leaf.
3_19-2017After finishing the tendril, the working thread is slid through the stitches on the back to come back to the base, where stitching the leaf is started.
4_19-2017Finishing the leaf, the stitching naturally merges into the second tendril offshoot.
5_19-2017The design looks pretty washed, starched, and ironed.
6_19-2017Preparing to work the second design is the same. Then the tendrils
7_19-2017and the leaf groupings are worked.
8_19-2017When finished you have another nice and quick-to-work practicing piece for small whitework elements.

A Small Band for Practicing Exercises


For practicing tendrils, forks, and leaves I have already provided some circle designs. These and some additional designs – which will be published in future articles – are perfect for decorating a band of linen.
I used a linen strip measuring 18 cm X 135 cm.

The center line and the center points of the designs are marked on the linen strip to ensure an even distribution in a straight line. I decided for a distance of 12.5 cm from center point to center point, this will result in a distance of 5 cm between the individual circles. Placement of design elements is always difficult when starting a new project that doesn’t have a pattern example. Viewing the finished band, I am satisfied with the distribution of the shapes. However, one could also choose to move them a little bit closer together.
1_18-2017The designs are transferred to the fabric by ironing and then embroidered.
2_18-2017After finishing the single shapes – ten in all – the sections for the hem are prepared. I wanted to finish the short sides with an open mitered corner. So, on along the two long edges, two threads are withdrawn. The first thread is withdrawn 1 cm inward the edge, and the second thread is withdrawn 3 cm inward the just established withdrawn-thread line.
3_18-2017The fabric is folded to the back along the outermost withdrawn-thread line.
4_18-2017It is folded again to the back so that the first fold reaches the second withdrawn-thread line.
5_18-2017The hem is pinned, basted in place, and then secured with Antique hem stitches.
6_18-2017One short side has a selvage, the other is secured with zigzag stitches.
7_18-2017With right sides together, the short sides are sewn closed.
8_18-2017The band is boiled, starched, and ironed. Ironing is done from the back, making sure to iron only one layer of the mitered corner. Then the piece is flipped over, and the remaining part is ironed. In this way, the fold will not make an impression on the front of the fabric.
9_18-2017Ironing the piece face down on a thick and soft surface (such as a terry towel) and sustaining the heat of the iron, makes the embroidery wonderfully striking.
10_18-2017The beautiful small band – established as a practicing piece for small whitework embroidery elements – can dress up any table.
11_18-2017Hanging vertically, it is a pretty decoration for small wall recesses or wooden door frames. Fastened on a window, the embroidery is especially effective.

Small Pointed Leaves – Practice Exercises (1)


Today I present two more designs, with diameters of about 7.5 cm, that are perfect for embroidering a band. These designs are also well-suited for practicing small pointed leaves. Other same-size patterns will be featured in future articles.
First, the center points of the designs are marked on the strip of linen to ensure an even distribution. I decided for a distance of 12.5 cm from center point to center point; this will result in a distance of 5 cm between the individual circles. Linen with a 13.5/cm thread count is used.
2_17-2017Transfer the designs to the linen – keeping in mind that the design ends up mirrored when ironing it to the linen.
3_17-2017Coton à broder No. 16 is used for Coral Knot stitches, No. 20 for Blanket stitches and for Chain stitches. At the outside edge, Coral Knot stitches are worked along the inner line. Chain stitches are worked a small distance outside these Coral Knot stitches. The outside Chain stitches are covered with densely worked Blanket stitches between the outline and the Coral Knot line.
4_17-2017Using coton à broder No. 20 for the Satin stitches, the leaves are worked. Please remember: Densely work the stitches following the shape of the leaf; that means the stitches do not lie quite parallel – at the center of the leaf they are slightly closer together than at the outside edge. Always turn the piece so that the needle runs horizontally from right to left. The stitch at the tip of the leaf should run straight from the middle line to the top point. So that the leaf looks truly pointed in the end, this stitch is made 1–2 mm beyond the outline.
5_17-2017The second side of the leaf is worked from the tip back to the stem, always taking the needle down at the outside edge and bringing it back up at middle line.
6_17-2017On the band, the second design is not placed directly next to its variant. Rather, alternate designs with tendrils, designs with leaves, and designs with other small elements.
7_17-2017The image above shows a section of the finished band.
8_17-2017Washed, starched, and ironed both practice designs look pretty.

Coloured Easter Eggs


As already mentioned, Easter eggs are especially suited for trying out different patterns. And square eyelet patterns are perfect for egg shapes.

Here I will show that the patterns are not only well suited to whitework or Schwalm whitework but also to other embroidery techniques that use coloured threads to attractively fill shapes.
1_13-2017Easter eggs are embroidered in different sizes (the first steps can be found here – please see images 2–5) and cut out after finishing. This allows one to create different arrangements as the mood and decor dictate. I used linen with a 13.5/cm thread count and two strands of the six-strand embroidery floss.
2_13-2017I used different colours and different filling patterns – that made embroidering a real pleasure. I was always excited to see the patterns develop. It was fun to “paint” the eggs so differently with striped (horizontal, vertical, diagonal), dotted, or zigzag patterns.
3_13-2017The cut eggs are especially suited to various arrangements. For example, one can arrange eggs in spring-like colours in a straight line.
4_13-2017Or if one prefers water colours, it is no problem to find attractive arrangements using only those colours
5_13-2017in straight lines
6_13-2017or circles.
7_13-2017The combinations of colour and arrangement are endless: green combined with blue …
8_3-2017or green combined with lilac …
9_13-2017colours matching special decorations, here yellow and orange …
10_13-2017or here green and beige …
11_13-2017of course blue and white always look fresh.
12_13-2017As you can see these embroidered Easter eggs are manifestly combinable and adaptable. With only a little imagination, they are easily assembled into yet another new arrangement.
13_13-2017Making a colourful arrangement is not only fun with eye-catching results but also a good way to use
up leftover threads!

Most of the square eyelet patterns seen in the pictures above can be found in my books Limetrosen I and Limetrosen II.

Jessica Grimm has used these patterns – different and very interesting – to variegate her fishes.

How to Make a Gift Bag


Wanting to work a small, easy-to-wash, and easy-to-iron bag, I looked for an insert that was the appropriate size, solid, clean, inexpensive, and easy to find. I decided on a milk pack. Cut to the desired length,
1_10-2017it is washed out and painted white.
2_10-2017The box measures 9 cm in the width, 6 cm in the depth, and 12 cm in the height. Linen (16/cm thread count) is cut to measure 19 cm (width + depth + 2 X 1 cm seam allowance + 2 cm extra for shrinking) X 46 cm (2 X high + 3 X depth + 2 X 2 cm seam allowance).
The front side is embroidered with a small design.
The long edges are finished to prevent fraying.
3_10-2017The piece is washed (boiled to shrink), starched, and ironed.
With right sides together, the linen is folded at the middle of the long sides. Out from the vertical center axis, it is measured 7.8 cm (width + 2 x ½ depth + 2 X 3 mm) to each side and marked.
Along the marks, both sides are sewn closed.
4_10-2017The seam allowances are pressed open.
5_10-2017Now the fit is tested to determine if the box fits well into the linen bag. If the bag is too wide, remove the sewing line and resew it a small step inwards. If the bag is too tight, remove the sewing line and resew it a small step outwards. But if measuring was accurate this should not happen.
6_10-2017At the top edge, fold under 1 cm and then fold another 1 cm for the hem; secure it.
7_10-2017Turn the bag inside out, and iron it again. Put the box into the bag, fold the bottom corners in, and press the bottom of the bag.
8_10-2017Also fold the top edges as seen in the picture.
9_10-2017Closed with a clip, it is a nice bag for small gifts – individual and extravagant!
10_10-2017And a further tip: Making the bag taller so that it can be folded, it is suitable for making an Advent calendar: the upper section of the bag is folded over a string and fastened with a clip.


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