A Small Ivy Tendril

I used a small design with an ivy tendril to test the 20 threads/cm linen. This linen is available here also in small sizes. I was not absolutely careful when transferring the design with an iron, so the fabric got lightly scorched in the process.

Using coton à broder No. 20 for the Coral Knot, No. 25 for the Satin, and No. 30 for the Blanket and Chain stitches, the prep work was finished.

I decided to use only openwork filling patterns worked in a Cable stitch grid. The smallest motif remains as an openwork Cable stitch grid, the other small leaf was filled with a Rose stitch pattern. And the largest leaf has a needle-weaving filling pattern.

The design shows leaf veins, and so I considered whether or not to work them. I decided to add the veins in the large leaf. The marks of the design transfer were still noticeable, but I decided to touch them up with a #2 pencil.

Using coton à broder No. 16 Chain stitches were worked along the line.

On the way back each stitch was wrapped once to establish the leaf veins.

The piece is hemmed – because of it´s small size – with Antique Hem stitches only.

After boiling the scorch is gone. And after starching and ironing, I have a nice small doily for a special tray.

You will be able to see this design and some more elaborate ivy designs next summer at my new exhibition. It will be great!

See What My Readers Have Embroidered

At the beginning of the year, Yasuko Kobayashi from Japan sent me pictures of her Easter eggs. She worked many of them them following the instructions in my booklet Embroiderd Easter Eggs. She presented them on her blog https://kokemomos.exblog.jp.
If there is interest in learning how to work such eggs, I will provide a weekend class in March 2020. Please email me with your request.

In 2019, Monika Müller from Germany worked projects in my lesson books. With great skill she mastered the Tulip wreath of lesson #2.

Monika then did an excellent job in working a sampler that was presented in lesson #4.
She crowned it with her initials and the year and then framed it. The finished project is an eye catcher.

Bettina Konhäuser from Germany was very busy embroidering this year.
She first worked a parade

of different pillowcases.

By the way, I am preparing a new exhibition in which pillowcases will be in abundance. Look forward to an announcement this summer.

Bettina learned to make thread buttons.

She used the handmade buttons to close the pillowcases.

Bettina also worked a door hanging with a pretty and elaborate needle-weaving hem and a whitework. The center motifs have various filling patterns from my books and my blog.

Cynthia Russell from United States used a design from Stickereien and filling Patterns from several of my pattern books – Wickelstiche, Limetrosen I, Openwork Needle-weaving Patterns, and Stars to create a beautiful table runner.

All her stitches turned out excellently.

Margrit Michaux from France featured the Happel Hearts in a new and lovely project; the hearts decorate individual gift bags!

She also worked a small table runner. She told me that she is a novice to Schwalm whitework, but her work looks like that of someone with much more experience. Her work looks perfect for a beginner. Nevertheless she is searching for a class she can take. Does anyone know of a course not too far away from 88100 France?

Sandra Meredith-Neve from United States worked the elaborate long horizontal bird border. Her stitches and her filling patterns turned out excellently. The runner is gorgeous. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get such a long piece – the border itself is 2.14 m long – into one photo. She made an extravagant home decoration that is always admired.

Another lady sent me pictures of her gorgeous sampler cloth.

She made the division per my book Openwork Pattern Samplers. Then she used several of my pattern books to fill the – I count 61 in all! – squares. In the end she got a stunning and absolutely unique piece. She wrote, “I am so proud of my work, wanted to share it with you.”

It is most impressive that she worked a beautiful and elaborate edging on such a long hem. The edging is from my instructions for A Wide hem with a folded Peahole Edging. She deserves admiration for such an accomplishment.

Thanks a million to those who gave me permission to feature their projects in this blog post.
I take pride in everyone’s accomplishments using my publictions.

Many more people work along my descriptions and instructions. However, not all want to share their work nor have the time to embroider many hours. Please don’t be discouraged: smaller pieces can turn out very pretty and I enjoy the feedback. It shows that my instructions are clear enough to work without the help from outside. It verifies that my method is the right way. And all this motivates and encourages me, makes me happy, and is the best pay for my hard work.
Searching for classes in Germany and the nearby countries was not very successful. Many course instructors stopped teaching already, others are old; their end of teaching is foreseeable. Therefore it is important to have precise written instructions such as those found in my books.

Angel No. 25

December always comes faster than you think. So here is the first idea for Christmastime decorations. Last year´s Advent Calendar surprised readers with twenty-four different angel figures. However, the Angels – Advent Calendar 2018 booklet includes twenty-seven nice basic designs in all; here I present one more of those beautiful angels.

The design measures about 13 cm X 17 cm. It is stitched on handwoven linen with a 17/cm thread count.

The prominent curly hairstyle you know already from my article “Follow-up of the Angels Meeting (2).”

The wings were embroidered with the pattern Scales (Limetrosen I).

The sleeve was filled with Rose stitches that match the Rose stitches in the filling pattern of the dress.

The dress was filled with Double Stars with 4 X 3 Satin Stitches and Rhombi of Four Rose Stitches – pattern 19 (Stars)

The notes on the sheet of music are made with Lazy Daisy and Straight stitches.

To make the face a little more prominent (unfortunately there is a weave flaw directly on the outline of the face), I placed a piece of fleece under the face section, quilted it to the linen along the outline, and trimmed it close to the stitching.

One more pillowcase is finished and waiting for the December decoration.

A Very Special Easter Egg

The artist Gudrun Hartwig created an extravagant, interesting, and spring-like design within an egg shape. Here a pillowcase is decorated with this embroidery.

Flowers, spiral branches, and sprigs

sprout out of the tree. They show the power and beauty of nature awakening.

A pair of birds

finds housing there.

It is an extravagant design that guarantees both fun in the embroidering and plenty of room for practicing different stitches and stitch elements like tendrils, forks, and eyelets.

Pillow with a Heart Design

For this year´s Valentine´s Day I present a very special pillowcase. The big heart is filled with an openwork figural pattern.

Figural patterns are a common part of Schwalm whitework filling patterns. You will learn more about this special type of filling pattern in future articles this year.

This pattern is very special because it conforms to the heart shape. The heart outline has to be established first. Unfortunately, the linen used for the example is not an evenweave; it has a thread count of 17/18 in the height and 13/14 in the width.

But how does one get it the correct size for the design? There are three different possibilities.

1. The easiest way is to adjust the design matching it to the openwork grid of the inner heart after it is established.

2. The second way is to count the threads to determine the size of the needed section:
The design measures 50 squares along the vertical center axis from the top point to the lower point of the heart and 40 squares along half the horizontal axis directly below the top point of the heart. One square needs 4 fabric threads; this means you have to count from the top point of the heart downwards 200 threads and from the top point to the left or to the right 160 threads. I recommend adding 8 threads each time you count out a section just to be safe. Mark all three points and measure the distance. Adjust your heart design to be the required size, and transfer it to the linen.

3. The third way is calculating:
Count your linen threads precisely and calculate the needed measurement. For example, for a linen with a thread count of 13.5/cm, you need 200 (208) threads in the height – 200 ÷ 13.5 = 14.81 cm (208 ÷ 13.5 = 15.41 cm). So, the inside of the heart shape should measure about 15.5 cm from the top point to the bottom point.
You need 160 (168) threads for half of the width – 160 ÷ 13.5 = 11.85 cm (168 ÷ 13.5 = 12.44 cm). So inside of the heart shape from the top point to one side should measure about 12.5 cm.

Because I think evenweave linen with a thread count of 13.5 is well-suited for openwork, I added the required size for this linen in the pdf document, which also includes a chart of the design.

First, all prep work is done: transferring; working stems, tendrils, and the pair of outlines with Coral Knot stitches; embroidering leaves, scallops, and half-eyelet scallops with Blanket stitches; working interlaced Herringbone stitches between the two outlines; and stitching Chain stitches inside the inner outline.

The openwork grid is established by cutting 2, leaving 2 – starting directly below the top point of the heart.

Now the grid needs to be secured. In the example, the grid is secured with Single Faggot stitches (Openwork Pattern Samplers). (Commonly openwork grids in Schwalm whitework are made with Cable stitches, but Single Faggot stitches make the pattern appear more clearly, and this is important for such a pattern.)
It is good to have a hoop wide enough for stretching the entire pattern into it.

Using needle-weaving stitches – in the example all the needle weaving is done vertically (i.e., from bottom to top and back again) – and occasional Rose stitches, embroider the pattern into the grid following the provided chart or your adjusted chart.

Finished as a pillowcase and filled with a coloured inlay, the pillow develops a special charm.