Easter Egg 2019

Some time ago I had the opportunity to purchase many old traditional templates from the last Schwalm template maker, Ludwig Schmerer. Among these templates were some for the bottoms of the caps.

I enthusiastically looked for a contemporary use for the patterns. The oval shape of the cap bottom templates brought forth the idea to create Easter eggs. My graphic designer transferred the oval to an egg shape and created ten richly diverse drawings. I present the first of these this year.

Unfortunately, I do not have in my collection an original cap with this exact pattern, but I do have a couple of caps with parts of the same design.

They are embroidered with silk threads in different colours

and sometimes also include gold and silver bullion.

In the past, to achieve a precise rendering of the single pattern segments, a special paperboard was inserted.

Unfortunately, I had neither a matching template nor the tools to make such a template. So I looked for alternatives.

A template made from a sheet of craft foam is easy to make and comfortable to work with,

but, unfortunately, it is unsuitable because the thread gets lost in the soft material, and the edges end up looking jagged.

For my second attempt, I made a template using a craft knife and thick paper (image below: back side).

After cutting out the template, I basted it to the fabric.

Afterwards, all single sections that I wanted to embroider were fastened to the ground fabric and then covered with densely placed stitches.

I used green linen fabric and – due to the lack of silk threads –

stranded cotton (Anchor 875, 876, 1022, 1023, and 1024).

Using 2 strands of the 6-ply stranded cotton, the sections of the templates were embroidered along the cut lines in two steps – using a stabbing motion instead of a scooping motion. I thought this tedious.

Through my experimenting, I figured out that it is much easier to first withdraw the paper sections that will not be embroidered. In that way, it is much easier to embroider the remaining sections.

In the end, I was passably satisfied.

The single design sections are clearly distinct, but some of the stitches should have been worked more densely.

I liked the cut out egg decorated on a light ground more.

And so a second attempt was begun. The design was transferred to natural linen using an iron transfer method. It was embroidered in the style of the Schwalm crowns with the same colours as the first egg but in a different layout.

On the fine densely woven linen, the stitches could be placed closely and exactly together.

Embroidering this way was less tedious and much faster. But in comparing the two examples, the one stitched upon the template is more dimensional and is much more distinct.

So, at the next opportunity, I will begin a third attempt making a paperboard template in the way Schwalm people used for colour embroidery. And I will use silk threads.

I find the siena colours from the Werkstatt für historische Stickmuster fairly good.

With other colour combinations, one can achieve – as the following drawings show – totally different effects.

Please give it a try using your own favorite colours; I look forward to seeing your results.

Happy Easter!

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.

Easter Decoration 2018

Having a look around the shops, I found hangings decorated for Easter – simple to rework with a touch of embroidery.

They are made from wooden discs and wooden beads alternately strung on a rustic thread

with a metallic Easter egg randomly placed between.

Taking a thick branch from my garden and using a small saw and a thin drill bit, I easily got the required discs. I had some beads on hand.

I replaced the metallic eggs with small embroidered Easter eggs. I used the design presented here and embroidered white eggs using filling patterns No. 540

and “Kronjuwel” from the book Limetrosen II.
After boiling, the embroidery was heavily starched so that the cut piece holds its form.

I used a continuous white thread, because I found the big knots distracting,

and alternately strung beads, wooden discs, and embroidered Easter eggs on it.

Illuminated from behind, as when placed on a window, the embroidery takes on an especially beautiful effect.

One can create short hangings with only one egg or longer hangings with a couple of eggs.

Embroidered Easter Egg Wreath

To create an Easter Egg Wreath design, the artist Gudrun Hartwig first arranged four big egg shapes to form a cross,

and then, in the four areas thus created, she randomly placed smaller eggs of different sizes.

The egg shapes can be embroidered with a wide variety of filling patterns

matching the size of the egg shapes

and matching the lay of the threads within the egg shapes.

Many different patterns are suitable, such as the crosses formed with parts of square eyelets and Satin stitches. It is a nice pattern especially suited for an Easter decoration, isn´t it?

Combining delicate

and more prominent patterns

establishes a pleasing contrast.

This design is worked on a very dense handwoven linen with a thread count of 20/cm.

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.