Weber Group from Otzberg-Lengfeld

Weber Group from 64853 Otzberg-Lengfeld – Germany

Marion Weber from Ober-Ramstadt is one of my supporters and co-signer of the application for the admission of Schwalm whitework (“Hesse embroidery”) in the nationwide register of intangible cultural heritage.

After the previous course leader left, she took over the management of a group with currently 18 participants. Twice a year – in spring and autumn – courses “Hessian whitework, an ancient art, reinterpreted” are offered on four Saturdays each under the title “Short thread, hard-working girl”. These are aimed at participants who have previous knowledge as well as beginners.

The courses are held in the Museum für Odenwälder Volkskultur.
The respective events are advertised via the Gersprenztaler Anzeigeblatt (page 2). This feeds the attraction of other interested embroiderers.

The Alte Zollhaus, which the museum uses, offers an unusual atmosphere in which the embroiderers visibly feel comfortable.

Even if the lighting there is sometimes not optimal, the embroiderers help themselves with headlamps, magnifying lamps and the like.

Often not only small but also complex work is created, which is continued at home during the course-free period.

When they see each other again, there is great anticipation of experiencing and marveling at what has been created in the meantime. This motivates, exhilarates and encourages passionate creation.

The embroiderers used to take place on the Veste Otzberg in the museum´s cafe. There, other museum visitors actively took advantage of the opportunity to look over the shoulders of the embroiderers and learn something about the technique. This option was no longer possible due to the closure of the fortress. There are plans to hold similar events at village markets.

The lively group is happy to welcome additional participants at any time. Even if someone would like to spontaneously take a look or “sniff”, they are welcome – perhaps this Saturday (March 23, 2024 – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)

The Old Customs House is located at Bismarckstrasse 4 in 64853 Otzberg-Lengfeld
Ms. Weber can be reached by telephone at: 06154/53323

My heartfelt thanks go to Ms. Weber for helping to prevent me from giving up during a difficult phase and for being willing to sign as a co-signer. Her work is entirely in the spirit of intangible cultural heritage: passing on and preserving Schwalm whitework (“Hesse embroidery”).

How to Find a Schwalm Whitework Course Nearby

In Germany and the countries nearby, we do not have embroidery guilds; instead we have circles and classes offered by different providers. Unfortunately, there is no list to easily find them. So I got the idea to provide a forum for both the providers of circles and classes and the people wanting to find a nearby circle or a class.

The list is sorted by postal code and will include contact information such as contact person, link to a website, email addresses, or a phone number.

The list is not comprehensive and will be expanded with your help. If you offer a course or have knowledge of a course or a Schwalm whitework circle that would welcome new students, please send me an email.


34117 Kassel
Katholische Familienbildungsstätte Kassel im Regionalhaus Adolph Kolping
phone: 0561 7004-111
teacher: Monika Wegener
Weißstickerei nach Schwälmer Art (Seite 72)

34576 Homberg Lützelwig
Volkshochschule Schwalm-Eder
teacher: Anna Elisabeth Grein
phone: 06697 571

34593 Knüllwald-Rengshausen
Volkshochschule Schwalm-Eder
teacher: Anna Elisabeth Grein
phone: 06697 571

34613 Schwalmstadt-Dittershausen
Volkshochschule Schwalm-Eder
teacher: Anna Elisabeth Grein
phone: 06697 571

34621 Frielendorf Obergrenzebach
Volkshochschule Schwalm-Eder
teacher: Irene Horn

48431 Rheine
VHS Rheine
teacher: Maria Deistler

48683 Ahaus-Graes
VHS aktuelles forum Volkshochschule
teacher: Maria Deistler

49176 Hilter am Teutoburger Wald
Volkshochschule Osnabrücker Land

49196 Bad Laer
teacher: Heidi Baumgartner

63075 Offenbach
galerie grün
sabine perez

65604 Elz
Bettina Konhäuser

71083 Herrenberg-Kuppingen
Margarete Grandjot
Das Kursprogramm 2020 kann man sich herunterladen

71720 Oberstenfeld
VHS Schiller-Volkshochschule Ludwigsburg
teacher: Elisabeth Baumgart

71720 Oberstenfeld
teacher: Elisabeth Baumgart
phone: 07062-5373

72351 Geislingen-Binsdorf
De lütje Stuv
Heike Götz
phone: 07428 1788

87435 Kempten
teacher: Heidi Baumgartner

87538 Fischen im Allgäu
teacher: Heidi Baumgartner

87561 Oberstdorf
teacher: Heidi Baumgartner

97753 Karlstadt
teacher: Hermine Schwager


CA13 9SH Cockermouth/ Highhamhall
teacher: Angie Burt

Fy6 9ah Hambleton
teacher: Angie Burt

TA24 6QZ Taunton, Somerset
teacher: Doreen Holmes

A further Workshop Presented in English

Recently, ladies from the “Still Stitching with Susan” group from the Unites States again visited Eschwege to further their knowledge of Schwalm whitework with me.

In all there were nine participants, many of whom had already successfully worked through Lesson
#1 Happel Hearts, Lesson #2 Tulip Wreath, and Lesson #3 Openwork Circle Design Ornaments in 2015 and 2016.

One student new to the class practiced the first steps of Schwalm whitework at home already along my books and so she could start working on the lesson #2 subject – the tulip wreath.

All the others wanted to learn needle-weaving band patterns this time.

We decided for a small sampler showing 6 different needle-weaving bands.

To avoid language difficulties while teaching and to enable them to finish the ambitious project themselves after learning and practicing in Eschwege, I prepared a written instruction. The lesson #4 booklet Needle-Weaving Band Sampler with its great detailed descriptions and illustrated step-by-step instructions got in the end 45 pages. It was perfectly edited by my professional editor Joey Colbert.

Before starting the sampler work, they had to practice every new content on their practicing pieces (see images.)

We worked in my exhibition rooms. This allowed to always look to different traditional and contemporary examples. The ladies could look to so many different needle-weaving band patterns.

They could view hems made with different heavy threads and different density. They compared different thread tensions. And they noticed different spiders included into the needle-weaving.

They saw different edge solutions. And they looked to needle-weaving bands combined with other stitches. Standing up and looking around brought short breaks in the long hours of sessions.

It is a very special and unique thing to teach in exhibition rooms with so many different exhibits. It would impossible to bring such a lot of examples to another teaching room.

Included in the group was the needlework shop owner Kimberly Young of Sassy Jacks Stitchery, Kimberly has in stock all the needed materials and equipment for Schwalm whitework, especially the Weddigen linen with 13.5/cm thread count! Please call her with your request. She also stores a couple of my books.

Susan Greening-Davis, the initiator of the teaching travel, and Kimberly now offer Schwalm whitework classes in the US.

Another Workshop Presented in English

Recently, ladies from the “Still Stitching with Susan and Sally” group again visited Eschwege to further their knowledge of Schwalm whitework with me. The women came from the United States and the Netherlands. Unfortunately, Susan Greening Davis, one of the initiators, could not be present this time, so Sally Criswell alone accompanied the group.
W_2016_1In all there were nine participants, many of whom had already successfully worked through Lesson
#1 (the Happel Hearts) and Lesson #2 (the Tulip Wreath) in 2015. Included in the group were three needlework shop owners: in the United States, Sally Criswell of Suwannee Valley Cross Stitch and Kimberly Young of Sassy Jacks Stitchery, and in the Netherlands, Annemiek Koning of De Handwerk Boetiek. Both Kimberly and Annemiek plan to stock all the needed materials and equipment for Schwalm whitework, especially the Weddigen linen with 13.5/cm thread count! In addition, both ladies plan to offer Schwalm whitework classes in the near future.
W_2016_2In my opinion, every student should be able to finish the workshop project within the workshop time frame. Because the workshop was extended to four days, it was not as strenuous as last year to manage this. Of course, only a small piece can be embroidered within a restricted time frame.
Lesson #3 involved a circle design with an openwork pattern. To prevent any confusion due to language barriers, I made a detailed step-by-step instruction booklet, which was perfectly edited by my professional editor Joey Colbert. It also enabled the embroiderers to continue working in their spare time.
The hotel provided a room with plenty of space for the women to work comfortably. They were very motivated and concentrated very hard. Sometimes it was so quiet one could hear a pin drop. As a result, other topics of interest to the students could be explored.
W_2016_3The finishing work of boiling, ironing, and cutting was done in the workrooms at my exhibition.
This meant that I didn’t have to bring all the necessary equipment to the hotel, but it also allowed the women to visit the exhibition (which was, of course, on the agenda anyway). The ladies were astonished at how the shrinking from boiling positively affects the appearance of the piece.
W_2016_4In the end, all the students were happy to take a finished piece home. Some were especially proud to have finished two pieces!
W_2016_5Everyone learned a lot throughout the workshop – including me. What? I’ll tell you in a future post.

Schwalm Whitework Online Class #1

Have you been wishing to learn the beautiful and exceedingly interesting embroidery technique of Schwalm whitework, but no opportunity presented itself?

Well, the opportunity is here now! You can now learn Schwalm whitework easily and comfortably in your own home.

By popular demand – and after an experimental phase with test students – I have decided to offer an online class in Schwalm whitework. In my new online course, you will have access to professional support and assistance, and you can work at your own individual pace.

This is how it works:

  • You register for the course.
  • I send a described-in-great-detail and illustrated step-by-step instruction booklet and a kit with all the needed materials.
  • As soon as you received the package, you email me. From then on we communicate via email.
  • You start working the first step, take a picture of your progress and send me the image.
  • I examine your work, make notes and give hints, and – if necessary – make suggestions for improvement.
  • You ask me questions that arise as you work the steps.
  • I try to answer within 24 hours.
  • When you are ready, you start the next step.

In such a way, I guide you step-by-step through the entire project.

Schwalm whitework is a variety of specific techniques and not all techniques can be learned at once. Lesson #1 imparts the most important basic elements in 9 steps:
1. Design transfer 2. Thread preparation (please do not begin before reading this step all the way through) 3. Coral Knot stitches 4. Blanket stitch half-eyelet scallops 5. Chain stitches 6. Thread withdrawal for a simple drawn thread filling pattern 7. Filling patterns – please choose one of 3 different patterns 8. Laundering 9. Finishing. And should you wish to continue your Schwalm whitework studies, the project booklet includes an additional 6 filling patterns that are a little more difficult.

As a first small project you will work a heart, which can be cut out or framed in the end.
Of course you know such Happel Hearts from my website or from the leaflet I send along with my basic book. But the instructions presented in the online course booklet are much more detailed and absolutely suitable for students having no experience with Schwalm whitework before.
You will receive a project booklet (53 pages) and a kit with the needed materials:

  • design
  • linen – 13.5/cm thread count Weddigen linen about 20cm X 185cm
  • DEKA iron transfer pencil
  • tracing paper
  • removable tape
  • Chenille needle No. 24
  • Chenille needle No. 26
  • Tapestry needle No. 26
  • Coton à broder No 16, 20 and 25, 1 skein each
  • washing powder

You should have on hand the following:

  • camera
  • colored sewing thread
  • a #2 pencil
  • a pencil sharpener
  • iron
  • embroidery hoop 12.5 cm in diameter
  • small and sharp embroidery scissors
  • Stitch/seam ripper
  • magnifier optional

The price for taking this class is €70.
Included in fee are:

  • project booklet (left-hander option available)
  • kit with the above mentioned content
  • shipping
  • my personal help and evaluation of your work
  • 19 % value added tax (waived for people living outside the EU)

You can pay via PayPal.

The course does have a time limit. The first small project of lesson #1 should be finished within 8 weeks from receiving your package (most people can finish such a project in less than 1 week). If you finish your lesson #1 project before the end of eight weeks, you may continue your studies with the additionally included patterns and continue to ask me questions. After eight weeks, my professional support ends.

Please send me an email, if you are interested.