Global Schwalm Sampler – Update (40)

Now the sampler is ready. Its final a size is 3.40 m X 2.22 m!

A superlative cloth was created not only because of these dimensions but also because 81 embroiderers from 14 nations with great creativity and a lot of work contributed a total of 92 very individual pieces.

Beginners were just as enthusiastic as seasoned embroiderers. Occasional embroiderers had good reason to pick up the needle again. Teachers participated in the project together with their students. Complete embroidery circles actively committed themselves.

In this way, such an outstanding work was able to develop from a spontaneous idea that was initially poorly thought out. This worldwide effort was also made possible by translating the idea into many different languages. Thanks to everyone involved for their invaluable help and selfless commitment.

Unfortunately, all of its impressive beauty only unfolds in detailed photos or with backlighting. Only when viewing the entire ensemble in real life can the human eye perceives the imposing sublimity of the fine embroidery.

To everyone who contributed, I thank you from the bottom of my heart

  • for accepting the food for thought
  • for developing your own ideas
  • for implementation in attractive designs
  • for the generous provision of the required materials
  • for many hours of fine embroidery
  • for washing and ironing
  • for safe packaging
  • for the attached personal statements
  • for the loving words / comments
  • for delivery to the post office
  • for the generous acceptance of part of the significant shipping costs, and not least
  • for your commitment to show the world the beauty and the exceedingly interesting, varied, and specific techniques of Schwalm whitework.

If one recalls my definition of Schwalm whitework “Large areas of stylized motifs are surrounded with Coral Knot and Chain stitches, in the early form of Schwalm whitework also with Stem stitches. The inner surfaces are embroidered in different ways with simple, Limet and openwork patterns, in circular motifs also with needle lace and in the early form of Schwalm whitework with surface patterns. Decorative stitches complete the designs. The spaces between the motifs or around the motifs are filled with tendrils, small leaves and flowers.” Critics could point out that not all embroideries are based on the Schwalm technique. However, most of the participants followed this definition as can be seen in the following statistics. Approximately 11,129 cm Coral Knot stitches and approx. 7,734 cm Chain stitches were embroidered. (I laid a thread along the respective stitches and measured the length of the thread at the end, so the distances – including those of spirals for example – were relatively easy to calculate.) Nineteen embroiderers also chose stem stitches for working stems.

A total of 577 areas were filled with patterns from all five categories, with the Limet filling patterns being the most popular. I counted 96 different patterns – there are some that were unknown to me until then. The embroiderers were not only very creative in terms of design, but also in the execution of the embroidery.
280 Blanket stitched eyelets and 1058 Blanket stitch half-eyelet scallops were made.
683 small leaves, 123 satin stitch points and 420 tendrils adorn the embroidery.
Herringbone stitches, Lazy Daisy stitches, Eyelash stitches, Bouillon knots, and Bouillon stitches were often used. Many other decorative stitches completed the range.

Fabrics totaling nearly 69,950 cm² were sent to me, and, in order to be able to put everything together properly, these were cut back to a final size of 58,520 cm².

It would also be interesting to know how much thread has been used. Of course, the thread consumption depends on many factors and cannot be precisely calculated. But since I know that many of my blog readers would love to get an idea of it, I made a very rough calculation based on mean values. Years ago, when I was only doing embroidery for my own enjoyment, I kept detailed records of, among other things, thread consumption. So I can now draw on a wealth of experience.

With one meter of thread (divided into two halves) I can embroider an average of 19 cm Coral knot stitches. That would be a thread consumption of approx. 586 m or approx. 20 skeins (11129 cm: 19 cm = 585.74 cm; 586 m: 30 m = 19.53 skeins of 30 m).

With one meter of thread I can embroider an average of 20 cm Chain stitches. That would be a thread consumption of approx. 387 m or approx. 13 skeins (7734 cm: 20 cm = 386.70 cm; 387 m: 30 m = 12.9 skeins of 30 m).

With one meter of thread I can embroider about 5 Blanket stitch eyelets. That would be a thread consumption of approx. 2 skeins (280: 5 = 56 m; 56 m: 30 m = 1.87 skeins).

With one meter of thread I can embroider around 8 Blanket stitch half-eyelet scallops. That would be a yarn consumption of 132 m or 4 skeins (1058: 8 = 132.25 m; 132: 30 m = 4.40 skeins).

With one meter of thread I can embroider about 10 small leaves. That would be a thread consumption of 30 m or one skein (300: 10 = 30 m; 30 m: 30 m = 1 skein).

With one meter of thread I can embroider about 5 slightly larger leaves. That would be a thread consumption of 77 m or 3 skeins (383: 5 = 76.6 m; 77 m: 30 m = 2.57 skeins).

Of the 58,520 cm² of linen on the sampler, roughly 5,033 cm² (that’s a little more than 70 cm x 70 cm) are embroidered with filling patterns. For a filling pattern with little thread consumption (Rose stitch, etc.) one needs about 30 cm thread / cm², but for a dense Satin stitch pattern one can easily calculate about three times and for a densely embroidered Limet pattern easily six times as much. After looking through all the patterns used from this point of view, I decided to assume an average thread consumption of 60 cm thread / cm². With 5,033 cm² of embroidered area that would be 301,980 cm of thread, i.e. around 3,020 m and thus approx. 100 skeins of embroidery thread just for the filling patterns, including the Satin stitch fillings.

In all that would be:

  • 20 skeins for the Coral knot stitches
  • 13 skeins for the Chain stitches
  • 2 skeins for the Blanket stitch eyelets
  • 4 skeins for the Blanket stitch half-eyelet scallops
  • 4 skeins for the leaves
  • 100 skeins for area fill patterns and in addition
  • 2 skeins for all remaining stitches

So the consumption adds up to approx. 145 skeins of 30 m of embroidery threads.

Before the Global Schwalm Sampler can be viewed in reality, the pandemic barriers must be removed. Until then we must be content with the pictures shown here. If you want to enjoy all the beautiful embroideries again in detail, it is best to start here (up from Update 25 around the middle of the page), and then click on Older Entries through to the beginning. The concentrated load of interesting details is impressive.

Previous Update

22 Comments
  1. That is absolutely fabulous!!! Well done everyone who contributed. It is a true work of art.

    frei übersetzt:
    Das ist absolut fabelhaft !!! Gut gemacht, alle, die dazu beigetragen haben. Es ist ein wahres Kunstwerk.

  2. Congratulations to everyone who took part! It’s beautiful. And beautifully put together too.

    frei übersetzt:
    Herzlichen Glückwunsch an alle, die teilgenommen haben! Es ist wunderschön. Und auch wunderschön zusammengestellt.

    • Thank you, Lyn,
      So many comments, also in Update 39 and all the other updates! It’s been a great response for everyone involved and of course for me too.

      frei übersetzt:
      So viele Kommentare, auch in Update 39 und allen anderen Updates! Es ist eine großartige Resonanz für alle Mitwirkenden und natürlich auch für mich.

  3. Dear Luzine,

    Congratulations on this wonderful effort. I can see a great mathematical mind at work here. Fantastic!!

    roughly translated:
    Herzlichen Glückwunsch zu dieser wunderbaren Leistung. Ich kann hier einen großen mathematischen Verstand bei der Arbeit erkennen. Fantastisch !!

    • Thank you Andre,
      After all the “hand”work it was a great pleasure to do some statistics.

      frei übersetzt:
      Nach all der “Hand”-Arbeit war es eine große Freude, einige Statistiken zu erstellen

  4. That is so beautifully finished, Luzine, my congratulations on what must have been very testing work! This has been a terrific project. Thank you very much!

    roughly translated:
    Das ist so schön fertig gestellt, Luzine, meine Glückwünsche zu der wohl sehr harten Arbeit! Dies war ein großartiges Projekt. Vielen Dank!

    • Thank you Ann,
      Yes, it was a terrific project. But it would not have been possible without your participation and that of the other contributors.

      frei übersetzt:
      Danke Ann. Ja, es war ein großartiges Projekt. Ohne Ihre Teilnahme und die der anderen Mitwirkenden wäre dies jedoch nicht möglich gewesen.

  5. HI Luzine,
    This is an astonishing achievement, both of all the embroiderers and of course yourself. I am impressed by the level of detail, especially thread calculations. I have never calculated the time and materials spent on projects, but now I think I will start.

    Eine erstaunliche Leistung, sowohl von den Stickerinnen als auch von Dir. Ich bin sehr von den detailorientierten Angaben, insbesondere die Stickgarnberechnungen, beeindruckt. Ich habe noch nie die Zeit und Materialien fuer meine Arbeiten notiert, bin aber jetzt ueberzeugt, damit anzufangen.

    Liebe Gruesse

    • Danke Heather,
      ja, die Stickerinnen haben in kurzer Zeit eine wahre Meisterleistung vollbacht.

      Wenn man jeweils eine längere Zeit (ein paar Stunden) mit einer Arbeit beschäftigt ist, fällt es nicht schwer, die Zeit am Ende zu notieren. Und wenn man entweder voll Garnsträngchen verwendet oder die restlichen Fäden angefangener Garnsträngchen zählt und notiert, ist es auch nicht schwer, den Garnverbrauch aufzuzeichnen. Alles nur Gewohnheitssache!

      Thanks Heather,
      yes, the embroiderers have achieved a real masterpiece in a short time.

      If you are busy with an embroidery for a somewhat longer time (a few hours), it is not difficult to note down the time at the end. And if you either use full skeins of thread or count and note the remaining threads of a skein that have been used already, it is not difficult to record the thread consumption. It’s just a matter of habit!

  6. This is truly a magnificent work of art! Congratulations to you, Luzine, and your fellow embroiderers, for the imagination, creation and implementation of such a monumental undertaking. It is a joy to see. I can’t wait until I view it in person.

    roughly translated:
    Dies ist wirklich ein großartiges Kunstwerk! Herzlichen Glückwunsch an Sie, Luzine, und Ihre Stickkollegen, dass Sie sich ein solch monumentales Unternehmen erdacht, geschaffen und umgesetzt haben. Es ist eine Freude zu sehen. Ich kann es kaum erwarten, bis ich es persönlich sehe.

    • Thank you, Marily,

      Very often spontaneous ideas come to my mind. But it is one thing to develop an idea and another to convince and inspire fellow embroiderer. I am so proud of everyone who blindly trusted and contributed to me.

      Sehr oft kommen mir spontane Ideen. Aber es ist eine Sache, eine Idee zu entfalten und eine andere, Mitmenschen davon zu überzeugen und zu begeistern. Ich bin so stolz auf alle, die mir blind vertraut und mitgewirkt haben.

  7. Lindo,emocionante!!!
    Uma forte ação coletiva para marcar ,com beleza, um período difícil.
    Paz a todos , esperança !
    Tradição de bordado que você mantem viva,
    parabéns, obrigada.

    frei übersetzt:
    Schön, aufregend !!!
    Eine starke kollektive Aktion, um mit Schönheit eine schwierige Zeit zu gestalten.
    Friede allen, hoffe, dass Sie die Sticktradition am Leben erhalten.
    Herzlichen Glückwunsch, danke.

    roughly translated:
    Beautiful, exciting !!!
    A strong collective action to mark, with beauty, a difficult period.
    Peace to all, hope that you can keep embroidery tradition alive.
    Congratulations, thank you.

    • Obrigada, Sandra.
      Muitas pessoas em todo o mundo veem a beleza do bordado Schwalm e querem aprendê-lo. Espero que isso possa mantê-lo vivo.

      roughly translated:
      Many people around the world see the beauty of Schwalm embroidery and want to learn it. I hope this can keep it alive.

      frei übersetzt:
      Viele Menschen auf der ganzen Welt sehen die Schönheit der Schwälmer Weißstickerei und wollen sie erlernen. Ich hoffe, sie kann dadurch am Leben erhalten werden.

  8. Thank you Luzine for coming up with such a great project. It has been so interesting seeing all the embroideries as they have been received by you and to see the details on the construction of the sampler. It truly a stupendous embroidery. The variety is amazing. Let’s hope that this pandemic will soon be over and the sampler can travel the world.

    frei übersetzt:
    Vielen Dank, Luzine, für das großartige Projekt. Es war so interessant, alle Stickereien, die bei Ihnen ankamen, zu betrachten. Auch die Details zum Aufbau des Samplers waren sehenswert. Schwälmer ist wirklich eine erstaunliche Stickerei. Die Vielfalt ist unglaublich. Hoffen wir, dass diese Pandemie bald vorbei ist und der Sampler die Welt bereisen kann.

    • Thank you Margaret, by chance I was editing pictures of your gorgeous embroidery when your comment arrived.
      I’ve taken hundreds of pictures – now it’s hard to pick the best.

      Danke Margaret, durch Zufall saß ich gerade beim Bearbeiten von Bildern Ihrer prächtigen Stickerei, als Ihr Kommentar ankam.
      Ich habe hunderte von Bildern fotografiert – nun fällt es schwer, die besten herauszusuchen.

  9. Liebe Frau Happel,
    das Mustertuch ist ein herausragendes Meisterwerk geworden. Einmalig und wunderschön. Mein großes Kompliment geht an Sie. Es hat mich tief beeindruckt mit welcher Energie, Disziplin, Gewissenhaftigkeit und Ausdauer Sie das Projekt, angefangen von der Idee bis zum Endergebnis, ausgeführt haben. Woche für Woche Ihre Blogbeiträge der Fertigstellung zu lesen war spannender als ein Krimi. Manchmal dachte ich, wie kann ein so großes Teil von einer Person gehandhabt werden – aber es hat funktioniert, es ist unglaublich.
    Wenn ich die einzelnen Stickereien betrachte, bin ich begeistert mit welcher Kreativität und welchem Ideenreichtum hier gestickt wurde. Es ist schön zu sehen, wie Menschen aus vielen Ländern der Welt trotz oder gerade wegen der Corona-Pandemie diese Zeit sinnvoll genutzt haben, um so ein Gemeinschaftswerk zu ermöglichen.
    Ich bin sehr stolz, dass ich mit meiner kleinen Stickerei dabei sein durfte und freue mich darauf, es zu einem späteren Zeitpunkt im Original zu sehen.

    roughly translate:
    Dear Mrs. Happel,
    the sampler has become an outstanding masterpiece. Unique and beautiful. My compliments to you. I was deeply impressed with the energy, discipline, conscientiousness and perseverance with which you carried out the project, from the idea to the end result. Reading your completion blog posts week after week was more exciting than a crime thriller. Sometimes I thought, how can such a large piece be handled by one person – but it worked, it’s amazing.
    When I look at the individual embroideries, I am thrilled with the creativity and wealth of ideas that was embroidered here. It’s nice to see how people from many countries around the world made good use of this time, despite or precisely because of the corona pandemic, to enable such a community effort.
    I am very proud that I was able to be there with my little embroidery and look forward to seeing it in the original at a later date.

    • Danke, liebe Frau Müller, für den überwältigenden Kommentar.
      Es ist so toll: So viele Stickerinnen – auch Sie – haben mir blind vertraut. Sie haben wunderschöne und aufwändige Stücke gesendet, ohne zu wissen, was am Ende daraus wird.
      Das ist einmalig!

      Thank you, dear Ms. Müller, for the overwhelming comment.
      It’s so great: so many embroiderers – including you – have blindly trusted me. They sent beautiful and elaborate pieces without knowing what will become of them in the end.
      This is unique!

  10. Que maravilla!, Apenas estoy iniciando aprender las puntadas, espero algún día poder tener la capacidad de hacer una obra tan hermosa como esas. Muchas Felicidades y gracias por enseñarnos. Saludos cordiales.

    Wie wunderbar! Ich fange gerade an, Stiche zu lernen. Ich hoffe, dass ich eines Tages in der Lage sein werde, eine so schöne Arbeit zu machen. Herzlichen Glückwunsch und vielen Dank, dass Sie uns unterrichtet haben. Mit freundlichen Grüßen.

    How wonderful! I am just starting to learn stitches, I hope one day I will be able to make a work as beautiful as that. Congratulations and thank you for teaching us. Kind regards.

    • Gracias Elizabeth,
      El bordado Schwalm es fascinante porque es muy diverso. ¡Buena suerte con tu aprendizaje!

      Danke Elizabeth,
      Schwalm Stickerei ist faszinierend, weil sie so vielfältig ist. Viel Erfolg beim Erlernen!

      Thank you Elizabeth,
      Schwalm embroidery is fascinating because it is so diverse. Good luck with your learning!

  11. Liebe Luzine,
    was Sie da erreicht haben ist fast nicht glaubbar und wie Sie alles
    zusammen gebracht haben !!! Ich möchte das so gerne einmal ansehen !!
    Ich gratuliere Ihnen von ganzem Hezen und allen Stickerinnen die
    mitgemacht haben

    Margrit Michaux

    • Danke Margrit,
      der schönste Lohn für alle Mitwirkenden ist ein ordentliches Ergebnis. Das Resultat ist gut, und so können sich alle freuen!

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