In May I welcomed a group of 18 women from America and Bermuda for a 3-day basic Schwalm Whitework workshop. The workshop included over 8 hours of instruction, admission to my museum, project workbook and all supplies (including finishing supplies and finishing instructions).
It was a whirlwind of activity, but I believe we all had a wonderful time learning, and I think my guests also enjoyed Eschwege.
A wonderful hotel was found where the women could both stay and attend the workshop. And we also arranged a special dinner at Altstadtgasthof Zur Krone. To ensure that everyone received the meal they hoped for, I did a rough translation of the menu into English — I really wanted everyone to be absolutely happy.
I’m sure my nervousness was noticeable, but everyone was so nice that I was soon put at ease. My goal was to have everyone finish their projects before they left Eschwege. I think this ended up being a little too ambitious, but everyone worked hard and with some additional lesson hours all students were able to finish their first small Schwalm projects (Happel Hearts).
Beside transferring the design to the fabric by ironing, learning Coral Knot stitches, Chain stitches and Blanket stitch half-eyelets were all on the program.
On the second day, we were quite the celebrities! Two local newspapers visited and interviewed our group, a radio reporter came, and even the mayor of Eschwege stopped by to welcome the ladies to Eschwege!!
Careful thread withdrawing, as well as learning one of the 6 different filling patterns (chosen for this workshop) were announced.
Because it was too troublesome to bring all the equipment necessary for finishing the project (big pot, a hotplate, an iron, an ironing board, a sewing machine and all the needed material) to the classroom in the hotel, we moved the afternoon lessons to inside the exhibition.
This brought a welcome change, and enabled the women to view other finished, and also unfinished
Schwalm whitework pieces and to “talk shop”.
There were many pleasant surprises over the couple days. The women were so generous in giving me special gifts from their homelands, I arranged for a special sampling of local foods in the hotel garden, and we went on a special walk to the Werra to view the river and local gardens.
They all said, “Thank you for a wonderful experience! It was better than we could have ever imagined. The dinner and stroll was a perfect parting gift.”
I am pleased with the outcome and I think that everyone who attended feels the same.