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Friday, July 30, 2010

Free embroidery pattern

Here's a free pattern from an 1879 book, Art-needlework for decorative embroidery.
Click on the picture to view and save. This one would look good on sofa backs and cushion covers. It could be either outlined or filled in. How would it look with a long and short filling? or even blanket stitch shaded filling? Lots of possibilities,I must say.

Love to all,

Monday, July 26, 2010

Schwalm Whitework - Transfer and outlining

I've been dilligently reading the instructions from Luzine's book "Basic principles of Scwalm Whitework" and trying to implement them on the piece of linen I purchased from her alongwith the book. This is the first time Iam working on linen. I've heard of linen shirt materials,but not too sure if linen with various counts are available in the textile shops here. For beginners Luzine recommends 14 count linen. As you become better in Schwalm,you can move on to 17 count and more.I bought  a 14 count  90 x 90 piece from her for 16 Euros.In my last post, Shirley of Shirleystwistedthreads mentioned a certain Dublin Linen which is used for whitework. Iam in no position to compare and comment since this is the only piece I have :)

Well, once I had read through the instructions, I transferred the pattern onto the cloth. Unlike in other embroidery forms, Luzine suggests that the cloth should not be prewashed before embroidery. I was happy not to... :)
With no transfer paper available here, I resorted to the usual method of transferring with yellow carbon (graphite) paper. I made sure I used an old one,since I did not want too dark lines which will not wash off. But the transfer ended up to be very feeble and I had to use my water soluble marker pen to highlight the really faint lines. Atleast I know for sure that these will wash off . Besides Heather of A cherished life did tell me that the marks will disapper if I just spray water on it .
Once the transfer and highlighting was done, the outlining work started. In Schwalm, coral knots and chain stitches are predominantly used for outlining. In this case, I outlined with coral knots using Anchor Coton a Broder #16 thread.

I must admit, the embroidery is quite intricate,but I enjoyed it inspite of having to do hundreds of coral knots :)

Here's the pattern with outlining done. Click on the photograph for a better view.Don't go by its simple look.The actual work starts now. You'll see it in the coming days. Moreover, I've to repeat the same block on the other three sides....(that kind of frightens me)

Will come back with the progress,
Love,luck and sunshine,

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Basic Principles of Schwalm Whitework- a book review

Hi everyone,

Thanks to all your good wishes,the one day class went well .We started off with great enthusiasm,covered a lot of basics,chatted away,helped each other with the stitches ,offered suggestions and thus had a great time .There were seven of us and it was a chance for everyone with common interests to bond .New friends were made and phone numbers exchanged. Now Iam planning a workshop in another city Chennai on September 4th.The details are here.

With the class done,I've been considering something absolutely new to me . Couple of months back my husband went for an official trip to Germany. Considering the extent of his affinity towards my needlework, I did not ask him to get any stuff personally . Instead, I ordered "Basic Principles of Schwalm Whitework" by Luzine Happel online,paid for it online and had it delivered to his hotel. No headache for anyone involved :)

As the cover rightly says,Luzine Happel has described each and every step of this wonderful German Whitework that originated from the village of Schwalm. The book,especially the cover ,looks very simple and unassuming. But the contents...oh my!!! I've a treasure in my hand. The book revolves around one single project - whitework on a table cover.

Initially,when I started with the overview of Schwalm Whitework and read about KettenStich, Waffelstich ,Grundstich, my heart sank. Oh goodness,what's all this??  and like all the intelligent people out there I skipped the first two pages :)  Iam an absolute newbie and I was a bit overwhelmed with the German names as well as their English equivalents.

But the next page set my mind to rest.Luzine has listed out all the materials needed for this project - the threads,their numbers and even the number of skeins needed. How convenient!! As a first timer, I love this attention to detail. (Apologies for the blurred pic.)

She has assumed the reader to be an absolute newbie and has even explained how to find the count of the Linen and even how to cut the fabric straight.

There's a section on thread handling too. Schwalm is stitched with a thread known as Coton a Broder. Both Anchor and DMC has its own Coton a Broders. This thread is available in numbers ranging from 16 to 40 and is predominantly in white. #16 comes in other colors too.So if you aren't too keen on embroidering whitework in white,you can try other colors :)

Now for the stitching part. Each stitch has been described in detail with individual photographs. Now who wouldn't want to do a openwork like the one above?  yum..yumm..
Each part of the said pattern and the stitch for each is covered in detail.

And finally, a comparison of the same pattern stitched in different ways. I just love the way the whole material is presented.The book costs about 29.9 Euros (approx 2000 Indian Rupees,may vary with the exchange rate).I saved the shipping since it was delivered within Germany itself.

Since I did not have any idea about the cloth and the threads,I ordered those too from her. Coton a Broder is not available here in India. But Iam told that Anchor Perle Cotton can be substituted for this.I've not yet checked it out,but will let you know once I do.

Meanwhile, Indians,if you're interested in getting this book you can either mail to Luzine    or to me. One of my husband's colleagues is travelling to Germany this month end and I can order and get it delivered to him. You'll save some shipping amount that way.(No affiliation here and no profits to be gained)

So,this is going be my next attempt :) I do have plans for a brazilian embroidery piece too.Will let you know soon .
Till next post,
Love,luck and sunshine,

Friday, July 02, 2010

Brazilian embroidery Applique on Cushion Cover

Here's where the Peacock ended up.

Over here in India, Salwar Kurtha or Churidar is a common day to day attire. And in most cases there will be a dupatta (shawl)  which is supposed to cover our ample bosoms (I lack that too) and ofcourse for style .A dupatta adds to the beauty of the dress.You can use it as intended , to cover up or you can put it in such a way that it does not cover your assets at all .Whatever be the case, once the dress is old and discarded, many a times the dupatta gets left out - probably because it has not been damaged or because it is too pretty to be given away. The homemaker's thrifty mind thinks of the possibilites with the dupatta  :)

Why am I telling you this? Because that's what I did with a couple of my old dupattas. I got them converted into cushion covers and then I appliqued the peacock on it with herringbone stitch. 

Here it is. A quick and easy applique. I used Anchor metallic thread for the herringbone.Thankfully for once, the thread did not give much trouble.And the gentleman does look royal over there .

Hmm...two duppatas down,ten more to go!!!!  :))

That's all for today. Wish me luck my friends, tomorrow I teach all that you see on the cushion to a bunch of eager ladies from different parts of Bangalore.

Love,luck and sunshine,