Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas wishes - a la Schwalm - my design

I came up with an idea just a few days ago, sketched it out, found a remnant of 'suitable' linen and started stitching it - this was an exercise for me to not just familiarize myself with the techniques of a German whitework technique commonly known as Schwalmerstickerei / Schwalm embroidery, but also to test myself to stitch something without spending too much time 'thinking' and 'studying' - the emphasis was on the 'doing';  I wanted  to get familiar with thread thickness, stitches and their effects etc.  I have collected a number of books in this area over the years and was fortunate enough to see a beautiful collection of embroideries - the technique is a combination of  using pulled thread techniques, needleweaving, and some crewel stitches.  The designs are made up of the simplest of shapes and the motives are taken from nature - the linens produced are exquisite.  The overall effect of this embroidery is finer than Mountmellick although they both have similar motives taken from nature; it is a bit like Hardanger - quiet and elegant;  Hardanger is more geometric, Schwalm embroidery is more playful.
I am not quite sure if I am 'finished' with this piece yet - but this is the current status as of today... I'll think about a few points and then once satisfied will finish it as a standup Christmas decoration.  Here is my rendition of some of the techniques of Schwalm :

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas tablecloth - Happy Holidays

 December - a month that is always linked with my brother's birthday and holiday celebrations and decorations.  I enjoy decorating the home with Christmas decorations and candles and even though Christmas is not a religious holiday for me I do respect the significance and the sentiments.
So, even though I had not planned to start new projects this year, I did - I started working on this pre-stamped tablecloth kit by Rico Design last Sunday, on the first Sunday of Advent - using a hoop/stand which is not common for me but I am trying to make friends with my hoops again because of their amazing portability.  Here is one of the motives finished in time to wish you all a quiet Sunday on the 2nd Sunday of Advent.  So far, only Santa decorations have been up to celebrate St. Nick's day (Dec. 6) and now slowly I will introduce other ornaments and decorations into the home and office.  Wishing you all the Best for the Holidays!  

 These kits from Germany are quite pretty and even though they use simple stitches I enjoy them - they still hone my skills and have plenty of threads to allow for a bit of 'personal interpretation'.
Please excuse the hoop marks and wrinkles - have a great Sunday.