Sunday, 28 December 2014

Schwalm Embroidery : Tulip Motif and the Basic Filling Stitch


Today's post is on how a little tulip motif has been embroidered in Schwalm White work. I had posted earlier on the Circle motif and worked a Basic Marburg filling stitch. As I wanted to try a different stitch I could not post the Marburg stitch in detail this time. 

This is just an illustration of steps that I followed and not a tutorial as I don't claim it to be 100% correct, Still I have sincerely tried to work it the same way as it should be. Consider this as an impetus to start  Schwalm White work embroidery.

The tulip motif has been reinforced with the Coral Stitch on the outside and the Chain Stitch on the inside.
I have worked a Basic filling stitch here. This stitch reinforces the threads after the drawn thread work after which other decorative filling stitches can be done. For this small motif the basic filling stitch itself  looks sufficient.

After the drawn thread work the motif looks like this. The fabric is even more fine than what the magnified picture looks like. Counting thread to draw it is even more difficult. For this matter, the thread count differs in two place. Can you spot the difference?

Threads drawn in a 2-3 pattern ( Withdraw 2 threads and leave 3)

Pictorial representation of the first row

The long axis of the motif here is not along the grain of the fabric hence the drawn thread appears to be diagonally placed. The stitch is worked diagonally so the adjust accordingly.

The stitch is worked from left to right

Row 1 completed

 To start the second row turn the work Upside down and work from left to right

The picture of one step could not be uploaded. After the above picture work next stitch the same way as the picture no. 3 of the first row (shown above) and then work the step in picture shown below.

While working the next row Turn the work again so that the stitch is worked from left to right.

Please note that the needle tip should go under the thread and not over it as shown above.The stitch is correct , just that pull the needle up keeping the thread over it to avoid a knot.

Continue working in the same manner.

 This is how the sampler looks after the two motifs are done. Lots more to work....

Friday, 26 December 2014

Embroidery Stitches: Coral Stitch

Coral stitch is also known as knotted stitch, snail trail, beaded stitch or German Knot.

Coral Stitch is used in White work Embroidery as a reinforcement stitch along with the Chain stitch. It is also used in surface embroidery to create continuous knots. It can be used for outlining a design on even for filling an area when worked parallel and close to each other.

Bring the needle up at 'a'. 
Place the working thread along the line of the design.
Pass needle into the fabric under the embroidery thread picking 2-3 thread  from 'b' to 'c' .
Pull the needle while the embroidery thread is looped under the needle (shown above).

How to work Coral Stitch at the Corners

Finish the last coral stitch at the corner.
Take the needle to the other line passing the needle into the fabric and bring it up where next stitch has to be placed as shown in the picture above.
Continue working the stitch.

Happy Stitching !

Embroidery Stitches Used in Schwalm White Work

Check this page for all the posts on Schwalm White Work. 

Several types of stitches are used in Schwalm White work Embroidery.  
As mentioned in this post the stitches can be categorized as: 

This post will be mainly about the Surface Embroidery Stitches used in Schwalm White Work.

Reinforcement Stitches 
  1. Coral Stitch
  2. Chain Stitch

Outline Stitches
  1. Buttonhole Stitch
  2. Buttonhole Scallops - Pointed, Arch and Knife point
  3. Pointed Satin Stitch
  4. Eyelash Stitch

Decorative Stitches
  1. Satin Stitch and Padded Satin Stitch
  2. Herringbone Stitch and Interlaced Herringbone Stitch
  3. Daisy Stitch and Composite Daisy Stitch
  4. Feather Stitch
  5. French Knot
These stitches are just the beginning of white work. The surface embroidery stitches are followed by Drawn Thread work and the filling stitches. 

Filling Stitches  
  1. Basic Filling Stitch
  2. Marburg Basic Filling Stitch / Upright Cross Stitch
  3. Mosquito Stitch
  4. Four sided Stitch
  5. Waffle Stitch


Fernau, Renate. Schwalm Whitework, The Exquisite Regional Embroidery of Germany (1738). Berkeley: Lacis Publications, 2000. 

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Schwalm White Work : Joining Two Fabric Pieces

I have 4-5 pieces of this fabric that I wish to join to make a larger table cloth. I just tried to join two. First thing that has to be done is to cut the fabric properly so that it is easy to work the hem stitches. For this the fabric ends have to be cut along the grain.

How to Cut the Even Weave Fabric Along the Grain

Pull out one or two threads where the fabric has to be cut

Prepare the fabric ends this way to work hem stitch or 
Prepare the ends of both the fabrics that need to be joined.

Hem Stitch and Four Sided Hem Stitch

To join the ends of two fabrics you need to pull out threads from both ends, place it over one another work the Simple Hem Stitch. This anchors the pieces to one another, then do the Four-Sided Hem Stitch.

I really don't know if the simple hem stitch looks like this.
Four Sided Hem Stitch looks good.

Decorate the seam with the Herringbone Stitch ( here)

The White Work is getting progressively colorful ( not expected, though).

Planning to make the plain Herringbone Stitch an Interlaced Herring Bone Stitch.Hope this doesn't make it look crowded. If this come out good I will surely post pictures here.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Basic Granny Square

Granny square is a versatile crochet stitch that is every crocheter's favorite, not only because it is easy to make also its appearance is so captivating.

A very simple crochet motif that can be used in its single form as coasters, appliques, coin purses etc. or can be joined together to form various shapes to make cushion covers, bags, bed spreads, blankets and what not.

This is a part of the Learn Crochet Series .


Ch 4, join to form a ring

Row 1

Ch 3, 2 dc in the ring, (Ch2, 3 dc ) 3 times, Ch2, join to the 3rd Ch of beginning Ch 3.

  Row 2 

Ch 4, ( 3dc, Ch2, 3dc) in the Ch2 space, 
* Ch 1, ( 3dc, Ch2, 3dc) in the next Ch2 space - 2 times,
Ch1, (3dc, ch2, 2dc) in the last Ch2 space, join to 3rd ch of beginning ch4.

Row 3

(Sl Stitch, Ch3, 2dc) in Ch1 space, *Ch1, ( 3dc, Ch2, 3dc) in the next Ch2 space,
Ch1, 3dc in the next Ch1 space, repeat from * 2 more times,
Ch1, ( 3dc, Ch2, 3dc) in the last Ch2 space, Ch1,
join to the 3rd chain 

Row 4

Ch 4,  3dc in the next Ch-1 space,  * Ch 1, (3dc, Ch2, 3dc) in the next Ch2 space, 
(Ch1, 3dc in the next  Ch-2 space) - 2 times
repeat from * 2 times
Ch 1, (3dc, Ch2, 3dc) in the next Ch2 space,
Ch 1 2dc in the last Ch1 space ,
join to the 3rd ch of beginning ch 4.

Row 5

(Sl stitch, Ch 3, 2 dc) in the ch 1 space, Ch1, 3dc in the next Ch1 space,  
*Ch 1, ( 3dc, Ch2, 3dc) in the next Ch2 space,
(Ch1, 3dc in the next Ch1 space)- 3 times,
 repeat from * 2 more times,
Ch1, ( 3dc, Ch2, 3dc) in the last Ch2 space,
Ch1, 3dc in the last Ch1 space, Ch 1, 
join to the 3rd chain of the beginning Ch 3. Weave ends

For Single Crochet Border

Row 6

Sc on each stitch ( includes dc and ch ) of previous round with 3 sc at every corner ( Ch-2 space).

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Schwalm Embroidery : Marburg Basic Stitch / Upright Cross Stitch

Work in Progress
See how the stitch moves diagonally.

Marburg Basic Stitch Completed

Anyways not so bad for the first attempt....

So what's next ?  

Definitely, More White Work
and Let me see if I can make a tutorial of this stitch.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Schwalm Embroidery : Drawn Thread Work

Started the Drawn Thread Work!
You know the guts needed to start something so daring for an amateur like me who is just into Schwalm Embroidery due to its beauty. 

Materials Required

Seam ripper is the ideal instrument for Drawn thread work.
Mine being a fine linen I chose to use a sharp blade for cutting the threads and a needle to draw the threads .... very unconventional but I like it.

Decide on a Filling stitch

First thing is to decide on the filling stitch to be used. 
There are lot of filling stitches and I decided to do the Marburg Basic Stitch which seemed to be a bit easier and still beautiful.

Drawing the Threads

The stitch requires a 1-3 grid, which means that remove 1 thread and leave 3 threads.
I tried that but open space seemed to be very small for any filling stitch to be done so I changed it to a 2-3 grid ( remove 2 threads and leave 3). 
Unfortunately, nothing can be done to the rows where the threads have already been drawn.

After 2 days of working on this plus 3 days of fever.....
Still drawing..............

I cut the threads on the right side but draw it on the wrong side.

So far so good !

Drawn Thread Work Completed

Trim off the  drawn threads carefully

Update : Step by step illustration of drawn thread work.


Pick the thread up with a sharp needle or seam ripper and cut with a sharp blade on top of the needle to avoid damaging the other threads.
For convenience sake I pull the first thread on the right side , but ideally this has to done on the wrong side ( see the pictures below)

Start pulling the thread using the needle. 
Pull the whole length of the thread  using the needle on the WRONG SIDE. ( see the picture below)


 Continue picking and drawing the threads.

 Two threads can be picked and drawn at a time.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Schwalm White Work Embroidery : December 2014 Challenge

White work has been such a divine form of embroidery due to its beauty and mesmerizing effect.Originally worked on white linen with white thread, this form of embroidery has broadened its possibilities.
For me it is definitely a challenge to do a white work embroidery.

Traditional design elements are based on the 'tree of life'. These include hearts, tulips, the sun, pine cones, flowers, fruit, leaves, tendrils, and the pigeon dove.

White work in itself is a wide form of embroidery involving many types of work. 
The different forms of works involved in White work embroidery are:
  • Schwalm White work
  • Drawn thread work
  • Pulled Work
  • Hardanger
  • Needlelace
  • Cut work embroidery
  • Richelieu
  • Reticella
  • Hollie Point




Schwalm White Work Embroidery

Schwalm White work embroidery includes  one or more of the following stitches or works:
  • The reinforcement stitches
  • Outline stitches
  • Decorative Stitches
  • Drawn Thread work and Filling Stitches
  • Needle weaving
  • Needle lace 

Materials Used 

  • Even weave fabric / linen
  • Thread  - Coton a broder is the ideal thread (like the divisible embroidery flossb but is non divisible). 
  • Needles - Chenille or tapestry needles depending on the work.
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Magnifying system esp for fine linens 
  • a seam ripper for drawn thread work ( I use a needle to pick thread and sharp blade to cut)


The First Stitches / Reinforcement Stitches

Stitch for outlining

Buttonhole Stitch / scallop  ( not the actual buttonhole stitch  but the blanket stitch)

Not very symmetrical though ( asymmetry accentuated due to the angulation too),
I am more excited to start the Drawn thread work.

To be continued.........