Posted by: Jocelyn | September 30, 2008

More on the Whitework sampler

2 more sections are done.
Formal needleweaving
I have finished the formal needleweaving – I really do like this look. Oops, I have just noticed that one of the threads is very crooked in the photo – I have since straightened that up, and the edges will be nice and straight too, once it is blocked. This is definitely a type of embroidery that improves with practice, as the tension is so important in order to get nice even ‘holes’.

The 2nd section is Scwhalm – isn’t this technique fabulous? So bold and simple. This is the very first time I have ever done any Schwalm embroidery and I am pleased with the way it turned out, even though it apparently looks best on finer fabric than I am using (32 count). It originated in Germany, and one of its defining characteristics is the use of motifs outlined in coral stitch with a fine chain stitch snuggled up to it on the inside of the motif. The motifs are then filled with lacy embroidery created by withdrawing and pulling threads as well as needlelace.

The motifs are typically bold and simple, such as tulips, leaves, hearts, circles, bells etc and there are often simple vines, tendrils and smaller leaves. The buttonhole semi-circles are another typical feature. Schwalm work is so flowing and “curvy”, not angular, and that is a look I love.

I would love to take a class from a Schwalm expert, but in the meantime must be satisfied with learning from books and websites. I found this book by Renate Fernau in a local shop, and 2 of the websites I used when designing my patch are Heritage Shoppe with interesting “essays and primers” and L’Angolo di Stefania. I can only make do with pictures from this fabulous site, as I don’t speak Italian and there is limited English translation on the site – but aren’t the pictures wonderful! My husband and I are planning a trip to Italy next year – hmmmm…. I wonder if I dare try to make contact with Stefania….

So, what type of whitework will I do next? I do want to include Ukranian Whitework, but do you have suggestions for other patches on my sampler?


  1. Oh My, Jocylyn… do things that I wouldn’t even THINK of doing and you do it well. I would like to try hardanger someday……but those holes intimidate me. LOL

  2. Wow! That’s beautiful. I love that Schwalm! I have a white work book here but it looks so hard – I think your work is gorgeous.

  3. Your whitework sampler is beautiful, Jocelyn. I love the patterns you made in needleweaving bands. Thanks for the link to Stefonia’s work.

  4. Jocelyn This is all so beautiful and stitched sublimely! I love the Scwalm – like you the curves appeal to me!

  5. Hi Jocelyn
    Lovely work, I have done a couple of pieces in Schwalm work recently and find it very satisfying.

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