Thursday, October 20, 2011

Schwalm Heart Needlebook

I wish I can tell you I made this lovely bonnet, but alas, no, I didn't. However, I've been working on my Schwalm Heart Needlebook, a class from the SAGA Convention taught by Claudia Newton (who does not have a website so I can't provide a link). The needlebook takes the heart motif in the center for the cover of the book.

The bonnet also has a bird and flowers on it, with gorgeous hemstitching along the front. Don't you just love the balloon for the baby head?

Now to the real life embroidery part. The heart outline consists of a row of coral stitches in the center, chain stitches just inside, and buttonhole half circles on the outside. The heart embroidery is done in coton a broder. Once the chain and coral stitches are finished we started removing every fourth thread inside the heart. Then we had to use a Marburg filling stitch that is worked diagonally over the grid, using one strand of floss. Can you tell that something is very wrong with that bottom right diagonal row and the top left four rows? This drove me nuts for hours until, lying in bed in the wee hours of the morning, I realized that I used coton a broder instead of floss once I returned home from Convention.

Here I've carefully picked out the coton a broder from the filling and replaced it with floss. I've worked most of the hemstitching around the border of the piece and even embroidered by initials and year on what will be the back of the needlebook. However, I don't like the way it turned out and may change it a bit.

This is my first foray into Schwalm Needlework and to tell you the truth, I don't know a thing about it other than it consists of surface embroidery and withdrawn/pulled thread techniques. But if you would like to see a beautiful example of this along with some reference material, check out Mary Corbet's recent post on coton a broder and follow the links regarding the Schwalm piece in it. Just amazing, isn't it?

I hope to finish this over the weekend and will post about the finished article soon.


  1. Schwalm is very lovely. It is one of the many things on my to-do list (which just keeps getting longer and longer).

    I love the pale blue on the linen. That blue heart would make a wonderful 'It's a boy' motif on a card.

  2. So pretty!

    And that bonnet is darling!

  3. This is such a beautiful technique!

  4. Schwalm emroidery is so beautiful :)It comes from the area around the river Schwalm in Germany.
    May be you would like to have a look at these links.
    I have Luzine Happel's book, it is very good.


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