This weekend, I had another day of tuition in Appenzell, Switzerland, with wonderful Verena Schiegg. I stayed at the convent Maria der Engel and submerged myself in the clear age-old rhythm of divine office. A protestant joining a Cistercian nun and her catholic guest; how fitting during the week of ecumenism. Now what did I stitch?
I had finished this delicate area on my sampler (that's a Eurocent to give you an idea of size) at home and noticed that the large flower had a little cross in the middle. This means that in this area I had to execute a bit of drawn thread work or Höhlen. Although I am familiar with drawn thread work in the less fine Schwalm white work, I wanted to see how Verena goes about the job. Much the same as I would with Schwalm, it turned out. However, she hides her stitches differently as I would. Since the thread used in the drawn thread work is about half the thickness of the thread used in the satin stitches (Blatten), casting on stitches can be hidden among the satin stitches. Clever, clever!
The above was the other area on my sampler I worked on at home. Although not perfect, I can see myself improve as I repeat the same forms over and over again. It really is a very good sampler for practicing. However, I wasn't getting a good result with the slender tendrils. Some parts where acceptable, and other bits turned out so poorly that they had to come out again. In short: I really struggled. That's when Verena walked by for inspection and saw me working my padding. She suggested a different way of executing the padding and presto, the next tendril turned out much smoother!
In four week's time, I will return to Appenzell to practice a bit more drawn thread work. There are about 20 different filling patterns which can be used. The above part of my sampler has four areas which should be filled with drawn thread work. Due to their small size and irregular shape, I can't do anything too fancy. And as drawn thread work can only be executed after all the closely surrounded parts have been stitched, I have quite a bit of home work on my hands!
For those of you wanting to know more about Appenzell embroidery, simply click on 'Appenzell' in the category list to the right of this post.
Jessica M. Grimm
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