Last year I made a trip to the Benedictine abbey of St. Paul im Lavanttal, Austria. The abbey houses two important medieval vestments. The friendly monk on duty was happy for me to take pictures without flash. Unfortunately, upon returning home, the first 30 or so pictures were lost during the transfer from my camera to my computer. Luckily, I am going to visit these beauties again in the next couple of days! And, as only the first pictures were lost, I can introduce you to the younger of the two pieces: a beautiful cope from the 13th century.
Although these pieces are now housed in an abbey in Austria, they were originally made for the Benedictine abbey of St. Blaise in the Black Forest (Germany). During the dissolution of the monasteries in Bavaria in 1806, the abbot moved his convent and the treasure to St. Paul im Lavanttal and thus preserved them. Amongst the treasure were three medieval vestments: a cope from the 12th century (now in St. Paul), a cope from the 13th century (also in St. Paul) and a chasuble from the 13th century (now in the Österreichische Museum für angewandte Kunst in Vienna).
The cope from the 13th century is stitched with silks and gold threads. The main stitches used on the cope are closed herringbone stitch and brick stitch for the silk and underside couching for the gold threads. However, details are also worked in other surface stitches like chain stitch and split stitch. The silk used for the brick stitch is untwisted, but looks softly twisted and thicker for the closed herringbone stitch. Originally, no linen background fabric showed; the whole cope was covered in stitches! During conservation, it became clear that the cope had been sown together from loom-width strips of linen before the stitching commenced.
Depicted on the cope are the hagiographies (legends of the saints) of St. Blaise on the one side and St. Vincent of Saragossa on the other. Both saints were the patron saints of the abbey church. Scenes of the hagiographies are depicted as medallions as would have been the norm for stained glass windows in the 13th century. Each scene is accompanied by a few words to aid identification.
There are two possibilities regarding the maker of this excellent piece of medieval embroidery in the 13th century. It is quite possible that the cope was stitched by the monks of the abbey of St. Blaise. But it is equally possible that this cope was stitched at a professional workshop. Either way, it is highly likely that the person who made this was a man rather than a woman. A fact I love to "share" with male visitors to the Pilatushaus who exclaim that my stitching is a "mere female past-time they are thus not interested in" :).
Who provided the capital needed to produce these 'top-end' liturgical vestments? The St. Blaise abbey belonged to a reform movement in the Benedictine tradition. A movement highly endorsed by the nobility. Not only were many of the monks of noble birth, but noble families would endow the abbey with cash, lands, rights and works of art. These vestments were far costlier than the golden monstrance on the altar. Not only were the materials needed to stitch one quite costly, the countless man hours invested made the end-result VERY expensive. Another 'fun fact' for my visitors at the Pilatushaus who exclaim that the price tag on St. Laurence means the piece is unaffordable. I pleasantly inform them that in the Middle Ages they, as the commoners they are, would not have come this close to such a work of art :). Oh, you should see their faces! Truly priceless :).
If you are ever in the area, do visit St. Paul! They have many embroidered liturgical vestments on display. Everything is quite well lit so that intricate details are visible. Essays on the art historical background of the pieces and the conservation of two of the three pieces can be found in: Braunsteiner, M. & H. Kaindl (1998): Historische Textilien aus dem Sakralbereich (=Schriften zur Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte des Benediktinerstiftes Admont, Band VII), ISBN 3-901810-02-1.
For my upcoming teaching trip to China, I was asked to demonstrate several European embroidery techniques. Finding the techniques was not a problem, after all we have a rather rich embroidery tradition. But what to do with the stitched samples? And how to manage pace in a medium-sized diverse group of students? I came up with the idea of making a band sampler or a 'pronkrol' (pronken = to show off) as they are called in Dutch. This is a type of band sampler which became popular in the late 19th and early 20th century and was worked at private boarding schools for girls. As French was the preferred language of the well-to-do, these band samplers are often called 'Souvenir de ma Jeunesse'.
What will my students learn? They will start with making a pomegranate with a few key embroidery stitches used in Jacobean crewel embroidery. Then they will explore Schwalm embroidery. This is a drawn-thread whitework technique from the Hessian region of Germany. Students will fill a classic tulip design with tulip patterns. Next up is a monogram using the fine whitework technique from Appenzell in Switzerland. And last but not least, they will learn couching, padding and cutwork to produce a goldwork leaf.
Each technique will be separated by a small linen band sporting the name of the technique in cross stitch. After all, the humble cross stitch plays a very significant role in European embroidery. Both past and present. And these bands are great for students to work on on their own when I am not immediately available to solve a problem. The finished pronkrol will serve the same purpose as the antique ones did: show off a student's work. In the old days, the pronkrol would also inform the prospective mother-in-law about the housewife qualities of the bride-to-be...
This is what the finished pronkrol will look like:
Would you like to join me for this five-day workshop at the National Silk Museum in Hangzhou, China? No problem! The museum loves meeting new people from all over the globe. The workshop fee is c. €640 with an additional material fee of c. €45. I will be teaching in English and this will be translated into Chinese. In addition, I can provide explanations in German and Dutch. Each day will start with a short lecture on the technique and will end with a show and tell. During those five days, we will also visit the museum's exhibitions and on Saturday I will lecture on my St. Laurence goldwork embroidery.
For those who would love to have free access to the museum, hear the lectures and interact with fellow embroidery enthusiasts, but don't want to work the pronkrol, we can have two people sitting in on the workshop, but working on their own embroidery pieces. These people don't pay the workshop fee nor the material fee.
For either great option, you will need to make your own travel arrangements. Please contact Edith Cheung directly for further information and booking. She can also point you to hotels for your stay. Do follow the above link to see some very pretty pictures of both the museum and its collection comprising of ancient Chinese silks, textiles made with other fibres, and costumes from all over the world.
I am very much looking forward to this great adventure. Not only will I be passing on time-honoured knowledge to new students, but I will also have the opportunity to learn from the Chinese about their magnificent embroidery culture!
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Lately, I've been asked repeatedly about re-stocking embroidery hoops made by Klass & Gessmann. For those of you who have never heard about Klass & Gessmann: they were a German company who probably made the best quality embroidery hoops and stands in the world. This is no exaggeration. The hoops and stands are very well made with a high finish. This means that they will probably last you a lifetime if you look after them properly. Other than, for instance, Elbesee, the hoops by Klass & Gessmann do not have any plastic parts. Just beautifully turned beech wood. They are really the Rolls Royce amongst the embroidery hoops and favourites with Mary Corbet (read Mary's review) and Yvette Stanton.
I've always stocked Elbesee hoops and changed relatively late to the Klass & Gessmann hoops. Why? Well, there's the price. You can have an Elbesee hoop with either clamp or seat frame for about €25. The Klass & Gessmann hoops start at €32,10 and €44,95 respectively. This is partly due to the fact that wages are higher in Germany than they are in the UK. But more importantly, this is due to the fact that the Klass & Gessmann hoops are so much better quality. When I used the Elbesee hoops during my workshops I host in my studio, they wouldn't last long. They lost their 'grip' and stability really quickly resulting in a hoop that 'drops'. Although I tell people to always loosen-up the wingnut screw before flipping the hoop to work on the back of their embroideries, who does so consistently? In contrast, the Klass & Gessmann hoops have so much 'friction' you can only flip the hoop without loosening-up when you use brute force. This reminds you to do use the screw :) and results in a hoop that lasts!
To my dismay, Klass & Gessmann was sold and moved to Bulgaria a couple of years ago. This seems to happen to all good quality companies that sell for a fair price and thus can't keep up with cheap competition in our throw away society. The new owners did not really stay in touch with us buyers. The website disappeared. Postage got up. The hoops became more expensive. Communication became troublesome as they did not speak German and only a little English. Due to all this, I had made the decision to stop stocking the Klass & Gessmann hoops. Especially as I was afraid that the quality might suffer due to the move to Bulgaria. Prejudice rearing its ugly head...
Then I hosted a workshop and people were asking me where to purchase a good embroidery hoop. By that time, I had only one Klass & Gessmann hoop left... High time to search for an alternative. Easier said than done. My search was unsuccessful. The best hoops out there are made by Klass & Gessmann, period. But as they no longer have a website, how does one contact them? I decided to use the last email address I had for them and see if they are still in business. Thank goodness they are! So I placed a large order and hoped for the best. When the hoops arrived last week, I was a little apprehensive: would they still be of the same high-quality? Luckily they were!
I've re-stocked my webshop with embroidery seat frames, embroidery hoops with table clamps and loose hoops on a stick that will go with either. They are available in six different sizes: 155 mm, 185 mm 215 mm, 250 mm, 275 mm and 305 mm. To celebrate the re-stocking of the 'best hoop in town', there is a 15% off coupon in this week's newsletter! No, I won't do coupons every week, but this is rather a special occasion and a big relief :).
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In August 2019, I will hold my first solo-exhibition in the Pfannerhaus in Roßhaupten. As the exhibition area consists of two large rooms, I am going to 'split' my exhibition in two. In the first room, I am going to present a series of goldwork pieces inspired by current world affairs and my Catholic Bavarian surroundings. More on that project in a further blog post. The second room will present an overview of my work till date. It will therefore showcase many different embroidery techniques and styles. It is for this second room that I intend this new project.
Ever since my mum dragged us along (that's definitely how it felt to me and my younger sister on the day!) to a Franz Marc exhibition as a kid, I am an admirer of his work. Franz Marc was born in 1880 and died as a soldier, aged just 36, in World War I in Verdun, 1916. His most productive years, in which he developed his distinctive style, were between 1911 and 1914. Franz Marc lived and worked in the area where I now live. He is best-known for his brightly coloured animal studies. When I needed a design for my canvaswork piece for the RSN Certificate, I choose his Tiger.
For years I have wanted to turn another one of his pictures into a canvaswork embroidery: Foxes painted in 1914. I love foxes and I am always thrilled when I see one strolling though a field from my car. A couple of years ago, a fox crossed the footpath just in front of me when I was hiking through the woods between Bad Bayersoien and Bad Kohlgrub. Such a magical moment! It was neither afraid of me, nor did it take much notice of me. For a few seconds, we just shared a footpath through the woods.
Although I have wanted to stitch the design for years, I wasn't quite sure how to tackle it. Every so often, I would look at the picture and ponder my options, but I never got the feeling that I 'understood' what I was looking at enough to start stitching. Until today! I viewed the picture under an angle and in an instant it made total sense. I now know what is the front, what the back and what's in between. This is very important with any embroidery design. The thinking process before you can actually start to stitch can take quite a while; in this case a couple of years. And this is how I now view the picture:
There are two main tricks the embroiderer can apply in canvaswork to create depth. Firstly, bigger patterns come forward, smaller patterns retreat. Secondly, bright and shiny materials and colours come forward, dark and dull retreat. Applying this logic to Franz Marc's foxes, I will use mainly silks (shiny!) for the face of the 'top' fox. As this is the most detailed part of the painting, I have no choice but to choose smaller patterns. However, the very shininess of the silk should still make it standout clearly. The rest of both foxes will use semi-shiny threads like cotton perle. And the background will be stitched using wool, as it is dullest in appearance.
To further 'clarify' the picture for the viewer, I will also 'group' my stitches. There are three main types of stitches one can use in canvaswork: diagonal, straight and cross. I am not sure yet what goes where, but these will be assigned to fox 1, fox 2 and the background. Now it is time to pick colours and work on my stitch-plan some more.
If you like pre-stitching musings and discussions on design choices whilst a stitching project is underway, you might want to check out Rachel's blog VirtuoSew Adventures. Not only is Rachel a very accomplished embroiderer, she also puts a lot of thought into the designs of her textile art!
In the meantime, do sign-up for my newsletter at the top right-hand corner of this page. My hacking problems are unfortunately still not over. My Social Media diet continues. To gently tease you into signing-up and to thank all who have already done so, you'll find a 10% off voucher in my latest newsletter. It is applicable to everything in my webshop! Please forward my newsletter to fellow embroidery enthusiast who you think might be interested in my embroidery adventures, new products and the occasional promotion :). Thank you very much!
P.S. Claire de Pourtales is looking into the feasibility to distribute Inspirations Magazine in Europe (this would reduce subscription costs!). If you are an embroiderer from Europe and you have a moment, please fill out her online questionnaire.
As most of you will have noticed (my social media channels were full of birthday wishes from all over the world; thank you very much!), I turned 40 recently. And as it goes: birthdays and presents go hand in hand. So when I visited Munich with my parents, we found an unusual embroidery book for my library. Before I'll show you what it is, let me tell you briefly where we found it.
Personally, up to that recent visit, I didn't like Munich one bit. As it is a very wealthy city, I always felt out of place. Although I do like shopping, I avoid big fashion names as I have found my style long ago and want to stick to it; not change every 3 months :). Anyway. This time we ended up in a whole different part of Munich as I wanted to visit a Zero Waste shop aptly named 'Ohne' (without) and my father wanted to visit some antiquaries in search of Feldpost from WWI. Both, and much more, concentrate around the Schellingstraße in the Maxvorstadt. The name Schellingstraße might ring a bell with art, literature and/or history buffs: apart from being Hitler's home turf, Bertold Brecht, Wassily Kandinsky, Rainer Maria Rilke, Lenin, Thomas Mann, Frank Wedekind, Joachim Ringelnatz, Stefan George, Franz Marc and Paul Klee frequented the establishments here in their time. Nowadays, the area is characterised by cosy and hip eateries catering for the whole world, antiquarians and unusual little shops well worth exploring. So, if you ever visit Munich and you are not much impressed by its main shopping streets, head out to the Schellingstraße!
At one of the antiquaries, I found a book named: Stickerei aus Palästina, traditioneller 'Fallahi' Kreuzstich written by Widad Kamel Kawar and Tania Tamari Nasir in 1992. The ISBN of the German version is: 3-927270-03-2 and that of the English version: 3-927270-04-0 (Palestinian embroidery, traditional 'Fallahi' cross-stitch). Unfortunately, the book is now only available second-hand and prices asked for it range between €75 and €281 !!! My mum paid €22 :). A pretty good deal indeed.
So what's this book all about? Fallahi embroidery is a form of cross-stitch embroidery traditionally practiced by Palestinian peasant women (Fallaha) in their villages. The book shows a collection of traditional patterns from the 19th and early 20th century not yet influenced by later Western styles. The collection is subdivided into Palestinian regions: Ramallah, Jaffa, Hebron, Gaza, Beersheba and the Sinai. At first glance, you might think that these are 'just' geometric motives with no further meaning. The book shows you that not only are certain motives characteristic of a particular region, it also tells you their name. For instance, there are date palms from Ramallah, amulets from Jaffa, the Pasha's tent from Hebron, pendants from Gaza and different forms of cypresses can be found in embroidery patterns from all the regions. Once your eye has been sharpened for this, they are no longer 'just' geometric patterns.
What items were decorated with this type of traditional embroidery? The embroidery can be found on the traditional Palestinian female dress: the thob. Depending on the region and the status of the wearer, parts of the front, parts of the back, the sides and the sleeves are covered with embroidery. Furthermore, the bridal trousseau would sport the same kind of embroidery.
What materials do the Palestinian embroiderers use? Traditionally, the embroidery was executed on local hand-woven linen (actually a mix of linen and cotton) or a form of loosely woven cotton. Famous weaving regions were: Majdal, Gaza, Ramallah, Nazareth, Hebron and Nablus. Until around 1930, they would use plant-dyed silk thread for the embroidery made in Syria. Traditional colours would be indigo blue, reds made from roots or insects and ochre for yellow. By far the most popular colour would have been red. Even the shade of red used would point to the origin of the wearer with wine red being from Ramallah and Jaffa, burnt Sienna from Hebron, magenta from Gaza and scarlet- and fuchsia red from Beersheba.
The main part of the book consists of full-page pictures of the stitched patterns (78 in total!). Each pattern has been stitched with European yarn (both DMC stranded cotton and perle were used after the 1930s) onto traditional Ramallah linen. I find this a very nice way of presenting the different patterns. So much more 'lively' than our traditional grid diagrams. And a much more original way of transferring pattern knowledge. Besides the beautiful pattern pictures there are also pictures of women wearing the traditional garments. This part of the book is a real feast for the eyes and your hands start to twitch as you probably can't wait to dive into reproducing a pattern yourself! I've written to the Palestinian Heritage Fund to ask if they know of an online source selling the traditional Ramallah linen. If anyone knows of such a source, please leave a comment!
The book was originally written to present and preserve the original Palestinian village patterns. Due to the Palestinian Diaspora after 1948, traditional village life changed dramatically. And so did the traditional patterns. Thus, in a way, the book also documents the influences world politics has on a traditional form of embroidery.
If you love cross-stitch and traditional forms of embroidery than this book should go onto your watch-list. With its hard-cover, detailed and clear pictures and 144 pages, it might not quite be worth €225, but around €50 would still be a good buy.
On a different note: my Instagram account has been hacked last Thursday. Since Instagram and Facebook have so far not reacted to my requests for help, I went to the police today to officially report the issue. As my hacked Instagram account is linked to my Facebook business page, it is possible that you will see posts that I have not made via both accounts. I am very sorry for that! Until this whole hacking has been sorted out, I won't use my social media. If you would like to stay up to date with my work, please sign up for my newsletter using the button at the top of the right-hand column.
A little while ago, my mailman brought my pre-ordered copy of Yvette Stanton's latest book: Smoyg, pattern darning from Norway. Yvette is well-known for having written several excellent books on historical whitework embroidery and this latest addition is no exception. It is just a little more colourful than the other ones :).
If you are unfamiliar with Yvette's books, this is their general layout: introduction to the technique with plenty of pictures showing historical pieces, a project part and a part detailing the technical side of the technique with step-by-step stitch diagrams for left-handers and right-handers. In this case, the introduction is full of clear pictures showing a myriad of historical pieces from museum collections in Norway. This type of embroidery is found on the folk costumes of the Southern parts of Norway and may date as far back as the Vikings. You'll learn about: skjorte, handaplagg, belte, likkross, brudgomaduk, luve, brystduk, kinnlag, skaut, kasteplagg, forerme and forklebord. The many, many pictures are inspirational for those who want to design their own patterns; both in terms of pattern placement as well as colour combinations. Yvette even provides you with hints if you want to explore pattern darning in other cultures (it turns out that I already have a book on pattern darning from the Mameluke era).
The project part of the book includes a good range of taster projects, medium-sized projects and larger projects that will keep you busy for a while. Especially the jewellry bag, scissor keep and two different pendants are perfect to try out this technique when you only have a few hours to spare. As the poppy pendant was worked on 40-count linen with DeVere yarns #36 silk and I happened to have both in my stash, this is the project I decided to try first. My Dandelyne mini-hoop was slightly smaller than the pendant Yvette sells, but it still turned out quite pretty. I used Zweigart Newcastle linen and the colour of the DeVere yarn #36 silk is called Vermillion. This particular silk is a tightly twisted thread not unlike perle. In general, I hate silk perle; it untwists faster than I can stitch and I thus end up throwing away at least half of my thread. Not so with the DeVere #36! It hardly frays at the end and I decided to order a decent selection of colours after working the poppy pendant. A clear case of #yvettemademedoit.
The colourful needlecase, bookmark and adorable hanging-ornament require a little more work. Whereas the table runner, table centre, cushion, framed square and shirt will occupy your hands and needle for many, many delightful hours. And then there is the gigantic band sampler featuring no less than 22 different colourful patterns. As all these patterns come fully chartered, this is also a candy store if you want to decorate a particular item using this embroidery technique. I decided to use one of the patterns to fill a plexiglass coaster. Worked on the same linen using Algae, Violet and Butter.
The technical part of the book is as good as it gets. Yvette is a left-hander herself and thus she always makes sure that ALL stitchers can replicate her stitching when reading the step-by-step instructions. You might think that, as pattern darning uses only the humble running stitch, there is not much scope for instruction. Wrong. Yvette will show you several ways of turning at the end of a row, how to plan a larger project using tacking, stabbing versus sewing, starting and ending threads, working with more than one colour, using a laying tool and how to best stitch a larger, more complicated pattern. I might just add one more tip: enlarge the diagrams and use a ruler to mark where you are. I have absolutely no problem finding my way around a crossstitch pattern, but using the darning diagrams straight from the book made me go cross-eyed :).
But, my possibly favourite part of the book is its three very last pages before the credits. It is called: appendix of fabric and thread compatibility. Yvette has tested many types of threads (silks & wools) with four types of fabric: 50 count, 40 count, 34 count and 28 count linen. She even states which size of needle to use. This means that most of us will have the appropriate threads and fabric in our stash to start stitching immediately! But beware: it is a very addictive type of embroidery...
Where to find the book? For the moment it seems that you can only order your copy straight from Yvette's website. I paid €43 including shipping. The book is due for general release in the autumn.
Sometimes life gives you lemons. That's ok. But it is not so easy to turn those damn lemons into lemonade without electricity. What happened? Just after breakfast last Thursday, our Vodafone Easy Box died. And it proved not so 'easy' to get a replacement. It meant no land-line, limited internet via mobile and no printing of documents. Routers prove to be quite key-elements in the running of a small business! And when on Monday the new Easy Box finally arrived, we had no electricity... What had happened? We still have a temporary mains after the fire burned down the farm and with it the electricity cables connecting our place to the grid. The temporary mains lies as a thick black cable in our garden. In comes the farmer's grand-son with the riding mower.... Yup, he severed the cable. Luckily nobody got harmed. In came the cable knotters of the electricity company and all is well now!
On with the big news I was hinting at last week: I have been invited to teach and lecture at the National Silk Museum in Hangzhou, China! They wish to learn more about European embroidery techniques and their history. I am going to teach them workshops on crewel embroidery, goldwork embroidery and Schwalm embroidery. And I've even gotten permission from my teacher Verena Schiegg to teach them some Appenzeller fine whitework embroidery. And since I won't be in China for ever, I've videotaped each project from start to finish. After much trial and error, I have found a way to make quite good videos in which you see me stitch and where I'll talk you through the project. It is all low-key: You might hear some background noises (especially snoring cats!) and my hands are occasionally stained from work in the garden :). But I think they might prove to be the solution for those of you who have been gently nagging me about online classes. I will release them in the autumn after I have been to China. How does that sound?
The other big news is that I will hold my first solo-exhibition August next year! The Pfannerhaus Museum in Roßhaupten has been organising art exhibitions for some years now. As my current portfolio does not easily fill both rooms available, I am thinking up new embroidery pieces and will soon start stitching them. I am quite excited about this opportunity to showcase my work!
And now I am going to start a marathon session of making red current jam. My husband is picking them in the garden and will soon bring them in for processing. Note: we don't like the taste of red currants. However, I've found a recipe that explicitly states that the result does NOT taste of red currants. You add a banana and you are left with a very pretty pink jam that tastes lovely. I've been making it for some years now :).
As you can see from the above, I had a pretty varied week at the Lebende Werkstatt Pilatushaus, Oberammergau! On my very first day, I met Beate Pietzsch. As I only ever knew her name (and she mine) without having a face to go with it, our actually meeting was kind of comical :). Ah, you're a stitcher too. What do you do? Japanese Embroidery. Oh, do you know that famous teacher Beate from Cologne? Yes, grin, that's me!
Beate was with an international group of fellow Japanese embroidery teachers. They meet each year at the home of one of them in Peißenberg. Amazingly, that's just around the corner from where I live. They ended up in the Pilatushaus by accident and did not know that it was 'my week' there. We had such a lovely conversation about embroidery, teaching embroidery and the established institutes of embroidery like the RSN and the JAC. Always nice to talk to people who are in the know :). For those of you who were unaware that you can learn Japanese Embroidery in Germany (and the Netherlands!) or if you just want to drool over some pretty embroidery: here is Beate's website.
By the way, I was working on Strawberry Fayre whilst in the Pilatushaus. Since I have given up doing exactely as the instructions say, it is actually quite pleasant stitching. And it will garuentee that I will end up with a unique version of the design. What doesn't help is the fact that I am running out of some of the threads and some of the beads. When Strawberry Fayre is finished, I will let Inspirations know that I find this quite unacceptable for a kit as pricey as this one was.
Next: Brexit. We always get a lot of nice visitors from the UK. That's how I met a lovely couple of British expats. They have been living in Germany for many years and didn't want the Brexit. It is heart-breaking to see how unsettling this whole Brexit is. Especially as no one seems to have a clue where it is heading. For istance: I've asked my pension plan what will happen to the nearly six years of pension payments me and my husband have made whilst living in Salisbury? The pension plan people say that everything will be allright. Aha. Will I need to pay extra fees over my future pension payments? Probably. And you call that 'everything will be allright'? I've tried to transfer the money to a pension plan in either Germany of the Netherlands. That didn't work. The British were blaming the Dutch/Germans and the Dutch/Germans were blaming the British. As soon as I left my native Netherlands, I learned that the European Union isn't there to help true Europeans that need to live in several European countries in order to have a job. No wonder the European Union has so little acceptance amongst 'normal' Europeans.
Then, two lovely elderly nuns visited the Pilatushaus. They were especially enchanted with my large embroidery based on the creation myth of a tribe of Indians from South America. As one of the ladies had worked as an embroideress of vestments, she loved my St. Laurence goldwork piece too. We had a great conversation on embroidery techniques and she was quite impressed with my skills. So lovely to get praise from a peer!
And last but not least, I was visited by two blind women, their female guide and a guide dog. I normally tell people off when they want to touch my embroidery, but in this case it was totally fine. The two ladies had great fun in touching those mini-embroidery hoops made by Dandelyne with the silk ribbon roses. Or touching the beaded strawberries (or raspberries?) with picots on Strawberry Fayre. And they had lots of questions about St. Laurence too. It was a very enriching experience for all of us! Even the dog had a good time sniffing my trestles :).
That's all for now! I have some pretty huge news next week. Two truely amazing opportunities have come my way and I am super excited. If you fear that you won't be able to sleep until my next blog post, you can have a peek at my upcoming events :).
Upon request, I have included the original sampler in my ebook on the early 17th century silk embroidered linen vestments from Tyrol. And to celebrate the release of my ebook 2.0, so to speak, I have put together some great saver packs!
There is the flower sampler saver pack which includes the ebook and all the materials to make your own flower sampler with all 8 flowers.
Then there is the popular Carnation saver pack which includes the ebook and all the materials to stitch your own Carnation. The Campanula saver pack includes the ebook and all the materials to splash out on your own copy of the Campanula! And last but not least, the Tudor Rose saver pack with the ebook and all the materials to make your own version of this timeless classic.
The ebook is a 2-part PDF download for which I will send you a link. The material packs ship for only €3,70 each world-wide. I am also offering two workshops at my studio in Bad Bayersoien where you can stitch a flower of your choice under my tuition. In short: more than enough opportunities to learn this fascinating and beautiful historical silk embroidery technique from Tyrol!
Wow, thank you so much for all who entered my give-away! Seventy comments were left on last week's blog post. The flower with the most votes turned out to be the Carnation, followed by Campanula and Tudor Rose. So glad I asked my blog readers for their favourites as I had never thought that the humble Carnation would win. But, more importantly, who won the give-away and will be the proud owner of a copy of the ebook on 'Early 17th century linen vestments from Tyrol: Historical background, where to find and instructions' and the kit of her choice? Drumroll please!
And the winner is: Jackie Ayres who voted for Viola. Congratulations!
If you weren't the lucky winner, don't fret! You'll find my new ebook for sale in my webshop. One Euro of each sold ebook will be donated to the Museum in Brixen where the chasuble that inspired me to this ebook is housed. You will also find embroidery kits for the Carnation, Campanula and Tudor Rose there.
So what's in the ebook? Besides the historical background on the silk embroidered linen vestments from Tyrol, you'll find a list with museums where you can find these gorgeous pieces of embroidery. In the second part of the ebook, you'll find the eight flowers of the Brixen chasuble as a line drawing and with instructions so that you can stich your own. Furthermore, there's instructions on materials used, stitches used (three youtube videos) and where to find the materials used. Not fond of silks? No worries. The line drawings can be used for other types of surface embroidery too! How about using them in a crewel piece? Or go wild with stranded cotton and all sorts of filling stitches. Anything goes as long as you are having fun with needle, thread and my ebook!
Jessica M. Grimm
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