In a couple of weeks, a major event is going to happen. Christmas? Yes, that too. But before that, we will finally open our cooperative village store. Hallelujah! It has taken up far too much of my time and most of my stitching projects were orphaned for too long. I so hope this improves in the new year. In the meantime, meet my Holiday Stitching project:
These are the Santa's of prevention. They are keeping me sane whilst I don't have the calm and quiet to work on any 'big girl' embroidery projects. And they PREVENT me from killing any villagers who are foolish enough to position themselves between me and our village store...
But what will I do with all these charming Santa's? In comes our village Advent Windows Calendar. Our decorated window will open on the 16th of December. Want to stitch some of these charming Mill Hill Santa kits too? They are distributed by Wichelt in the US. You can order them in Europe from Casa Cenina and in Germany from CreativHorst and Stickteufelchen.
Apart from frantically stitching Santa's, I've also purchased my tickets for the Opus Anglicanum exhibition in London! And I am having fun this week with Elizabeth stitching an illustration from a fairytale book. I'll show you the pretty results next week.
Wow, the year 2014 has flown by. Christmas is upon us and in a few days we welcome the year 2015. And what a year 2014 was! For me personally, it was such a relief after the downright shitty year 2013... This year saw a wish come true when I moved back to Germany. I love my new life in the quintecential Bavarian rural village. Can't wait to up the stakes in my vegetable plot for 2015 (Dear snails, you're warned!).
In the past year, I made many new friends and I was fortunate to meet up with some very talented stitchers. Nadel & Faden in Osnabrück was a huge success for which I am very grateful. I worked on a number of lovely stitching projects of which the nativity scene above is the most recent. 2014 also saw the start of a new line of embroidery kits and workshops. I came into contact with the very creative bunch at ArtTextil in Dachau and learned a new thing or two during their workshops. And I set up my own profesional embroidery course in which currently three enthousiastic ladies have enroled.
What will 2015 bring embroidery-wise? Well; quite a lot to be honest! There will be at least one more beetle embroidery kit to come out. I will hopefully make my debut as an embroidery tutor for ArtTextil. Me and my husband will man our stand at Nadel & Faden in september. And I will start stitching some larger projects pretty soon so I have something new to show in Osnabrück :). Closer to home, I will host a series of informal stitching workshops in the village. Recent years have seen a renewed interest in the embroidery on the traditional Bavarian costume. I am more than happy to share some insider tips and tricks and pick a few up along the way too!
Let's move on to the thank-yous. A huge thank you to all my customers, old and new, who put bread on my table. Please keep up the good work! And another huge thank you to all those people who supported me through the past years with their kind comments on my work. You have no idea how much that is needed every now and then. Please, keep them coming in the new year too! Last but not least, I would like to thank my dear husband for making it all possible. I could not do what I love and do best without his support. Thank you so very much!
Merry Christmas & a happy New Year!
You have seen my lovely nativity figures in the previous post and now you want to make your own? Fantastic! Here are the general instructions.
I am using 36ct natural linen even weave from Zweigart as my embroidery fabric. This guarantuees that I get a nice smooth and strong edge for my figures. And once the threads are cut, my embroidery grid is fairly fine so that the filling patterns look like lace. Using an aqua trick marker and a light box, I transferred the patterns onto the fabric. The embroidery is executed with one strand of Anchor coton a broder #25 in navy blue (224) and light blue (237). In order to keep both hands free and my work taut, I am working using a seat frame.
Now it is time to cut out the good shepherd. It is best not to aim for a close cut end result immediately. Cut him out a bit bigger and get closer to the buttonhole edge bit by bit. Again, don't panic if you cut a buttonhole stitch. Keep calm and put some white glue on it. Let it dry and nine out of ten, you don't need to repair it any further by placing a few fresh buttonhole stitches on top. I don't wash my finished figures, but I spray them with a little water to get rid of the aqua trick marker.
I hope you liked my blogpost on the making of a Schwalm shepherd. Have you tried anything similar? Please share it below with us! In the future, I would love to write a post on the work of my readers. So please don't be shy! My next blogpost will feature Christmas wishes and a picture of the finished result of my nativity scene.
The idea for my stitched nativity figures was born after seeing Christmas decorations over on Luzine Happel's website. She is a wonderful Schwalm embroideress and scholar. The names for the used filling stitches in each particular figure were taken from her books: Limetrosen 1 & 2 and Wickelstiche 1. In my opinion, Luzine's books are a must have for a well sorted embroidery library. You can order her books through her website. English and French versions are available (how cool is that?!).
I hope you liked my first blog post. In the next one, we'll take a shepherd as example to show you how these figures are embroidered. Until then: Happy Stitching!
P.S. Any comments are greatly appriciated :)!
Jessica M. Grimm
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