Well before posting this Hungarian redwork embroidery pattern a week or so ago, I knew it was a design I wanted to work up into a small table runner or centerpiece. Being a bit unsure how to tackle the whole pattern, I’ve been sitting on it for a while. But once I started working with the pattern to make it available for you on Needle ‘n Thread, the juices started flowing, the Muses started humming, and next thing I knew, an idea sprang into my head.
I don’t know if it’s a good idea – many times, when I set out on an embroidery adventure, I start by feeling my way forward in fits and starts, until settling with certainty on the approach. So far, this is the approach I’ve settled on.
Enlarging the Hungarian Redwork Embroidery Pattern significantly was the first step. The pattern is sized to fit an 8.5″ x 11″ page, for easy printing. Since my printer can’t handle anything much larger than that, I took the design to a local copy shop and had it enlarged. I told the gal at the counter that I wanted the copies to come out with the design 14″ wide and 16″ wide, when turned horizontally. For a mere 37¢, I had two workable copies to use as a starting point.
I took these home and thought about them. I knew I wanted a rectangular linen for the center of a table, with the design on each end of the rectangle. But what about making more of a “frame” around the whole linen, so that the inside portion of linen between the two end designs didn’t look quite so blank?
The only thing for it was to take out some graph paper and a pen, to see which parts of the design would make a logical edge repeat on each side of the linen. I traced parts and worked repeats, and the answer became obvious pretty quickly.
I betook myself to the computer, to play around with parts of the design – nothing too neatly done, just enough to see a rough layout of possibilities.
This is what I’ve come up with at this point. See how the scallops run down the sides? I’m pondering recreating that look on each end, as well. To do so would require a little more sketching and altering the design a bit. On the other hand, I do like the straight edges on the ends, because it gives me ideas about the hem treatment of the cloth on those short edges. What do you think? Straight edges on the ends, or try to work up a scallop repeat similar to those running down the sides?
After playing about on the computer, I could have traced the whole design out on large tracing paper, to prepare the design for transferring. Instead, I cut the design in half in Photoshop and enlarged it to fit within the printable area on a regular sheet of paper, like this:
And now I will take this half of the design to the copy shop, and have them enlarge it so that the end design is 16″ wide again. I’ll have them print two copies (each half being a mirror image), and I’ll attach them in the center along the line, for the complete design. Much more efficient than hand tracing that whole design!
I’m thinking about working some of the main lines in the piece quite heavy, and then the scrollies a bit lighter. I’d like to use a combination of different braid-type stitches on the whole piece, so it won’t necessarily be “authentic” Hungarian redwork. I’ve contemplated using plaited braid stitch for very heavy line areas, Hungarian braided chain stitch for medium heavy line areas, and chain stitch for the more delicate areas. I may pitch the idea of using plaited braid – it may be too heavy.
Fabric: Alba Maxima linen by Legacy
Thread: not sure yet – there are two possibilities: perle cotton #12 or floche. The floche is much more delicate, so it would work well on the smaller tendrils and curls. I don’t particularly care for the idea of combining the two threads, as they are so different from each other. In any case, it has to be cotton, as the piece needs to be easily washable.
I’ll keep you posted on the progress of this piece! It doesn’t promise to be too complex once the stitching starts, so it should work up quickly.
But oh – that design transfer’s going to be a bear, isn’t it?!
Any questions, comments, suggestions? Feel free to have your say below!