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Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Schwalm-ish Chicken on a Card, or How to Get Distracted with Needlework

 

Yesterday afternoon, I headed out to the the little studio at the back of the house with the best intentions in the world. I was going to devote some quality time to “real” work – I had some paperwork to take care of – and then, once I felt I had accomplished a reasonable amount of work, I was going to do some more work setting up Christmas cards. It was a perfectly feasible – even admirable – plan for my late afternoon hours…

There I sat, inspecting the pile of paperwork before me, when suddenly, my eye was arrested by Christine Bishop’s Schwalm Whitework Embroidery.

I contemplated the book. I contemplated the pile of papers.

The book.

The papers.

The boooooooooooooooooooooook.

Literally, it was calling to me. I’m sure I heard it. What can one do?

The next thing I knew, I was engrossed in a Chicken. (She’s got a cute chicken in there.)

Now, I didn’t stray so much from my Plan of the Day as to completely forget the cards I was supposed to be preparing. I thought to myself, “A Card. I could maybe make a Schwalmish Christmas Chicken card. I mean, everyone’s heard of the Christmas Chicken, haven’t they?”

And so I tinkered, and this is what I came up with:

Embroidery on Paper: Hand Embroidered Greeting Card in Schwalm Whitework More or Less

I drew the design out on graph paper first. I wasn’t as precise as I should have been. Some intersections were off, and I didn’t space the dots as carefully as they needed to be on the longer stretches of stitch. You’ll see what I mean….

I placed a piece of tracing paper over the picture I had drawn on the graph paper, and used different colored ink (pink and purple – though you can’t tell in the photo) to trace the picture in dots, where I would pierce the pattern.

Then I put the tracing paper over the cardstock – I’m using a textured red, with a red core (not white core card stock) – and pierced the design.

Embroidery on Paper: Hand Embroidered Greeting Card in Schwalm Whitework More or Less

The large dots around the edge in the blurry photo above are eyelets, actually. The card will be backed with a white card, and the chicken’s eye, the eyelets around the edge, and the eyelets on the wing and tail (which you can’t see yet, because they aren’t punched) will show the white background. That’s the plan, anyway.

Once I got to that point in my Christmas chicken adventure, I decided I better do what I planned to do, or I’d be in trouble later.

So I readdressed that stack of papers.

But then it occurred to me that I wasn’t sure what thread I would stitch that Christmas Chicken with. So I decided I better rummage through thread while it was still sunny outside. (Well, you know the old superstition, that thread rummaging should never be done after sunset?)

And I came upon a #80 DMC cordonette – small stuff, for cordonette.

I finished my thread rummaging right before sunset. But of course, you know I wouldn’t start stitching until I had taken care of my paperwork! No, no. I just had to line up my resources, so when I could be irresponsible, everything would be ready.

Ok. So that’s what I did yesterday before the sun went down.

And shortly after the sun went down, I did this:

Embroidery on Paper: Hand Embroidered Greeting Card in Schwalm Whitework More or Less

There are a few blurby spots I need to take care of. I think, if I ever do this again, I’ll change my approach on some of the pricking dots. It was a learning experience. Gosh, I just feel So Accomplished and So Responsible for making certain I had a learning experience yesterday…….

Tonight, I’m bonding with papers. And please don’t try to talk me out of it!

 
 

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(10) Comments

  1. LOVE it! Great post.

    Thank you for your wonderful blog! I am new to embroidery, and I have found it to be very helpful. I have already used several of your free patterns.

    Blessings,
    Katy

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  2. Thanks, Katy and Mub…

    I do have a regular pricker tool. Well, sort of. My tambor needle has a little screw on the side so you can remove the needle. Instead of putting the hooked tambour needle in, I can exchange different sizes of needles for pricking. Normally, I just use a fine “eyeless” needle, but occasionally, if I need to, I put a larger needle in.

    MC

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  3. I WISH I WAS YOUR NIECE… 🙂 THE PREVIEWS OF THE GOLDWORK PIECE ARE EXQUISITE. i AM LOOKING FORWARD TO JANUARY AND A REAL “LOOKSY” AT THE WORK. I LOVE YOUR WEBSITE. YOUR TUTORIALS HAVE BEEN SO HELPFUL. THANK YOU FOR YOUR HARD WORK AND MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS YOU AND YOUR TALENTS.
    KYSIS IN KENTUCKY,USA

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  4. Mary,
    I, too, am easily distracted by stitching, but in my case it’s usually someone else’s online, VBG! I love your Schwalm chicken (or Schvalm as Christine says it should be pronouned) I’m looking to give the kids group some stitched Christmas card designs on 11th October, as they so enjoyed our last session of card stitching they’ve asked for some more. Thanks for pointing me in this direction all those months ago, and for sharing your latest project, even if the paperwork is still sitting waiting for attention!!
    Hooroo,
    Christine
    http://missmuffettwo.blogspot.com/

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  5. Kysis – Thanks very much! I’m glad you’re enjoying the website and that it has been so useful for you! Keep stitching!

    Christine – I did manage to do a little of both today, and I’m almost finished with the chicken card now. I have two more edges on the border, and then I’ll mount it on a white card, I think. It was fun, but a bit too labor and time intensive for doing many of them! I’ll be moving in the direction of simpler cards after this. Do you have Erica Fortgens book called Merry Christmas? It has some very nice Christmassy designs. Some are nice and small – or at least, some of the elements can be broken up into smaller designs – and are perfect for miniature cards or gift tags. They also work up pretty quickly! I’ll be posting on that whole card subject soon. I’m also working on some of my own little patterns, so I’ll be able to post those for users if they want them. All I need is a leeeeeeeeetle more TIME!

    Best,
    Mary

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  6. Whahaha, I’m laughing `til it hurts my stomage. You are funny! I recognize it soooooooooooo much; planning to do some decent work and ending up doing something much much nicer than that, hahahaha!

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  7. Hi,

    You have a Wonderful Blog here!!!! I Just LOVE it and have used some of your ideas already. Its Amazing how you have worked out those designs on cards. All my friends are going to be getting some embroidered cards for sure now!!!
    Thank You for sharing your work and ideas!!!

    CP

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