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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Free Embroidery Pattern – Hungarian #3: Hearts for Whitework


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Continuing with Lilly’s Legacy, here’s another Hungarian hand embroidery pattern – this time, a little different, as you will notice that it is not colored. The black silhouette design may bring to mind visions of paper cutting rather than hand embroidery, but in fact, Lilly designed several pieces that look like this, that were meant for whitework embroidery.

If you’re just joining in on this series of Hungarian embroidery patterns, you can read the original story of Lilly Baróthi Zathureczky here on Needle ‘n Thread. It’s an interesting story of a Hungarian designer whose previously unpublished embroidery patterns have been brought to light and will be published now for all to enjoy! As many readers have already commented, the designs are suitable for much more than just hand embroidery. They’re adaptable to all kinds of arts and crafts, from painting, to paper crafts, to quilt appliqué.

Hungarian Embroidery Pattern #3: Hearts for Whitework

This pattern, which I’m calling “Hearts for Whitework,” was probably originally intended as a whitework doily. Enlarged, it can be worked as the center motif in a tea cloth. If you decide to work it in whitework, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to work small filling patterns or pulled or drawn thread patterns in the various “heart” areas, or you could always leave those areas voided, and work a background pattern around them, in the black area of the design.

What about you? How do you see this particular design worked?

Hungarian Embroidery Pattern #3: Hearts for Whitework

It’s funny how the line drawing loses its personality a bit, isn’t it? When Lilly was designing, she used paper (parchment, I would guess), pen and ink, and watercolors. The vectorized line drawing is less “warm and friendly” in its presentation, but it provides an easier outline to follow for transferring the design. Earlier, in the comment section on the second design, Gail asked how Lilly managed to make her repeats in her design so perfect. Did she draw one section, then trace the rest of them? I don’t know, but in making the vector versions of the designs, the patterns and their repeats are not identical, and they’re not always “perfectly” balanced. She was certainly meticulous, though. At a glance, and even on pretty close inspection, you can’t really distinguish differences in the repeat, and the designs always look perfectly balanced. It’s not until you put them under the “graphic microscope” on the computer that you see definite differences. I like them better in their drawn form, rather than in their vector form! But I suppose the line-drawn vector versions do make it easier to transfer the design, and they also save on ink when it comes to printing!

If you print the PDF below, you can enlarge it on your own printer, or have it enlarged, if you’d like to work with a larger version. The image in the PDF should print at just over 7″ square. Here’s the PDF:

Hearts for Whitework – Hungarian Embroidery Pattern #3 from Lilly’s Legacy

In a couple days, I’ll be adding an index page, where links to each of these Hungarian embroidery patterns will be collected so that they’re easier to find. I’ll also have them listed on the Hand Embroidery Patterns page. But in the meantime, if you’d like to see the other embroidery patterns in this collection, here they are:

Hungarian Embroidery Design #1: Golden Circle – includes the introductory story of Lilly’s Legacy
Hungarian Embroidery Design #2: Floral Square

We’re trying to collect photos of interpretations of Lilly’s designs, so if you do happen to use one in a project, it would be great if you could drop me a line and send me a photo of your work! Mike Parr (who originally made contact with me to share the designs) has put together an impressive presentation on Lilly’s Legacy, that he’s shared with his guild group in Canada. Seeing how the designs are used and interpreted today would help him expand his presentation, and it would also add to Lilly’s Legacy for future needleworkers.

So that’s Hungarian design #3! I hope you enjoy it!

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(4) Comments

  1. What a charming design. I think I would like to see it in cutwork, with all the hearts cut out and maybe have little bars inside. So the cut areas would be buttonhole stitch and maybe the other lines would be a small chain stitch or even a stem/outline, depending on how large or small it is. I would use various colors of coton a broder on white cotton or linen. Not too imaginative, but it is early in the morning. Could we use this as a group project for our guild?

  2. I like this for a stole, actually. I’d rotate it 45 degrees and bring the negative space forward, possibly with blackwork (done in red, maybe).

    Still trying to work out how to incorporate it into next year’s handmade valentines, though.

  3. I am looking for patterns to use as mason jar covers for the apple butter I plan to make for Christmas gifts. This might work well for something like that.

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