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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Weddings & Whitework


Amazon Books

‘Tis the month of June.

Here in the States, it’s not unusual to run into a wedding or two in June. Winter is a distant memory, summer officially begins, the chance for decent weather is fairly good, and, with school out and families able to travel, it’s a pretty good month to get hitched.

I think I live in the Wedding Capital of the World! Among family and friends, it seems there’s always a wedding or two (or three or four or five) every summer. Not that I’m complaining – any opportunity for a good party and some socializing is a good thing!

When I have time, I like to make wedding gifts – a nice of piece of embroidery for display, a pretty tea cloth, a set of monogrammed linen guest towels. The latter is usually my preference. And to tell you the truth, “set” might be a bit of a stretch. Usually, I’m happy when I finish one.

That’s why I was super excited to see some of the new design offerings in Haft Richelieu, a magazine out of Poland, dedicated to Richelieu, or cutwork embroidery.

Richelieu Cutwork Embroidery - Hearts

This particular piece of cutwork, exquisitely embroidered (as usual!) by Joanna Jakuszewska, who publishes Haft Richelieu, is part of a series of cutwork heart designs in one of the more recent issues, #55.

What I especially like about the heart designs is that little superimposed blank heart surrounded by scallops.

Richelieu Cutwork Embroidery - Hearts

That little blank heart there is a perfect place to add a monogram, initials, or a wedding date!

Richelieu Cutwork Embroidery - Hearts

Another recent issue – #54 – features for the small motifs these baskets of cutwork flowers. Mother’s Day has come and gone already this year, but I think they’re a terrific idea for next year!

In each Haft Richelieu publication, you’ll find larger cutwork projects and smaller, individual motifs. The baskets and the hearts in these two issues are the smaller motifs. They’re a fun way try out cutwork – you’re not committing yourself to a full-fledged tablecloth, just to a small motif that can be stitched in a relatively short time.

Richelieu Cutwork Embroidery - Hearts

If cutwork is on your needlework bucket list, you won’t find a better source for good patterns. In the recent publications, the patterns sheets (there are two large pattern sheets) include one iron-on sheet and one standard, traceable sheet, so transferring the pattern is easy, too.

You can read my full, detailed review of the Haft Richelieu publications here. Keep in mind that the magazine is written in Polish, but it’s easily accessible – the instructions are all accompanied with clear diagrams.

Cutwork Embroidery Supplies

If you want to give cutwork embroidery a try, you can find all the publications of Haft Richelieu listed here, with previews of what’s in each issue. You can order directly from Joanna, or, if you’re in the States, you can also find Haft Richelieu available through Lacis in Berkeley, CA. This is their website. Just search “Haft Richelieu.”

The best fabric for this type of cutwork is a smooth, firmly woven linen with a bit of body to it. I like using Alba Maxima, which is available through any locally owned needlework shop that carries goods from Access Commodities. Needle in a Haystack in California is a good online choice.

Cutwork threads (coton a broder) can be ordered online through Lacis and through Vaune.

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(4) Comments

  1. Dear Mary

    So true it’s the time of weddings. The cutwork designs from Haft Richelieu are really beautiful. I’ve not tried cutwork yet but I really must as I really like them. I am in the process of making a lace journal for my twin niece who is getting married next year and these designs would be perfect to add to the journal, I’m making Dorset Buttons to add to the journal as she loves Dorset and they are quite easy to create. I’m also adding photos of family on fabric and I intend to embroider various bits and pieces to add to the journal. My brother has a house in Dorset and my niece loves and often visits there. Thanks so much for the information above I will look at the websites above.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  2. My grandmother used to do beautiful white cutwork embroidery, but she stopped stitching before I started. It’s definitely on my bucket list, with a big helping of guilt attached because my few paltry attempts so far have tended to fall apart in the wash. So many threads, so little time…

  3. I am not sure that this is my style of embroidery – for a start I am bit of a grot so I wouldn’t be able to promise a pristine white finish. However it is beautiful and I wouldn’t say no if someone offered me a finished piece, wedding or not, lol.

    BTW, I am fascinated by those seemingly tiny blue glass bits on the cover of the magazine. Clearly one is a wine goblet but what is the other one?

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