White work coming along…

Whenever I have a deadline I feel driven to work towards that deadline, often neglecting other projects until I’m sure the deadline can be met.  Since the RSN canvaswork piece must be to a certain point before I leave again for England to finish it with Kelley Aldridge, I have been working exclusively on that project for a while. A few days ago I decided to stop and take some time to do whitework on my Schwalm table cloth from Luzine Happel.

All of the coral knot stitching is finished ( I think! I still might find a little place I missed…) and I’ve now moved on to working all the blanket stitch scallops. In her book, Basic Principals of Schwalm Whitework, Luzine Happel clearly describes two different methods of working blanket stitch in a scallop and the pros and cons of each. I’ve chosen to use what she calls ‘Variant B’ .


To make the stitches evenly spaced around the semi-circle and to keep the edge smooth and even is the challenge. It is, like everything, a matter of practice.

Whitework demands a very high level of precision and care when placing the stitches. There isn’t any color to distract the eye. The pattern/texture the white threads create is what you see so inconsistencies are seen more easily.


A while ago I mentioned that I was working this piece in hand. Now that the coral knots are finished, I’m working in a hoop so I can stitch the scallops two handed. My work goes much faster and I can make the stitches firm and even. I am still loving the meditative quality of this kind of embroidery. It’s the perfect contrast to my canvaswork piece!

Do you alternate between highly demanding embroidery and more peaceful embroidery when you work?




3 thoughts on “White work coming along…

  1. Oh yes, I always need a “relaxing” project, usually one that is much smaller. In fact I normally have at least three projects working at one time because I like variety.

    Your whitework piece is really coming along well; love the scallops!

  2. No, since embroidery is my hobby, I only do what I like. I also have three projects going at a time, so it doesn’t get too mundane.

    Nice cloth though. You could probably do that with lots of colors and have a colorful Schwalm-STYLE, but still with lots of color. 🙂 I rarely do projects that only have one color, and when I do, it takes me forever to finish, because I like lots of color and it gets a bit mundane if there is only one color. 🙂

  3. Hello Kathy,
    I enjoy stitching whitework projects (pulled and withdrawn thread, Reticello, Hardanger) most of the time. I also enjoy having something colourful and very different to stitch (stumpwork) as well as perhaps a small counted canvas work sachet in pretty colours or something similar which is easy on my eyes and fairly quick to complete. One of the wonderful things about embroidery is the variety! Your Schwalm table cloth is looking lovely.
    Best wishes,

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