I must confess a secret. I often look at antique samplers and embroideries and wonder about the lives that the stitchers lived. I wonder about their hopes and dreams, and how they stitched themselves into their work, which survives long after them. And so I want to stitch my hopes into my work, each tiny stitch at a time. My hope for the coming year is for peace and plenty for all.
This design is my new year’s wish for you: some quiet moments, creating something beautiful; some peace and plenty. It is a different type of antique reproduction: not based on a traditional sampler, but a gorgeous piece of Hungarian embroidery in my collection.
The original was stitched in a variety of embroidery stitches in a deep, dark red, which stands proud against the still bright white of the linen. In adapting the design, I kept some of the embroidery stitches, while adding my wish for the New Year.
As you can see, I’ve simplified the design, and I decided to use a brighter red – the vibrant Cottage Garden Threads ‘Raspberry’ (and CGT ‘Burgundy’ would perfectly reproduce the colour of the antique).
I love Hungarian embroidery; it reminds me of my Austrian grandmother’s house, and of time spent with family. She came from the area of Austria close to the Hungarian border, and these folk motifs remind me of her and her home. The pomegrantes and partridges are common symbols of abundance, and the flowers and foliage speak to the same idea to me.
I chose to stitch my model on plain white linen, as I wanted the brightness. I used 40-count, as the design will then fit into a standard 8 x 10-inch frame. I used 1 strand of floss over 2 threads of linen, which gave a vivid depth of colour on this smaller count fabric. You may want to use more strands on fabric of other counts, to replicate this intensity of colour. And of course, you could stitch the design in any colour (or combination of colours) that you like.
The design uses full crosses over 2, backstitches and Smyrna Crosses, both over 1 and over 2. As a monochrome design, it stitches up quickly, so you can stitch your wish for the new year in plenty of time. The hard-copy chart and PDF versions are available from the lovely stores listed on my Stockists page, and directly from me on my Etsy store. You can also stock up on Cottage Garden Threads at my Etsy store.
I hope this next year brings both peace and plenty to you.