Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hardanger Embroidery

 I thought I would show a quick (but picture heavy) overview on Hardanger embroidery.

I taught myself Hardanger about 10 years ago (like all my work - I am no expert, this is just how I do it).
It is a very simple form of counted embroidery that requires few supplies.

This is the Hardanger project I am currently working on.
It needs an even weave fabric (for this one I am using 22 count Hardanger fabric, but there are many different ones available, with different thread counts, but not Aida cloth - you can't pull the threads out), pearl cotton (I am using #5 and #8 for this count of fabric), tapestry needle, very fine, small, sharp scissors, and I like to use an embroidery hoop. All the supplies should be available at the local box craft store (they are here), but better supplies can be found at a good embroidery store (my favourite is Nordic Needle).

Here is a little taste - the links are to the free guide at Nordic Needle (they specialize in Hardanger). Here is their Hardanger 101 link.

The embroidery starts by stitching Kloster Blocks (satin stitch) - 5 stitches over 4 threads (Hardanger fabric has two threads together that count as one).

I start the embroidery off by leaving a long tail,

this is the back

and catching it under the Kloster blocks on the back of the piece.

The groups of stitches are at right angles to one another or separated by 4 threads, and all the blocks line up across from each other. This is very important when you cut the fabric threads. To end the thread just weave the end under the Kloster blocks in the back.

Cutting the fabric is the hardest (scariest) part of Hardanger. I use really sharp, fine, embroidery scissors (I only use them for this). I make sure that the tip of the scissors is poking out at the last fabric thread I need to cut, and that the scissors are close to the stitches before I cut the threads. If you accidentally cut the wrong thread, a new thread can be removed from the edge of the fabric and woven back into the fabric to replace the cut one.

Once all the fabric is cut beside the Kloster blocks,

the fabric threads are taken out,

and the needle weaving starts.

I used picots and dove's eyes. Here is a video for the dove's eye. This piece can't be cut out because it doesn't have the tailored button hole stitch around the edge to finish it off.

This little piece could be made into a little ornament/scissor fob like this one. If you add the tailored button hole stitch around, it makes a nice Christmas ornament (I have a few, but they are put away now).

Here is the pattern for the above piece, from a workshop I taught a few years ago.

There are all kinds of free patterns on the Nordic Needle website (there is even a Romanian Point Lace one).
The Victoria Sampler has some wonderful free patterns too - lots with cross stitch and other types of embroidery.

Next are some pieces that I have made.

My first piece from an old Anna Magazine.
The magazine is the top one here (the same one my first piece of Romanian Point Lace comes from).

My second piece.
This one is a free pattern at Nordic Needle. 
This one is 22" square.
I tried variegated thread for the first time.
These are the same pattern with different counts of fabric.
Another free pattern at Nordic Needle.
This one is 37" long.
This is the first one I designed.
The second one I designed.
I designed the cross stitch to match my dishes.
This is the one I am working on.
It will be 30"x19".
I just have the filling stitches to add.

There are some really good Hardager books - I can recommend the Janice Love ones.

The next two pieces aren't Hardanger,

This is a little bag made with linen.
The back.
The needle weaving section reminded me of a garden fence,
so I added a rabbit button - like Peter Rabbit.
but other types of drawn/pulled thread work (I am not sure of the real name),

This is on 28 count linen
 this one is Schwalm embroidery (from an old EAC correspondence course).

A close-up.
 The same design is on both ends of the piece.

Whew! Maybe not so quick!
Now, if any one is interested in learning more about Hardanger, I have a few beginner Hardanger books and patterns I don't need - if you are interested leave me a comment on this post. If more than one person asks I will draw a name on Tuesday May 1st, 2012.

I'll include a pattern and kit from the workshop I taught too, to get you started. I'll ship any where in the world.

 Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

The draw has been made and Fiesta was the winner. Thanks to everyone who entered!


Needled Mom said...

It has always fascinated me. I would love to give it a try. I have several pieces that my grandmother did that I just love. Your work is beautiful, Joanne. Thanks for sharing it with us,

Vicki W said...

Hardanger is my favorite kind of embroidery. I haven't done any in about 15 years but have dreams of doing it again. The piece you are working on is magnificent!

Karen said...

I had no idea how Hardanger embroidery was done. Interesting and so elegant looking.

Desley said...

They are beautiful Joanne. Thank you for sharing, and for the tutorial. I know I will never have time to do it myself, but is nice to know how it is done.

Raewyn said...

Joanne, your work is beautiful!! You are so clever!!

Corina said...

Beautiful embroidery! I taught myself Hardanger too, but never came further than one piece. It would be great to start a new project... I love the piece with the rabbit button too!

Marga (MarPie) said...

Joanne, youre skills do amaze me every time. Thanks for the offer but I pass. Love to do it some time in the future but for now I stick with the quilting only. When I start I know where to be for some really good advice.

Kind regards,

Stephanie Pettengell said...

Hi Joanna, this is one give away that I would really wish to win as it is so hard to come by hardanger books or kits, I have not yet done a project but have practised some of the stitches and have been shown how to do the little piece you have done as a taster here. Your hardanger work is exquisite, I do love the white on white, you are making heirlooms.

Ann Marie @ 16 Muddy Feet said...

Wow how gorgeous, I always wondered how those were made, but never knew the name to look them up years ago when I did cross stitch. I would love to begin to have some hand work to do.

Me and My Stitches said...

Wow! Your pieces are all wonderful. I had no idea this was how these are made. Thanks for all of the information and the chance to win!

Jill said...

Joanne, how beautiful!! Your pictures make it look easy. I would love to give this a try. It looks like such a relaxing hobby. When I have a needle and thread in my hands, it is the most relaxed I get. Thank you for sharing all the photos and links.

Frances Leate said...

Beautiful work and I absolutely love this form of embroidery. I started teaching myself some years ago but got too busy in other areas. I have a large library of books and patterns so no need to include me in the draw. Take care.

Nancy said...

Your hardanger pieces are beautiful.

I tried this lovely embroidery after a visit to Nordic Needle and failed miserably because my count was off. Now, I admire the pieces of those who know what they are doing.

Dj said...

You do beautiful work. This is a hobby I would love to try.

Karens Quilts, Crows and Cardinals said...

Joanne, you never cease to amaze me! You are so talented!! Thank you for the great tutorial -- I would love to try it one day.

Thanks for continuing to inspire !


Adrienne said...

Wow, I haven't done Hardanger since I was a teenager. I'd love to pick it back up again. Toss my name into the hat! :)

Quiltsmiles said...

I would love to receive your purged hardanger books. I have a pattern in and it just is so intimidating to start, that perhaps these may help.


Becky said...

Joanne - I follow your quilting/creating blog often, mostly because it isn't just about quilting! I, too love to venture into new things, but I don't have your fantastic ability to go from learning a craft to stepping into your own expression! I love that! Though I love Hardanger, I have only completed one project. It's a little intimidating for me. Please include me in your drawing. And, thank you again for your tutorials. I took your two week machine quilting challenge last year and it changed my quilting life! Thanks again - Becky at bngwingo@yahoo.com

Sherree said...

Thank you for your kind offer to give your extra Hardanger embroidery things to a new home. I for one would love to have a chance at receiving this great package. Maybe Hardanger won't seem so daunting a subject with these items to help

Mila@Rimbun said...

Hardanger is one of the traditional embroidery method in my country, specifically the Sarawakian, we call it "sulam cabut benang", it would be great if I can get more ideas from the book. Really hoping for it.

Anonymous said...

These are very beautiful, and quite detailed! I would love to try them, any of them. Thanks for the offer, Lynda (farmlet@att.net)

Karen said...

Wow, I'm in awe of your talents! You've done so many and all are so exquisite! I've always loved hardanger but have been intimidated to try it...you make it seem do-able to me. Please, if you could put my name in the hat, would be great. I'd love to give it a try.

Donna said...

Your Hardanger projects are beautiful! I did a little maybe 15 years ago and enjoyed it. I would love to try it again and would appreciate being entered in your drawing.

Elin said...

How fun to read about Hardanger, which is not very far from where I live... I made some projects in my youth.

Bonnie58 said...

My grandmother used to do Hardanger and I always loved it and wanted to try it. you have inspired me to pursue it again. Would love to try your techniques. Here's hoping///

Carrie P. said...

Wow! I would call you an expert. Your pieces are fabulous. thanks for sharing how it is done in those great photos.

Kizzie @ KizziesKorner.com said...

beautiful please include me in your draw and email me!!

Betsy said...

Please include me. Looks so interesting.

monika@mysweetprairie.ca said...

oh! Am I too late!? Oh please count me in if there's time. I LOVE hardanger. I would love to try it. You make it look so easy. What gorgeous pieces!!
: )
~Monika in Saskatoon

Anonymous said...

Please count me in! I would love to try this method. Thanks! ~ Lynda

Unknown said...

Hello Joanne are you still doing the Hardanger? I self taught myself in 2003 and have been crazy about it ever since. I don't know anyone else who does it and though I have tried to teach a couple of friends but they decided it was too complicated for them. So would love to have someone else to correspond with who does do it.

Designer Jo said...

Hi Joanne... I'm a Jo as well, LOL... I enjoyed looking at your creations, and was intrigued by the second piece you created - I don't recognize that tentacle like stitch that you filled the boxes with, can you tell me what it is?

I'm a designer as well - mainly cross-stitch, but I do some Hardanger as well ... if you want to reply off-board, email me at x-stitch@xs-and-ohs.com.

Hope to hear from you... thanx!

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