Zealand Birds

Zealand Birds – Traditional Danish sampler in cross stitch

On the island Zealand there are two distinct types of embroidery. One is called Hedebo embroidery. Hedebo embroidery covers several forms of white embroidery which originated in the Hedebo (heathland) region of Zealand, Denmark, in the 1760s. The varied techniques which evolved over the next hundred years in the farming community were subsequently developed by the middle classes until around 1820. They were applied to articles of clothing such as collars and cuffs but were also used to decorate bed linen.

The other type of embroidery was Skovbo  and had its only peak in the mid-19th century before almost disappearing. The referance “Skovbo” meant it was tribute to the woodland areas of Zealand, Denmark. They were in two-tone colours (red & blue) with a variety of sampler motifs.

I’ve dawn up 2 samplers with this Skovbo technique in mind, both featuring birds as Zealand also has a very rich variety in birds. The second version includes poetry by John Keats.

You can find it in my shop here

Amager Fugle – a traditional square pdf pattern for cross stitch on etsy now

The folk costumes of Denmark are all different, but contains little embroidery. However, one of the costumes from Amager does have some embroidery on their belt and so on, which is remarkably similar to a certain dutch technique.

Turns out the folk costumes of Amager in reality were clothing by the dutch immigrants that came to Denmark during the 1600s. And it has survived even to this day as the “Amagerdragt” are still being made and worn for those special occassions.

This sampler is made from those traditional patterns and you can find it in my shop here.

Svartsaum Duk - a norwegian traditional cloth

Svartsaum Duk – a norwegian traditional cloth (free pattern)

In Norway there is a traditional folk costume called Bunad. They are all different depending on where in the country you might be from, or which one you might think is the prettiest.  Not all of them necessarily have embroideries on them though. There is a Bunad from my county (Vestfold)  which only has weaved ribbons on them in a particular pattern as weaving was traditionally the “big thing” around here.

But in Telemark, as an example, there is a whole variety of embroideries. Everything from cross stitch to freehand/crewel. In Voss, they also have a Bunad which has a headscarf which were white with black embroideries on them.

It’s from those two places I reconstructed some patterns  to create this piece. On a large scale it can be a table cloth, on a small scale it can be a rather decorative pillow.

I stitched my piece in 2-3 shades of mustard yellow, because I hate mustard yellow and I need to have less of it.

a sampler for a friend

A Sampler for a friend with bees and trees

I drew and stiched this sampler for my penpal who has met the love of her life. After some time they’ve moved in together in a new home and I wanted to give them something special as a housewarming gift.

My penpal and I have many of the same interests and we often write about gardening, the importance of bees and, of course, our fondness for embroidery. While I might be the stitcher, she’s the knitter. So as I made this housewarming sampler for her, she knitted me socks for my husband and I for our wedding.

I tried to incorporate all the various things we talk about and I know she loves. Including ferrets! Which was complicated to draw small and took me quite a few tries before getting it right.
This is the only sampler I know of which contains ferrets, now that I think about it.

sampler with bees and trees

Stag in Blackwork

Stag in Blackwork – a free embroidery pattern

This pattern was an absolute joy to make. I wanted to make something in blackwork, but with  a lot of different patterns. At the same time it was also important that it would not be too complicated to stitch in hopes of attracting both seasoned stitchers as well as beginners.

I found it to be rather fun to stitch myself and I since then framed it and given it a place among my other work.

Feel free to click the download link in order to get your pdf pattern of this stag in blackwork.