From the Heart by Luzine Happel

17th March 2023

Luzine Happel knows a thing or two about Schwalm embroidery. As a teenager she trained to become a needlework teacher and proceeded to dedicate her entire career to specialising in Schwalm whitework.

Her accomplishments from decades of both designing and teaching are numerous including a self-published series of books released in several languages, the curation and exhibition of vintage and contemporary whitework pieces, and she coordinated a remarkable project during COVID called the Global Schwalm Sampler which we wrote about HERE.

And then there is the fact Luzine lives just 90 minutes away from the region of Schwalm in Germany where the technique originated.

When it comes to expertise in Schwalm embroidery, Luzine is the real deal.

We were lucky enough to feature one of Luzine’s pieces titled ‘Sense of Place’ in Inspirations issue #69 back in 2011 and it is with great joy that we warmly welcome Luzine back to Inspirations with her latest design ‘From the Heart’.

Here are the headlines:

Publication: Inspirations magazine issue #117
Designer: Luzine Happel from Germany
Project Name: From the Heart
Project Type: Cushion
Technique: Schwalm Embroidery
Fabric: Linen
Design Transfer Required: Yes
Threads: Cotton
Dimensions: Finished cushion measures 40cm (16”) square

One of the aspects that makes Schwalm embroidery such an endearing technique is that the designs will typically feature simplified ‘folk’ versions of floral motifs that are often connected with decorative tendrils.

In From the Heart we see a basket nestled at the bottom of the design cradling a love heart from which tulips and sunflowers are bursting forth, upwards and outwards.

Another key feature of Schwalm embroidery is the filling stitches, which are traditionally, intricate counted thread patterns that create a lacy appearance.

To achieve this, each design element is outlined in chain and coral stitch, which serve to stabilise the fabric so that, within these motifs, the most amazing array of filling stitches can take place.

From the Heart is fabulously complex in its finish yet consists of only five filling patterns repeated throughout and five different cotton threads, each varying in weight to add dimension.

From withdrawn thread to needlelace through to blanket stitched pinwheels, every flower is given a unique pattern.

This is traditional Schwalm embroidery at its purest, a technique that is hundreds of years old, and yet isn’t it amazing how fresh and modern a piece like this can still look, even today?

Just another reason why the beauty of needlework has, and will continue to, live forever.

Make Your Own From the Heart

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

From the Heart by Luzine Happel is a large cushion showcasing beautiful Schwalm whitework on natural linen.

Printed Magazines

Inspirations Issue 117

Digital Patterns

From the Heart – i117 Digital

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for From the Heart includes everything* you need to re-create this beautiful cushion: Fabric (unprinted), sewing thread, jute string, embroidery threads and needles.


From the Heart – i117 Kit

*Please Note: To cater for flexibility of purchase, instructions are not included with our kits. For step-by-step directions on how to create this project, please refer to the magazine/digital pattern.

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