It has taken WAY too long for me to get back to this sampler, but better late than never (I hope)! If you look at the rest of the blog you can see a little bit of what I’ve been doing… But it’s time to end the hiatus!
From the village of Buzsak, right near Balaton, come some stunning, though at this moment in time not as well-known styles of handwork made with amazingly varied techniques. There are three main techniques used, each with its own set of rules, stitches, and motifs. I’ve shown you some of it before but here are some more examples – the somewhat geometric “vezas” embroidery:
Applique work where complex patterns are all cut from one continuous cloth:
And the “witchy” (boszorkanyos) style that, like the Transsylvanian embroidery we used in our sampler, evolved from noblewomen’s embroidery:
Here’s a closer look on another example of witchy embroidery, this time on a black background:
I took these photos in Buzsak, where a lovely exhibition is mounted with lots of gorgeous examples of all three styles of handwork.
In our sampler, we will stitch a motif in the “witchy” style, based on a collection of Buzsak motifs compiled by the Hungarian folk artist Ferenc Dolbert. Here’s our motif minus the stitching:
Now, before you even THINK of getting intimidated by how beautiful the original examples from the museum were, I want to reassure you that the two main stitches used in this particular style are not difficult. But that is the brilliance of folk embroidery: a couple of easy-to-learn stitches can grow into complex, beautiful designs imagined by the people who began using them. Using just one or two stitches can be quite liberating. I don’t mean to say Buzsak embroidery is simple – in all three styles, more types of stitches and techniques are used than in most other places put together! But this particular motif, in the witchy style, uses just two.
We will split this part of the sampler into two parts, first making the outlines with a pretty open chain stitch, like so:
Then continuing in another post with filling in the outlines and embroidering the tulip’s stamina. (How funny that that’s what those the pollen thingies at the centers of flowers are called, no? Maybe it’s just me – I love it!) So, let’s get started!
For these stitches, you will begin your stitches slightly to one side of the line marking your motif, just a hair to the outside:
Then, you stitch back down a hair to the OTHER side of the line, directly opposite from where you brought your needle up the first time. And, you will stick your needle through to bring it up again on the FIRST side of the line, 1-2 mm or 1/16-1/10 of an inch ahead:
Now catch your thread with the needle:
And pull your needle through to make a loop but don’t pull the thread taut:
Now stick your needle down (uh, this is not official embroidery terminology… but I find it to be rather descriptive of what needs to be done) a hair to the other side of the line, opposite where the thread came out, in the other “corner” of the loop:
Now bring it out again on the first side of the line, 1-2 mm or 1/16-1/10 of an inch ahead, and catch the thread with the needle, as before:
Now pull the needle through to make a loop but don’t make it taut:
Rinse, and repeat:
Keep going like this, covering the outlines with open chain stitches. At sharp corners, I put an anchor stitch at the tip:
Then restart the chain stitching on the side of the previous stitch:
Now keep going…:
…until you’ve covered all outlines. Start stitching new lines that branch off from other lines right next to the first line, or even from right inside a stitch of the first line. You can see how I did it in the image below – it’s not the canonical way to do it, I just like the way it looks. So here’s what you’ll end up with – I’m putting the image from the top of the post here as well so you don’t have to scroll all the way back up:
The only things left uncovered are the stamina of the little tulip at the top left of the motif. The stamen of a flower is nearly always emphasized in Hungarian embroidery so we’ll do something a little different here, but we’ll leave it for next time. Along with filling in the outlines you’ve just created! Some more stitches are coming your way…
Links to tutorial pages:
- Hungarian Sampler: Main Contents Page
- Hungarian Embroidery Sampler part one: preparations – about threads, needles, hoops, and how to transfer embroidery patterns
- Hungarian Sampler part two: floral motif from Southwestern Hungary – chain stitch, starting and finishing your thread
- Hungarian Sampler part three: Transsylvanian tulips – buttonhole circles, stem stitch
- Hungarian Sampler: administrative update & some additional resources
- Hungarian Sampler part four: witchy stitching from Buzsak – open chain stitch
- Hungarian Sampler part five: filling in the witchy stitching from Buzsak – fishbone filling stitch
- Hungarian Sampler part six: stamina – completing our Buzsak witchy stitching – back stitch, straight satin stitch
- Hungarian Sampler part seven: variations
- Hungarian Sampler part eight: “woolly” stitching from Hungary’s central plains – ‘fake’ satin stitch
- Hungarian Sampler part nine (the last): Matyó rose from Northern Hungary – oblique or slanted satin stitch
- Blouses to embroider: a great free pattern is the Sorbetto top from Colette Patterns (the version with the plain front). The Róza top would also work great for this project, as well as the Uptown folk blouse.
- Download the Hungarian Sampler embroidery PDF pattern (2 pages, formatted to print on either US Letter or A4 size paper).
- Share your work on Instagram and make sure you tag your pics with #kateandrosepatterns #hungariansampler!