A distinguished addition to our series on European Needlework
Seven beautiful designs imported from Sweden where, for centuries, women have proudly stitched their love of flowers on line pillows
"Summer in Sweden is a short season, golden with sunlight and filled with flowers. To keep the memory of its sunlit days alive Swedish women spend many hours during the long winters embroidering flowers."
"Apple tree, embroidered in five different kinds of stitches, is a fine example of the uses of shaded colors."
Upper left: "Lilacs and their leaves embroidered with white French knots and lazy daisies done in Swedish linen thread woven from Halsingland flax." Upper right: "Mosaic pattern in brilliant colors and varied textures in made with French knots, couching, chain, outline, satin and straight stitches." Lower: "Field flowers grow on this pillow in a veritable sampler of stitches including variations of couching and chain stitching.""The heavy linen threads used are the very finest, spun from fax frown in Halsingland, the land of the midnight sun, where i is nourish by sunlight day and night for many months. Its long fibers take beautifully to dye; intricate effects are achieved by shading colors from their palest tone to their strongest in emulation of the natural way that flowers blossom."
"Beginning usually with white on white outline stitch, each girl is carefully trained, so that by the time she is fourteen she is able to make her own project without help."
"In just a few weeks small groups of women will begin gathering together all over Sweden for their annual opsitta. An opsitta is the Swedish version of an American quilting bee, and as the weeks draw nearer to Christmas, the women take turns meeting at each other's homes."
"Among the gifts to be made will be many lovely pillows similar to those pictured on these pages, and the pillow that will cause the most pleasure and concern will be the fastmanskudde, for this is a very special pillow made with loving care that is given by a wife to her husband for his favorite chair or by a single girl to her best beau, often in exchange for an engagement ring. "
from Woman's Day, September 1963