Saturday, 19 April 2008

Hungarian Embroidery

This is a detail of a table runner that I have been working on lately. It's traditional Hungarian embroidery in the Kalocsa style, and done in satin stitch. The design is pre-printed on the fabric in blue, which is supposed to disappear when you wash the piece on completion of the embroidery. Lets hope so. The little circles around the design are where I am supposed to embroider eyelets in white (sort of like broiderie englaise) which sends shivers down my spine as there are about a million wanna-be eyelets over the whole runner. I may chicken out of that part...

Hungarian embroidery always seems very jolly to me, I love the bright colours and strange, naive flowers that are nevertheless each based on a real flower. Here we have a rose, violets, and a crysanthemum, plus some unidentified blooms. I would love to see one of those bobbly flowers in real life.

I finally bit the bullet and cast on for the Spring Fling cardigan, and have completed the ribbing at the back. Now I'm onto the lace which took a while to get the hang of. Oh damn it, it's just such beautiful weather here, warm and sunny and still, that I cannot stay in front of the computer a moment longer. I must go frolic!

By the way, I'm enjoying the blog A Dress a Day immensely, do go and check it out if you are at all interested in vintage dresses. The Secret Lives of Dresses are particularly clever, and the whole site is written in such a charming and witty way. I love 1950s pattern illustrations, the women always look so smug and elegant!


  1. Hi Piroska, you would have loved the Hungarian blouse my mum gave me....unfortunately I gave it to St Vinnies. Your embroidery looks just like it.
    My grandmother was Russian and used to paint easter eggs in tradidtional style..I still remember her painting thiem in her borsch smelling kitchen:)
    Thanks for commenting on my scarf, I should be sewing it up some time today.

  2. Szia Piroska,

    Your embroidery is beautiful! How did you get into it? I started learning Hungarian when I was 18, have spent lots of time in Budapest and I love the 'kezimunka'.

    I'm just in the process of making a website for my original Hungarian Teacher. I was thinking of using a bit of Hungarian kezimunka or kezimunka inspired features in the design. That's how I found you. Would you like to help us with some photography, drawing or painting?

    Gabi is a great teacher! I'm sure she would be able to help you learn a little.

    Drop me a line:

    Minden jot!