- Includes 21 Hardanger Machine Embroidery designs for the 4×4 (100×100 mm hoop).
Hardangish is my term I coined for my Hardanger Machine Embroidery because, let’s face it, no machine can truly duplicate handmade Hardanger embroidery. But I try. As a consequence, I’ll sometimes use the terms interchangeably when talking about my machine embroidery interpretation of this fabric art style.
These designs require fabric and water soluble stabilizer.
Some of my Hardanger designs are free-standing designs (not free standing lace). Rather, they’re of ornaments, bookmarks, etc. which can also can be applied to items impossible to hoop. In some instances, they can even be sewn together into larger projects…that really make a statement.
Hardanger and jeans are an unlikely combination. But I like embroidery on jeans. Regrettably, they’re too much trouble to hoop. However, free-standing designs make embellishing those favored jeans sooo easy. Slide the pants leg over the cuff feature of your sewing machine and stitch down the pre-fabricated design.
After the designs attached, you may turn the item inside out and cut away the fabric from behind the designs for a peek-a-boo method. The open, lacy parts show up so nicely this way.
In some cases, designs can be sewn in blocks, and stitched together to make larger, bolder projects, such as table covers, bedspreads and jackets. Oh, my.
Hardanger Rainbows was my first attempt at adding color sequences to a traditionally monochromatic fabric art form, thereby giving it more contemporary look.
Don’t miss out on showing off some Hardanger to your family and friends.
Hardanger Machine Embroidery
Who can resist butterflies and dragonflies. Add them to any floral designs for that special touch.
Although usually seen in combination with floral designs, used alone they are the perfect addition to most any project. Butterfly giants are perfect for larger projects when you want just one great big one for a pillow or quilt square or jacket back. They’ve got your back and without a lot of heavy stitching. Use variegated threads or even better heavier thread for a stand out design
For the rarely seen Hardanger embroidery try my Hardanger Rainbows butterfly. I couldn’t sew it enough on this pantsuit! Smiles!
This is how I make an heirloom guest towel. I like to embroider these for gifts or simply dress up our bathroom.
What’s more, two towels top stitched together are the perfect size for a pillowcase for a travel pillow form and a baby pillow form. See the pillowcase below that I made with two towels embellished with Nancy’s Jacobean Cutwork designs
These guest towels are quick and easy to make – assuming you have all the materials on hand. If you are a long time fabric artist, chances are you do have everything right at your fingertips…or maybe in one of your stashes. Smiles
The edges are decorated with lace, crochet, or tatting. In this instance, I used lace purchased at my local fabric store. Of course, should you have machine embroidery lace designs amongst your stash, consider kicking up that creative edge a notch or two, by making your own customized, color-coordinated lace, for that travel or baby pillow…like no other.
- Fabric – I use good quality woven cotton, huck cloth, or linen
- Cotton thread to match the color of the fabric
- Lace or alternate decoration for the bottom edge – 1-1.5 inches wide
How much of each
- 45 inch fabric (after prewashing) makes 4 towels
- Lace 1-1.5 x 15 inches
- Wash and dry the fabric
- Starch and press the fabric
- Cut out fabric 22 x 15 inches
- Set up the sewing machine for a straight stitch at 2.5 mm length
- Use size 10 – 12 topstitch needle
The sides of the towel
- Fold each long edge 1/4 inch and press
- Fold again 1/4 inch and press
- Sew down the hems on each long edge
The bottom of the towel – this is where the lace will be applied
- Fold one of the short ends 1/4 inch and press
- Fold 1/4 inch again and press
- Sew down the hem on the bottom edge
The top of the hand towel
- Fold the other short end of the towel 1/2 inch and press
- Fold it again, this time 1 inch and press
- Sew down the hem. This is the top of the towel.
- Cut lace 15 inches long
- Fold down the end 1/4 inch and press
- Fold it again 1/4 inch and press
- Hand sew the hem in place or with the machine. If using the machine use a smaller needle size 8 or 9, depending on how dense the lace.
- Repeat with the other end of the lace.
Change the machine setting to a tiny zigzag 2 x 1.5 mm (length x width)
Use the same color thread in the top as the lace
Use the same color thread in the bobbin as the fabric
- Pin lace onto the hem of the bottom of the towel. Pin the two ends and at least two more pins along the center
- Start sewing about 1 inch from the edge and zigzag sew the lace onto the towel all the way through the end.
- Stop and back sew about 8-10 stitches.
- Trim thread tails.
- Turn the project around.
- Begin sewing where you began applying the lace. Zigzag sew the other end of the lace to the towel.
- Stop at the end. Back sew about 8-10 inches.
- Trim thread tails
The towel is now finished. Embellish as desired.
How To make a pillowcase using two heirloom towels
- Set up the sewing machine with a size 10-12 topstitch needle and straight stitch 2.5 mm length
- Place two guest towels together wrong sides together.
- Pin in place along the two long sides and the top of the towels. Keep the corners and lace trim even with each other.
- Top stitch along the top and both sides about 1/8 inch from the edge of the towel.
Optional: Sew the laces together by hand or machine.
Terms for Re-use and Redistribution
If you would like to share these instructions with your friends, please be fair and send them to this website to read it.
If you have any words of wisdom to add, please leave a comment or email me. I am always open to learning new ideas and better ways to sew.
If you want to use my tutorial in a group or part of a class instruction, please send your students to this website to print the directions themselves. If you must print it for them, then please print it in its entirety, including my copyright and web address. Thank you for your integrity!
Copyright © Laura M. Waterfield 2017
Embroidery and fabric arts in general, like other artistic expressions, often have a cultural component unique to the people and places from which they originated. Regardless of origin, I’ve been fascinated and amazed with the richly different expressions of fabric, as well as how borrow from other forms. It’s why I’ve tried my hand at translating some of these techniques.
Over the years, I’ve hobbled together a unique collection of machine embroidery that I hope pay homage to a few cultural origins of inspirations. That collection includes a rather extensive series of Hardanger Machine Embroidery – or I use to call it, Hardangish.
Also favorites are Hmong and Mola inspired designs
But more recently a collection of Mehndi art transformed to thread. These are by no means the sum total of artistic creativity and I have more art forms and ideas to explore than I suspect I have time left to finish. But isn’t that a good thing.
Hardanger Machine Embroidery