Hardanger Squared

Hardanger Squared Sampler Table Cover

Hardanger Squared are Hardanger Machine Embroidery reminiscent of traditional Scandinavian cutwork , but with the added twist that 14 of these designs are meant to be sewn as individual, free-standing applique cutwork that you subsequently assembled into a variety Hardanger-style, whose size and variety are limited only by your imagination and available supplies of fabric and thread. Merely butt the individual pieces together and zig-zag stitch them together. The remaining 5 designs take a more conventional approach, requiring they be sewn into larger projects, as they’re not free-standing.

The designs utilize a wing needle and the cutting of fabric while in the hoop to re-create the pulled thread and cutwork techniques that are the hallmark of the style of fabric art.

As this is meant to be Hardanger in every conventional sense, the designs require fabric. They also require the use of a medium to heavy weight water-soluble stabilizer, placed beneath the fabric.

Instructions included, with photographs showing the embroidery process.

Each design is meant to be sewn in the 4×4 hoop.

Hardanger Dimensions

Hardanger Dimensions Table Runner
  • All 16 designs shown above
  • Includes full-color,  illustrated instructions (PDF)

Hardanger Machine Embroidery aka “Hardangish”

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 On-Point Collection
Bookmarks make nice gifts and fit into a card – Hardanger On-Point Collection

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.

Hardanger On-Point Collection
Hardanger On-Point Collection

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 Squared Collection
Hardanger Squared Collection

Hardanger Rainbows was my first attempt at adding color sequences to a traditionally monochromatic fabric art form, thereby giving it more contemporary look.

Hardanger Rainbows

Don’t miss out on showing off some Hardanger to your family and friends.

Hardanger Machine Embroidery


Hardanger Alphabet

Hardanger Angels - Bella

Hardanger Angels - Heather

Hardanger Angels - Mary Jane


Hardanger Dimensions

Hardanger Eggs

Hardanger Floral Angels

Hardanger Floral Hearts

Hardanger On-Point


Hardanger Ornaments

Hardanger Rainbows

Hardanger Squared

Hardanger Stockings

Hardanger Wreaths


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Bad Girls II – Variegated Threads in the Real World

Monogram Potpourri No. 3 with monogram

Flying Geese, Flying Geese Circles, Variegated threads sample

Circle Geese and Mariner’s Compass Using Two Different Variegated ThreadsI was asked for examples of designs that do well with variegated threads. That inquiry inspired this post.

Generally, any Quiltering (quilting), Redwork, or Bluework designs work well with variegated threads as shown above with the Circle Geese around the Mariner’s Compass. It’s when you get into satin stitches and solid fills that variegated threads become problematic, as these bad girls show their unpredictability.

Summer’s Gold Quiltering Designs came out beautifully with this orange => yellow variegated thread. If you’re into quilting (or quiltering as I’ve come to think of it when using an embroidery machine), the variegated thread can add a new dimension to your project.

Sunflowers, Machine Embroidery, Variegated threads, floral
Summer’s Gold Quiltering Designs in Variegated Threads

Some variegated threads do okay with satin stitches as shown below. However, most variegated threads  stripe when used with satin stitches. I got lucky with this dark to light green variegated used to stitch the leaves. The rule of thumb in using variegated with stain stitches is test sew, before committing to your project. I know that sound pretty straight forward but I have a rainbow of Post-its littering my sewing room to remind me of that very thing.

I used variegated green in all of the Monogram Potpourri designs but because the leaves are so small it worked out perfectly in creating the illusion of varying light upon my leaves.

Monogram Potpourri No. 3 with monogram - Close Up
The inset image shows how the variegated thread “shows off its light.” – Monogram Potpourri No. 3 with monogram – Close Up

Although this Hardanger Squared design has a lot of satin stitches it did well with this particular multi-colored variegated, principally because the colors in the thread has short segments, allowing for a higher rate color turnover through satin stitch sequences.

Hardanger, Variegated thread, Hardanger Square, Machine Embroidery, Hardanger Machine Embroidery
Hardanger Squared – Hardanger Machine Embroidery – in Variegated Thread of Purples, Greens & Blues

Using the same variegated thread for the satin stitches, as shown above, this Illusions design below looks good – interesting even – but at the cost of losing some of it’s illusionary effect. As a consequence, I’ve put it in my What If pile, with a note to try sewing it with an ombre thread, just to see how how the thread shading affects the illusionary effects of the design

Illusions, Machine Embroidery, Variegated threads
Illusions Machine Embroidery in Variegated Threads

These two designs are from our Nutz N Boltz collection and these all look great with variegated threads

NutzNBoltz, machine embroidery, optical illusions, small motifs, variegated thread
Nutz N Boltz in Variegated Threads
NutzNBoltz, machine embroidery, optical illusions, small motifs, variegated thread
Nutz N Boltz in Variegated Threads


As you can see, variegated threads are a mystery as to how they will turn out when going from one design to another. That’s why is is important to test sew them in various  stitch forms to see how they are going to show up when sewn onto your particular project. That’s where my Thread Sampler Designs come in.

My Thread Sampler Designs  will simplify your variegated thread life.  They are for hoop sizes 4 inch to 8×11 inches. These are easy to sew reference sheets for yourself of your variegated thread stash. They will help you determine which threads best fit your project before sewing it. It takes a lot of the guess work out. You’ll be glad you went through the exercise making Thread Samplers.

Simplify your Variegated Thread life

Learn more about the Thread Sampler Designs

To purchase Thread Sampler Designs Only $1.49 for all hoop sizes

If you’ve come up with a project and thread combination that knocks your socks off, I hope you’ll share.


In The Hoop


Lacy Heart Frames

Molas! Series

Needlepoint Machine Embroidery Series

Pincushions/Mug Rugs

In-The-Hoop #2

Hardanger Angel Bella

Hardanger Angel Heather

Hardanger Dimensions

Hardanger Floral Angels

Hardanger Floral Hearts

Hardanger Floral Wreaths

Hardanger On Point

Hardanger Ornaments

Hardanger Squared

Hardanger Stockings

In-The-Hoop #3

Ten-Point Star

Floral Fountains

Glorious Hearts

Our Whole Life

Purple Feathers

Summer in My Heart

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Winter Magic Quilt Banner

Trapunto Flowers