301: Hardanger

As you may already know, Hardanger embroidery is Nordic Needle’s signature needlework. We gave you the basics of Hardanger embroidery in Hardanger 101 (if you haven’t seen Hardanger 101 please click there and learn the basics before reading this page), and Hardanger 201. We thought you would all be up for a challenge so here’s your next lesson, Hardanger 301. This is a little more advanced, but will go over some beautiful and essential stitches. Enjoy!


  • Buttonhole edge

    Buttonhole Edge: The buttonhole edge is a very traditional and attractive way to finish a piece of Hardanger embroidery. It is usually worked around a border of satin stitch blocks, but can also be used alone. It is worked similar to the satin stitch blocks, using #5 thread with each stitch covering four threads of the fabric. The difference is the needle will now go straight with the fabric and will be brought through the loop to produce a ridge (14a). After completing the five stitches that correspond with the five stitches of the satin stitch block, form the rounded corner. Pivot in the same corner hole that the fifth stitch used and work three diagonal corner stitches (14b). Embroider the first stitch of the next series in the same corner hole (14c). Thus, there will be five stitches sharing the corner hole. After completing the next five buttonhole stitches corresponding to the satin stitch block, pivot the needle and come up in the same corner hole again (14d) forming the second type of corner.
    When the entire buttonhole edge is complete, secure the stitches with a sewing machine. Using short stitches and matching thread, sew around the border just inside the ridge. Then trim as close to the buttonhole edge as possible without clipping the thread.
  • Eyelets

    Eyelets: The eyelet stitch is often added between the buttonhole edge and the satin stitch blocks. It can also be used in the center of a star motif or in the middle of four satin stitch blocks, as shown in figure 15a. Securing the #8 thread on the wrong side of the fabric, bring it up in the center hole where the eyelet will be worked. Then work around each hole of the square, each time returning to the center hole (15a). No fabric threads are cut to form the eyelet but each stitch is pulled to the outside, forming a larger center hole (15b).
  • Star

    Star: The star motif is a variation of the basic satin stitch. Each petal is worked separately and from the center to the outside. Find the center hole of the area where the star is to be placed and count up two holes. Bring the #5 thread up in the hole and make the first satin stitch which covers two threads of the fabric (16a). Continue the satin stitches, increasing on the right side by one thread with each stitch (16b). The fifth stitch should cover six threads of fabric. With the next stitch, begin decreasing on the left side (16c), remaining in the same row as the previous stitch on the right side. Continue until the ninth stitch covers two threads of fabric. Slide the needle under the completed petal on the wrong side of the fabric and continue with the remaining petals (16d). Notice the stitch for one petal share the holes with the adjoining petal. This basic motif can be expanded by increasing each petal to the desired size. Notice the completed star will have an unworked area in the center which is four threads square in size.
  • Ship

    Ship: The ship motif is another variation of the basic satin stitch, using #5 thread. Each half is worked separately. Begin, as with the star motif, by covering two threads of fabric with the first satin stitch. Increase until ten threads of fabric are being covered and then decrease to cover two threads, as in (17a). Continue with a series of five stitches, each covering two threads; then three stitches at an angle, each covering two threads. The following stitch covers five threads and the top stitch of the motif covers three (see 17b). From there, slip underneath to the stitch below the one covering five threads (17c). Complete the remaining stitches (17d). Slide under the stitches on the wrong side of the fabric to reach the starting point. Complete the second half of the ship motif (17e).
  • Click here for a printer-friendly .pdf file of all four techniques (400KB) (will open in new window)

These instruction have been taken from the Beginner’s Charted Hardanger Embroidery book. Copyright 1980 by Susan L. Meier and Rosalyn K. Watnemo.

This page is for personal use only and may not be reproduced for sale. We would like to give credit to Jessica Watnemo for the original rosemaling (1998).

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