Hardanger is a traditional Norwegian embroidery technique that combines drawn thread work and cutwork. It is worked on Hardanger fabric, an evenweave, using perle cotton. Geometric patterns are built up by stitching kloster blocks, which are made in a counted thread satin stitch. Exposed threads are then cut and withdrawn, and some of the remaining threads are overcast to create decorative bars that link the design together. In this project, it has been used to create coasters in a simple blue and white combination, although you could give it a contemporary twist with different coloured threads and fabrics.
- 22 count white Hardanger fabric, 20cm square
- Blue perle embroidery cotton, thickness no.5
- White perle embroidery cotton, thickness no.8
- Tapestry needle, size 22 or 24
- 8.2cm square
Make a coaster
1 Download and print the charted design. Mark a 72 thread squared area to be worked on with pins, or by drawing the outline with an erasable marker. Thread a needle with blue thread. Count six spaces in on one of the four sides, and begin to stitch a border of running stitches, following the chart.
2 Knot the end of the thread and take it down through the fabric outside the design area. This can be cut off once the first few kloster blocks have been worked. Bring the needle up through the fabric at the lower left-hand corner of the first block and stitch five kloster block stitches to complete it. Follow the chart for the subsequent block’s positioning. It doesn’t matter which you start with, but as you complete each block, make sure you are in the right position to begin the next one without having to carry the thread across the back of the work.
3 Once all the blocks have been worked, take the thread under several stitches on the wrong side and cut it. Snip into the fabric and remove some of the vertical and horizontal threads to create the pattern of holes and criss-crossing strands. Only cut the threads next to the stitch ends on the kloster blocks and go as close to the stitches as possible without damaging them. Pull out the threads that have been snipped.
4 Working from right to left, wrap white thread around the first horizontal bar to form a tight series of overcast stitches. Work in the tail of the thread as you go to keep it neat. When you reach the end, pass the needle behind the next vertical bar that lies at a right angle to the first and wrap the thread around it. Continue alternating between horizontal and vertical bars until they are all covered. Count six rows outside the running stitch outline and cut out the coaster. Pull out threads to form a fringed border.