Monday, August 07, 2006

Dear Marie S. - this one's for YOU!

After I posted the last time, Marie S. left a comment asking about the tablecloth underneath my stitched piece. Well, here's the answer.

The tablecloth was a gift to me from my mother's relatives when I visited them in 1997 in Austria. My maternal grandparents immigrated to the United States in 1906 from what was then Hungary. The area, called Burgenland, became part of Austria after WWI. My mother and I still maintain close ties with our cousins who live on the southern border of Austria (about one hour south of Vienna).

When my mother visited a year later, she asked her relatives to take her to the area that her grandfather's family originally came from in Hungary. Two tiny villages, Himod and Hoevej, are about a 30 minute drive south of the border. It's in this area that two sisters make these beautifully embroidered tablecloths and doilies. My mother met them and purchased nearly everything that they had for sale.

This embroidery is nothing like anything else I've ever seen - there are elements of hardanger, satin stitches, cutwork and the medallions are either needlelace or knit into the cut out holes. It's also unusual for Hungarian needlework which is usually stitched with very bright colors.

Enjoy the pictures. If anyone knows anything more about this needlework, I'd love to hear from you!


Karin said...

The needlework is gorgeous! And very unusual as well.

Jenna said...

Wow, Cathy! The tablecloth and doilies are absolutely incredible. What a lot of love and work went into those beautiful pieces. You're lucky you mom shared with you. ;)

Mayté said...

They are fantastic and beautiful. What a treasure for you!!

A very fine work :)

KarenV said...

What an amazing tablecloth! It's a real heirloom piece - lucky you to have something so gorgeous :)

Adele said...

My parents were Hungarian and I have some old needlework magazines. One describes the type of embroidery found on your lovely tablecloths. The embroidery is named after the town west of the Danube and is called "Hoveji Embroidery". It is usually whitework and is characterized by cutwork like spider webs, holes, and satin stitches and used to decorate homes rather than clothing.

Juanita - aka flosslady said...

Oh wow... those are amazing! Thanks for sharing.

Maria S, said...

I've been up at my sis's all week and just am catching up now. Imagine my surprise to see this! Thank you. I'm getting ready to go to Mass but when I get home, I'll read it slower and let it all sink in. My Dad's people came from about the same area. They came to Saskatchewan, Canada in 1905.

Lelia said...

Cathy - these are beautiful pieces! I'm sure you treasure them.

I cannot imagine the many hours these took to make - such talent!

Thanx for sharing.

Von said...

Hi Cathy!
I'm catching up with your blog tonight and had to stop midway and leave a comment about your outstandingly beautifully embroidered tablecloths. Now that I've popped my eyeballs back into their sockets, that is. :D