Monday, November 26, 2012

A Gathering of Stitchers

I knew I belonged to this place as soon as I stepped inside City Hall.  To the right of the entrance was a meeting room and in that room were five or six ladies and they had stitch!  Oh how I wish I would have been able to speak to them (I don't know any Hungarian). I was traveling with a friend, the daughter of Mrs. Istvánné Szigethy, and she was able to speak both English and German in addition to her native language of Hungarian.  She introduced me to the ladies and would also translate for me.

They very graciously shared with me what they were working on. All were learning how to do the beautiful Hövej embroidery!

The woman with the blonde hair and the black vest was the teacher.  She was preparing patterns for her students.  

Hövej was introduced to the village in the 1860s.  The woman who introduced it was Borbála Nyikos Gáspárné Horváth - her maiden name, Nyikos, is the same as my great grandfather's.  Maybe there's a connection? 

The needlework is done on thin fabric like organza and is always stitched with white thread.  As you can see in the photo, the pattern is placed under the fabric and lightly traced with a pencil.  The fabric is stretched onto a frame and is then ready to be stitched.  

Over the years, the women of Hövej developed their patterns, each more ornate than the previous. Similar to Hardanger, some of the fabric is cutaway after it has been stitched.  The holes that are left are then filled with "spider" stitches -- here's one of the finished doilies from the Csipke Museum in Hövej; note how each "hole" is filled with a different spidery stitch.

Do you see the calendars on the wall?  Each year the village puts out a calendar that highlights this beautiful embroidery or lace.

In Hungary, the title "Master of Folk Art" is given to anyone who has become a "master" of their art.  Only three women have been given this award for the Hövej embroidery that they have done...Mária Horváth, Margit Pócza, and Mrs. Istvánné Szigethy.  Tomorrow, I will share with you some of the work done by Mrs. Szigethy.


Margaret said...

I've enjoyed both of your posts! I'm so glad it was a wonderful trip for you. So cool!

Vickie said...

How exciting and fascinating Cathy.

Anonymous said...

I'm loving your discoveries, Cathy. Thanks for sharing!!

Mrs. DillyDally said...

Thank you so much for taking us along on your travels! It is wonderful to tag along! Am so happy for you! Thanks again for sharing!

Laurie in Iowa said...

What a wonderful trip. I enjoyed reading both of your posts.

Katrina said...

So fun, the lace is just gorgeous.

Barb said...

Thank you again for such an interesting blog post!

Fee said...

How amazing, this is such a story with so many sides to it, the work is lovely and how lucky to find local women learning it still.


Nicola said...

This post is what I love about blogging.

Thank you so much for sharing.

Chris said...

How wonderful to be with these amazing women.

Denise said...

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. and yes this is why we blog to learn new things about our love of stitching.
Happy Stitching

Lynn said...

I can just imagine how thrilled you were when you spotted the ladies, all stitching. I'd want to sit right down with them too!
I find this form of embroidery so fascinating!