Wednesday 3 March 2010

Haandarbejdets Fremme - The Danish Handcraft Guild

My love of stitching has its roots in many places, and one of those places is Copenhagen where, in the 70s, as a Danish guard marched past in Stroget to the chimes of their glockenspiels, I came face to face with the works of Clara Waever, Gerda Bengtsson, Ida Winkler, and many others in a shop window. Today these women and their works are still my best friends. (I nearly bought a house in Cambridge on the strength that the previous owner had filled her mezzanine with luminous Bengtsson stitched wild flowers....) Lately when I visited the Haandarbejedts Fremme Gallery, I saw how wonderfully timeless many of the designs are. I lovingly remember one Gerda Bengtsson wild herb panel bordered in damask silk, and hung simply as a scroll, Japanese-style. The designs also have universal appeal. Friends going out to the Palestinian Territories bring back stitched items for sale, and one of the items I saw recently was the red and white Gerda Bengtsson cushion cover which you can just see, tucked behind the curtain on the right in the top picture.
The Danish Handcraft Guild is open to foreign stitching enthusiasts and publishes a magazine with patterns 3 times a year. I heartily recommend it to you.


  1. How beautiful those cushions are! I love the one with the bleeding hearts...I have to go check out the magazine. Thanks for some more 'enabling' Jaqueline. A lovely post as usual...

    Can I have a hint as to when the new stitch along will start? Pretty please??

  2. I have many of their patterns and love them! Have yet to stitch any though, which seems to be the usual phrase regarding anything lately!

  3. When the CSG visited Denmark we had to visit the guild center twice as once was not enough! The designs are stunning. I fell for the designs of Ingrid Plum who brings a modern look to the floral designs. The kits are also a great introduction to the Danish Floral threads which were created for Gerda Bengtsson's work.