Mastery of embroidery

The tradition of embroidering is a "family heritage" at us. My Grandmother loved embroidering very much and had a great deal of skills in it. As a child I always gazed her brilliantly embroidered works in wonder. I was 8 when she started to teach me to it. She made me acquainted with the stitches of free-hand handwork and with the techniques of the cross-stitch as well. I exercised the former on a rose motived cover, the latter on a cross-stitch work from Bereg. Still I have these pieces at my Mother's.

Seeing that I was good in the needle work my Mother initiated me into the mysteries of crocheting. As a child I did not understand why was necessary to exercise how the yarn slips freely on the hand. But today I am very grateful for it.

Both of them had a relatively wide design collection. Supplements of Bazár (Bazaar), Párizsi Divat (Parish Fashion), Magyar Úrasszonyok Lapja (Magazine of Hungarian Ladies) magazines, and the genuine treasures: hand painted design pages from the heritage of my great-grandmother. When they saw how enthusiastic I worked, they gave me them. And my Father was who taught me the grounds of pattern design and drawing, still I keep drawings I've got from him.

Except for secondary school years I never gave up my hobby and it filled me deeper and deeper. During the college years it helped me a lot in the examination seasons in relaxing.

I started to collect books on the topic of embroidery and different embroidering techniques, and for in the end of the 80's embroidery was not in fashion I looked for old publications in second hand bookshops. They comprised among others Thérése Dillmont's valuable handwork encyclopaedia (Hungarian edition round 1900), booklets of DMC Library and handwork books of Beyers publishing house. Bertha Schwetter's exhaustive and per-fectly illustrated book helped me a lot in learning different techniques I had not known before. With the help of a very kind couple I obtained copies of booklets of Tündérujjak (Fairy's Fingers) published between 1924 and 1944 and its model drawings. My folklore collection also increased.

Recently my collection of handwork book and handwork magazine exceeds 2000 items, not counting those numerous books which help me a lot in designing motifs (old botanical and art books).

Besides practicing embroidering I am also interested in the history of embroidering so I like books on this as well.

I am happy for my luck that my hobby can be my profession.

Katalin Munk
Ferenc Márton