My grandma always used to be working on this type of needlework (she passed away in 1984) and I didn't know what it was until about a month ago. It's called näversöm. I did a little searching and I found this website, Ethnic Fiber Art, with a great explanation of what it is exactly as well as a database of all sorts of different styles of needlework. If you are interested in finding out about the needlework of your heritage, this is a great place to start.
Näversöm translated is Birch Bark Embroidery, aptly named because of the pieces of birch bark the women would use as a frame to stretch their work over. I don't know much about needlework but in näversöm there are apparently only four stitches used.
I have been thinking awhile about learning some type of needle art - mainly to use it as a diet technique!