broderie

I LOVE BLACKWORK – A free chart for blackwork lovers

Free Blackwork Chart Ajisai Press

Anyone who loves blackwork embroidery will certainly enjoy this little freebie! :-)

We used it to decorate a thread keeper, but it would also be cute framed, mounted on the lid of a wooden box, or finished as a pincushion.

Blackwork thread keeper AjisaiPress

Here is the chart… Happy stitching!

FREE blackwork AjisaiPressI LOVE BLACKWORK

Stitch count: 40 width x 40 height

Each square on the graph represents two threads of evenweave fabric or one block of Aida

Embroidery size:

On 28 ct evenweave fabric (stitched over 2 threads) or 14 ct Aida: 7,3 x 7,3 cm
On 32 ct evenweave fabric (stitched over 2 threads) or 16 ct Aida: 6,35 x 6,35 cm

Chart key:

___  Outlines and text: Holbein Stitch in 2 strands of black stranded cotton

___  Blackwork pattern: Holbein Stitch in 1 strand of black stranded cotton

___  Thread wrapped around the bobbin: Satin Stitch in 2 strands of black stranded cotton

 

 

How to create a blackwork embroidery using cookie cutters
(plus a free fill-in pattern for your Christmas projects)

FREE blackwork embroidery for Christmas - Ajisai Press

Cookie cutters are very versatile tools: not only useful for shaping delicious cookies, but also great as templates in craft projects, including blackwork embroidery!

For this tutorial I embroidered two classic Christmas characters, Mr and Mrs Gingerbread, but you can use cookie cutters in any shape you desire :-)

Cookie cutters used as embroidery templates

Here is a list of what you will need:

  • cookie cutters
  • an HB pencil
  • white evenweave fabric
  • black embroidery thread for the fill-in pattern
  • gold cord for the outlining (or a thick black thread, if preferred)
  • sewing thread in a matching colour to the outline thread
  • needle
  • scissors
  • a frame or a hoop (optional, but suggested)

Tracing the design

Lay out your cookie cutters on the fabric and try different arrangements until you find one you like.
Draw outlines around each shape with an HB pencil.

Using cookie cutters for blackwork embroidery pencil outlines of a blackwork embroidery

Working the fill-in patterns

Mount the fabric into the frame.
Choose one or more fill-in patterns suitable for your project, and work them in the shapes, using backstitch or double running stitch (Holbein stitch).

blackwork filling pattern

You can use one strand of black cotton floss or, why not, a fine metallic thread (mine was a shiny black and gold thread: Aurifil Brillo #646)

Christmas blackwork fill-in pattern

Outlining

Free-form designs like this can be outlined in many ways using different embroidery stitches, like stem stitch or chain stitch, but for this project I decided to use a thick gold cord secured with a simple couching stitch.

couching gold cord - blackwork embroidery Couching - Ajisai Press

Choose a starting point and secure the couching thread (a fine sewing thread) on the back of the fabric.

Lay the metallic cord along the pencil marks and hold it in place with the finer thread, making tiny regular stitches.

The gold cord in the pictures was couched using a 50wt thread in a yellow-orange colour: Aurifil Makò Cotton #2145.

When all the outline is done, tie the two unsewn ends of the cord in a bow. Secure the centre with the sewing thread and trim the excess cord.

As an alternative to the bow, if the couched cord is not too thick, you can pull it to the back of the fabric, using a large needle or a crochet hook. Buttons, beads or other charms can be added to the design, if desired.

Couching - blackwork and goldwork - Ajisai Press Blackwork gingerbread man with bow blackwork embrodery with couched outlines and bow

Now the embroidery is finally ready to be framed!

Mr and Mrs Gingerbread - blackwork embroidery

The model used in this tutorial was mounted in the lid of a wooden box, perfect for a Christmas gift!

Blackwork Gingerbread Cookies - Ajisai Press

Here is the blackwork filling designed for the occasion:

filling pattern - free for personal use only

This pattern, combined with metallic threads, will give a festive look to your projects :-)

Happy stitching, and happy holidays!

 

How to keep your place on a Blackwork or Cross Stitch chart
{DIY Chart Marker tutorial}

How to keep your place on a Blackwork or Cross Stitch chartSome charted designs for counted-thread embroideries, especially Blackwork, are very intricate and it’s easy to lose track of stitches.

To avoid this, you can:

– make a photocopied “working copy” of the pattern and use a highlighter to mark the completed areas

– fix the original chart on a metal board, and surround the area where you are working with magnetic strips and rulers (see photo to the right)

Alternatively, here is a simple and inexpensive chart marker that you can easily create by yourself:

DIY Chart Marker

DIY chart marker - Ajisai Press

DIY chart marker 3


You will need:

  • cardstock (preferably in a dark contrasting colour)
  • ruler
  • paper cutter
  • decorative-edge scissors (optional)

 

Cut a strip of cardstock, about 4,5 cm wide, and about 1,5 cm longer than your chart page on each side.

If you want, you can also decorate the two lateral edges using a pair of scalloped scissors. DIY chart marker 4Then, following the template below, cut two horizontal lines with the same width of the pattern sheet.

Chart Marker template - Ajisai Press

Your chart marker is now ready to be used: insert the chart through the two openings, and slide and position the marker where you need it.

You can use it alone or combined with another marker, with single sheets or with books and magazines.

DIY chart marker for cross stitch patterns - Ajisai Press

DIY cross-stitched chart marker - Ajisai PressOf course, you can make many other markers in any size, colour and material.

You can also add a personal touch using a colorful patterned cardstock or, why not, a piece of perforated paper worked in cross stitch.


 

The chart marker below was stitched on 18-count burgundy perforated paper with stranded cotton threads, using a floral motif from the book “Vintage Cross Stitch Borders“.

cross-stitched chart marker - Ajisai Press7