embroidery

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

 

 

Romantic Winter Blooms collection featured as a Best Buy
in The World of Cross Stitching magazine

WOXS 241 best buys AjisaiPress

Our latest collection of designs has been chosen as Pick of the Month
in the “Best Buys” page of The World of Cross Stitching,
issue 241, out today in the UK!

You can find the whole Romantic Winter Blooms collection here

Romantic Winter Blooms - Ajisai Designs

Valentina Sardu’s blackwork embroidery on the cover of RicAmare magazine

RicAmare - March 2016. The chart for the Amaryllis design is currently available exclusively in this month's issue of the magazine

RicAmare – March 2016

 

We are pleased and proud to see the new blackwork design by Valentina Sardu, “Amaryllis”, featured in the March issue of the Italian magazine RicAmare.

The original model, stitched personally by Valentina, will be on display from 3rd to 6th March 2016 at the Creattiva craft fair in Bergamo, Italy, at the stand of the magazine’s publishing company (Edizioni Femminili, stand 64, pavilion B). For more details about this event, visit: http://www.fieracreattiva.it/bergamo-creattiva/en/


UPDATE – January 2017

The design is now available as a single chart in digital download, here: Amaryllis


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!