CMYKwork. A four-colour interpretation of blackwork embroidery

CMYK. Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key Black.

In the four-colour printing, the entire spectrum of colours is reproduced with only these four colours, simply layering them one over the other.

Taking inspiration from this process, Valentina Sardu studied an interesting variation of her favourite embroidery technique… She calls it “CMYKwork”…

Blackwork embroidery is traditionally monochrome, but it lends itself to many creative variations!

Here you can see the first result of this study: Soap Bubbles, a new design achieved after several tries, exploring various combinations of primary and neutral colours.

This new design is now available on our webshop!


Blackwork Design: Soap Bubbles
Blackwork and cross stitch design by Valentina Sardu for Ajisai Designs

A girl, embroidered in traditional blackwork, blows delicate and ethereal soap bubbles in rainbow colours. An optical illusion achieved exclusively by overlapping geometric motifs in the three primary colours (yellow, cyan and magenta) and white.

Product type: Blackwork chart
Stitch count: 390 x 167
Stitches: Holbein Stitch
Instructions in English, French and Italian

PDF printable version / version PDF a imprimer / versione stampabile in PDF
Price: €13,00

Introducing a new title in the Vintage Cross Stitch series

Our beloved book series, Vintage Cross Stitch, returns this month with a new title: Vintage Cross Stitch Flowers

The book, curated by Valentina Sardu, features wonderful full-color illustrations: 60 tables in large format, 410 x 290 mm, with over 90 cross stitch floral motifs, retraced from original charts published during the Nineteenth century and at the beginning of the Twentieth century.

Here you can see some of the antique charts used for this project…


Take a look at the video preview (watch in HD for a better resolution):

One of the patterns, a gorgeous cushion with poppies, has been also featured on the cover of the Italian magazine RicAmare (June 2017).

Discover all the titles in the Vintage Cross Stitch series!


Upcoming needlework shows in Italy

Our blackwork embroideries will be on show at the following events:

  • FILI MAGICI – 5th Edition

Needlework exhibition in the Renaissance Della Rovere Castle in Vinovo, near Turin (Piedmont, Italy).
57 Italian and French exhibitors will show 54 different techniques of embroidery and lace.


Castello della Rovere, Vinovo (TO), Italy

Dates and schedule: from 20/05/2016 to 22/05/2016
Friday 20 May 2016: from 15.00 to 19.30
Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 May 2016: from 9.30 to 19.00

Entrance: 5,00 Euros (free for children under 12)

Email: Gisella Tamagno –

Fili Magici 2014

Above: some pics of the previous edition of Fili Magici

  • DI FILO IN FILO – 15th Edition

Textile art fair hosted in the Filatoio Rosso, the oldest silk factory in Europe, built in 1676-1678 by Giovanni Girolamo Galleani, and now museum.

Di filo in filo 2016

Filatoio Rosso, Caraglio (CN), Italy

Dates and schedule: from 11/06/2016 to 12/06/2016
Saturday 11 June 2016: from 14.00 to 19.00
Sunday 12 June 2016: from 9.00 to 19.00

Entrance: Free


Filatoio Rosso - Caraglio

Filatoio Rosso – Caraglio


Embroidery and textile exhibition in Valtopina, near Perugia, in the beautiful Umbrian region.
The event will host nearly 90 exhibitors from Italy and from many foreign countries.


Valtopina (PG), Italy

Dates and schedule: from 02/09/2016 to 04/09/2016
Friday 2 September 2016: 10.30-13.00/15.00-20.00
Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 September 2016: 9.00-13.00/15.00-20.00

Entrance: 6,00 Euros


valtopina 2016


Ricami diVini 2015: embroideries and wines in the hills of Monferrato, Italy

Ricami Divini Rosignano MonferratoOn the weekend of the 23rd and 24th of May 2015, the town of Rosignano Monferrato in Piedmont, Italy, will host an interesting exhibition of needlework: Ricami diVini. Protagonists of the event will be, of course, the embroideries, but also the internationally renowned wines produced in these valleys, including Barbera, Grignolino, Cortese and Freisa.
The Monferrato hills, together with Langhe and Roero, have recently been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, for their typical tuff cellars (infernot) and vineyards. In this wonderful location, Ricami diVini will feature the works of famous Italian and French needlework designers.

We will be there too, and will present a new pattern designed for this occasion: “Sparrows and grapes“.
Here is a preview…

Sparrows and grapes - Ajisai Designs

The chart will be available worldwide, in PDF format, after the exhibit.

Locandina RICAMI 2015 ridottoRICAMI DiVINI
Rosignano Monferrato (AL), Italy

Dates and schedule:

  • Saturday 23rd May 2015: needlework exhibition from 16.30 to 19.00 (Teatro Ideal, free entrance)
  • Sunday 24th May 2015: needlework exhibition from 9.00 to 19.00 (Teatro Ideal, free entrance)
    During the whole day: free wine tastings, traditional dances, guided tours through the infernot cellars and the historical and natural beauties of the area.

For more info, visit the official blog: