pattern

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

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!

 

The World of Cross Stitching issue 231

Woxs_231cover

The World of Cross Stitching issue 231, out today in the UK, contains an exclusive blackwork and cross stitch project titled “Blackwork Hummingbird”, designed by Valentina Sardu for Ajisai Press.

Our little hummingbird is also featured on the front cover of the magazine.

In addition, on page 76 you will find a wonderful interview to our designer, Valentina Sardu.

Don’t miss it!


UPDATE – March 2016

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


 

detail

projectphoto

Hummingbird project in blackwork and cross stitch, designed by Valentina Sardu for Ajisai Press. Images (C) The World of Cross Stitching, Immediate Media Co. Find the design in the latest issue, The World of Cross Stitching issue 231, on sale now. See www.cross-stitching.com for more details.