pattern

Tea Collection: eight new designs!

We have been quiet for a while, but we are pleased to announce that we are back with a new wonderful collection!

If you follow our Facebook page you probably remember the “Winter Tea” cross stitch chart designed by Valentina Sardu, featured last year in the Lakeside Needlecraft Winter Cross Stitch book.

Now it is finally available through our webshop, together with other seven delightful embroidery patterns, collected in three PDF files, and inspired by seasonal teas and infusions, botanical art, and antique doilies.

A Tea for Each Season, one of the three titles in the new Tea Collection, includes four easy cross stitch and blackwork charts, suitable also for beginners especially when stitched on a 25 or a 28 count evenweave fabric. Each pattern is 60×60 stitches and can be used to embellish any tea-time accessory, such as a tea-cosy, a table runner, napkins, coasters, or invitation cards.

The other two titles in the collection, available as always in digital download, are two sets of botanical cross stitch designs, enhanced in the background by white elegant laces worked in Holbein stitch.
In the first set you will find the common Tea plant (Camellia sinensis), and the Rooibos plant (Aspalathus linearis), better known as African red tea; in the second you will find the hibiscus tea plant, or Karkade (Hibiscus sabdariffa), and the South American Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguariensis).
The delicate and intricate geometry of the white doilies, together with the brilliant colours of the plants, will stand out on linen fabric, natural or, why not, hand dyed with tea leaves.

We hope you will enjoy stitching them!

Tropical Fishes: the new collection is here!


We are so excited to tell you that the new collection has finally arrived!
Take a colorful trip around the world with our new three charts inspired by the underwater life of the tropics.

In the Amazon River, a multicolored discus fish, embroidered in cross stitch, is swimming in the company of an angelfish

… Diving into Lake Malawi, we meet three curious African cichlids that dart through the algae on a marbled blue fabric…

… Finally, from the tropical freshwaters of South America and Africa, we move to the Pacific Ocean, where a cute cross-stitched clownfish and a blackwork yellow tang greet us among the corals and anemones of the Great Barrier Reef.

We hope you love the Tropical Fishes Collection as much as we do! These designs will be a nice decorative touch to your home. Use hand-dyed or iridescent fabrics for a unique look, and share the picture of your finished projects on our Facebook page, or on Instagram using the hashtags #ajisaipress#ajisaidesigns. We can’t wait to see your artworks!

Happy stitching!

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: €15,00

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!