Friday, August 10, 2012

Blackwork pattern for you to try!

Summer Bloggin' on &Stitches
Trouble-T has got a real treat for you this week: a beautiful blackwork pattern to try! We've been really inspired by these post about counted thread and blackwork - we hope you are too!

Big thank you to Tonya for her great posts! 

Did you get a chance to check out those blackwork patterns that I mentioned in my last post yet? If not, I’m sure that this easy project will make you want to take a look!

I took a simple pattern, the heart in different sizes, and created a heart collage. Next, I picked out geometric fill designs that made the most of the size of the area to be filled. I chose a mix of fillers from a couple of the sites that I shared in my last post.

Now it’s your turn!

Here’s what you need: 
  • White even count Aida or linen – I used a 14 ct Aida and a 9” hoop.
  • An embroidery frame of your choice – I used a hoop but a square frame will work just as well.
  • Black cotton embroidery thread
  • Embroidery needle
  • Scissors
  • Patience, especially with more intricate designs!
Heart pattern (Click this image to print.)
Step 1
        Transfer your pattern the pattern to your fabric. I used a vanishing fabric marker and a light box.
Step 2
        Stitch your outline. I chose a split stitch but a stem stitch would work as well.
Step 3
Decision time! 

Do you want to do the Holbein stitch or back stitch? Both can give the same effect as you look at your embroidery piece from the front. If you want it reversible with the Holbein stitch, then you need to consider how you plan to display your work so that both sides can be appreciated.

Now it’s time to choose a filler design. (See the bottom of my first post for pattern links!) Make sure that the design you’ve chosen is appropriate in proportion to the area to be filled. If you choose one that is too large for the space, then you will lose the effect of the overall pattern.

To fill the individual hearts, start stitching at the center, especially with the larger fill designs. Your start point doesn’t have to be perfect center.

Step 4
Continue filling hearts until you have completed them all! Play with different types of filler. There are flowers, fruits, vines and leaves, braids and even pomegranates. By mixing up your filler, you will see just how much depth and texture you can create within a monochromatic piece.

If you do not care for the heart collage pattern, you can create your own outline pattern or remove some of the smaller hearts from the one that I shared. I chose the hearts pattern because of its simplicity. You could certainly do any shape that you prefer. A monogram done in blackwork would be awesome. Do what makes you happy.

Please share your finished blackwork pieces with the &Stitches’ Flickr group! I would love to see your creations.

Happy Stitching!


  1. Yowza. I haven't really looked at blackwork before; it is so pretty!!

  2. It is Jen! Blackwork can make you look at monochromatic work in a whole new light. :)

  3. this is SO beautiful! i'd love to learn to do this!

    1. The stitches used in this piece are super easy Lauri. Give it a try!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I have never liked blackwork and I'm not sure why, but this is adorable. Really, this is the first blackwork that I have ever taken a liking to. I will see blackwork in a whole new light now.

  6. Hi is it Ok to add a link to this page for my blog post on Blackwork inspiration.
    Many thanks


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