BLACKWORK: A blast from the past

The Victoria & Albert Museum textile collection is superb, but one piece really takes the cake – a blackwork jacket from the early 17th Century, embroidered all over with flowers, birds, insects, and fantastical beats. The design is worked free-form in backstitch and tiny straight stitches, to imitate the woodcuts of the period. The embroideryContinue reading “BLACKWORK: A blast from the past”

Cat Lady Embroidery: 380 ways to stitch a cat

Authors: APPLEMINTS Creative Publishing, Minneapolis Review:  2018 ISBN: 978 1 58923 964 7 120 pages  Originally published in Japan two years ago, those of you who love cats will be grateful that someone picked it up and decided that it was worth translating into English. Now, don’t get me wrong, I adore Daisy and Fumi, cats whoContinue reading “Cat Lady Embroidery: 380 ways to stitch a cat”

Embroidered Boxes: Techniques and projects

Authors: Broughton, Emma Review: Ramsbury, Marlborough, Crowood Press, 2019 ISBN: 978 1 78500 563 3 192 pages I wanted the last review for 2019 to be a positive one. I was beginning to despair. A book on appliquéing was, I thought, too technical. One on stumpwork, made by an Australian, now deceased, I did not find particularlyContinue reading “Embroidered Boxes: Techniques and projects”

The intentional thread: A guide to drawing, gesture and color in stitch

Brandeis, SusanThe intentional thread: A guide to drawing, gesture and color in stitch. Atglen, PA, Schiffer Publishing, 2019ISBN: 978 0 7643 5743 5224 pages Susan Brandeis is a Distinguished Professor Emerita and a member of an academy of outstanding teachers. As well as being a studio artist, she holds graduate degrees in both art educationContinue reading “The intentional thread: A guide to drawing, gesture and color in stitch”

Blackwork pattern of the month – ‘Facing Tortoiseshell’

Sashiko, a traditional form of Japanese embroidery using the running stitch, is a great source of inspiration for blackwork. Both techniques employ geometric patterns, and both rely on the contrast between the embroidery and the ground cloth – although Sashiko is not counted and typically uses white thread on indigo fabric. This month’s blackwork patternContinue reading “Blackwork pattern of the month – ‘Facing Tortoiseshell’”

Blackwork Pattern of the Month – ‘Falling Fans’

This pattern was created by repeating a little fan (or leaf?) that I extracted from a larger motif in Blackwork Made Easy by Lesley Wilkins. In the diagram, 1 grid square equals 1 square on Aida or 2 threads on evenweave / linen. The sample is stitched with 1 strand of DMC 3051 (Dark GreenContinue reading “Blackwork Pattern of the Month – ‘Falling Fans’”