Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Blackwork Patterns

Recently, my self-published book - BLACKWORK PATTERNS - was reviewed in the September issue of ANG's NEEDLE POINTERS magazine.

As I explain in the introduction, "After several years of stitching and designing blackwork patterns, I decided it would be helpful to have a reference book containing all the different stitch patterns I had used in my designs."

So began a massive job of collecting and graphing all the blackwork patterns I had used or come across thus far. After creating 70+ pages of patterns (about 600 varieties), I STILL hadn't come close to collecting all the blackwork patterns out in the world. THERE MUST BE THOUSANDS! (A never-ending assignment, I discovered....)

So I quit when I had a good-sized collection, and then arranged them by size (small, medium, large, and a few border patterns). But I didn't just collect one-color patterns (i.e.: all in black thread). No. My interest has been in seeing what those one-colored blackwork patterns look like when you use TWO colors....or even THREE colors (with embellishments like beads, sequins and metallics).

Here's a sample of a page from the book, showing how the patterns are arranged. Each pattern is shown in three ways: on the left - using one color only; in the middle - using two colors; and on the right - using two or three colors with embellishments.

[PRIVATE CONFESSION: I've done dozens of blackwork designs, but I've never, ever, ever (yet) done one in black. My excuse: I love color and there are so many colors to explore, I want to try them ALL before I stitch with just black.]

Here's one of the first color combinations I tried - and loved - in blackwork.
It's just a part of a much larger piece called NATURE SAMPLER:

It uses two blues and one green color, and little white pearls for embellishments. I love how light and airy this design looks - simply because of the colors I used. And it started me on a love affair with blackwork that continues to this day...


Miriam said...

Wow!!! I love the stitched example, and I also would love to own your book myself. Is it possible to order one? By the way, I am living in the Netherlands, so that is extra complicating! Blackwork is so interesting, and although I have designed a couple of patterns myself it is always good to have new ideas available!

Anonymous said...

Oh Laura, how I wish I had your book when I was working on my Illusions in Blackwork design!

How would I go about getting of the book? I do love blackwork, and having over 600 designs at my fingertips would be heaven indeed.

Funny that you have never worked any in just black - I have never worked any in anything but black. I watched with interest, your Blackwork Mystery that you did back in July/Aug and decided I would like to try a multicoloured blackwork, but I must finish a couple of WIPs first.

And I would love to see more that Nature Sampler!

Doris said...

i like the look of the color in the blackwork. said...

Gosh, there is a great deal of worthwhile material above!