Wednesday, September 24, 2008
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...