It's that time of year for flowers and chocolate and . . . valentines!
Here's a quick valentine to stitch up for yourself, or a special someone.
Yes, it's a SQUARE valentine, done in blackwork. (But you can turn it on point, add a tassel, and you've got a sweet little ornament. Also, please forgive my rather sloppy stitching -- I whipped up the model this morning while watching an hour or so of TV, so I could show you how it looks in stitches.)
What's so fun and quick about stitching blackwork is that you can pick and choose the various elements you want to use in your design. I think of blackwork as a mix-n-match type of stitching, because you can play around by adding or subtracting easy elements to create totally different patterns, depending on your needs. Below is a picture of the two different elements that were used to create the whole valentine design. The GREEN ARROW shows the first element. The ORANGE ARROW shows the second element.
Either of these elements can be stitched by themselves -- imagine a row of either element, to be used as a border around a small sampler. Or create a row of these elements in a band sampler. Or they could be stitched in a monochrome color as a background pattern for a painted canvas. And for this valentine, by combining both of those simple elements, I've created the more complex elements shown on the right side.
I've stitched this on 25 ct. linen Congress Cloth (so it has a slubby look) with a variegated Wildflowers-type thread. The variegated thread adds a bit of "color confusion" for your eyes.... If you stitched this in a solid color, it would look more traditional and quieter! Also, because I stitched it so small, on 25 ct Congress Cloth, the design is rather bunched together. For a more lacy and airy look, try stitching on Hardanger cloth (22 ct), Aida cloth, any evenweave fabric, or even 18 ct canvas. You can also move the elements further apart, by just a thread or two...
And you can see that I've added a few gold beads for a little "bling".... and there's also a bit of red metallic stitched in the small valentine flowers. The fun thing about blackwork is: you can add as much or as little accent colors/beads as you want. You can be the designer!
So, if you want to play around with this little blackwork valentine, please check out the FREE PATTERNS page on my website and print out the page for your stash.
Anyway, HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY and I hope you enjoy some special stitching time this weekend...( some chocolate and flowers would be nice, too!)