It's been ages and ages since I've done a blackwork piece. One popular blackwork pattern I released many years ago was called JACOBEAN FLOWERS. Here's what it looked like:
Basically, I wanted to see what a variegated thread would look like in a blackwork design, and I used a variegated dark pink thread throughout the whole design. As you can see, this piece has lots of different areas to fill with lots of different blackwork patterns.
I always wanted to do more long blackwork pieces, but somehow never got back to that format. Until last year when I got obsessed with doing a long hydrangea piece. There are so many more variegated threads to use now, and I really wanted to use a thread that had blues and greens for the flowers, and then a variegated green thread for the leaves. Here's how it finally turned out:
I got halfway through the stitching on this one before I realized that there was no way I could outline each little hydrangea floret -- duh... The only way I could finish off the mophead hydrangeas was to outline the whole shape, and unfortunately, they rather DO look like big blue mopheads - grin!
But up close, there are lots of beads (silver and crystal ones included in the pattern) that add fun sparkle and texture...plus I like using Kreinik Blending Filament in my blackwork because it adds even more sparkle:
Belatedly, I also realized that if I had added some center circles to each flower, they would make great sunflowers, or roses, or camellias, or peonies! So I've added that option to the drawing in the pattern that you trace onto your fabric, so you have a broader choice of flowers to stitch:
See how different the design looks now? (Can you imagine these flowers as sunflowers, with dark beaded centers? Or cottage roses with gold centers?) Anyway, that gives even more color options for these flowers, and the instructions tell you how to stitch the centers as well.
[ASIDE: I might add here that the way I learned to do blackwork was to trace the drawing onto evenweave fabric, then just start stitching in each space, filling them with geometric blackwork patterns. Since blackwork is essentially backstitching in a repetitive manner, once you know your pattern you just keep stitching it over and over until it fills the space. I find this "fill in" method much more enjoyable and relaxing than working from a stitch-by-stitch graph -- I find it goes faster that way, so that's the way my blackwork instructions are written.]
So if any of you enjoy blackwork, like I do, or maybe would like to try creating your own blackwork flowers, please visit my website for more information on this new BLACKWORK HYDRANGEAS pattern....