My crafting and family life journal

Archive for the ‘blackwork’ Category

Sampler progress – June

i have made a bit more progress on my garden sampler, but with the warmer weather upon us less and less time is being dedicated to stitching and more time to outdoor pursuits. Hopefully I will carve out a bit of time in July for a new row start.



Pillow talk

i spent the last month make some monogramed pillows for the master bedroom in preparation for the memory quilt that is being quilted for the bed. The pillows are a combination of cross stitch and blackwork. I so love hoe he blackwork makes the colors in the flowers pop that I have started a rather large sampler  for one of the bedroom walls that will use the same technique.


New bed pillows that should pop on the richly colored quilt they will be placed with


First anchor block of the alphabet wall hanging …. only 29 more blocks and the border to go… the next block will start to add color.

Ladybug and Daisy

Just finished a blackwork piece that I have been working on for the couple of months, just in time to start working in the gardens during my free time. I am really happy with the finished product.


This piece and another featuring a hummingbird will be worked into a quilt top.

First project finish for 2017

Just finished my first craft project of the year. This Blackwork project is 160 x 160 on a 14 count lavender fabric. The entire project took about seven weeks to complete.

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The Ladies

A bit more of the work on my Blackwork piece has been completed. I am at a loss as to what pattern to use for the remaining outer sections. So I will move onto finishing the ladies in the center of the piece. Please let me know if you have any stitch recommendations for the outside blocks.


2016 Projects

I entered the new year with several started craft projects and just as many projects that have been moved to the UFO pile.

Before a major work related project, and the growing season starts I hope to make some major progress on four started projects.

1. Winter in the village quilt for our bed. I got a nice start on the blocks during the holidays, but lost a bit off interest when I started working on the roof and sky areas that require a large number of Y seams. Hopefully I will get back to the project soon.


2. The ladies (working title) Blackwork piece. I love, love, love Blackwork, but it takes a great deal of time to lay all of the stitches — for example the band of Blackwork in the photo took me more than two weeks to complete. To be honest I have pushed many of my other projects aside to spend time on this project. I think I will do one or two more sections and then put it aside to work on one of my other projects.


3. The Lady at the Lake needlepoint is another one of my original designs that I started working the Summer of 2015. It is a very large piece that I worked on non stop for a few months — then lost interest in the project. I plan on picking the project up again about mid spring when I can sit on the sun porch while I stitch.


4. I have been working on the Sun Goddess needlepoint canvas for more than five years.My partner bought this canvas for me more than 10 years ago and it sat in the closet for a few years before I brought it out and started stitching the project. It uses many complex stitches that were selected to challenge my skills, and I rose to the challenge, but every time I make a major mistake I put the canvas aside for a time. Currently I have had a very had time deciding on a stitch to use of the dress. Several have been trials and I have pulled all of them out. If an appropriate stitch for the dress can be found I will pick the project up again this year, and maybe even finish the project.


update on the ladies project

I have started to make a bit of headway with my latest piece. All of the outlining has been completed and pattern work started. All of the areas around the central images will be filled with some traditional backgrounds in black, and the images will be done in dull colors and open patterns, and the skin of the women will be cross stitched with natural skin tones. I think I will attempt to do a shaded background on the center square (never tried this before so we will see how it works out).


Do you have any thoughts or feedback on this project?

First project for 2016

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season full of friends and family. Our holidays were just the right mix for us. There were a few family members that live to far away for a visit, but we were still blessed with a nice mix of family and friends new and old this season.

Between house guests I designed and started outlining my first Blackwork projects for 2016.


The ladies in the piece were originally used in a much larger piece of needlepoint I created last year. I liked the fished designed so much that they were repurposed for this project.

Shooting Star Pillow

Today I finished the second holiday break project. The Shooting Star blackwork piece I finished about a month ago was made into a pillow with a red velvet three inch border on the front and black velvet backing.

Initially red satin cording was added to the edges, but unfortunately, I am not weary good at working cording around corners. The pillow top had to be picked apart cording ripped out and put back together before I was satisfied with the final product.


Hope you like the finished product…now on to the next UFO…

Another project completed

Thanksgiving week the inlaws came up for a visit. We spent the week introducing them to some of the local micro breweries and local sites. We also provided them with their first vegetarian Thanksgiving meal. They were very gracious about the non-traditional meal and sampled all of the offering, but at our lunch at the Norwich inn the next day they did order traditional turkey.

This week we spent a fair amount of time preparing for the Christmas holiday. The trees have been trimmed (we place one on each floor), baking started, packages boxed and ready to mail, some gifts ordered or made, and greens cut for next weekends wreath making party.


Between all of the holiday activities I managed to finish the Blackwork project that has been in the works for the past few months. I am very happy with the finished project and cannot wait to move on to another UFO.

Blackwork project update

Shooting star Blackwork project

For the past few evenings I’ve had an opportunity to make some progress on my latest Blackwork project. Now that I m past the halfway point in the project I am having a really hard time putting the project down.

should I frame or turn the finished piece into a pillow?

Ornament design update

I had a great idea for making needlepoint, cross stitch or Blackwork Christmas ornaments for each of our family member this year. I picked out a number of patterns, made sure I had enough canvas, threads and embellishments for the job. The first ornament was completed and I rushed into the second, then as with many things My interest started to waver. There are now several pages in my design book detailing the ornaments I planned on making and maybe some day they will actually be stitched, but for now they have been put aside and other projects are started.

I have come to find that the for me the design process is much more fun that the actual execution. Maybe I will pick them up again next summer when I need small projects to travel with.

For this season only two ornaments will be completed. The bell project was posted in an earlier post and the snowflake ornament is posted below.

Snowflake cross stich

Do you finish all the projects incision end? If so how do you keep yourself motivated?

Holiday bell tutorial

Last year our family decided that all adults would receive homemade items as holiday gifts. The first year we gifted mostly goods from the kitchen along with a small craft item. This year I was able to start a bit earlier so more creativity could be applied to items in the gift baskets.

One of the gift items I made this year were needlework holiday bells. The creation of the items allowed me to try some new patterns and create products that may be treasured and passed down to younger family members.

Holiday bell

I was so happy with the way that bells turned out that I desired to share a tutorial defining the process with you.

  1. Measure out two pieces of canvas. For the bell in this tutorial I used Aida 14 cloth in a cream color. The larger canvas size made the pattern very easy to complete.
    blackwork bell pattern
  2. Choose a pattern and border for the bell. I have a fondness for Blackwork so I used free patterns found at Blackwork Journey, Imaginesque, or Wyrdbyrd’s Nest.
    holiday bell canvas pieces
  3. Stitch your selected pattern and border on one canvas piece and just a border on the second piece. The patterned piece will be used for the outside of the bell and the unit with just a border will inside.
  4. Cut about a 1/2 inch border around the stitch pieces and press the border under.
    holiday bell stitching pieces together
  5. Sandwich the backsides of the two pieces  together and hand stitch around the edges.


  6. Fold the stitched unit i half with the inside of the up, then hand sew each end from the fold to abut 1/2 way down the sides.


  7. Fold the unit in half on the other side keeping the inside of the bell to the outside, and stitch from the fold to about halfway down on both sides.


  8. Turn the bell right side out.


  9.  Shape the unit into a bell shape by adjusting the folds. Next add your favorite accents for the clanger and hanger.

    Holiday bell

Shooting Stars Blackwork update

Shooting stars Blackwork project

The last few days I have been spending a lot of time in the kitchen processing the last of this seasons harvest. When waiting to load or unload dehydrator tray or adding or removing jars from the canning pot progress was made on my Shooting Stars Blackwork project. With the exception of the border all of the outlining has been completed and I have started filling areas. My plan is to use three colors for the project: black (dull and high gloss), and red and purple high gloss threads.

Shooting star project threads

September project update

This month I finished one needlepoint project and start two more and a Blackwork piece. I have a tendency to  loose interest and items have a tendency to risk falling into the UFO pile if I don’t switch back and forth between projects.

A canvas I bought 5-6 years ago has made it onto my frame. I work on this unit when we are watching tv in the family room ( I really don’t pay much attention to tv so it is always nice to have something else to do).


Progress is also being made on one of my own needlepoint designs. I really love working on this 14 point canvas. It allows me to use some yummy knitting yarns.

Lady at the water needlepoint

Closeup of dress stitch

Closeup of dress stitch

Closeup of water stitch

Closeup of water stitch

This past week I also started a new Blackwork project. I really love the geometric pattern so have been spending a number of my evening hours working on the project.


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