I love it all: embroidery, canvaswork, quilting, crochet. So much to do, so little time.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Blackwork: A Dying Art?

Hey Blogger Friends,

If you follow stitching blogs (and I do), you see lots of cross stitch, needlepoint, some hardanger and other types of counted threadwork, but very little, if any, blackwork.  Why is that?  I know there aren't many blackwork designers out there, but if there were a demand for it, I'm sure you would see designers stepping up to the plate.  Is it because stitchers generally don't care for the look of blackwork?  Do you think it's because they think it will be too complicated to execute the double running stitch?  As a matter of fact, if you are never going to see the reverse of the piece, for instance a mounted and framed piece, why do the double running stitch when you can just backstitch?  Easy-peasy.  Or maybe stitchers think it's too boring just doing backstitch and a few counted crosses.  Why don't you do blackwork?  I'd be interested to know.

But anyway, here is Greenpiece all mounted and framed.

There are a lot of dense stitches in the piece, and I probably didn't even stitch them correctly.  I don't mean to say that the finished product is incorrect, but that the order in which I built the design in the squares might not have been the recommended way.  The directions were simply to use cross stitch and back stitch.

Here are some close-ups of squares finished after my last progress report.

The green beads in some of the squares provide sparkle.
In the square directly above, the area where
the bead was to be placed was outlined in light green,
but the bead was to be attached to the white ground.
So I used an invisible nylon thread to attach the beads.
I'm glad I only had to use it for this one square!

The center square was a little time-consuming because I had to stitch a long time before there was a repeat in the design.  Once a design repeats, I just follow what I've already stitched instead of the chart.

The designer of this piece is Elizabeth Almond.  She's done other blackwork designs and has written about blackwork in at least one stitching magazine that I know of.  Keep the blackwork designs coming, Elizabeth!

Well, that's it for today.  As always, thanks for visiting.


Colorado Stitcher said...

Your piece is beautiful. I love blackwork and don't know why I don't do more. I have found that learning the running stitch and doing blackwork has actually helped me in my other stitching. It gave me an awareness of what goes on in the back and make thread saving moves when back stitching.

Anna van Schurman said...

I feel like I do enough back stitch on my regular cross stitch. But yours is beautiful!

Ola said...

Oh My God! I can't beleive I found you! I have just started to do blackwork and I am already addicted. Will be nice to keep up with other blackworkmaniacs:) I love your work:)