W.I.P. Wednesday – Blackwork

Just a reminder : You only have 3 shipping days left until my birthday (it’s the 9th). 🙂

I have so many things I want to work on and create during 2009 – I don’t feel like I can concentrate on any one project there are so many I want to begin! (Please reassure me, this happens to you, too, right?).

To kick of the New Year I’d like to share this amazing book I picked up last autumn, but only recently made something from :


Until happening upon this book, Blackwork : Technique et modèls by Sonia Lucano, I’d never heard of blackwork. This ancient form of embroidery dates back to the XVth century, even earlier according to some things I’ve read on the Internet. According to the book, Catherine of Aragon practiced blackwork in the XVIth century – who knew?


This inspiring book is beautifully photographed and would be eye-candy for anyone, even if you’re not particularly interested in embroidery.


Blackwork is traditionally black thread embroidered on white cloth, but there are examples of white on black which are also gorgeous.


There are so many beautiful ideas in this volume, I found myself pouring over the pages for weeks, just for fun, but never knowing what I wanted to try. I decided to jump in by trying some of the mixed motifs from the book. I didn’t actually cross-stitch them, I actually just embroidered them using back and split stitches.

I opted to use my first attempt at blackwork to embellish my 2009 Diary.


Before : boaring, pleather-covered 2009 Diary. Ho-hum.




After : Groovy blackworked (albeit off-centre) design on some cream coloured muslin. It’s already nice & wrinkly from bouncing about in my bag.

I’m not sure what I’ll be making next. I’m still looking for some good PIF ideas, and there are some great ones in here. I know Tacha and Natlaia have already found their future PIF recipients, so I want to get them their goodies out soon.

There are more and more of you joining in the W.I.P. fun – please don’t be shy – don’t forget it can be about any work in progress be it textile, prose, culinary – you name it! You can also highlight things you’d like to try or crafty ideas. If you know you’ll be participating next week, drop me a line & I’ll add your link to my post. I’m hoping to get a list of participants in my sidebar…but please, no stress about posting. It’s on a ‘if you wanna’ basis only!

Other W.I.Ppers:

Check out:

Jessy’s knitty goodness

Jessica has some groovy knit stiches happening

Kittee is rocking the canine embroidery scene

Bianca is subverting the dominant embroidery theme

Don’t forget – it’s never too late to join in on the World Yoga Practice Month fun!


Your Karma & your joints will thank you!

29 thoughts on “W.I.P. Wednesday – Blackwork

  1. Happy birthday Shelly!! I had your birthday marked on my calendar because I am the biggest airhead and can never remember any dates.

    I hope you’re having a wonderful birthday with your little Guppy and Monsieur Fish! What kind of cake are we having? 🙂

  2. Chez toi, c’est deja ton anniversaire! Joyeux anniversaire, Shellyfish!!

    Aussi, merci bien pour la pensee quand tu etais a cote de Toulouse. 🙂

    I see your W.I.P. Wednesdays have caught on nicely; you’ve been mentioned all over the blogosphere. How cool!

  3. How very, very cool! It is a gorgeous type of embroidery. But oooh I missed the shipping deadline!! Yikes. So let me wish you an early HAPPY BIRTHDAY just in case!!

  4. Your first design looks great! I also really like the white on black example from the book but boy does it look like a lot of work.

    BTW, if your dad is at all outdoorsy or into electronic gadgets he’d love my dad’s favorite hobby, Geocaching. It’s treasure hunting with a GPS and it gets my dad out hiking a lot.

  5. Yea for W.I.P. Wednesdays! Love the embroidery. I’d like to learn that for next Xmas. If I’m not drunk tonight (I’m meeting friends for wine after pilates), I’m going to post somethin’ crafty for WIP day.

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