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Blackwork Made Easy

Lesley Wilkins shows how to create traditional blackwork embroideries using simple stitches on evenweave fabric. Step by step photographs and a wealth of charts illustrate how traditional motifs, patterns and borders can be combined to create stunning designs. Lesley then goes on to show how to create band samplers inspired by those on which sixteenth century embroiderers collected their favourite designs, including figures, flowers, plants, birds and animals. Lesley Wilkins combines a deep knowledge of and appreciation for historical embroideries with her own flair for design and practical teaching skill. This book contains all you need to know to produce beautiful embroideries inspired by history. Previously published as Beginner's Guide to Blackwork and Traditional Blackwork Samplers.
Product Details

Table of Contents

1) Shows how to create beautiful embroideries using simple stitches. 2) Packed with historical insight and inspiring embroideries. 3) Step by step photographs provided for the stitches, and graphs for the patterns, motifs and band samplers.

About the Author

Lesley Wilkins discovered blackwork samplers on a school visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and has been hooked ever since. Her fascination with the craft has led her to become not only an embroiderer of extraordinary skill, but also an expert in the history of blackwork. She has collected thousands of patterns from all over the world, and her own work is inspired by historical motifs, patterns and borders. Her designs have appeared in Needlecraft and Needlework magazines. When she is not working in local government, Lesley runs a website for blackwork and Victorian cross stitch enthusiasts, providing custom-made kits and charts of her own designs.


Blackwork came to this country with Catherine of Aragon in the early 16th century, and is enjoying a revival today. Originally mainly used to decorate clothing and samplers, it can now adorn anything you can think of and is surprisingly easy to do. If you can do running stitch, back stitch and cross stitch (and even if you cannot you can learn how in here) you can do blackwork. This useful book also features a surprisingly large number of customizable patterns and all sorts of other handy tips. These include a useful potted history as well as advice on mounting, choosing materials, reading charts and looking for design ideas. The charts themselves can be quite small and detailed and would benefit vastly from being scanned in and blown up before working. They depict all kinds of traditional subjects in more colors than just black and many have interesting captions regarding their history and significance. Several alphabets are also featured, and for its size it is hard to imagine a more concise and useful book for both beginners and old hands on the I was lucky enough to receive a set of beautiful blackwork pictures for Christmas so I was very interested to learn more about this stunning form of embroidery. This book covers the history of blackwork as well as the materials needed. It gives advice on choosing a design, setting up your workspace and using charts. The rest of the book features several designs, both photos and charts, split by theme: Flowers & Plants; Figures, Birds & Animals; Fill-In Patterns; Borders and Alphabets. At the end of the book there is advice on how to mount your finished design. This book is ideal for someone wanting to learn Blackwork, as the title suggests it is a simple start to Blackwork ideal for Blackwork was brought to England from Spain in the early 16th century by Catherine of Aragon, and this Arabic style of embroidery morphed into something more English than Spanish over the years. Wilkins (Beginner's Guide to Blackwork) introduces the basics of blackwork (e.g., selecting the appropriate thread and canvas and choosing stitches and motifs), then presents a variety of blackwork charts, including several inspired by a 1598 sampler owned by the Victoria and Albert Museum. Blackwork does not need to be sewn with black thread, and several of the patterns are quite colorful. VERDICT Crafters who cross-stitch or embroider may appreciate blackwork as well - especially if they enjoy Tudor-era motifs.-Library Journal USA

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