Blackwork Fillings – Free!

Those of you who’ve read The Unbroken Thread for a while will remember my very first (and only!) blackwork project. The overall design was based on an antique fabric printing block from India. The fillings all came from a great site called String or Nothing.

The author of the site has now generously made available for us a free download of her book of blackwork filling entitled Ensamplario Atlantio: Being a Collection of Filling Patterns Suitable for Blackwork Embroidery.

There are four free pdf downloads with over 220 different filling designs. These fillings are easy to understand and work up beautifully.

If you’re interested in how I used them, here’s a link to the final post about my Blackwork Hearts and Flowers.

Kim Salazar, the author of String or Nothing, is also doing something interesting called “crowd sourcing” to create a fabulous blackwork piece. I’d never heard of crowd sourcing but I understood the concept right away. From the String or Nothing web-site “In a nutshell, it’s putting a project in front of a large number of otherwise unrelated/unassociated people, and asking them to apply their individual creativity to it, spreading the word and bringing all that creativity back together using net based communications.” It’s a great idea and this is such a creative way to implement it!  To read more about this project, check out her site String or Nothing.  Some of the designs her readers have submitted are enchanting!

Wrapping pearl purl

Last time the outside border of the Hearts and Flowers Blackwork piece was only 1/3 finished. Today I will show you how I did the middle layer of the three and next time you’ll see it complete! Here’s how it looked last time with the layer closest to the center worked in chain stitch. To make the black substantial enough within the context, I used two strands of Pearsall’s silk.

When I began the chain stitch and had stitched about three segments, I called in my trusty set of second eyes (that would be my dear husband) and asked him if he thought it was too heavy. Well, he said, maybe. Keep going and let’s see. As usual, correct!  When it was all finished , it was clear that the heavier black line brought the blackwork fillings out more and made the gold recede into the background a bit. I am SO glad I didn’t take it out at the beginning!

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