Purple Blackwork Bird Cage by Vickie Designs

its Monochrome Monday, so today we have a black birdcage with a two-tone bird that could be stitched in any colour. Purple Blackwork Bird Cage by Vickie Ramage of Vickie Designs. Vickie Designs - Bird Cage Cover Continue reading "Purple Blackwork Bird Cage by Vickie Designs"

I am my Beloveds by Kooler Design Studio

No stitchalong today, instead I present this elegant and classic Judaica wedding sampler designed by Sandy Orton for Kooler Design Studio. Also don't forget this week's giveaway. Kooler - I am my Beloveds

From the Designer

We are proud to offer this wonderful Judaica design by Sandy Orton. This design has the classic quote from the Song of Songs, “I am my beloved, and my beloved is mine”, and has an alphabet included for personalization as an heirloom wedding announcement. One of our most ornate and classically elegant designs in a monochromatic theme of beautiful blues is once again available.

Why this chart?

I am my Beloveds is beautiful, from the three shades of the same colour to the mix of blackwork and cross stitch. I love that the design includes an alphabet to personalise this as a wedding sampler, but also the alphabet is beautiful on its own and can be used for any design where you want to add in your own word, such as a birth sampler. Don't be afraid of the blackwork in this sampler; blackwork can be stitched as just plain back stitch.  Just be careful where you carry your threads on the back of the piece as they may be seen as shadows on the front, especially if you stitch this on an open-weave fabric. Similarly there a French Knots in this design. I loathe French Knots but as I've been repeatedly told, that's just because I've never learned how to do them properly. Mary Corbet gives a great tutorial here. Otherwise, feel free to do what I do, add beads instead.  I would recommend Mill Hill 02091 Purple Blue Beads or Mill Hill 03053 Purple Passion Antique Beads. I am my Beloveds is a combination of whole cross stitch, blackwork, French Knots and charting your words (names and date) to fit within the given limits.  I would recommend this beautiful design to an intermediate to advanced stitcher. kooler - I am my Beloved Personalisation

Review

I am my Beloved's is available as a digital download or a printed chart. I have the PDF file. The digital chart pack, in one PDF file includes:
  • front cover page with a computer mock-up of the design and explicit permission to make a working copy of the chart
  • one page listing the floss key and number of skeins required per floss, stitch count and fabric size  on a variety of standard fabric counts
  • One page of general stitching instructions including diagrams for cross stitch, back stitch and a variety of other specialty stitches. Also general instructions on how to start a cross stitch design and how to clean and care for it when you have finished the stitching.
  • the eight page chart in landscape format.  Everything other than the chart is printed in portrait format.
  • one last page which includes the alphabet and blank grid for you to work out the spacing and patterning required for the names or other words you wish to add.
The website lists "12 pages 14 Count, 12-1/2w X 13-1/8h".  if you want the specific stitch count or the  number of colours (and skeins) you need to buy the chart. The three symbols used in the chart are a filled-in large circle, an open square and a downward pointing arrow, all easy to see and decide which is which. The back stitch is denoted in thick red lines over the background grid, very easy to see and work from.  Each subsequent page of the chart has a three-row shaded overlap to help you mark your place. The background is a 10-row grid with the vertical middle point marked on page one and the middle point marked on page three.  I really wish more designers would mark the middle lines on the page that has the centre point! I am my Beloveds is stitched in DMC on 18ct Antique White Aida. As there are no partial stitches this design can easily be stitched over one or over two on any count of fabric you like.  Just remember to alter the size of your French Knots (or beads) to suit the fabric size.

Materials Required

To stitch the chart exactly as designed, you will need: DMC 333 Very Dark Blue Violet   6 skeins DMC 333 Very Dark Blue Violet   DMC 340 Medium Blue Violet   2 skeins DMC 340 Medium Blue Violet   DMC 3747 - Very Light Blue Violet   3 skeins DMC 3747 Very Light Blue Violet     18ct Antique White or Aida  (stitch count 175 x 184). Fabric need is:  16” x 16”  or  40 x 41 cm  or  a fat quarter (18 x 27″).
18ct Antique White Aida
18ct Antique White Aida
For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 19” x 19”  or  47 x 48cm  or  a fat half (27 x 38″).

Approximate cost for Project

Approximate cost to stitch I am My Beloveds using the recommended materials (prices are in $US, at recommended retail and do  not include postage): Chart: $11.95 Floss:  $   4.95 Fabric: $  7.20 Total: $24.10  ($38.80 AUD  or  €25.10  or  £23.20)

Places to Buy

Kooler Design Studio sells  digital downloads and printed charts worldwide. Printed charts are also available via your local needlework store. Australia: Colours Down Under has all the threads and a variety of white and off white fabrics in stock. Jo would be happy to order in the chart, and offers a 10% discount on the package (chart + floss). Mention this review when ordering. Colour Cascade Fabrics has a variety of fabrics for you to make this design unique. Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 27 February 2015. OzStitch  has all the threads and a variety of white and off white fabrics in stock. Europe: Casa Cenina in Spain can order this chart in for you.  They also stock a variety of fabrics and floss for your unique creation. United Kingdom: SewandSo can order this chart in for you.  They have all the floss and fabric in stock. Polstitches has a range of Dragon Threads and hand dyed fabrics to further personalise your design. Sparklies has a variety of her own hand dyed fabrics and floss to make this design uniquely yours. Chromatic Alchemy  "I am my Beloveds was quite a challenge for an overlay, I have chosen both Ashardalon Breathes and Demeter for this as I think it looks amazing on either of these fabrics and I can't decide on a favourite!" United States: 123Stitch has the thread in stock and offers a variety of fabrics.

Discussion

Do you like designs that combine Cross Stitch and Blackwork?

Feedback

Did you like this review? Did it contain all the expected information? Is there anything you would like added or removed from the reviews? Do you know of a particular chart or designer you want to see featured here? If so, please head to the Suggestions page and let me know. Last Updated: 16 December 2014  
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Dentelles by Brodeuse Bressane

Another beautiful stitchalong for SAL Tuesday, this one starts 2 January 2015, and it is free to join.
Dentelles or Lace
Dentelles or Lace

From the Designer

Because you always have to start a new embroidery on January 1st (for good luck), why not participate in the SAL Dentelles ? It's a pattern of 130 x 205 stitches, in cross stitch and blackwork, to be stitched on evenweave or linen.  The rules are the following :
  • inscription by email from today until the 30th of December 2014 :  brodeuse-bressane@orange.fr
  • start and dispatch of first stage Friday 2nd of January 2015
  • dispatch by email of the next stages, from Monday 12th of January 2015, after having shown the previous stage
  • the pictures sent will be used to make a round-up on the blog on Sunday, before a new stage becomes available (if you don't want your picture in this round-up, let me know)
  • one stage a week will be made available
  • if you are a member of the Brodeuse Bressane FB group, you don't have to register for the SAL; the different parts will be published in the group. You are also exempt from sending a picture to get the next stage, but pictures will still be greatly appreciated !
Sign-up closes:  30 December 2014 SAL Duration: 2 January 2015 onwards.

Why this chart?

I participated in the Brodeuse Bressane Fleur de Lys SAL from January this year and thoroughly enjoyed it. Esther Franklin of Brodeuse Bressane runs a great stitchalong; she is very approachable and enthusiastic about different interpretations and her weekly photographs spur you on to keep up to the finish. The Dentelles or Lace SAL deadline for registration is 30 December 2014, but registration is free.  An alternative is to sign up with Esther's Facebook group Broduese Bressane, where all the SAL pieces will be posted weekly and you just need to save them as you see them. As with last year's design, there is no mystery; you immediately know if this is the style of project you wish to commit your time and effort.  The excitement from this style of stitchalong comes from  watching everyone's unique combinations of floss and fabric seeing them progress in time with you. The Dentelles chart includes cross stitch and blackwork; each chart segment being released weekly.  Esther provides such wonderful levels of support that I would recommend this stitchalong to an adventurous beginner or seasoned stitcher who wants to craft something unique.
Dentelles - progress on the model stitch
Dentelles - progress on the model stitch

Review

Unlike Mystery Stitchalongs, Broduese Bressane provides all the information and a picture of the complete project from the beginning so you can easily decide whether this free stitchalong is for you. You don't need to be a member of Esther's Facebook group, but it is the simplest method of joining this stitchalong, and it provides the most support, with a community atmosphere. If you sign up for the Dentelles stitchalong via the Brodeuse Bressane blog, each chart segment will be emailed to you upon proof that you have finished the previous segment.  The chart will be sent as an email attachment which you open, save and print. If you are a member of the Brodeuese Bressane Facebook group,  each segment will be posted in the group each week. Each chart segment will be posted as a .jpg image which you will need to save and print out (or work directly using a tablet or laptop). Each of the chart segments are provided as clear black on white pictures. Esther uses a 10x10 grid and red lines showing the middle points of the design.  Very useful if you prefer to start in the middle than counting in from the edge of your fabric. In earlier stitchalongs, Esther includes a shaded portion of the previous chart segment to aid with placement of later rows.  As this chart is designed as a monochrome, there are no colour symbols to differentiate.  However, there is nothing stopping you from stitching each area in a differing colour.

 Materials Required

To stitch the chart exactly as designed, you will need: str_cotton_350   Floss of one form or another.  As the theme is lace, Esther is using white floss on natural linen for her model.   Any evenweave or linen fabric (stitch count 130 x 205). This design is stitched over 2 due to the blackwork stitches. For 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 15½ x 21″  or  39 x 53cm  or  a fat quarter (18 x 27″).

Approximate cost for Project

This will vary wildly depending on which floss brand you use, how many colours, if you include beads and if you use hand dyed fabric.  The costs for stitching this design as modelled (DMC white on natural evenweave fabric) are: Chart:   free Floss:   $0.90 Fabric: $15.90 Total: $16.80   ($27.00 AUD or €12.50 or £14.35)

Places to Buy

Australia: Colours Down Under stocks all your floss and embellishment needs. Also some plain evenweave and Aida choices. Colour Cascade Fabrics has a variety of colours to suit your personal style. Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 6 December 2014. Europe: Casa Cenina in Spain stock a variety of fabrics and floss for your unique creation. United Kingdom: SewandSo has the thread in stock and offers a variety of fabrics. Polstitches Jo recommends “Georgian Sampler Linen to lift the use of the white thread enhancing the sampler.” Sparklies "Since this is shown in white then my go-to colour would be Purpleberry Spludge, but any of my dark colours would suit." Chromatic Alchemy  “I do like this piece in whitework and I think that Aurelia adds depth and interest without overpowering the dainty design.” United States: 123Stitch stocks all most of your floss and embellishment needs.

For Discussion

Will you be joining this stitch along? Will you be choosing soft ethereal colours to give your design that "lacy" look or will you be going bold and bright?

Feedback

Did you like this review? Did it contain all the expected information? Is there anything you would like added or removed from the reviews? Do you know of a particular chart or designer you want to see featured here? If so, please head to the Suggestions page and let me know. Last updated: 25 November 2014  
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Georgian Lady by Catkin Embroidery

A Blackwork almost-monochrome for Monochrome Monday.  Yes there are two shades of thread here.
Catkin Embroidery - Georgian Lady
Catkin Embroidery - Georgian Lady

From the Designer

It has taken hours to make this lady look so glorious. She is fully aware of how beautiful she is. Stitched in black and grey.

Why this chart?

I adore blackwork, using back-stitch or double running stitch instead of cross stitch.  Blackwork stitches up faster than cross stitch because the interiors are left blank or filled in with differing amounts of stitching to give texture and shadows.
backstitch-diagram
Diagram of back stitch and double running stitch
I am careful around corners, otherwise I happily used back stitch as  double running stitch requires more planning.  The main consideration for blackwork, especially high contrast work such as this black on white is to minimise the amount of carry threads on the back.  When these can be seen as shows on the front of the piece it reduces the elegance of the piece. I love how easily blackwork can be personalised; stitch this on a hand dyed fabric, change the colours of her hat and dress, use a skin tone for her face and arms, change the colour of her hair, the possibilities are endless. Georgian Lady is a combination of blackwork and cross stitch. She is an intricate design which includes quarter stitches and varying number of threads.  I recommend this for intermediate to advanced stitchers; however if you are a beginner and passionate about this design, start it!
Georgian Lady
Georgian Lady

Review

All of the Catkin Embroidery designs, including Georgian Lady are available as charts, Aida kits or evenweave kits.  I only have charts in my stash, so I will be reviewing that. Georgian Lady is printed in black on A4 white paper folded in half to create a small packet.  The cover is a light card stock with a photo of the finished blackwork pasted on.  The cover also includes the approximate design area if you use 14 or 28ct fabric. The cross stitch and blackwork floss keys are listed on the inside front cover. I have to purchase the design to see what materials are needed. The chart also does not offer a stitch count; I have to either trust the listed measurements or count out the stitches myself. The chart is six pages long with a diagram showing the placement of that section of the chart.  Each subsequent page has a two-row overlap to help maintain your place. The floss symbols and blackwork diagrams are printed quite large so this is an easy chart to see and follow.  There is good disparity between the cross stitch symbols and between the blackwork lines.  In the blackwork the heavier lines are stitched in black and the lighter lines in grey. The chart pack also has blackwork instructions and Notes on how to stitch the Georgian Lady.  The blackwork instructions include general  diagrams and directions on how to stitch both blackwork and cross stitch as well as some aftercare instructions.  The Notes page is specific to the Georgian Lady design and lists what sections are to be stitched in which colours and which areas are to be stitched first; such as the dress fold lines are to be stitched over the top of the stitched pattern in her skirt. Georgian Lady is stitched in DMC on white or cream Aida or evenweave.  Given my distaste of partial stitches in Aida I would stitch this on an evenweave; however if you prefer Aida then use that!  Use the fabric you are comfortable with.

Materials Required

To stitch the charts exactly as designed, you will need: 2 skeins DMC 310 Black 1 skein DMC 413 Pewter Grey 14ct Aida or 28 count White or Cream Evenweave  (stitch count 125 x 226). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1. For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 15” x 22”  or  38 x 57cm  or  a fat quarter (18 x 27″).
Charles Craft - Antique White
Charles Craft - Antique White

Approximate cost for Project

Approximate cost to stitch Georgian Lady using the recommended materials (prices are in $US, at recommended retail and do  not include postage): Chart: $ 10.33 Floss:  $    1.32 Fabric: $15.65 Total: $21.98  ($39.53 AUD or €19.86  or  £15.77)

Places to Buy

Catkin Embroidery sells the printed charts and kits worldwide. The kits prices direct from Catkin are cheaper than buying the individual pieces from your Local Needlework Shop because they only include the cut of fabric and the amount of floss you need instead of a full fat quarter and full skeins of floss. Australia: Colours Down Under has all the threads and a variety of white and off white fabrics in stock. Jo would be happy to order in the individual charts, and offers a 10% discount on the package (chart + floss). Mention this review when ordering. Colour Cascade Fabrics " you could go with any colour that suits the decor in your room, or perhaps an ice dye!" Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 6 December 2014. Europe: Casa Cenina in Spain can order this chart in for you.  They also stock a variety of fabrics and floss for your unique creation. United Kingdom: SewandSo has the chart in stock and can kit it up for you. Sparklies suggests that this design would suit one of her neutral fabrics such as Barely Bronzed, Parchment, Dr Smith's Tonic or Oatmeal. Chromatic Alchemy  “The Georgian lady is so delicate I feel a heavily mottled fabric would overwhelm her. Having said that there are always options to add some colour, here she is on Dune a subtle sand coloured piece.”. United States: 123Stitch has the thread in stock and offers a variety of fabrics.

Discussion

Have you stitched blackwork before? Do you like it? Would you be interested in trying it out?  Please comment below, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

Feedback

Did you like this review? Did it contain all the expected information? Is there anything you would like added or removed from the reviews? Do you know of a particular chart or designer you want to see featured here? If so, please head to the Suggestions page and let me know. Last Updated: 17 November 2014  
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