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

From the Designer

VickieDesigns started in July 2012, when I decided I wanted to have a go at creating my own patterns with PC Stitch. I’ve made little patterns throughout my childhood using squared paper – and was told off more than once for doodling in class!

Once I got used to making patterns, I started looking out for certain trends – I love anything British and I love pastel colours, so I try to incorporate them as much as possible!

I’m really enjoying this journey of pattern making and I’m really excited to see where it will go and to see how my business will grow over time. I hope to see you too!

Purple Blackwork Bird Cage is one of four in the Bird Cage series.

Why this chart?

Minimalism and Bird cages, especially open cages symbolising freedom, are in all rage in fashion magazines; this classic black line drawing, with accent colour, on stark white captures the trend perfectly.  This is a design that would be apt in any modern apartment.

This small design is not so much blackwork as it is backstitch; it lacks the infill patterns the characterise blackwork.  The light and dark lavender can easily be replaced by any two tones of colour that suit your decor or personality.

If your home is not a modernist paradise, you could stitch this design using any floss on any coloured fabric. Given the widespread use of quarter stitches in Purple Blackwork Bird Cage I would highly recommend you stitch this design on an evenweave or linen.

This design also includes some very long back stitch or blackwork stitches. For example, to show the slight curve on the cage, some lines are one across by four stitches down.  Using evenweave or linen you can easily split this into half a stitch across and two stitches down.

Example of breaking up long lines
Example of breaking up long lines

Due to the long lines, I would highly recommend stitching this design in a hoop or qsnap or frame; something to keep the tension tight.

Purple Blackwork Bird Cage is a small design, so even with the use of long lines, evenweave and quarter stitches, I would recommend this design for an adventurous beginner stitcher.

Vickie Designs - Bird Cage


VickieDesigns  are available as PDF downloads from her website or from her Etsy store.

I have linked the images on this page to a current listing of Purple Blackwork Bird Cage that is for sale.  If you click on these links and see a “this item has been sold” message, just click on the VickieDesigns shop link and look for the new listing.

Purple Blackwork Bird Cage is a four page PDF file.  The cover page shows a computer mock-up of the finished design and the stitch count.

The second page is the chart.  As it is a small chart, it sits quite nicely on the page and is easy to stitch from and easy to mark off your progress.  The cross stitch symbols are on coloured backgrounds so you can easily differentiate the light and dark coloured floss.

The third page is a repeat of the chart, this time using the standard black symbols on a white background.  I usually prefer a black and white pattern as it is easier to see the symbols, easier to mark off the chart and prints easily on black and white. However on this design, I like the coloured chart as it is easier to find the small sections of cross stitch within the backstitch framework.

The fourth and final page lists the floss numbers and the symbol key/legend.  The floss symbols are listed  as DMC.

There is no mention of fabric to use to stitch up Purple Blackwork Bird Cage. Given the types of stitches used in this design I would highly recommend a linen or evenweave, but the fabric count and colour is left entirely up to you.

Materials Required

To stitch the charts exactly as designed, you will need:

DMC 310 Black


1 skein DMC 310 Black


DMC 208 Lavender very dark


1 skein DMC 208 Lavender very dark


DMC 210 Lavender Medium


1 skein DMC 210 Lavender medium


Any fabric you like (stitch count 45 x 73). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1, but I would avoid Aida.

For 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 9¼” x 11¼”  or  24 x 29cm  or  an ornament cut (9 x 13″).

Approximate cost for Project

Approximate cost to stitch this design using the recommended materials (prices are in $US, at recommended retail and do  not include postage):

Chart: $ 5.00
Floss:  $  1.36
Fabric:$ 5.75

Total: $12.10  ($19.10 AUD  or  $23.85 CAD  or  €17.40  or  £12.90)

Places to Buy

VickieDesigns  are available as PDF downloads from her website or from her Etsy store.


Colours Down Under has all the threads and a variety of plain 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.

OzStitch has all the threads and a variety of white and off white fabrics in stock.

Colour Cascade Fabrics has the floss in stock and a variety of fabrics for you to make this design unique. Caitlin recommends Violet Rays or Yellow Moon.

Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 30 June 2015.

Sewitall offer a range of hand dyed and printed fabrics to suit your needs.


Traditional Stitches in Calgary have a selection of floss and fabrics to suit your taste.


Casa Cenina in Italy stock a variety of fabrics and floss for your unique creation.

Eclypse’s Colors recommends her gorgeous Delicious Spring fabric.

New Zealand:

Country Stitch “For the Purple Birdcage design, I’d start by finding some interesting overdyed black or black-plus-dark-blue threads from GAST, Classic Colorworks or Weeks Dye Works.  I’d even go through the silk ranges from Gloriana, Thread Gatherer, Classic Colorworks Belle Soie, and the other silk ranges out there.  I’d team my black thread with snippets of lavender-toned threads for the accents.

For fabric a soft yellow fabric such as Lemon Meringue or Kowhai as my first picks.

For a bit more zing I’d look to Wildflowers on Lugana to get the softer tonings.  For some bling and zing, any of these  colour fabrics on opalescent work really well.

United Kingdom:

SewandSo has  a range of floss and fabrics to make this design uniquely yours.

Chromatic Alchemy  “I have chosen to show the Purple Blackwood Bird Cage on Demeter. A lovely wheat yellow to contrast with the purples in this piece.”

Crafty Kitten has a variety of fabrics and the threads to stitch this project.

Jodyri Designs produce a wonderful range of floss and fabric in all colours.

Sparklies Because this is such a delicate design, I haven’t chosen anything too strong for the background because it would overpower it. My suggestions are Snowy Skies or Lilac Ice.

Thread Pickerz Silkz  produce a wonderful range of hand dyed silk colours.

“it is my 2nd anniversary of thread pickerz and I have a few things going on including a prize draw (being drawn on the 1st May) to win an AAN Butterfly chart. Anyone who purchases from my site in the month of april will get their name put into the prize draw.”

Eileen has been updating the Thread Pickerz Silkz website.  She offers 10% off each silk thread as it is added back into the collection.  For readers of this site, she offers an extra 10% discount if you use the code: Xstitchreview

United States:

123Stitch has the thread in stock and offers a variety of fabrics.

Black Cat Stitchery in Illinois has floss and fabric in stock to make this a project to remember.

Erica is offering a 5% discount for readers of Cross Stitch Review. Coupon code: CSRSPRING15. Offer ends 31 May 2015.

Stitch and Frog in Georgia have a variety of floss and fabric in stock to kit up any design.

Stitches n Things in Michigan has the DMC in stock and a range of fabrics for your unique style.

Garibaldi’s Needle Works “I have a very light purple fabric named “Wisteria” for those who want to keep the purple theme.

I also have a colors named “Butter Creme” & “Daffodil” for a complementary color.

All of my colors are available in every fabric I dye which are 14 & 18 Ct Aida, 22 Ct Hardanger, 28 Ct Monaco Evenweave, 28 Ct Easy Linen (light-weight cotton/linen blend), 28 Ct Cashel Linen, 32 Ct Belfast Linen, & 36 Count Edinburgh Linen.”

Fiberlicious “Purple Blackwood Bird Cage is so pretty. I would suggest using Sumantra Haze to achieve an elegant yet unique look for this design.”

Mo’s Sale recommends Reef and Western Bluebird from her floss range.

Sunny*Dyes has the largest range of hand-painted fabrics I have ever seen.  There is bound to be something there to suit you for this design.

Under the Sea Fabrics has a vibrant mix of hand painted and dyed fabrics for your design.


Why do you think bird cages are so fashionable at the moment?

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Last Updated: 20 April 2015