Blue and white vista-blackwork embroidery project
The traditional form of black work embroidery only used black thread. For this lovely bag, Bobbie Watts incorporates the traditional stitches, but she has stepped away from the norm by using lovely blue fabric and white thread.
• 18-count Lugana evenweave fabric: 30cm (¹⁄3 yd) blue
• 30cm (¹⁄3 yd) white cotton for lining
• DMC Stranded Embroidery Cotton: 1 skein o f snow white (B5200)
• DMC No 8 Coton a Broder: 1 skein of white
• No 22 and No 24 tapestry needles
• No 1 milliner’s (straw) needle
• 60cm (²⁄3 yd) medium stumpwork wire
• 1.1m (1 ¹⁄8 yd) blue/white flanged cord
• Matching sewing machine cotton
• Water-erasable pen
• Embroidery hoop
• Lightbox (optional)
• General sewing supplies
20cm x 22cm (8 in x 8 3/4 in)
Bullion stitch, trellis stitch, whipped stem stitch
Cut a 30cm square from the Lugana fabric. Put the pattern sheet on a lightbox or against a well-lit window,
centre the fabric over it and trace the design with the pencil.
Work the outline of the flowers with whipped stem stitch in two strands of snow white (B5200) and the No
22 tapestry needle. Fill in the background flowers with diagonal backstitches over three threads in one strand of snow white (B5200) and the No 24 tapestry needle, see diagram 1.
Leave two threads between the rows of backstitch. The other flowers are filled with trellis stitch in Coton a Broder thread and the No 22 tapestry needle.
The two lines between the flowers at the bottom right-hand corner, are whipped stem stitch in three strands
of snow white (B5200) and the No 22 tapestry needle.
Push one end of the medium wire through the fabric at the start of one curved line and attach it to the
fabric. Wrap the length of the wire with the white Coton a Broder thread, couching it along the drawn
lines at 1.5cm intervals with small straight stitches and snow white (B5200).
Using the Coton a Broder thread, work randomly placed stamens with 30-wrap bullion stitches, forming them into a loop before anchoring them. Add smaller, six to seven wrap bullion stitches across the outer ends.
Trim the embroidery to a 20cm x 23cm rectangle, with the design centred and 2cm from a 23cm edge.
From the blue Lugana fabric, cut: – one 20cm x 23cm rectangle for the bag back.
From the white cotton, cut: – one 22cm x 23cm rectangle – one 23cm square – one 23cm x 39cm rectangle.
Lay the embroidered fabric wrong side down on a flat surface, centre the other 20cm x 23cm blue Lugana
rectangle over it with the raw edges aligned and sew them together across the top edge with a 1cm seam
allowance. Press the seam allowance open. Round off the corners slightly, then starting at a back corner, stitch
the cord along both long sides and across the front edge.
Tip: Clip the flange of the cord at the start and finishing corners and pull it around back onto the fabric. Unravel the ends of the cord, to make stitching over it easier
Fold the 22cm x 23cm white linen rectangle in half to make a 11cm x 23cm rectangle and press it, then fold the 23cm square in half and press it. Lay the 23cm x 39cm linen rectangle on a flat surface and pin one of the folded pieces at each end. Rule a line down the centre of both folded linen pieces with the water-erasable pen,
to make two pockets. Divide the pockets on one end in half again to make four pockets, then stitch down the lines, reinforcing the top ends of the stitching.
Lay the bag back/front piece right side down on a firm surface, centre the white linen rectangle over it with
the wrong side up and stitch around the edges, leaving an opening on one long side. Trim then clip the
corners, turn the bag right side out and press it, then slip-stitch the opening closed.
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