Assisi embroidery - with a twist

Running low on wall space but still want to stitch? I designed these simple patterns so that they could also be made up into needlecases if you didn't want to frame them. You have three different sizes to choose from, but if you have a needlecase in mind when you start, you may find the cats are the ideal size unless like me you have a huge number. They also make wonderful gifts for other needleworkers!

Interspersing small, simple items that can be completed quickly, between larger-scale projects can be a great way to boost your productivity. Allow yourself the creative time to enjoy these smaller projects without compromising your larger goals.

Stitching something small also gives you the chance to try out new stitches, types of thread,  and combinations of techniques such as with these designs. Who knows you might just be hooked for life!

Assisi embroidery - Blackwork dogs

This design uses cross stitch for the counterchange border, two simple blackwork patterns and gold metallic outlines.

Design size: 6 x 3 inches

Downloadable chart £2.00

West Highland White and Scottish terriers seemed apt to include when asked by a Scottish magazine (Classic Stitches) to create a blackwork design for their next issue. 

"We want to feature Assisi embroidery. But can you be a bit creative? Something modern, but based on the traditional Italian technique."

I pushed the boundaries by employing blackwork instead of the normal long-armed cross stitch to surround the blank westie shaped area. Then I switched things around and filled in the black dog leaving the background empty. 

To create an outer edge I added a blackwork border around the design and outlined the dogs in metallic thread. 

I think the design gives the impression of Assisi work with a modern twist. How about you?

Assisi embroidery - cats

Although a little larger than the dog design, you can also make this finished project into a needle case. Perfect for yourself or a cat loving stitcher friend.

Design size: 8 x 5 inches

Downloadable chart £2.00

This is my take on the theme of cats, still in blackwork with an Assisi embroidery twist.  Cats are expressive and captivating, along with having unique looks and personalities. To emphasize this I chose to feature different poses.

One cat represents the outgoing, mischievous side of the feline species, while the other shows her reserved, calm side. To add further contrast one cat faces away from the viewer. I like to think the filled cat is outdoors, while the empty one is enjoying the luxury and attention of her owner.

Have you experimented with negative space in this manner before? Did you notice the border also plays a role in the design? Look at the diamonds.

Will you frame your cats or stitch them into a little book to keep your needles safe?

Blackwork Swans

The black swan has to be my favorite water bird. They are so striking!  I couldn't resist adding them to this range of modern Assisi embroidery. 

Design size: 9.3 x 5.4 inches

Downloadable chart £2.00

The star of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake was a beautiful woman who changed into a white swan throughout the daytime. After a prince falls in love with her, he is cheated by an imposter. This prevents Odette from taking on her human form ever again. 

The swans in this design face each other. One is filled with a dense blackwork pattern, while the other is formed by an unstitched area of fabric. She has a dark background so if you look carefully she could change into a young lady at any moment, as night takes over. 

To add some variety you have the opportunity to try simple pattern darning to form a counterchange border that sets off the swans. You could add a touch of colour to their beaks, gold for the white swan and red for the black one.

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