Thursday, March 3, 2011

New Project! Blackwork Bookmark

As predicted, I couldn't resist starting on another blackwork project, this time a quick-stitch bookmark using one of the excellent free designs from Jeanne Dansby at WyrdByrd Designs. I'm using the same inverted white stitching/black background as Monarch to show off colourful specialty stitches, this time in cotton floss instead of metallic.

So far, I have the blackwork frame worked (and will have photos soon!) but haven't yet started in on the specialty stitches. I'm just going to fill as I go, with whatever takes my fancy. This is not the way I usually work, but I'm finding it to be very exciting :)

I have picked out a cotton backing fabric, in a colourful print highlighted with metallic gold, and a quick shopping trip with a snippet yielded four good matches to the main colourways. Here is a photo of the fabric and the colours, with numbers, I'm intending to use:

The beautiful fabric is not new to me; it's been a part of the large treasure trove my Mother has cultivated for sewing and other creative projects over the years, and has long been a particular favourite of mine. So I'm thrilled to finally be making something with it!

Surprisingly, this will actually be my first cross-stitched bookmark. I love to read, and have always loved bookmarks, with their lovely tassels and pretty pictures or sayings. In fact, I like bookmarks of all types, from lowly plastic-laminated to those made of pewter.

However, there has always been one problem: I keep losing them! No matter how careful I've been with their placement, they just magically vanish soon after I start using them. And this has gone on for years. I'm not the only one in my family, so I suspect it must be some sort of genetic quirk, but this has resulted in a sad lack of bookmarks in my life.

About two years ago, when I caught myself tearing off random strips of paper (!) to mark my place, I thought enough was enough, and went shopping with determination. It took me a few months to find something that wasn't overly childish or drearily sentimental, but I eventually found and bought myself three lovely bookmarks. Nothing really special - just plastic - but with artwork by an artist whose work I have liked for a very long time. I never intended to cross-stitch a bookmark, but lately had an "aha!" moment and decided that I would treat myself to a small piece of stitching that would be useful as well as decorative.

Providing, that is, that I don't lose it ;)

Happy Stitching!


Karen said...

Can't wait to see your bookmark! I've stitched a few bookmarks for my kids over the years and they treasure them.

Karyn said...

I love looking at blackwork patterns. I have yet to do any myself though. Looking forward to yours. =]

Aurelia Eglantine said...

Thanks for the lovely comments ladies :)

Karen - That's a wonderful idea; functional heirlooms, in a way. Obviously your family doesn't have the 'lose every bookmark' gene, fortunately ;)

Karyn - Blackwork is so addicting! It works up so fast that it's like instant stitching! And it's hard to resist the lure of that, especially after (or while) working on more complex pieces. Monarch was the first blackwork I've done in ages, but it looks like I'm going to be doing much more of it :)

CrazyStitcher said...

That fabric is absolutely gorgeous! I'm looking at that photo and thinking, "Wow!" It screams feel-good factor. The shades of thread are just so perfect, so looks like you did well there.

I'm really looking forward to seeing the finished result. :-D x

Aurelia Eglantine said...

Aw, thanks so much CrazyStitcher! Maybe that's why I've always loved this fabric so much; it makes me happy every time I look at it too :)

I'm glad you think the threads match well - I wasn't so sure about them, but now that I'm stitching with them, I think it will work out well - hopefully!

Rainy Day Crafter said...

Ah, I've been there with the random strips of paper for bookmarks as well... and envelopes... and receipts... lol. I hope you enjoy using your first cross-stitched bookmark! :)

Aurelia Eglantine said...

Lol, glad I'm not the only one! It was getting pretty ridiculous, and the worst thing is that those little pieces of paper inevitably fall out of your books, and you lose your place! It kind of defeats the whole purpose! I am looking forward to seeing how my bookmark turns out, if I ever get it done :)