Charming, primitive cross stitch designs, Blackbird is a relatively new design company with a great look!
The patriotic designs use dusty, 'faded glory' colors, and the seasonal birds are large and colorful enough to look great wherever you place them!
Our Lasting Friendship, The Bells on Christmas Day & Ooh La La
Barb and Alma have been busy with three new books FULL of gorgeous projects and ideas along with all of Alma's exquisite pictures!
Merrily, Merrily We Welcome Spring
(Well... lets work on winter first...!) Blackbird's Barb and Alma have a pretty new sampler that Alma adapted from an antique stitched piece. Worked on Picture This Plus's 36ct (we also have 32ct) Oaken hand-dyed linen, this finishes approx 15 x 15. Lots of pretty hand-dyeds - 16 shades - you'll need 2 skeins of Baked Apple, Palomino and Putty so that'll give you an idea of the predominant colors in this.
Lots of florals and urns, Alma added the border along the bottom as it appears to be cut off of the original. Lots of room to add family initials all over in this... it's actually fairly symmetric - look at the pots and vases, they're the same on each side, just different colors. (and the flowers in the right pot aren't there!) Presented as a leaflet.
Deck the Halls
Barb and Alma have published a DELIGHTFUL little booklet (4 x 5) full of a set of 6 stitched strawberry-shaped pin cushions. Stitch them flat and frame them, mount them on boxes, make square cushions... or turn them into delightful little linen stitched berries.
All stitched on various colors of 36ct linen, each design (approx 80 x 50) finishes about 4-1/2 x 3, so when twisted into a berry, those will be about 2 x 3. (32ct will turn out basically the same finished size.) Weeks Dye Works threads, Barb and Alma's charming design style, Alma'a gorgeous pictures throughout the little book, and your stitching... a match made in Stitching Heaven! I just love it! Templates, assembly instructions and box finishing tips are all included.
And Blossom as the Rose
This leaflet is a collection of adaptations from an antique Quaker sampler originally stitch mostly in greens, taupes and creams. You get another delightful paper sewing box set, a family register sampler, a fun little drum-shaped cushion, a square (framed or cushioned) and a smaller upside-down box cushion treatment!
Pics and charts for everything... lots of assembly and decorating tips included... Barb shows how she's taken vintage linens and laces found at antique shops and flea markets, and incorporated them into HER boxes. Just a gorgeous book of 20 pages... you'll want to stitch everything in it!
Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?
A pretty 'found' Adam and Eve antique sampler is the inspiration for the projects in this leaflet. A paper sewing box, pin keep, the main house re-stitched, the main floral urn featured in its own cushion. There are pages and pages of pretty pics, and great finishing and assembly techniques in here, everything is worked on 32ct with Weeks Dye Works hand-dyed flosses.
Barb and Alma have been busy, you'll love the pretty presentations of everything in this book. More ideas for using Flea Market finds to add to your lovely things! (It's easy to cut up someone else's old lace instead of your own!)
Bringing Good Cheer
Barb and Alma have a new Christmas sampler - inspired by a sampler stitched in 1842. The third Christmas Sampler they have done (Christmas Garden and Feliz Navidad), this is stitched on 35ct Weeks Dye Works Straw Linen and uses Weeks flosses of Caper, Cayenne, Chestnut, Cornsilk, Dirt Road, Fathom, Flat fish, Oscar and Sweet Potato.
It'll finish approx 7 x 10, and features Satin stitches done both vertically and horizontally on the center basket. Presented as a leaflet.
Loose Feathers *For the Birds!* Series
Blackbird Designs has 7 New Releases!
Barb and Alma have begun a new 9-part Loose Feathers Series, and published 6 new full sized leaflets... Samplers and Pin Cushions... here are the first 3... click through to our blackbird Designs page to see them all!
These are Needle Nanny magnetic pieces... each features the artwork of either Blackbird Designs, Lizzie Kate or Little House Needleworks... in miniature. Use them as needle minders, refrigerator magnets, or something to mind your notes on the filing cabinet at work. You might even be able to cling them to your stitching lamp and hold a pair of scissors! They're magnets -- you can figure out a million uses for them!
Just the best, because they bring your favorite bits of needlework anywhere you want them to be. Each measures approx 1-inch in diameter and features a pair of strong rare-earth magnets.
Blackbird Designs has 6 different offerings so far.
Lizzie Kate presents 21 designs.
Little House Needleworks has 15 so far.
An Autumn Quilt of 9 applique designs, this is Barb and Alma's latest Quilting book! Just released at the recent Quilt market, it is 64-page book with patterns, directions and actual-sized templates for all nine of these charming raven blocks.
Pumpkins, acorns, the raven, the moon and house that is lit to keep away the spirits... this is NOT cross stitch... but a book full of gorgeous pictures and tantalizing patterns!
Announcing a New Garden Club!!!
A new 12-part monthly series is beginning -- Barb and Alma's 'Little Sewing Circle Club!' With a name like 'Garden Club,' we will be treated to florals and greenery in this set. They say it 'might be a lovely basket of flowers, bees buzzing from flower to flower, or like the first design, an abundant harvest of cherries. In either case, you won't have to worry about getting your hands dirty working in the garden!!!'
Finish them into pin cushions or frame them... Alma is stitching each one (approx 4 x 4 each) on a different color of Week's Dye Works 32ct hand-dyed linen and then sewing them all together to make one larger piece! If you are a member of The Silver Needle's With A Little Help From Our Friends Stitching Circle -- you'll recognize this finishing treatment -- two different colors of fabric joined in the same piece! We love the idea! Anyway, reserve your space in The Garden Club NOW! We'll be sending the charts and linen cut each month as released!!!
Sweet Land of Liberty
Blackbird's latest book has arrived -- it contains 5 patriotic designs in all. Lots of Alma's pretty photography... both large and small designs, everything is beautifully presented. Liberty Rose is on the brown-side of color, Salute to Abigail is on the brighter side of color.
You'll recognize In Full Glory -- the recent Reward of Merit that had already been out if print, and tow new Very-Blackbird-y designs -- American Eagle and Sweet Land of Liberty. Change the colors of the first two a little to follow the palette of the last three if you like! 24 Pages of Blackbird!
New From Blackbird Designs!!!
Introducing The Tender Heart Series
Barb and Alma have a new series of small designs -- pin cushioned-sized -- that are all going to finish into hearts. They will be stunning all nestled together in a pretty basket or tray. The first 4 titles in the set have been released... the publishing schedule for the rest is *gentle and relaxed* (meaning probably not monthly!) So, you guessed it, we are beginning an auto-ship for the others so you don't have to worry about getting them on time!
Beautifully presented in small full-colored 1/2-sized leaflets, Alma wants you to KNOW that you can use treasured bits of your leftover linen scraps for these -- so many shades and colors will work for these. Some use one piece, some use two... all of them so far are shown on 32ct... all use a medley of Classic Colorworks, Gentle Art and Week's hand-dyed cottons (mostly browns, but you can change those if you want) ... and they are so charming!
The Magical Mystery Tour Series, To The Beatles, With Love From Barb!
Blackbird's Barb is a die-hard Beatles fan -- she saw them debut on Ed Sullivan in 1964, and evidently manages to get to as many Paul McCartney concerts as possible!!! She has designed *Very Black-Birdy-Flavored* pieces to commemorate her favorite songs and the anniversary of that television broadcast. All offered as leaflets, they tell us you won't need a ticket to ride this tour bus!!!
Finishing approx 6 x 8 on 32ct Linen... I am sorry to tell you that Lakeside Linens has never delivered our fabric order we placed last September for this pattern. It's time to get creative, and look at something like Week's Tin Roof, or a neat Copper Penny-ish or a neat teal for this. Flosses are all Gentle Art Sampler Threads or regular DMC.
Home for the Holidays
Blackbird has a new 38-page book that is full of their design charm, and Alma's exquisite photography! Along with 10 projects, they've also presented really good directions for painting and distressing those paper boxes they love to use, and transforming other decor items into gorgeous props for your needlework!
Re-printed is Christmas Garden, Tis The Season and Blessings be Thine. Also included are a set of 5 stockings that measure 5-3/4 x 8-3/4 in size. Everything has a Christmas theme, and it is a lovely book!!!
Gosh, I LOVE this one! Stunning colors, bold design, this stitches to finish approx 8 x 15 on 30ct. Lots of hand-dyed flosses, and simple cross stitch, I love absolutely everything about this! Barb and Alma are 'Queens of Crafting' because of the following tip!
Look at the candle on the right-hand side of the cover -- they tell you how to scan you needlework, reduce it by 50%, print it using an inkjet on clear-full sheet labels, spray with Krylon matte finish, peel the paper away from the backing, and line a plain glass hurricane! Holy COW! ...all from a cross stitch chart!!! Offered as the leaflet.
New Rewards of Merit
Alma and Barb have two new mini-designs offered in their small Rewards of merit size... perfect for small framed pieces or pretty pin cushions. Grab a schnibble of Week's hand-dyed linen and some overdyeds from your stash for these!!!
Down in the Valley
A small Reward of Merit design, this is a sweet house scene with a gigantic rose growing in the side garden. Worked on 32ct Light Khaki Week's hand-dyed linen, it uses 9 shades of Classic Colorworks and Gentle Art Flosses.
LOOK at the finishing! Barb and Alma have evidentally by *living* at Hobby Lobby this winter... this is a Shiny SILVER plastic cheapie candle stick (they have discovered really cool stuff in the bridal department). They painted it white, and then steel-wooled off some to distress. It looks like mercury glass! Your pretty Down in the Valley finishes approx 3-1/2 inches round. Offered in small chart format.
My Pink Rose
Presented as a small Reward of Merit chart, this pretty piece finishes approx 4-1/2 x 6-1/2 on 32ct Petit Point Belfast Linen -- natural with white dots. The light dots on the fabric are so pretty for this, it uses Country Lane, Cidermill Brown, Endive, Loganberry, Mountain Mist and Raspberry Frost hand-dyeds.
No fancy finishing for this one... just a trip to the pet store for the wonderful Lizard Litter filling. (You can use rice too, but over time, critters might eat your creation!)
Leona's Sewing Box
Barb and Alma have a new leaflet -- a small homestead sampler piece -- dedicated to Barb's mother, Leona. It is worked on 32ct linen with Gentle Art Sampler Threads and fits into the top and inside compartments of Lone Elm Lane's Square Queen Crown Box. The main design finishes approx 6 x 6 and features colors of Aged Pewter, Antique Rose, Endive, Garden Gate, Lexington Green, Mountain Mist, Old Red Paint, Parchment, Sable, Tin Bucket and Woodrose -- all lovely, soft and dusty.
The Lone Elm Box is also a light dusty gray -- it comes closest to Week's Seagull color. It measures approx 8 x 8 x 3-1/2 and features a pull out tray insert of two sections. Barb and Alma have designed two small cushions to line those tiny spaces... a basket and pair of birds perched atop spools of thread. A pretty piece both inside and out! Leona's Sewing Box is offered as a leaflet, the box is separate!
Presenting 4 New Small Rewards of Merit Charts
Without a Mouse, Spell of the Moon, Peace Rose and Le Poulet Pin Cushion... these are always fun little designs to have! Barb and Alma's Rewards of Merit series -- these are simply charts with a small colored pic.
Cats on Parade
A trio of pesky cats on parade... find a neat fabric color to showcase these little guys and make that cute drum-shape stand-up like in the pic! (Just make sure to weight the bottom, as it is almost 7 inches tall!)
You'll need 4 skeins of Espresso Bean floss, and we can send you some black Arctic Rays which is a thread that gives your twisted cord edging treatment that little bit of glitzy frizz!
Aren't these guys cute? They finish approx 6-1/2 x 10 on 30ct linen.
A Quickie Note:
We have a luscious supply of Lone Elm Lane's 6-inch round Aged Pewter and Black handmade Shaker Sewing Box that Barb and Alma are featuring on their new 12-part Sewing Box Series of leaflets. Only three designs out so far... we are not-so-patiently waiting for box-top number three!
Midnight Ride and Give Thanks are the first two that grace this fun little box. You are supposed to switch out your needlework toppers each month, but The Cross Stitch Police will not pay you a visit if you fall behind and leave your favorite piece in there for several months!!!
Blackbird's Loose Feathers for 2013 Begins with Wild Berries
The 12th and final design in Barb and Alma's Abecedarian Series of their Loose Feathers books, Garden Borders, is here. The Loose Feathers Series are referred to as their Abecedarian Project (pronounced a b c DARE e n).
Always an alphabet in each, and always dedicated to a member of their family -- you'll be able to personalize yours if you wish. They promise manageable sizes so you can complete these each month, too! The first -- Wild Berries -- measures 89 x 90 stitches, 6 x 6 on 30ct Abecedarian Blend Linen by R & R.
All 12 of the samplers in this set are about the same size -- all of them are shown and listed on the back of the leaflet, and are still in print. They all feature an alphabet, some of Barb and Alma's favorite motifs and are dedicated to family members.
This book celebrates an antique sampler in Alma's private collection. Stitched by someone who left her initials in red letters... this is divided into two parts. Alphabets at the top and birds and floral urns at the bottom.
Barb and Alma have re-charted the original sampler, and then made each section into smaller, charming take-out designs. The colors are lovely, dusty blues, cinnamons and tans... and any old shell buttons just add an extra punch of color!
Away We Ride
Blackbird has a new Halloween Sampler that is CHARMING!! *Away we ride till it's dark as pitch to find the home of the wicked witch.* Doesn't sound like the safest Halloween Night activity... but the picture in the sampler shows a nifty little stone cottage full of 18 lit windows!
A lavish border and lots of big 'ol birds lurking in the gardens, this measures 171 x 191 in stitch count. Calling for Gentle Art's Brandy, Garden Gate (3 skeins!), Heirloom Gold, Maple Syrup, Mulberry, Onyx (2 skeins), Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Woodrose and Woodsmoke... the chart is coded for DMC as well. It's full of personality and good design balance! Offered as a leaflet.
Wow... this book is a study of two different samplers by sisters "A and H Shields* in 1823 and 1824. A was the older of the two, but finished her sampler a year after H. Although they used the same pattern... each sampler is completely different -- such as sisters can be!!! Each original sampler is re-charted, and then Barb and Alma have gotten to work and designed three more samplers inspired by the original two!
Agnes Platt's Strawberry Sampler
Blackbird has a pretty new leaflet... it celebrates an 1800's sampler stitched by someone named Agnes Platt. Re-charted and coded for Gentle Art Sampler threads, Barb and Alma have pulled out design elements and designed new projects inspired by the sampler. There were evidently lots of specialty stitches in the original -- and they have made SURE that they kept them in when they re-charted the piece for us.
There is a beeskep done in Satins, a couple of floral urns -- one features berries worked in Queen Stitches. So... you get the original sampler -- re-charted. Alma's design is a pretty floral urn, Barb's is a red brick house with that charming skep. As always, beautiful pictures, lots of inspiration... and gorgeous, GORGEOUS colors in all the projects!
A pretty floral vine with plump berries... cheerful butterflies in the garden... the verse on this says *Dear Daughter of Mine* but could be changed to reflect ANY message you have! Stitched on R & R 30ct Creme Brulee (matches Irish Creme, Abecedarian Blend, Sheeps Straw and Olde Town Blend as well!) with 13 shades of Gentle Art and Weeks flosses, this finishes approx 8-1/2 inches square.
I am inclined to darken the house a bit, as it looks pale in the model pic, but you might want to change the color all together if you have a house color you are wanting to match Alma has personalized her piece with her daughter's initials and birthdate in the center of the urn. Offered as a leaflet, this is just a very pretty piece!
Maria Selby Humphrey -- 1831
Barb and Alma have found another charming antique sampler that has inspired a pair of new designs. Maria's original sampler is charted in the leaflet -- Blackbird does supply thread colors of Gentle Art Hand-dyeds to stitch it... but there is no re-stitched model in the book. (You'll need your imagination for that!) Anyway, they have taken design elements from the original and created a Pin Cushion Drum along with the original house charted with hints of the pretty quilt block border along the top.
Stitched on R & R 30ct linen, the My Home piece finishes approx 6 x 6, and the little drum (on 28) measures approx 5-ish inches high by 3-ish inches in diameter. Great finishing instructions are included for that drum assembly, as well. Verrrry pretty! Offered as the leaflet.
Quite a cool set of designs, the main eagle features the alphabet stitched over one in his belly.
A small smattering of Weeks and Gentle Art threads, the larger piece finishes approx 7 x 8 on R & R 30ct, while the cushion is a bit smaller -- 5 x 6 -- but not tiny at all! Offered as a leaflet.
Long May She Wave
Barb has stitched a simple flag, but added 48 Eyelets in place of stars in the design. Worked on 30ct linen -- your entire piece is covered in stitching -- so choose something you can SEE to work on, because you won't see any linen when you're finished! Crescent's Blue Corn and Dublin Bay along with Week's Baked Apple (10 yds) and Oak (15 yds) are the only 4 colors featured. The Oak blends in so beautifully with the two blues, and you'll get lots of definition if you get a little pull into your Eyelets.
Charming... on 30ct this finishes approx 4-1/2 x 6, and is shown on top of a wooden box from the big box store. (complete instructions for distressing that, as well!) Offered as the leaflet.
A small Reward of Merit design, this is a 3 x 3 inch piece worked in overdyeds on Week's 30ct Putty linen. A perfect size for a pin cushion filled with crushed walnut shells, or a tiny framed piece as shown in the pic.
Just a 'little something!' Offered as a small chart.
2012 Loose Feathers Series
Blackbird Designs has released their 1st of 4 leaflets in the 2012 series of Loose Feathers. Mary Ann Blackburn is listed as the 'Spring' edition of this new series. Barb and Alma are finding antique samplers to reproduce and adapt to their design style and color palette this time around. The featured sampler stitched by 8-yr old Mary Ann has lots of quirks in it... Barb and Alma changed some, made some others more fun, and then created two more designs for you based on the original sampler. They've even changed the name to Alma's grandmother's name, and put in the date SHE would have been 8 years old!
All three designs, along with finishing ideas are beautifully presented with Alma's pictures in the 16-page booklet. If you are a bit careful with placement (less than 3-inches around all the sides of the two smaller pieces) you can stitch everything on one fat quarter cut of R & R's 30ct Sheep's Straw Linen. Hand-dyed flosses from Crescent, Weeks and Gentle Art are all used -- soft greens, charcoals, roses and butterscotch, the larger sampler has a bit more red -- Used Brick -- as its main color. Enchanting! We are offering an auto-ship for this set of books -- with or without the 1/4 yd cut of linen. Let us know your preference!
Blackbird's Summer (#2 of 4 in the 2012 LF Series) Loose Feathers Design is finally here... just lovely. Barb and Alma fell in love with a quirky antique sampler -- strange design proportions and a domineering border, the original didn't include the entire alphabet or stitcher's signature. They've adapted the original, re-charting and choosing similar colors -- into two different pieces!
There is a small floral basket (above the house in all the pieces) that they have made into a pretty pin cushion, and trimmed with hand-dyed rick-rack. Pretty projects, and as usual... this book is FULL of Alma's stunning photography!
Summer's Last Rose
The third (of 4) 2012 Loose Feather's Design is here!!! A trio of small designs, Barb and Alma discovered another charming antique sampler that spoke to them of the end of hot summer days. Maybe the colors and motifs??
From their original piece, they have adapted a sewing box with four floral motifs on top, My Home -- a tiny house made into a pin cushion, and a lovely vine of stylized posies that they've mounted on top of a small basket. As always the pics in the book are stunning... and really offer lots of inspiration for other ways to finish your things. Fabric this month is R & R 30ct Creme Brulee, threads are by Weeks and Gentle Art.
The Gift is Small -- Loose Feather's #4 -- 2012
Blackbird's final Loose Feather release of the 2012 set is here... a set of 4 smaller designs all inspired by antique samplers. A pretty pin cushion trimmed with silk ribbon, and Barb's smaller reproduction piece to the main sampler... just pretty designs meant to be tokens.
Take away some inspiration from this publication -- find an old sampler somewhere (that your budget can handle) buy it... and re-chart some of your favorite parts for little cushions and samplers just like Barb and Alma have done here. Choose soft hand-dyed linen and pretty, faded overdyed threads... the projects in all four of this year's Loose Feathers books have been charming, and offer LOTS of finishing techniques and project ideas. So pretty!
Feast of Friendship
Blackbird has a new sampler design this week... full of yummy Autumn color and flavor! A tribute to Thanksgiving, Barb and Alma tell you to plan what you're going to serve, go over your guest list, and figure out WHERE you're going to put all those cute pumpkins you couldn't leave behind at the farmer's market!
Stitched on 30ct R & R Abcedarian Blend (a pretty light brown hand-dyed) with 22 different shades of Gentle Art and Crescent Colours's flosses, this finishes approx 6 x 12-1/2. We discussed a bit in the shop -- we like *just the urn!* and *just the house!* *Just the pumpkin* is kind of cute all by itself! Very pretty component parts to this! Offered as a leaflet.
from Blackbird Designs
Blackbird has a very simple and plain sampler... they designed it for those of us who leave our Christmas things out all year long!!! (it even refers to that on the back cover!)
A mere 4-1/2 x 8 on 35ct linen... Barb chose pretty pinks and greens for this piece... and almost hid the *Merry Christmas* sentiment in here... because of those colors! No special stitches, just a quick, pretty piece. Offered as a leaflet.
Flowers for You
'Flowers for your birthday' is the verse on this gorgeous new piece by Blackbird. Reminiscent of their 'older' designs... we just LOVE the sweeping, gently relaxed flowers billowing out of their basket. You could stitch this as a birthday gift, or change that sentiment to friendship -- just anything.
Stitched on R & R 30ct Sheep's Straw hand-dyed linen -- listen to the colors you get to use: Camouflage, Dublin Bay, Endive, Grape Arbor, Heirloom Gold, Old Red Paint, Raspberry Frost, Toasted Barley and Hazelnut. Just so pretty, finished size is approx 5 x 8, which is a perfect petite size!!!!!! Offered as a chart.
Blackbird's Barb has a new sampler to commemorate a mother and all the relatives on her side of the family. (Of course, it could be ANYONE and both sides of a family, too!) Pretty urns of traditional sampler-style florals, the blackbirds scattered in the garden might be all those relatives hanging around!!! After all, she *does* offer lots of spaces for initials!
A very pretty piece, stitched on R & R Irish Cream -- which matches our Sheep's Straw -- this finishes approx 8 x 13-1/2. Lots of delicate elements to pull out and stitch individually, too. Offered as the chart.
For My Friend
Blackbird's latest *Big Book* -- 44 pages of yummy pictures, projects, and recipes, is a tribute to Friendship. Featuring the beautiful photography talents of Alma, she and Barb present come cookie recipes first (Let's start out the book with the yummy food first!), then, a very balanced Quaker-Inspired Valentine Sampler. Next, my favorite project -- which is a pair of birds finished into a set of heart-shaped cushions.
There are cute paper hearts on curly-q wire, there is an awesome wool table runner that BEGS you to raid your wool felt and fabric stash for pretty scraps, and a beautiful sewing box top design. That box features tea-dyed cotton chennile trim around the top -- a pretty, soft edging treatment on an otherwise hard and straight project -- a nice touch.
Anyway, full of great gift ideas, fun ways to present those cookies, advice for making your tea stains, lots of finishing technique information... not to mention the charts themselves, there is a lot in here! Beautifully presented, even if you never stitch anything out of this -- you'll love the book anyway!
Sweet Thoughts of You
A small design that is presented on perforated paper in this small leaflet, you can easily stitch this on any fabric you wish if paper isn't 'your bag.' For this particular project Alma describes a finishing technique using acrylic glaze and decorated scrapbook paper to 'age' your stitching, edge it with that decorative paper, and mount it under glass.
You'll notice that there is a lock of hair on that little basket -- it belongs to her daughter from years ago! Offered as a small chart.
Casting A Spell: A Sewing Box of Tricks and Treats!
How fun, a collection of small designs that fills the compartments of this ordinary-turned-into-awesome wooden box! All is stitched on Weeks 30ct Confederate Gray Linen in only 5 shades of Sampler Threads: Dark Chocolate, Espresso Bean, Harvest Basket, Pumpkin Pie and Tarnished Gold. Stitch all the little pieces and stuff them for tiny cushions OR get the cool wooden compartment box, paint it, and LOVE it!
We can't decide if the lid is real glass or plexi-glass... I guess we'll find that out when we break one! Anyway, a lovely project... and you know, because it has that glass? lid... your needlework inside will always be seen... but never get dusty!!!
Just a sweet piece, this is eye-catching because it is stitched in reds, browns and taupes. A very rich color palette! The back cover shows this mounted onto a simple Hobby Lobby paper mache Spice Box. It measures 5 x 3 and includes 6 little paper jars inside!
Barb took her finished needlework, COPIED it on a color-copier, cut out her favorite motifs from the tiny sampler, and glued them on top of the paper jars -- now needle and button cases! Talk about a neat finishing idea!
Ohhh... stitch just the raven, vine and moon on this, or put that house inside your sewing box with the Casting A Spell collection, or do something fun with that big patchwork pumpkin... this is stitched on Weeks 30ct Confederate Gray linen in Crescent's and Gentle Art's overdyed flosses.
Finishing approx 8 x 20, it's really guite generous in size... commanding for the Holiday!
Rewards of Merit
New Pincushion designs -- actually Dear Friend is framed, as it really IS too big for a pin cushion -- these are ever-charming, just like you KNOW Blackbird's designs to be! Offered as small charts, each is stitched on soft hand-dyed linen in even softer and faded hand-dyed flosses. I couldn't choose a favorite in the booth at Market... they were all there stuffed with that cool Lizard Litter -- (if you buy it at the pet store) or crushed walnut shells -- (if you buy it at the garden store!) so you love to hold them in your hands! All are offered as single charts... we now have a total of 8.
Anniversaries of the Heart
Blackbird's has released the final design in their 12-part Anniversary of the Heart Series has arrived! *Remember Me*.... personalize this with YOUR name instead of Elizabeth Jane's! This leaflet also includes the final bonus pattern that works into the entire 15-part collection. All houses, all parts designed to be personalized to commemorate people and places in your family history, that bonus pattern is needed in case you are working all 15 parts on one piece of fabric. All the leaflets in this collection are still available, but I do not expect that to last for long. Blackbird does NOT re-print designs as they sell out... so if you fall in love with any or all of these in the Anniversary of the Heart Series - DO NOT WAIT to get them! The 1/2yd cut of R & R 30ct Olde Town Blend Linen is currently on backorder... but we can add you to our Waiting List for that if you like! Each house is charming by itself, and stitched on various shades of hand-dyed linen.
Flowers of the Field
Barb and Alma bring us flowers from their gardens -- capturing the fading blossoms as Summer wanes and Autumn appears promising brisk temps to turn the yellows and pinks into tans and browns. A matching sewing bag and pin cushion design, the stitching is simple, the finishing kind of fun... especially if you want to dye your fabrics and ric-rak like they did... and find the Lizard Litter to stuff your cushion!
Stitched on 30ct hand dyed linen, in Gentle Art and Crescent overdyed flosses (probably all are already in your stash), the cushion stitching measures approx 3 x 4, the sewing bag just 4 x 5-1/2. Your finished bag and cushion can be any size you want. Offered as a leaflet.
Waiting for the Harvest
Another of Blackbird's small Reward of Merit pincushion designs... this is stitched in just one color of overdyed floss -- Gentle Art's Dark Chocolate. Of course, you can choose any color thread you like, some of the rusts are gorgeous... but regardless!
This stitches to 3-1/2 x 5-1/2 on 32ct, just a pretty, simple, wisp of a thing... choose a soft backing fabric, fill with that *delicious feeling* lizard litter Barb and Alma love to use, and you're finished! (I know delicious and litter don't seem to 'pair' well... but it's really crushed walnut shells, and it feels heavy and comforting when it is the stuffing inside your pin cushions.)
Blackbird's newest Reward of Merit -- a tiny design -- this is a mono-chromatic piece that could be worked in any number of your favorite shades of hand dyed! Finishing approx 5 x 7... make a pin cushion or frame weight, by making a little pillow and filling it with *Lizard Litter!*
No kidding... when Barb and Alma came for our class... our cushions were filled with lizard litter from the pet store!!! (The bag actually named it that, but listed the contents as crushed walnut shells, but WHY use walnut shells when you can have lizard litter?!) Little Rose Garden is a small chart. (you're on your own for the litter!)
Raise a Glass of Cheer
...for the beginning of a New Year!'
5 x 15 on 30ct, stitched with Gentle Art Sampler Threads... just a pretty thing, and a theme we don't see too much of!
Just a simple thing -- this is stitched with only ONE color of Weeks floss -- Jack-O-Lantern! There is a pumpkin cushion featured on the cover.
Simply stitch 48 rows of 75 stitches each... and then gather that little thing together for a *Totally Stitched* little pumpkin! Too cute! Offered as a small leaflet.
Vintage Halloween Stockings
Blackbird Designs has released a book of 13 Halloween Stockings -- to match their on-going series of mini monthly stockings!!! 36 Pages full of charts and lots of color pictures for you to enjoy! In addition to the 13 stocking patterns, there are several other projects too -- small necklaces and pin cushions, and a little 'keeper' on a ring for flosses.
5 Of the mini stockings are stitched on R & R's hand-dyed 30ct Cafe Kona Linen, 5 on 18th Century Brown, and 3 on Witches Brew. Any of the 13 would be good on any of the linens... but the set of three fabric colors gives you lots of subtle color variety.
The entire book uses just a few hand-dyed floss colors... and we've estimated that you'll need several skeins of a few colors to stitch all. If you are picky about matching dye-lots in your hand-dyeds... our floss set includes 3 skeins each of Weeks Carrot, Sweet Potato, Charcoal, and 4 skeins of Crescent's Blackbird. ( I think there are only 8-ish more colors to find in your stash.) Each stocking finishes approx 3 x 5 -- just like Blackbird's monthly series.
Our recommended linen cuts include 1/4 yard of Cafe Kona, and 1/4 yd of 18th Century (enough for 6 - 9 x 9 individual cuts out of each), and a 9 x 27 cut of Witch's Brew for 3 more -- you'll have enough fab for AT LEAST 15 stockings... and if you're really *good* you can place them closer on the linens, stitch a few of them in different colors -- mix it up a little -- and get crazy! Or... make your own fabric choices!!
The Stocking Collection
Three little stocking each month... by the time December rolls around, you'll have a 36-piece set of miniature stocking ornaments for a table-top tree!!!!! Barb and Alma of Blackbird Designs have three 5-1/2 x 8 mini-leaflet publications already, one for each month, and we're going to begin auto-ships for the rest of the year! Each stocking a sampler theme, January's features a New Year's design, a birthday stocking, and winter carnations. February's has sweethearts and violets, and March has a green Quaker piece, daffodils and a tiny shamrock stocking!
All measuring the same size -- approx 3 x 5 on 30ct -- each uses different overdyed linens, and call for Weeks, Gentle Art and Crescent Colours overdyed flosses. Stitch counts average 43 x 73... so final sizes change depending on your fabric choices. I'd pick a couple of your favorite neutral fabric colors, get fat quarters of those (you'll get 6 stocking per fat quarter piece, there are 36 total in this series) and repeat the linens throughout the year. These would be pretty on hand-dyed or regular linens, and aida, too!!!!
These were DARLING at market -- *A DEFINITE* to collect in 2009!
My Heart is True
Another of Blackbird's lovely books... this one features small pincushion projects by Italian artist Nicoletta Farrauto, along with Barb and Alma. The 'Friends With You' project book and Garden Gem Pin Box are my two favorites...
All are stitched on hand-dyed with overdyeds, and then tea-stained! A 'must-have' book for Any and All Blackbird Fans!!!
The Remember Me Series
These are the first in a nine-part set of small charts that is designed to depict your family history through the dates and initials of each piece. The first, When This You See, celebrates designer Barb's mother. The date of 1936 is the year LEW was age 12. The second piece, My Missouri Home is Barb's piece - she chose not to divulge her age (!) ... but put the date her sampler was completed in the roof area. (She could have put her marriage year in there...)
You get the idea here. You'll need to do a bit of family genealogy to choose who you need to stitch about, but what a neat way to remember those before us! (An alphabet is included with each piece so you can replace the names if you choose.) Depending on how far you can go back... you could have a whole set of these climbing up the wall in your stairway, or lining the wall above kitchen cabinets... Pick and choose who gets which house, too! Offered as 5 x 8 leaflets, each is stitched on varied 28, 30 and 32ct linens in lots of overdyed Weeks and Sampler Threads, and finishes just about the same size... approx 9 x 9. A really nice set! We don't know how long it will be for the last six... so something fun to look forward to!
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