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!
Blackbird's Loose Feathers for 2013 Begins with Wild Berries
Barb and Alma are beginning a set of 12 samplers releasing each month for the next 11 (so this series will run thru June of 2014). The Loose Feathers Series for 2013, they are referring to them 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.
Stitched with 13 different shades of Gentle Art flosses -- a pretty bird outside the window. As a special treat, they have included the pics of the first 6 samplers in the series on this leaflet's back cover!!! (I don't think they are all on the same color of linen, so that color and size will vary each month.) We're offering an auto-ship of leaflets for this -- fabric is optional -- you decide!
(Note: when you order an auto-ship, it may show up on your order form as a "zero-cost" or $.01 item, as we won't charge your credit card until we ship.)
In Full Glory
Blackbird Designs has a couple of new releases... Barb and Alma's next Loose Feathers -- #10 Mother's Day, as well as this festive colonial house! A new Reward of Merit design, this is offered in small chart format, and finishes the size of a generous pin cushion. The wavy flag is really neat, the bald eagle seems to be holding it! The urn of flowers beside the house is pretty just by itself, as well.
The Garden Fair
Blackbird has a pretty new garden urn piece, surrounded by a floral border that could fit on top of a small box, or finish into a petite pillow. Stitched on 32ct Hoffman's Special Blend by R & R, this uses a palette of Classic Colorworks hand-dyeds that are included in the kit... Wild Berries, Cinnamon Toast, Clay Pot, Hazelnut, Onion Skin, Pea pod, Stepping Stones, Used Brick, and Weeping Willow.
The 32ct linen is a new addition to the hand-dyed fabrics we have had... it is a classic R & R light brown hand-dyed color. The Garden Fair is an exclusive design to Hoffman Distributing Company and is offered as the chart with nine Classic Colorworks complete floss skeins. The R & R linen is offered separately.
Barb and Alma have printed a LOVELY set of 16 recipe cards... all from the artwork of their new Plum Sweet Fabric line!!! They scalloped the edges of these charming cards, added gorgeous images of cross stitching, put them on heavy, textured paper and packaged 5 each of 4 different designs together.
Makes me want to re-do my entire recipe box!!! A perfect 'little something' as a token gift... or the perfect cards to share recipes with stitching friends, these are neat!
Topiary in Bloom
A small Reward of Merit design, this measures just 75 x 71 stitches and is worked on R & R's 30ct French Vanilla hand-dyed linen with Sampler Threads of Brandy, Burlap, Old Purple Paint, Raspberry Frost and Weathered Barn.
Just a pretty wisp of a thing, this is offered as a very small chart.
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!
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 two 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!!!
The Sewing Box Series
A New Series by Barb and Alma! A set of Sewing Boxes... Midnight Ride is the first! Round designs that will fit the new Lone Elm Lane Early Wooden Wares hand-made boxes -- you will need one 6-inch black box to re-use all year long for your seasonal box topping designs! Midnight Ride features a black raven who's guarding your sewing supplies, while her magic hat pin keep is tucked safely inside the box.
Choose a hand-dyed 30 ct for your box top... all is stitched with just three Gentle Art threads -- Fragrant Cloves, Garden Gate and Onyx. The little box is a bit on the high side -- price wise - so possibly check out plain boxes to paint at Hobby Lobby?? Anyway, this promises to be a neat set of designs -- round is always unique and hard to come by!! Offered as leaflets as they are released, the auto-ship lets you choose leaflets only, or you can choose to have a box shipped with your first automatic shipment. (Lone Elm has an entire line of boxes and pretty designs to fit their tops... check out that page as well!)
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!
A Pair of Limited Edition Kits
*Never Far Apart* is a precious 4 x 8 mini-stocking design that celebrates friendship. Stitched on 32ct hand-dyed linen in Gentle Art's Chives, Old Brick, Woodrose, Endive, Apple Cider, Brandy and Raspberry Parfait, the little sampler features two houses and the short pathway between them. The lining fabric included is stunning -- a very antique, vintage print it pulls all the floss colors together beautifully. I'd love to do a bedroom in that fabric! Offered in a little round tin, this is a complete LIMITED EDITION kit of chart, linen, stocking lining fabric and hand-dyed flosses.
*October 31st* is a fun little round wheel-thing... Quaker-inspired and stitched in a monochromatic greyed-blue, it's a neat shape, and actually very simple. I think I took a pic at Market holding this so you could see it's finished size. VERY charming and quite different. The complete LIMITED EDITION kit offers the chart, linen and flosses, packed in that little round tin. Really a cute little piece... this might be fun tucked into that basket you have of random-sized little pin cushions!
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!
Oh, I love this busy scene... the big house and neat tree, the rose garden full of birds, bees and butterflies everywhere. Everyone is gathering for the Queen Bee -- and there she is featured on the honeycomb pin cushion -- the second design in the book. The main piece finishes approx 8 inches round and is shown mounted into the top of a round shaker box -- Her Majesty -- The Queen -- is tucked inside.
Worked on R & R 30ct linen in Sampler Threads of Brandy, Copper, Dried Thyme, Endive, Maple Syrup (2 skeins), Nutmeg, Piney Woods, Pumpkin Patch, Pumpkin Pie, Sable, Tin Bucket, Walnut and Wheat Fields, it is an especially pretty color palette. Offered as the leaflet.
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.
Blackbird has sent a charming new sampler... a house surrounded by the blooming violets of Springtime! Barb writes; 'The ground is covered in snow and it is so cold here in the Midwest. We are tucked in front of a blazing fire as we dream of the arrival of Spring. We know when the weather warms up and the grass turns green, violets will pop up all over the yard adding lovely little dots of purple, white and yellow.'
Offered as a leaflet, this is stitched on 30ct hand-dyed linen in nine different shades of Weeks, Gentle Art and Crescent hand dyed flosses, with a finished size of 9-1/4 x 9-7/8.
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.
Christmas Garden & Crowning the Tree
Blackbird has two new designs that are dreamy!!! Christmas Garden is a large piece -- finishing approx 15 x 18 on 30ct hand-dyed linen. Stitched in only 4 different overdyed floss colors of Calico Kitty (5), Fool's Gold (3), Endive (5) and Heirloom Gold (3), the colors are all soft and faded -- giving this such a pretty, vintage look. Barb designed this piece and included the record of her maternal genealogical line. Look carefully to find initials scattered about. (They even suggest that you write something about each person, and add a photo... and attach all to the back of the piece!)
Not really overly Christmassy... we can find a decorated tree in here, and a few reindeer... but think this is a lovely piece that deserves to hang all year!!! Offered as a leaflet, it calls for multiple skeins of the flosses... so we've added an additional one of each color... in case you want to stitch the other smaller designs in the leaflet! Naughty or Nice would be pretty for Valenties Day!!!
Check out Crowning the Tree -- a smaller stocking that coordinates with the larger sampler -- it uses the same color scheme! Naughty is included with the main sampler, Crowning the tree is a separate smaller leaflet. This is a sweet piece that measures a mere 3 x 6-1/2 on 30ct. All of this is so beautiful to page through!!!
Blackbird Designs' 2011 Loose Feathers Series!
The first of three Loose Feathers Leaflets has arrived -- Barb and Alma bring us a summer bird amidst the luscious strawberries of the season! Finishing approx 5 x 9 on 30ct linen... you can stitch this design as is... or start with a larger cut of linen, and add the two companions that are being published in September and November's Loose Feather's leaflets to make a 15 x 9 piece. (Think of how lovely it will be to be thinking of summertime in November!)
Oh... you'll like everything in this leaflet! Autumn features a pair singing in the thinning trees... pumpkins scattered beneath. Part Three is going to be Winter, which releases 8 weeks from now. (And...no... no word about what happened to Spring. We didn't get that season in Oklahoma this year, so maybe Barb and Alma left it out of here in honor of us?) Along with the main piece (30ct Irish Creme Linen) are two smaller sewing box top or pin cushion designs -- birds and flower baskets -- all stitched in Gentle Art and Crescent hand-dyed cottons. They both will be beautiful on so many different fabrics -- check your stash for something yummy! As always, lovely photography, the book is simply elegant to page through -- even if you don't get to stitch these right away!
Blackbird's final 2011 Loose Feather is here!!! Offered in leaflet format, join winter with Autumn and Summer... we never did get a Spring with this one! (you'll just have to adapt!) Blackbird's design flavor is all over in this flowing piece... I love the colors and the *shape!*
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!
A Stitcher's Journey
Blackbird's Barb and Alma have published a lovely book -- 52 pages (!!) -- stuffed full of projects they taught in various shops during 2010. They had found an antique sampler stitched by Mary Murphy in 1842, which inspired lots of the class projects and more treats in this book.
Just lovely pictures and neat projects... the Silver Needle's project trio is featured on pages 34 to 39!!! Samplers, needlecases, pin cushions, box toppers... Just such a pretty book, hard to do it justice with only a few words!
Rewards of Merit
6 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!)
Loose Feathers 2009
Blackbird's first in their 2009 Loose Feathers Series of designs... this year, we are being treated to needlework accessory cases and pieces! Peacock Pinkeep is the first, and the leaflet includes a *bonus pattern* of matching Needlebook! Stitched on hand-dyed 28ct Light Grey/ Straw gingham linen, in Crescent's Belle Soie silks or DMC cottons, the box measures a generous 6 inches in diameter, and I remember it being about 3 inches high. Alphabet letters wrap around the sides, and the peacock adorns the top. The finishing instructions do not create a box that opens -- rather a firmly stuffed large 'cushion-box.' (You could always construct your lid to lift off...)
Anyway, this year proves to be full of lovely needlework accessory pieces -- offered every other month -- in small leaflet format. (Anticipated costs for subsequent months -- low $30 range, including the fabrics.) We have an auto-ship set up, and can send you the hand-dyed linens called for each time, along with the chart. Charming! (Blackbird is doing a monthly set of mini-stockings, too... take a peek at those as well!)
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.
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!
Small Rewards of Merit
A Thread Keep, Journal Cover and Pin Cushion... this is a trio of designs that can be finishing ANY WAY you choose -- not necessarily as suggested! Pins and Needles is a sweet piece stitched mostly in reds and berry overdyeds. It measures approx 4 x 5 on 32ct, and is stuffed with crushed walnut shells (which we sell!!!)
The Wild Rose Journal Cover is stunning... the flowers are round rows of chain stitches, so it looks like the expensive stitching on decorator drapery fabrics! Wild Rose finishes approx 5-1/2 x 7 on 32ct. Bluebird's Thread Keep would make a pretty basket-topper -- it's approx 4 x 6, and does come with the dark brown thread ring. Sweet little pieces, these are offered in small chart format.
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!!!
Mildred's Garden House|
Blackbird's houses #6 in the nine part Remember Me Series, each of these houses celebrates a family member of Barb's and records her family genealogy. 9 Designs in the final set... we'll probably wait another year before the final three are released. All are offered as small leaflets, all are approx the same size, all feature a charming house with lavish gardens or greenery surrounding them, and the COLORS in each are stunning!
The #1 When This You See piece is stitched in lavenders -- it is charming, and since its a shop model... I get to enjoy it everyday! Choose various ancestors to remember with your houses... hang all nine of them on the wall going up your staircase, or something fun like that!
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!
So elegantly primitive like Blackbird's favored style... All of Blackbird's new things are beautifully pictured on the chart fronts... and such a delight to look at! They are next-to-impossible to write words about... but seeing the pics says so much about each!
Tokens of Friendship
This is a wonderful soft-covered book featuring 8 of Blackbirds's designs... all beautifully presented and photographed... just so it's even fun just to page through! The publication is trimmed down to an 8-1/2 x 9 presentation -- something different -- and is stuff full of pretty photos, recipes and charts! Each design has a tiny story... I've just spent 20 minutes paging through this to try to do my 'web words' for you! All overdyeds, all hand-dyed linens and Hog River frames... this is really a treat for a primative lover! We've shown a few of the designs above... enjoy!
A Fine Collection|
This is a gorgeous book -- 42 pages worth! -- of classy, primitive designs, something for each month of the year! There is a charming hand-drawn calendar for the year, along with a few recipes, some finishing templates, awesome color photos of all the cross stitch projects, and of course the charts for 13 different designs, that are each large enough and 'good enough' to have stood alone in their own leaflets! Wonderful overdyed thread choices, lots of hand-dyed linens called for, this whole book is extremely well done! Truly a Fine Collection, we've shown some of the design featured. At first, $26.00 seems high... but after you see what's inside these pages...(and realize that they could have been 13 individual books for $6-ish each) you'll be thrilled with it! Beautiful graphics, and that charming hand-drawn calendar!
Note: clicking on the image at right will take you to a nice slide show of some of the designs in this book. When you're finished, just close the window.
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