Whilst I am finding it challenging to write about the garden, just because I don’t have anything new to say, I am feeling very enthused about sewing so I wanted to share the project I finished late last night.
It’s called Pandora’s Box and the pattern is available free online from Blackwork Journey. Why I loved this project is that it is broken down into 8 sections and Elizabeth, the lady behind it, published a section on the 1st of each month so you have plenty of time to complete four blocks. Each section includes some pulled thread work, blackwork (although mine is red) and some Assisi, which is cross-stitch with edging and finally some cross-stitch. It is easy, even for someone with little experience as me, to complete a block (square) in an evening and as you work through the project your confidence in these techniques grows.
The other wonderful thing about this project is that it is accompanied by a Facebook Group, which currently has 680 members from across the world. As the project started there was a lot of discussion about fabric and threads, then as we completed a couple of sections we started to show our progress which prompted more discussion on colour choices. Through the FB group is you couldn’t understand one of the instructions, although Elizabeth writes them so well and they are very clearly articulated in diagrams, you could ask for advice and within an hour or so you would have a response.
I am thrilled with the finished piece of work, I think it is the most satisfying thing I have stitched for a very long time. I am planning on having it framed and I think it will go in the living room which has recently been redecorated with a red highlights in tartan curtains – trust me they look wonderful!
Elizabeth is now working on another project which she will start to publish later in the year, from memory I think it is November.
Note: if you are interested in following this project you need to look at the Freebies section on the Blackwork Journey website.
I shared with you at the end of January that I had embarked on a new, yes another one, embroidery project – Pandora’s Box.
The project is supported by a Facebook group which is how I first came across it and on the first day of each month another block is released. The block is essentially another row of 5 boxes. I have spent the last month catching up so now I am ready for the next block to be released on the 1st March. That will be the final row of boxes and then the following four months instructions will be to fill in longer boxes around the edges – I think.
I have really enjoyed the limited colour palette and how with a very small range of stitch – cross stitch and back stitch – you can create all sorts of effects. My pull work (the all white squares) is improving as I get more assertive with pulling the threads.
To answer the inevitable question about what I plan to do with the finished project – I think I will have it framed and it might well go up in the spare bedroom which has a bit of a red theme in it.
While I wait for the next block to be released I shall go back to my oriental cross stitch project. So now you know why I haven’t been on social media much lately.
My love of embroidery keeps growing and it has really stood me in good stead over the last month, providing a useful relaxation at the end of a long day at work. The simple act of pushing the needle and thread through the material in a fairly regular fashion really helps my mind empty of other things and to create something pretty, or if I am lucky beautiful, as a result is an added bonus. I blogged a few weeks ago about the cross stitch my sons gave me for Christmas which I have really been enjoying and which is coming along nicely. However, I follow a number of embroiders on Facebook and Twitter and a week or so ago one of them posted about Pandora’s Box , an on-line sew along which she had just started.
A few questions were asked and links followed and I found myself on the Blackwork Journey website downloading the first set of instructions.
The project is essentially a sew along in nine parts which a new part being released each month. I think it started in November so you can see I am somewhat behind but then so is Chris and others are joining all the time. It doesn’t matter. The project allows you to explore some new embroidery techniques which you might not have tried before, in this case Assisi, Blackwork and Pulled Thread Work. I haven’t tried any of these before so was immediately interested but what really drew me in was the owl motif in the first row.
Sorry the photo is a little blurry.
I was quite nervous at first due about the framework which you can see in the top picture is a series of blocks and squares worked in four-sided stitch. This stitch creates a sort of ladder effect and you are meant to pull the threads tight to create the small holes at the corner of each square – I suspect I could be a little more robust.
I have got one more square to complete on the first block and then I have two more rows (or blocks) to do before I am up to date. Saying that the fourth block comes out in February so I will be behind again. However, all I have to do is go onto the Facebook group and see what others are up to and realise that lots of people are at the same stage as me and as I said it doesn’t matter.
I am completely loving Pandora’s Box. The framework stitch is far easier than I expected and so satisfying and I love each little square, they are like little masterpieces in their own right. In the next block I get to do a butterfly with a spider instead of the owl, which I am sure will be fun.