This is absolutely insane news (I’m still not really over it), but this map sampler project I’ve been working on was featured on the DMC Threads blog the other day! MY project! ME! Can you believe that crazy? It was terribly exciting!
Someone left a comment over there to ask about how to get straight lines on non-counted blackwork, so I thought I’d show you about that here. In reality, I’m not that worried about exact straightness. I mean, the stitching looks basically straight and grid-like to the eye, and that’s enough for me for this project. I think it would lose its character if it was too-too perfect, if you know what I mean.
But I don’t just wing it completely! For each section, I pick a thread color and a stitch pattern to go in that space first. In the middle of that area, I draw a line (with a heat-erasing Pilot Frixion Pen) down the middle to get the first row of stitches nice and even. This type of blackwork filling is usually based on rows or grids in some way, so a line will generally be enough to get a straight start. From there, it’s not too difficult to get the next row straight using the first row as a ruler of sorts, and so on.
Here’s a photo of this new block in progress that will show what I mean. In this case, because I wanted the crosses to create the grid, nice and straight both horizontally and vertically, I marked out a whole grid on the fabric to work from.
… you can see that I’ve plotted a few squares ahead, marking the beginnings of stitches in pen. This will allow me to curl up with the Scream Trilogy tonight (my favorite tradition on my favorite holiday!) and get right to the stitching without too much dithering over the details. Which often takes longer than the actual stitching. These lines will disappear with the mildest of ironing when I’ve finished.
I was also asked about the embroidery floss storage pictured in that DMC post / my first post here about this project. My mother bought this floss box for me years ago, when we lived in the Netherlands.
There used to be this lovely little needlework shop in Haarlem, near where we lived then, and since there’s no brand or markings on the box anywhere, I have to assume it was handmade by someone locally.
I love it so much, it only takes a quick minute to wind the thread on these bobbins (which are just a touch bigger than those paper ones you get) and it keeps everything orderly and easy to find. We don’t keep the threads in number order or anything, just generally grouped by color.
We’ve actually run out of room in this one already and had to move browns and neutrals to plastic boxes. I’d love it if we could find another similar wooden storage box to expand into.
Happy Halloween, everyone! (I really should’ve taken a photo of the orange drawer, shouldn’t I?!)