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Blackwork Embroidery
BY Bernadette Baldelli

Search Press
4 February 2020/ ISBN 9781782218111
How-To Books / Needlework

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde


Blackwork is a Moorish style of embroidery which came to Britain via Spain with Catherine of Aragon. In this book are sixteen modern projects using the traditional stitches, showing how it can be updated and reinvented for the 21st century.

There are even some splashes of colored thread among the black and white which gets my approval. No style should be so mired in tradition that it can’t be dusted down and remixed for a new generation of stitchers. The stitches remain the same and there are instructions for these, but I think the person who will get the most out of this book will be somebody who is already au fait with the basics of embroidery. It will help if they can also sew, as most of the projects a soft toy mouse and a simple child’s tunic dress. Patterns need to be resized or measured out, and then made up following text instructions. Other simpler pieces with less making up include wraps to add interest to candle holders, a sampler, bunting and table mats. Some of the embroidery is geometric; others depict flowers, moths, children playing, words and a fish. All are the type of designs that aren’t contemporary as much as timeless, and Catherine of Aragon would have been familiar with this style of embroidery used to decorate clothing. There are some lovely projects in here that are sure to have wide appeal.

If you cannot find a good range of embroidery and needlecraft materials locally try for a list of suppliers.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2020