Blackwork Fill-In Samplers

When I first got interested in blackwork I decided I wouldn’t burn myself out on it. Typically, when I start a new craft I read as much as I can about it and then tackle a project that captures my interest. Usually, this involves a skill set I just don’t have yet. I slog through it until it’s finished or I just can’t look at it anymore.

I paced myself with blackwork though. I bought some blackwork books and decided to flat out copy the fill-in patterns from Lesley Wilkins Beginner’s Guide to Blackwork. Here’s the first:

I remember giving my boyfriend progress reports. “I’m half-way through the first pattern,” “I’m finished with the first two rows.” After completing this it got so much easier and I decided to tackle the second page of fill-in patterns:

It went so much faster because I’d improved so much. “I’m half-way through the sampler.”

Boyfriend: “The whole thing?”


I was done before I knew it. There are two other pages of fill-in patterns but I’d cooled my heels for far too long and I had to move on to something else.

7 thoughts on “Blackwork Fill-In Samplers”

  1. you’re stitches are beautiful!
    you must be a very patient person-
    this looks so difficult to me-
    you definitely have perfected blackwork
    your pages contain professional stitches-
    great job!

  2. Just found your blog through a reply you left me at Craftster (to a post about what to do with my completed pieces). Wow! You do great work. You are very talented! 🙂

  3. I also enjoy Blackwork samplers. I have some like yours – all in black but I also have been trying working the patterns in color and especially with shaded thread. The subtle color change effect that produces is nice. I have finished a cross stitch project with large background space and am looking for some type of fill stitch that would lend itself to the feel of sky or clouds. Thanks for your post! I love your stitches!

  4. Hi. These are great. May I ask you as a beginner, how do you read the charts? I have this book and for me it isn’t a beginners book at all. Your work is beautiful and I keep wanting to do these but I don’t know where to start. I did one black work pin cushion from a class but want to try something else. Thanks,

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