Posts Tagged ‘beehive’


Finished! Utterly, completely, absolutely nothing left to add, finished. Except I haven’t posted it to my mom yet. But still! It is technically done even if the recipient of the gift hasn’t received it, right?

To the best of my knowledge, I designed the honeycomb border, row 2, 3, 5, 6, 8 and 2/3 of row 10.

If you haven’t already, you can see the design process in these previous posts: here, here and here.


Check out the amazing curtains I found in a thrift store! Thrill at the sight of our Ikea table and chair. Also, embroidery.

I already wrote in exhaustive detail about the embroidered comic (why on earth did I think this was an appropriate subject for my mom’s present?) so I’ll just write about the remaining rows. The ninth row is from Wilkins’ book Traditional Blackwork Samplers and I freakin’ love it. I think it’s so clever and it really does look like a row of irises.

The tenth row uses a flower band from The Beginner’s Guide to Blackwork and I added a repeating bee of my own design and the wheat (it’s supposed to be wheat) in the center.

The eleventh row is based on this Flickr image and it reminds me of a stained glass window from a craftsman style house.

The twelfth band is from the Beginner’s book and the thirteenth is from this etsy seller. I’ve blatantly stolen her design and I hope she doesn’t come after me. She’s got lots of cute blackwork and once the cashflow has been sorted I plan on buying a few because I can’t quite work out the count.


I’m also really proud of the alphabet I used. I was so burned out by this point I didn’t bother to research blackwork alphabets so I just made something up. I embroidered the start and end dates as well even though that’s a little embarassing to inscribe forever just how long it took me to finish this.

Little details really make this a favorite project. The way I made the leaves twist for the wheat in the tenth row stand out to me. And the three big motifs in the fourth row really irked me for a while – I thought they were too sparse and strange looking – but from a distance they look like circles inside of squares. Exactly as I’d hoped.

So here it is, mounted and ready to ship home!


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I’ve “sketched” some new designs for my mom’s sampler. Previous designs are here.

I took one of the bees and after a lot of fiddling I came up with this:

I had to try out both versions but I think I’ll use the second as a band in the sampler.

The motif on the right is adapted from an image of a vintage iron transfer I found in the flickr group Hoop Love. This may be the final version.

The motif on the left is based on a band from theĀ Beginner’s Guide to Blackwork by Lesley Wilkins. I also have Traditional Blackwork Samplers by Wilkins as well. The Beginner’s Guide has more “raw material” in that it’s mostly filling patterns and bands whereas Traditional Blackwork Samplers has, well, samplers.

In fact, that’s where I found this:

Or rather, that’s where I found this in pieces as part of a larger band in a sampler. I don’t know if you can tell but almost every quarter of these two motifs are different. I had charted them on graph paper but I really needed to see them stitched up before I could make a decision. Only the bottom two on the right are the same and the design I finally settled on before I realized (with the help of my boyfriend) that they aren’t even my style. Seeing them in context with all of my other designs really highlighted the differences and I decided to scrap them altogether.

This all leads up to the focus of the sampler: an embroidered comic! It’s a little macabre but I couldn’t resist.

The story is that the beekeeper is trying to smoke the bees to sleep in order to gather their honey and they take offense to this.

In the second “panel” they swarm out and he throws the smoker over his shoulder in surprise. The empty space where the smoker and his arm used to be draws attention to the swarm and then this draws the eye to the right where the dotted line indicates the smoker’s movement.

He runs with the bees hot on his tail. I positioned the flower (and plan on adding a second) to indicate a left to right movement and the swoop of the dotted line-smoker-bees also helps this I think. I’ve since re-charted the dotted lines and the smoker to fill up the empty space in the center bottom. I’ve also re-charted the position of his arms:

I think I’m going to use the fragment on the left. These were my “sketches” of the beekeeper figure and I didn’t bother to fill in the netting of his mask.

Back to the comic though: The fourth panel is the beekeeper’s demise. Here the viewer sees the beekeeper in repose (maybe he’s just sleeping) and holding a flower. I squeezed two actions into one panel and I hope it works. The bees have used the smoker against the beekeeper. This development plays on the previous two panels and the device I used to show movement. The technique used to tell the story turns literal within the story.

So, that’s the comic and what I have for the sampler thus far. I think my mom will like it and find it funny and I decided it was more important to give my mom a present that was from me and have it be off-kilter rather than something I found in a book (not that there’s anything wrong with that) that didn’t represent my aesthetic.

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This is a gift I’m making for my mom. She’s really into bees but I guess you could see that for yourself.

It’s in the early planning stages, obviously. There are many, many, many mistakes. I wasn’t pleased with the beehive on a branch band until the very bottom. And some of the bees are very weird.

But I couldn’t tell how my charted designs would look until I stitched them up so this is a learning process.

It’ll eventually take the form of a sampler, with bands of repeating motifs. I’m also going to be using bands of flowers from blackwork books.

(I can’t edit the pictures of my charted designs so when I can figure that out I’ll update this post.)

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