Home Join Us!
Member Login
Join Us! Home

Week Two: Spot Sampler Area 1 & 2 (w/c April 20)

From the DJ Sampler we will cover Band One: Blackwork Correa and Band Two: Bargello Waves.



Setting Up Your Workspace

We all have a preferred place to stitch where we can surround ourselves with all the tools of our trade we need to get the job done. Everyone does this part quite differently and there is no wrong answer here!

You can see in my set up that I like to use an Irwin Quick Grip Clamp to hold my slate frame so I can stitch two-handed. Always a debate but I prefer my dominant right hand on top and my left hand underneath, a product of learning Japanese embroidery.

My goose-necked magnifier controls the lighting and magnification as I love to work with high count linen and then the usual clutter is all around. At my fingertips are my scissors, threads and my pattern.

What you can’t see in this photo is that I can see the TV and the garden and am close to the kitchen for a cuppa so reckon this is the best spot in my house.

If anything here is new to you please ask questions.

It would also be great to see your favourite stitching set up and embroidery tools – send in your photos and comments please to [email protected]😀

Using your Layout to Start

The whole purpose of tacking the layout is so where you know where to start stitching each Area.

I have chosen to tack the centre lines and then an outer border and think that I will have enough anchor points to determine each Area as I go. I found that it worked well for Area One and Area Two.

WIP Spot Sampler – Jenny Graymore, Geelong

Another way to go about it is to tack each Area as Jenny Graymore has done. I really like this approach and may find myself adopting this as I go. 🤔
Click on the photo to enlarge.

This is really all about making sure your design works out as you want it too. You might be happy to go freestyle and decide as you stitch.

You just need to be confident you know where you want to start!


Stitching Area One

Band One: Blackwork Correa designed by Susan Davis

Reference: DJSampler Instructions : page 6, Chart 1.2

If you are new to Blackwork, this document shows how to work the three basic stitches used for Blackwork. Back Stitch, Running Back Stitch and Double Running Stitch.

Blackwork Stitch Basics

It also covers how to start and finish your thread. For the Blackwork in Area One I started with an Away Knot so I have enough thread to weave through the back of my work. For Area Two use a Waste Knot that gets caught by the Satin Stitch as you stitch and then can be woven under to finish.

This document explains why some Blackwork patterns provide you with a Stitch Journey to help you get started with a new pattern.

Blackwork Stitch Journey

There is no right or wrong way to stitch a Blackwork motif so Stitch Journey’s may not be useful to you but those new to the technique often find they help build confidence.

I decided to use two strands of the cobalt blue (DMC 797) so I would have lots of colour on the ground as there is only one repeat of the motif. (I would normally use only one strand for most Blackwork especially on 32 count linen as I think it gives a smoother look to the stitches. The choice is yours!)
I started stitching with an Away Knot (image 1 below).
I started the Stitch Journey  with a Back Stitch but you will find this motif is primarily mapped in Double Running Stitch where you work around the motif one way before returning to fill in the gaps (image 2 then 3).

Alternative Correa Bell

If you stitch Area One from the Spot Sampler Layout you may notice that the flower head of the Correa Bell is two threads longer than in the Sampler Instructions. A Stitch Journey for this option is provided.

Both options are totally fine, just remember the option you have chosen when using the Area One motif for guidance on the placement of other Areas relative to it. In particularly Area Six.

Stitching Area Two

Band 2: Bargello Waves, designed by Marg Freeman

Reference: DJSampler Instructions : page 7, Chart 1.3

Colour Selection

I have such a lovely range of colours I have selected to work with but deciding what to use where is something I will have to work out as I go.

I used the colourless Chart and tried a couple of combinations laying out the thread and then trying out the colours as stitches. It doesn’t take very long to do and I find it gives me more confidence in my decision.

This document is a version of the Chart for Area One and Area Two with the colour removed. It can be used for trialling colour options before you stitch.

When I look at the Band Two finishes it really is an opportunity to introduce some bling and I am definitely a bling girl! In this case I decided to mix my metallic thread with a strand of light blue (DMC 794) to give it a bit of body on the ground.

Area Two is stitched in Satin Stitch over four linen threads. As a rule always bring your needle up in an empty hole and then down into the hole where there is thread. This gives a neater finish where two stitches share the same hole.
I used two strands of thread for colour coverage on the ground. Image 1 is the finished front of my work for Unit One and image 2 is the back of my work. The back of your work is nobody’s business but your own but I thought you might like to see the Blackwork areas stitched in Double Running Stitch so the front and back look the same.
And if you were wondering ‘did she just add those two stitches to the flowerhead?’ you would be right!
Oops – goes to show you can always go back and tidy things up!

Stitching Area Two – Alternate Pattern

In Susan’s expert hands, she decided to add a little more colour and balance to the Spot Sampler and changed up the original Bargello pattern as she stitched. Oh my! I have to count every thread, lol!

The choice it yours – work the original repeat as charted on page 7 of your Sampler Instructions or the alternative that has been charted and attached here.

I have to admit I was enjoying my colour choices on Area Two so decided on the alternate pattern.

Happy Stitching!

Learn, create,
stitch, make friends

Beginners welcome.

Find out more