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 Design for Blackwork Shading

Blackwork Baby.JPG

Sunday 14th May 2022 10.30am-4.30pm

St David's Community Centre, 17 St David's Hill, Exeter EX4 3RG

£65 + £20 for materials.

'Stitching With Liz & Helen' is a collaboration between two Royal School of Needlework tutors, Liz Tapper & Helen Jones (, to bring the art of needlework to Exeter. We aim to provide classes in a range of techniques and for varying skill levels. Please do get in touch if there's a particular course you would like to see listed.

Blackwork, due to its counted nature, is a perfect technique to move onto after cross stitch. Blackwork came to England from Spain with Catherine of Aragon in 1501. It's diaper patterns originated from intricate Moorish patterns. It was widely used during the Tudor period on clothing, particularly on cuffs and collars, where it was worked to be the same on both sides of the fabric.

This class leads on from the Shaded Blackwork: Jellyfish class, and will show you how to design an image that can be worked in the blackwork shaded technique. We will also discuss advanced shading and choosing suitable diaper patterns to work cohesively with your design. (You don't have to have attended the Jellyfish class to join the Design class. If in any doubt please contact me).


The materials will consist of a square of evenweave linen in either 28hpi or 20hpi, stranded cotton, perle, machine thread, metallic thread, needle, tracing paper and tissue paper. There will also be several books on blackwork for you to browse and drawing pencils to use. You should bring notepad, pen, pencils, rubber, a choice of images, and embroidery scissors. You will be able to borrow ring frames on the day.


There will be an hour’s break for lunch at 1pm. Coffee, tea and biscuits are included in the class price. There are cafes and shops nearby for lunch, but it may be easier to bring a packed lunch.


This is a wonderful opportunity to learn the design process behind a traditional hand embroidery technique in the relaxing environment of Exeter Community Centre, situated in Exeter.

This class will run from 10.30am-4.30pm at Exeter Community Centre, 17 St David's Hill, Exeter EX4 3RG

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