Making the Raven embroidery pattern
A classic look with a spooky twist. This blackwork Raven is letting us know that Fall is on its way. Perched atop a pumpkin with decorative vines, this bird is a black and white snapshot of the cooling weather to come. Blackwork is a form of embroidery in which the entire piece is stitched with one color, in this case black. However, this type of embroidery can be done in any color!
In today's blog post, we will review the basic embroidery stitches used in the Raven embroidery pattern as well as discuss a little more about cross hatching, the technique used on the belly of the raven and the pumpkin.
Want to stitch the Raven pattern in real-time with Alyssa, owner of Penguin & Fish? Scroll to the end of this blog to watch the Livestream videos from September, 2022 and stitch along. Plus, pick up tips and tricks on how to get started, what order to stitch in, and more!
More info about the Raven pattern
The Raven embroidery pattern is a Skill Level 1 - perfect for beginners! We like to call a design like this one a '2-movie project' It will likely take 3-6 hours to complete (depending on your level of experience). Not too long that it feels unattainable, but long enough to put your feet up for a bit after a long day.
The finished size of the Raven pattern is 5 1/4" x 5 3/4" (approximately 13 cm x 15 cm) and frames nicely in an 8" embroidery hoop.
Stitches in the Raven pattern
This pattern uses five basic embroidery stitches: backstitch, satin stitch, lazy daisy stitch, fly stitch, and French knot stitch. Let's review each one quickly as a refresher. Click on any image to learn more about the stitch, including step-by-step instructions and a how-to video.
Bring needle UP at 1. Insert needle DOWN at 2 making a stitch backwards along the line to meet last stitch. Come UP at 3 a stitch length away from 1. Continue along line.
Lazy Daisy Stitch
Bring the needle UP at 1 near center point mark. Insert needle DOWN at 2 through same hole as 1. In the same motion, come UP at 3. Loop floss under needle and pull needle through the loop. Make a tiny stitch over loop, securing loop in place (4). Come UP at 5. Continue making stitches around center point.
French Knot Stitch
Bring needle UP at 1. Point needle away from fabric. Wrap floss around the needle twice. Now point the needle towards fabric and insert needle point at 2, a few fabric threads from 1. Pull floss snug against needle and fabric. Slowly pull needle DOWN to back of fabric until knot is secure.
Bring needle UP at 1 on edge of shape. Insert needle DOWN directly across on opposite edge of shape at 2. Come UP at 3 on first edge of shape, one to three fabric threads away from 1. Continue filling in shape with stitches.
Bring the needle UP at 1. Insert needle DOWN at 2. In the same motion, come UP at 3. Place floss under needle. Make a tiny stitch over the “V” shape, securing it in place (4).
Cross hatching in the Raven pattern
There are a few areas in the Raven pattern where we stitch with just 1 strand of embroidery floss to reveal some depth. First is inside the leaves, the bird's beak, claws, and the pumpkin stem. The second place we use a single strand is the cross hatching on the bird's belly and the bottom of the pumpkin.
Cross hatching is a technique often used in drawing to create shading, texture, and more. It's achieved by drawing parallel lines that cross over one another.
In the Raven pattern, we've used cross hatching to establish the underside of the bird and give it texture, since a raven is all black in real life. We also added some shaind on the bottom of the pumpkin to make the eye see that it is on the ground.
Stitch along with Alyssa
In September 2022, when the Raven pattern was first released, we stitched it together on the Craft Night with Friends Livestream. Below are the replay videos from this real-time stitching, from begininng to end. Watch them all in order, or skip ahead to where you have questions. Either way, you're sure to gain some new tips and tricks to embroidery when you stitch with Alyssa.
Buy the pattern!