First Place

This piece is worked in DMC floss on 25 count Lugana. It is my first piece of shaded blackwork. Marion Scoular provided the design and a wealth of blackwork patterns, encouraging us to choose our own colors and placement of patterns, and deciding whether to shade from center to edge or edge to center. Her three samples were each worked in two shades of a single color, with a slice of agate in the center.

Because of the quilt-like nature of the design, I choose to alternate four strong colors. I also decided to try shading on an angle from edge to center, making modifications in four of the patterns as I worked. I wanted a stitched center, using one of the four colors for the central motif, one for the edging, and incorporating the other two into the filling pattern.