Blackwork. Grapevine mirrow frame. This design was inspired by a famous blackwork cushion in London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. Although it was adapted it to frame a mirror, it would suit any frame you wish to decorate. You might like to adapt the vine and leaf motif in other ways – perhaps for a matching placemat and napkin set for your dining room.



11 ½’ × 11 ½’ (293 × 293 mm) FRAME CUT-OUT SIZE 4³⁄8’× 4³⁄8′ ( 118 ×118 mm)


Cream, 27 count Zweigart Linda (264), 14½ x 14½ in. (368 x 368mm)

Sheet of good quality white tissue paper, 14½ x 14½ in (368 x 368mm)

Size 24 tapestry needle for the outline and size 26 for the pattern

Hand-held rectangular frame,

12 x 18in (300 x 459mm)

Tacking cotton

Threads as listed in the colour key

Blackwork chart


1. Using the template , trace the design onto the tissue paper.

2. Transfer the design onto the fabric. Ensure that the centre lines align. When tacking, use a contrasting colour to your embroidery threads.

3. Attach the fabric to the frame. Following the tacked lines carefully, stitch the outlines of the vine leaves and tendrils in backstitch with one thickness of Perlé.  Rather than remove all the tacking thread once you have completed your stitching, you may prefer to remove it a little at a time as you work.

4.Now stitch the trellis using the dark grey Coton á broder thread. Take care with the overlap of the sections and the position of the tendrils.

5. Work the blackwork stitches with the stranded cotton, using the stitch key to guide you. You may need to work some compensation or partial stitches.

6. Check for mistakes and loose ends and remove from the frame. If
necessary, clean any soiled areas of the work then press .

7. This design requires a complicated mount and is quite difficult to stretch, therefore I suggest you ask a professional framer to do it. If you plan to use the frame for a mirror, you will not require glass to protect your piece of work.

8. If you wish, ignore the instructions to cut the fabric into a frame given above and, instead, embroider the centre of the work, adding your name and the date. Alternatively, simply elaborate the main design further.

Blackwork key

NB: use backstitch throughout and work it over two threads of the fabric.

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