Below is the Work in Progess pictures of Elephant worked in the method of Blackwork.

Work in Progress Main Page  |  Home Page!  |    View Shopping Cart

Tacked Out-line of Elephant

Trunk Stage 1


Right Ear Close Up

Trunk, Head and Ears

Body and Foreground Legs

Completed Elephant

Click on images for enlargements



The elephant is an advanced piece concentrating on creating dimension by changing the thickness of the embroidery thread and changing the blackwork pattern by adding or reducing the stitches in the pattern. You will note that there are no outlines used on the embroidery so the embroidery looks natural rather than stylized.


The design is transferred onto the 32 count Belfast linen fabric by tracing the design onto tissue paper, pinning the tissue paper to the fabric and then tacking over the design lines in red thread attaching the tissue paper to the fabric. The tissue paper is ripped away leaving the tacked outline on the fabric. The blackwork patterns are then worked within the tacking shapes.

The embroidery is worked from the foreground to the background. The trunk is worked first as it is the most foreground part of the animal. It is best to work the foreground first as you can get a nice shape to the foreground area such as the trunk. If the background is worked first, the stitcher might by mistake work the background pattern over the trunk and spoil the shape of the trunk.

Trunk Stage 1: A foundation blackwork pattern is worked on the trunk in a combination of five thicknesses of embroidery threads.

Trunk Stage 1: Additional stitches are added to the foundation pattern to represent lines and shading on the trunk.

Trunk Stage 3:  The upper part of the trunk is worked in a larger more open variation of the pattern in stage 1.

Trunk Stage 2

Trunk Stage 3

Head:  The head is worked in a larger a variation of the pattern worked on stage 3 of the trunk.

Left and Right Ears:  The pattern on the left and right ear is the same pattern as on the head but using the thicker embroidery threads and more stitches are added to the pattern.

Left Ear

Left Ear Close Up

Left Side of the Body:  A new elongated pattern is worked on the body of the elephant, changing the thickness of the thread and changing the density of the pattern.

Left Side of the Body

Left Side of the Body Close Up

Front of the Body and Legs:  The same pattern is used on the front body and legs as was used on the left side of the body. The blackwork pattern is worked from the top of the elephant down to the bottom of the legs.  The foreground legs are worked first to get a nice shape to the legs.

Front Leg Close Up

Front Body and Leg Close Up

Completing The Elephant:  The back leg and then the feet are worked. For the sole of the front foot I used the same blackwork pattern that was used on the ears and head.

I did many touch ups on different areas of the elephant. For instance I reshaped the tusks which meant taking out the stitches around areas of the tusks and re-stitching the pattern. I have not used any outlines in the embroidery to define shapes, the shapes of the body are defined by changing the pattern, as this gives a more realistic look.

Face Close Up

Legs Close Up


Height: 14 inches (35 cm)     Width: 11 1/2 inches (28 3/4 cm)


Tracing the design onto tissue paper and then transferring the design onto the fabric by tacking over the design lines of the tissue paper with red tacking thread: 14 hours


On going - may still work the ground.


32 count antique white Belfast linen fabric


Threads range from thickest to finest: Black DMC Perle Cotton No. 12, Dark Blue Au Ver Au Soie Silk thread, Black DMC embroidery cotton, Dark Blue variegated Weeks Dye Works - Peacoat, Black YLI silk thread.

Hand Embroidery Kits

2-Sided Embroidery   •   Applique   •   Assisi   •   Beginners Kits   •   Blackwork   •   Blackwork with Goldwork   •   Carrickmacross Lace   •   Counted Thread   •   Crewel Embroidery   •   Cross-stitch Meets Blackwork   •   Etui Box Kits   •   Featured Designer   •   Free Embroidery Designs   •   Fine White Work   •   Goldwork   •   Hapsburg Lace   •   Kit of the Month   •   Modern Jacobean   •   Mountmellick   •   Needle Painting   •   Projects for Groups   •   Pulled Work   •   RSN Gold   •   Schwalm   •   Surface Embroidery   •   Shadow Work   •   Traditional Jacobean   •   What is Hand Embroidery?   •   Whats New?   •   White Work   •   Wholesale

Embroidery Merchandise

Acid Free Products   •   Blackwork  Supplies   •   Books   •   Carrickmacross Lace Supplies   •   Embroidery Accessories   •   Fabrics   •   Frames   •   Gift Certificates   •   Gift Ideas   •   Goldwork Supplies   •   Kid  Leather   •   Magnifiers   •   Metal Threads   •   Merchandise   •   Mountmellick Supplies   •   Needles   •   Needle Painting Supplies   •   Needlework Boxes   •   Organizers   •   Scissors   •   Threads   •   Tools and Supplies   •   Tools For Design Transfer   •   Whats New?


Classes   •   Commissions   •   Contact Me   •   Credentials   •   Currency Convertor   •   Discount Opportunities   •   Email Me   •   Embroidery Tips   •   Free On-going Critique   •   Free Designs   •   Frequently Asked Questions   •   Gallery of Customers Embroideries   •   Gallery of Tanja's Embroideries   •   Gift Certificates   •   Help!   •   Home Page!   •   Links   •   Mailing List   •   Mail Order   •   Metal Thread Glossary   •   Newsletter   •   On-line Classes   •   Personal History   •   Private Classes   •   Publications   •   Purchase Details   •   Sale Items   •   Site Map   •   Slide Show   •     Shopping Cart   •   Teaching Schedule   •   Tell a Friend   •   What is Hand Embroidery?   •   Whats New?   •   Work in Progress   •   Wholesale

Home Page!

I Accept:

Solution Graphics

Tanja Berlin © Berlin Embroidery Designs  

Address: 1481 Hunterbrook Road NW, Calgary, Alberta T2K 4V4, Canada Telephone: (403) 274 6293  Email: