At long last, and as promised.  Ensamplario Atlantio: Being a Collection of Filling Patterns Suitable for Blackwork Embroidery is here in PDF format!

I have to admit that my ambition ran away with me.  The entire thing is 40 pages long, with 35 plates of designs – over 220 or so individual all-over or filling patterns for double running stitch embroidery.  Some are very large repeats and would be better suited for free-use, others are smaller in scale and would work well as fillings in traditional outline/infilled blackwork (like on the pix of the cover, below):

The book ended up being SO large that I was unable to upload it, and downloading would be problematic for most people.  So I have cut it up into four parts:

I would dearly love to see any projects that use fillings from the collection.  Since I’m making this available as a free download, seeing what my pattern “children” are up to in the real world is my biggest reward.

And also a reminder – just because this is being made available freely doesn’t mean that I have relinquished my author’s rights.   This book may not be re-issued, re-posted, or sold by others without my specific permission.  I ask that needlework instructors wishing to use the thing get in touch with me so I can keep a log of by whom/when the book has been circulated.


Longing for more?  There’s a sequel. 200 more plates of designs – more fills, plus borders and even some neckline yokes. Also a free download.  Pop over to this link to download.

117 responses

  1. Ever contemplated how mind-boggling is the idea of books? There is something awesome about the idea that something cooked up in ones own mind and then made understandable through language and pictures without the idea-generator actually having to be present physically. What does this say about the human capacity to think and grow and the potential for our species to continue to create and fix and make?

    Then, contemplate the idea of giving away of knowledge. Is this not the most gracious gift that a person can offer? Doesnt this just make the idea generator the most powerful person in the universe even just for a moment?

    Thank you, Kim. I know just how I want to startbut first I have to get the rest of my projects off of my table. As soon as I have something to share, I will.

  2. It is very generous of you to share such beautiful patterns in a book form. This is a real treasure trove for me. Thanks a lot, Kim.

  3. When I download the files I just get a blank grey page. I’m using a Macbook, but normally don’t have problems with downloading pdf files.

    Do you have any advice?

    And thank you for what I know is a wondeful collection of patterns.


  4. Feedback from those in the know responding to Freda via eMail back to me:

    If you have problems opening or viewing the PDFs, please check to make sure you have the latest version of Acrobat Reader. A quick download of the update will in all probability solve your problems. -k.

  5. Thank you so much. I’m going to study then apply and get some projects out of this, it is very inspiring.

  6. Hooray!! Thank you so much for sharing this collection.

  7. Thank you! This is such a generous gift.
    Now to just carve out some time to play with needle and thread…

  8. Thanks so much!! You are very generous with us.

  9. Your generosity has made me speechless and I eagerly await the publishing of your 2nd book-I have the first-I remember how excited I was to find it-it was one of my first SCA needlwork purchases. Bless you and your good works!

  10. This book was really amazing. Thank you so much for sharing it!

  11. Thank you so much! I appreciate all the work you have done on this.

  12. Impressive – Stunning – Awe-Inspiring.
    Thank you so much for all your work. I am inspired to once again work on Blackwork projects. Blackwork was my first introduction to counted stitch embroidery.
    again..Thank you.

  13. Veronica McNulty | Reply


    I’m on a MAC and I cannot open your files. I don’t know why, but I would like to see the files. Any help would be appreciated.



  14. Thanks you so much for making this book available to download. I have recently got back into Blackwork and these patterns are hopefully going to make their way into a sampler I’m hoping to start very soon.

  15. […] that will be included in TNCM2.  The one in process is a multicolor rendition of a filling in Ensamplario Atlantio, with a twist edging adapted from a larger design, also in […]

  16. Wow! Thank you so much. I have recently discovered blackwork embroidery and I just love it. This will keep me busy for weeks. I am thrilled to have found this. Thanks!

    1. Happy to be a bad influence! Please feel free to send pix back here of your finished projects. I love seeing what people do with the patterns. I’ll even repost them (with your permission, of course.) -k.

  17. […] over at String or Nothing has put together a four-part PDF just loaded with blackwork patterns. You can download all four […]

  18. un grand merci depuis la France ; j’aime le blackwork et ceci va m’inspirer de nouvelles réalisations.

  19. Thank you so much . II think I’ll use your patterns for my next blackwork embroidery.

  20. Esther (Leland NC) | Reply

    Kim, this is so generous of you doing up all these blackwork pages into pdf format. I truly appreciate it so much. Such a vast array of beautiful patterns.

  21. Working on a Mac and can not access the PDF files or print them. Is this a Mac issue ? I have the most recent Adobe Acrobat Pro program. Any advice?

    1. It’s possible. The files were created with Acrobat Professional, and are “street legal” PDFs. I’m afraid I’m not Mac literate, but I’ve seen other Mac users post about having problems opening or printing PDFs over at the Antique Pattern Library.
      A quick google search on “difficulty opening pdf and Mac” turns up some hint pages. Among them is this one: http://olympiawa.gov/Support/help-mac-pdf Hope this helps, -k.

  22. Thank you, thank you. The black work patterns are amazing. i am working on
    A 6 inch wide bell pull sampler which I am designing as I go and look forward
    To using parts of some of these patterns, on this or other projects.

  23. Oh you are soooo generous. I LOVE blackwork but have trouble finding patterns to use, this will be amazing to work from! Thank you!!

  24. Wow! This is incredible and very generous of you.

    A note to other Mac users: I have a new Macbook running Mountain Lion and was able to open all four PDFs without a problem, although the fonts in the fourth one didn’t show up the same (the medieval font was replaced by a generic sans-serif font). I’m afraid I don’t know why some people are having problems opening the PDFs, but it’s not a general Mac issue.

    1. Excellent. Thanks for chiming in with extra help.

      I haven’t a clue as to why the fonts get mixed up on the last PDF. They were all created from the same base file – I made four copies of the full original, then deleted the parts I didn’t want in each. In theory, they all are from the same parent with the same settings, created on the same day using the same process and same fonts. So much for theory…

      1. Not much help, I’m afraid….

        No idea on the fonts, either–making fancy PDFs is not something I do often. But the patterns look great, and that’s the important part!

  25. Thanks so much for such amazing filling patterns….what a book! Thanks for sharing!

  26. Thank you! This is a very generous gift to all of us interested in blackwork.

  27. This is beyond generous! thank you so much for doing it and sharing.

  28. Thanks for sharing this wonderful collection.
    I ‘ll inform you whenever I use these designs. very motivating !

  29. Thank you for sharing this wonderful collection. As a beginner at embroidery it is a bit mind boggling but I do appreciate having such awesome patterns to work with.

  30. Thank you so much, this was very generous of you.

  31. Thank you for so generously sharing your book. It is much appreciated.
    I love Blackwork but have not stitched it often. Your patterns are inspiring and I hope to use a few during this month. My eye was drawn to an element in 82 and 100.

  32. Thank you very much for sharing your wonderful collection. I know this took a lot of your time to put together and to share on line. You are a very generous person who made my ‘threadwork’ world a lot brighter today. I can easily imagine beautiful threadwork results from these patterns. I’m excited to get started using some of these designs.

  33. Thank you so much for this wonderful treasure! On Parts 1, 2, 3 the dedication and Plate #’s only appear as red and/or black bars throughout. The written copy and designs are perfect. On Part 4, EVERYTHING is perfect…dedication and Plate #’s which is how I know what was missing in the previous parts. I’m sure this is a minor glitch and only needs to be accessed as reference Plate #’s. I’ll check back again to see if the problem had been resolved. At any rate, this monumental project is very doable “as is”. Thanks again for your generosity.

    1. Nikki – Thanks for your feedback. I’ve now tested the four parts on the most recent three versions of Acrobat Reader, plus Acrobat Professional full install. I’m unable to replicate your issue, although in some Reader versions, the font in Part 4 is transformed into something with less “atmosphere,” but all text and numbers are still readable. No other user out of thousands of downloads has reported this problem. I suspect that it might be at your end.

      For example, viewing docs in your browser can present problems due to browser or other conflict issues. Have you tried downloading the files and instead of opening them in your browser (often a source of problems) clicking on them to display them in Reader as stand alone docs? In any case, this link may provide more help: http://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/kb/cant-view-pdf-web.html

      Best I can do, and I hope it helps,

  34. Wow! What an awesome resource you have put together, thank you.

  35. Thank so much! I have never tried before blackwork but your e-book is so wonderful that I had to create something with your patterns immediately!
    Here you can see my first try! http://stitchinfingers.ning.com/photo/blackwork-8?context=user

    1. Great job Anna! I’m honored to have contributed to your family’s trousseau tradition. All the best to you and your niece! -K.

  36. how incredibly generous — this is such a kind gift. Can’t wait to get started.

  37. I am always looking for new blackwork patrerns. Thank you. I have a wedding in four years, and am planning my own ring pillow
    These will come in handy.

  38. I can not thank you enough for this wonderful treasure! I am new to blackwork, I found a pattern/ design in a magazine and have completed it four times because I have enjoyed it so much. After finding your compilation of patterns I am so excited at trying my hand at creating some of my own designs. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    ~Venus Mae

  39. Thank you so much for this wonderful book! I do bead embroidery and already have several ideas for these patterns.

  40. all above said thank you, and here i too have to express how excited I am . Thank you!!! I am trying to make blackwork projects lately and this will be a big source to learn from Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. Ellen Bamberry | Reply

    Yowee, what a discovery! Beautiful designs to be appreciated by a dedicated stitcher.

  42. […] to lotus point is approximately 8 inches across.  All of the fillings above are from my free Ensamplario Atlantio […]

  43. […] while back I downloaded the Ensamplario Atlantio collection from String or Nothing and I’m finally trying it out. I’d never done any blackwork before, and it’s […]

  44. Thank you so much for all your work putting this together! I downloaded it a while ago with the intention of trying out blackwork (I’ve only ever done free embroidery before). I just finally got around to starting a sampler, and I’m really enjoying the process.

  45. Thank you, Ms. Salazar. Your generosity – as always – is stunning. Are you planning to publish a paper version? I’d love to put it on the shelf next to my The New Carolingian Modelbook.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, but as of right now, I have no immediate plans to publish Ensamplio Atlantio as a free standing book. For one, with over 5,000 downloads, the market is kind of saturated. Right now I’m concentrating on finishing the sequel to TNCM, and releasing that as a commercial volume. We’ll see – if that happens in due order, demand is there, and I figure out the ins and outs of the print on demand industry, Ensamplio might follow. -K.

  46. OMG……just found this and immediately downloaded to my iPad so I can have the patterns (and enlarge them) right next to me whilst stitching. Thank you so much for this fantastic and inspiring resource and to increase awareness and accessibility to the craft of blackwork.

    1. Thanks! Feel free to keep us up to date on your project. Few things make me smile wider than seeing what people do with these designs. -K.

  47. I’m trying to open the pdf in photoshop so that I can put them behind outlines and print them out for transfer to fabric, and it’s saying I need a password to release it? I don’t stitch on aida, so I want to size and put them behind the shape that I will be stitching.

    1. Hi Katie,

      Sorry for the inconvenience. I have had problems with people opening the PDFs, manipulating them by inserting their own cover page and footers, then selling the stolen documents as their own original work. Therefore, the PDFs I posted are all password protected against changes, but unprotected to view and print. (Yes, pirates can still mess with the documents, but I’ve made it a bit harder for them to do wholesale theft.)

      I understand what you are trying to do. Since I can’t share the password, I suggest a work-around.

      Go to the page you want and enlarge it. Use a screen capture utility to take a picture of the region of the page you wish to replicate. There are several very good free or low-cost ones for both PCs and MACs – Screenshotcaptor is the one I use this one on a Windows machine:


      Save the image in whatever format you want that the program supports (*.png, *.jpg, for example). Then use any graphics or layout program to resize that image for your specific intent. You can even use something like MS Word to set up a page with your image as a graphic, and resize it as needed if you don’t have a graphics program like the freeware GIMP:


      Again, sorry for the trouble. Once more thoughtless and selfish piracy thwarts the goals of the virtuous.


  48. Kim, thank you for this book! This is a real treasure for embroiderers!
    Patterns collected in it, great. You can follow any responses to use any of the photos cube created using your charts from my blog. For me it is a great honor and pleasure.

  49. Oh my goodness, thank you so much! This is an awesome resource. I’ve recently finished a few blackwork cats for gifts and keen to start a new project – getting a bit sick of the fillers I had been using, so all these new ones to chose from is very exciting! Thank you again and well done on the amazing effort.

    1. Thanks for the kind words. I’m delighted to be an accessory to your needlework mischief. Please feel free to post back with pix of your projects. I get a huge kick out of seeing how people have used these fills. -K.

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