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Thursday, February 17, 2011

The stitching books I got for Christmas

My daughter Alison gave me three stitching books for Christmas. Each is likely to produce things that will be the subject of later blogs as they are full of very substantial ideas.



The Art of Manipulating Fabric, by Colette Wolf was published by Krause Publications in Wisconsin in 1996. It is encyclopaedic - giving instructions for every imaginable form of fabric manipulation - gathering, shirring, making ruffles, flounces and godets, pleating, smocking, tucking, cording, quilting, stuffing, using darts and various combinations of these. It has a useful section on Italian smocking and different traditions of surface smocking. It shows different effects of a technique, for example, the effects of different angles of a dart. There is a section on yoyos and puffs and their use as decoration and another on stuffed applique.

There is a lifetime of creative ideas in The Art of Manipulating Fabric.

Uniquely Felt by Christine White was published by Storey Publishing in Massachusetts in 2007. It is  a handbook on all kinds of felting but also contains 46 projects to illustrate and help master the techniques. It also features artists who specialise in the techniques. I am not sure that I am going to take up felting, but it is interesting and useful to know about the techniques and how some felt is created - such as jelly-rolled jewellery.

I really like the project-based approach and some of the objects are truly beautiful.


Victorian Needlepoint Designs is interesting on a couple of fronts. First, it is a 1975 Dover Publication, and although I have quite a few Dover books that I use for designs, none of them are actually embroidery or needlepoint books. I was unaware that Dover published a whole range of books of designs especially for needlework - most of them, like this one, reproducing designs of older publications.

Secondly, this book has a very clear section on the variations on tent stitch, the standard needlepoint stitch, with explanations about the effect on shape and strength from each stitch.

Finally, a couple of the designs (such as the bicycle on the cover) are really terrific. I'm considering ways of using them.

1 comment:

Katherine said...

You've done a lovely job of them and the books look great too.