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Dreamscapes in Ribbon Embroidery and Stumpwork

by Di van Niekerk

      The cover alone has that "ooh" factor, the sort of reaction that has anybody who loves beautiful things reaching for their workbox. This lovely book lifts the lid on a whole new world of embroidery pleasure, which is surprising easy to master but which has a vast scope for being as challenging as you please.

I couldn't put this one down. It was originally published in South Africa, and three cheers for Search Press for reprinting this gem for a wider audience. Anybody outside that country might find getting hold of those printed canvasses difficult, but turn to the back and see the four pictures printed there. Scan them in and use transfer paper to print them onto your chosen cloth, resize them if you wish but only for yourself - this book does NOT have an angel policy.

Once that is done, the fun starts, as the colored image is embellished with cutouts (more than one canvas is needed), needlelace, ribbon embroidery, stumpwork, freestyle embroidery and even beads. You name it; there might be a use for it to adorn these wonderful pictures. The instructions are exhaustive, and need to be read thoroughly before you begin. There are four sets of them for the four pictures, which feature an old-world cottage a la Thomas Kincaid (the cover image), children on a fence, a lady sorting through her treasures with a feline companion and - my own favorite - a Mediterranean harbor scene viewed through a floral arch. Of course, once you have the knack of it you can paint your own backgrounds or use other artwork. The author says that this is the next step forward in embroidery, marrying technology with tradition and I agree wholeheartedly.

One for my keeper shelf, and a lovely gift for any needleart-inclined person.

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The Book

Search Press
May 2006
Non Fiction/Embroidery / How-to
More at US|| UK

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2006
© 2006