your love of nature and gardens with this beautiful book on
hand embroidery. You don’t have to be a keen gardener
to appreciate these lovely designs featuring gardens at their
best, flowers and the creatures that live there. This reminds
me of the vintage embroidery transfers my mother had collected
and with which I learned the craft as a child. There is even
a crinoline lady in the garden amid the buttonhole hollyhocks
and French knot delphiniums!
Ms Bateman has taken it farther than my old book showing basic
freestyle stitches, as she has introduced some stumpwork,
too, as well as beads, covered washers, buttons, trapunto
and needlelace. This is very much a 21st century embroidery
book that takes the traditional idealized garden worked in
freestyle stitches and mixes it up a bit; this really brings
it all to life.
from the beginning, you can discover how the author works
and what tools and materials you need to obtain. There is
advice on buying needles, storing threads and binding a hoop
as well as a section with staged photographs showing how to
cover buttons and washers, transfer designs, pad designs to
make them raised and more. It is all very well explained with
clear diagrams and explanatory text accompanying the many
photographs. I like the way the best needle for each stitch
is given, and there is even a section on perfecting those
tricky bullion knots.
this section is one giving an A-Z of garden flowers, showing
the most commonly grown varieties in embroidery and explaining
how they are worked. Roses get two whole pages all to themselves
(most of the other flowers get a third of a page), and there
are several different ways of working them using a variety
of stitches. Also shown are things and creatures found in
a garden that you might want to add, from archways to trugs,
insects and birds together with that crinoline lady. Advice
is given on how to design your own garden using very basic
art materials like pens and colored pencils.
rest of the book contains twelve projects showing how you
can decorate all kinds of items using the author’s designs.
In place of the usual cushions and cards are some items embroiders
would enjoy making and using including an ort bag, scissor
keeper, pincushion, needle case and sewing bag. My own favorite
has to be the lovely clutch purse which doubles as a pencil
case. Each project has a list of what you need, photograph
of the item in situ and pattern/diagram. Instructions are
text only in rather small print – perhaps it is as well
that there are patterns for a glasses case and magnifying
a beginner can practice the stitches and techniques earlier
in the book, but the actual projects are aimed at intermediate
level embroiderers who are also competent at making up items.
Instructions for doing this are also given, again text only.
This is a lovely book that certainly made me itch to start
making that purse; one for the keeper shelf.
you cannot find a good range of embroidery and needlecraft
materials locally try www.searchpress.com for a list of suppliers.