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Artful Embroidery on Canvas
Get Creative with Thread, Fabric, Paper, Acrylic Mediums & More
BY Irene Schlesinger

C&T Publishing
Distributed in the UK by Search Press
29 February 2020/ ISBN 9781617458842
How-To Books / Needlework

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde


Stretched, mounted canvas is for artists to paint pictures on, right? Well, yes but you can also use it like an embroidery hoop and make pictures in another way. The subtitle says it all: “get creative with thread, fabric, paper, acrylic mediums and more”.

I’m not an artist who paints pictures so tend to give canvases a miss, but they do have a lot in common with fabric in hoops so maybe they can be used in the same way? Apparently they can and this innovative book shows you how. It jumps right in with several stitches to practice before you put needle to canvas and sets the tone of the book, a hands-on approach which is all about having fun and using mixed media. Learn three very simple stitches plus how to sew on shisha glass and sequins. Find out what you need (basically canvases and the right needles plus whatever else you want to use). The book takes a look at some of these media and how they can be used, from different acylic mediums and gels to fabrics, papers and some ethnic items such as the aforementioned Indian shisha glass and Mexican milagros and hojalatas. There is quite a Mexican vibe to this book with a calavera project later on and lots of bright, vibrant color. This section also has some useful information about color and composition before you make a start on the first of three projects. These are quite simple but can be adapted to suit your skill level and what you have to hand. Start off with a simple heart motif and see where it can take you with a gallery of ideas. The other two are the calavera and a butterfly and all have enough good-sized photographs with captions to show you how to make a basic version I like the idea of printing off two of the templates at the back and using one as a pattern and the other for notes and ideas. If you want to know how to hang up your finished work there is even a chapter dealing with this using basic items. Finally there is a gallery to inspire you, plus several templates of different sizes or aspects for the projects: large and small hearts and butterflies plus three skulls to adorn. There is a short list of suppliers of items like the fancy papers and Mexican charms but for the US market, so it is fortunate this book arms you with the knowledge and experience to create your own masterpieces using what you can find in your own stash.

If you cannot find a good range of embroidery and needlecraft materials locally try for a list of suppliers.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2020