Press is celebrating fifty years in print and has reissued
selected titles from their back list. Each of these is considered
a classic of its kind, and this book on stumpwork for beginners
from 2001 has been selected for republication.
Stumpwork is often considered one of
the more advanced forms of embroidery and was the culmination
of years of learning other styles and working samplers for
young ladies in the 16th and 17th centuries. This padded,
raised form of embroidery was mounted onto caskets and cabinets
and gets its name from the carved pieces of wood used as bases
for faces and other 3D features. This book shows the beginner
what to buy and which stitches you need to make a start. A
wide range of threads can be used, and most if not all of
the other tools and materials are common to other styles of
needlework. You don’t need any wood carving skills either,
just toy filling to pad out shapes you want to raise.
Some books on stumpwork emulate the
style associated with the original pieces but this book has
updated it and taken inspiration largely from nature. There
are no chapters concerned with learning stitch by stitch,
but you jump right in with a sampler of several elements that
teach you the basics. Make and prepare padding, learn stitches
such as turkey knot and spider’s web, and then progress
to needlelace. Find out how to make heads and hands, and then
bring it all together in a picture of a gardener tending a
garden full of fruit and flowers. The elements and pictures
include toadstools, a seaside scene, fish in the seaweed,
poppy heads, topiary with a polymer clay pot and a butterfly.
All are ideal for mounting on boxes of your own, and it is
easy to see why this book was selected for classic status:
it helps to explode the myth that stumpwork is a mysterious,
complex style suited only for very advanced embroiderers.
The author claims that even a total beginner to all forms
of embroidery could tackle these projects, although it is
possible I think that the book is more aimed at those who
are au fait with some other needlework styles and want to
try something different.
you cannot find a good range of embroidery and needlecraft
materials locally try http://www.searchpress.com
for a list of suppliers.