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Stitched Textiles: Seascapes
Stitched Textiles Series
BY Amanda Hislop

Search Press
1 October 2019/ ISBN 9781782215646
How-To Books / Embroidery

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde


The coast is a special place for many people, evoking memories of childhood vacations or time spent admiring its beauty. This latest entry in Search Press’ Stitched Textiles series explores one artist’s love affair with the seaside and how she creates pictures that express it in paint and thread.

I always enjoy the books in this series, as I love the way that each book not only shows how to do it but gives an insight into an artist’s vision and methods of working. Everybody’s style is different, and a good primer will give the tools and understanding to do it yourself, but also see how the author does it. This is not a book about wearable, washable textiles but the sort of art you can hang on the wall, so the list of materials includes things like different types of paper, many with a good wet strength. Reading through the lists of items Ms Hislop uses was fascinating, as it includes various types of wax, gauze, and many other unusual things. Seeing them put through their paces to create art was quite an education, as was seeing the sketchbooks the artist makes of marks and patterns and having a go at some of the exercises. There are chapters on her use of color, composition rules, how she uses a sewing machine to free motion stitch, and how to turn those sketch book marks into stitches. Other chapters look at dividing a page into sea, sky, and shore and creating a series of pictures, working with texture and making the horizon your focal point. After all this learning, it is time to have a go at some projects, and there are four of these, interspersed with a look at how to get certain effects right. These include atmosphere, creating a sense of movement, and items found on the shoreline. Each section has plenty of examples, and the projects have the type of staged photographs Search Press do so well, and which give even a beginner a chance at making a decent fist of it. This is a very inspiring book that will give anybody many ideas to explore.

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 2019