Posted tagged ‘Embroidery Books’

A Fresh Round of Embroidery and Quilting Books

May 5, 2017

I saw a couple of embroidery and sewing books that seemed to have a fresh approach so bought three of them for my collection.

EmbBooks

1) Modern Folk Embroidery: 30 Contemporary Projects for Folk Art Inspired Designs by Nancy Nicholson

I have often admired Nancy’s patterns on Etsy, but thought I’d get more patterns in her book so was pleased to finally buy it when it was published. It’s so nice to see books on hand embroidery coming out for new generations who want to pick up the craft.

2) Tilda Homemade & Happy by Tone Finnanger

She is quite prolific and I’ve seen lots of her designs around, but I liked some of her reindeer and pigs and sheep in this.

3) Zakka Embroidery: Simple One- and Two-Color Embroidery Motifs and Small Crafts by Yumiko Higuchi

These are tiny motifs and I was interested in her ideas for small purses using purse frames and embroidery. I have several purse frames on hand so want to use them up. There are lots of small cross-stitch motifs around but not many for hand embroidery, so this looked good for my library.

I was able to buy a new sewing machine, the Janome 9400, and I’m hoping it will enable me to quilt about 12 to 14 quilt tops that are languishing here. I took all the quilts and quilt tops out of the Rubbermaid trunk they’d been stored in for two years while we were selling our old house and moving and they reeked of plastic.

I spent some weeks washing and airing them and bought a nice wooden blanket box to store them. As I was confronted with the old tops, some dating back to the 1980s and 1990s, I felt the imperative to finish them. I cleaned up and reorganized my sewing area and now I have the fabric cupboard to deal with.

JJ_SewingStudio2a

There is another Rubbermaid container in there, so I’ll have another round of airing fabric, but I particularly wanted to get my fabrics and scraps organized by colour and sew up some simpler quilt patterns. I have been quilting since 1984 so I have many magazines and books on the subject, and I’ve given away many more but I liked the fresh look of these publications and many of the designs.

QuiltBooks

1) Sunday Morning Quilts: 16 Modern Scrap Projects – Sort, Store, and Use Every Last Bit of Your Treasured Fabrics by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison

2) No Scrap Left Behind: 16 Quilt Projects That Celebrate Scraps of All Sizes by Amanda Jean Nyberg

3) Scraps, Inc. Vol. 1: 15 Block-Based Designs for the Modern Quilter Compiled by Susanne Woods

4) Scraps, Inc. Vol. 2: 15 Block-Based Designs for the Modern Quilter Compiled by Susanne Woods

I am not in good health but things are improving, so I want ideas and projects and happier creative endeavours to look forward to. That should sort me out (pun)!

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Helen M. Stevens Embroidery Books

November 2, 2014

You would never know it, but I was a passionate quilter for 30 years before I became interested in doing more embroidery, principally because quilting now hurts my back and knees. I still quilt but not as passionately; I will always quilt.

I’ve been looking for embroidery books by Helen M. Stevens because she does so many animals, birds, plants, and insects. Some of her books are quite pricey, even on the secondary market. Her book on embroidering birds is an astronomical price. That’s the one I wanted but it’s not available at a reasonable price.

One of my new embroidery books recommended two of her titles on the inside back cover, and when I looked them up I found older editions for about $1 from various UK booksellers. So I ordered the two for a total cost with shipping of $13 CAD. As I found with several other titles I recently bought used, older editions are available at a much, much lower cost.

HelenStevensBooks

I have bought several art history books in older editions. It doesn’t matter to me as long as I’m not paying a premium price for them. I find it uplifting to look at history and creative books but the edition isn’t important for my purposes.

 

 

Boxes and Biographies

October 31, 2014

I have been trying to find some books on embroidering boxes so I can do up a box for the gorgeous Tarot of the Absurd. I have instructions for making boxes from illustration board in at least two of my bookbinding books, but I want some further ideas and instruction on fabric boxes with embroidery inserts or coverings.

The book Embroidered Boxes by Jane Lemon was first printed in 1980 and although re-printed with different coloured photographs for covers, the edition itself has never been updated, and is pretty stripped down with black and white illustrations. I bought a used copy of the 1984 edition for $1. I can’t go wrong.

EmbroideredBoxes1984

Decorative Boxes by Juliet Bawden discusses several decorative techniques including appliqué and embroidery so I felt it would be useful. Juliet is quite a prolific writer and has a number of interesting titles for crafts and sewing.

DecorativeBoxes_Bawden2

The last book is a more recent publication and covers cross stitch, embroidery, patchwork and the dreaded plastic canvas. While I have considered using plastic canvas as a support inside a fabric box, I don’t really like the way it looks when worked up in tent stitch, but Meg Evans in her book Hand-Stitched Boxes seems to have some workable ideas.

HandStitchedBoxes2

I once had a book by Mary Jo Hiney called Making Romantic Fabric-Covered Boxes, and the instructions were so convoluted that I gave the book away. I am hoping I can get somewhere with these other books as several of my card decks could use a nice box. I generally make cardstock tuckboxes for them but I wanted to increase my skills and make some boxes with lids to embellish. I can’t afford the fancy wooden ones where you put an embroidered insert in the lid, so I have to press on and try to find solutions to what I want. It gives me a way to practice embroidery yet make something useful.

I am not a natural at pattern drafting and figuring things out in sewing, I find it tedious, but if I can find basic instructions and adapt them for specific sizes I will be fine.

And lastly, I bought a used copy of Linda Lear’s biography Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature, which I have been meaning to track down for some months. I have read shorter biographies but wanted something more comprehensive. I love biographies but now and then there are special people I want to revisit.

BeatrixPotterBio2

Oh boy, I’m definitely out of Christmas money now!

You can’t go wrong continually learning and doing.

 

 

Embroidery History, Painting History, Pema Chodron, and Books

October 26, 2014

What does Pema Chodron have to do with embroidery and painting? Nothing directly, but after getting her book Taking the Leap out from the library and viewing some of her videos on YouTube, I thought I’d buy inexpensive paperbacks of four of her other books so I have a readily available collection. Short but punchy, full of the reality of life for us all and some helpful measures to accept that.

PemaChodronBooks

Due to my interest in history and needlework, if I find good books on the subject, I try to get them, preferably used. I managed to find all four books by Thomasina Beck that are mostly out of print. The latest, Gardening with Silk and Gold is a revised edition of an earlier book Embroidered Gardens. I love parterres and plants in needlework, so these all looked good with a large dose of history and photographs.

ThomasinaBeckBks

After seeing a television documentary on the painter Edouard Manet for the second time, I decided to buy a used copy of the book The Private Lives of the Impressionists by Sue Roe that I ordered and read from the library some years ago. It is just too good so I want to read it again and get my husband to read it too.

PrivateLives_Roe

I often say on this blog that I am just sneaking in a book before the money runs out, but when I buy used books it allows me to sneak more in!

Who am I kidding, books are my life.

 

 

My Final Kick at the Book Can

September 4, 2014

These are the last ones I’ll be able to buy for a long time due to having limited retirement funds. In an effort to cover all the bases of emotion and health I used a recommendation from another blogger to buy these books:

MindfulnessBooks

1) Living with Your Heart Wide Open: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Unworthiness, Inadequacy & Shame by Steve Flowers and Bob Stahl

2) Calming Your Anxious Mind: How Mindfulness & Compassion Can Free You from Anxiety, Fear and Panic by Jeffrey Brantley

3) Beyond Happiness: The Zen Way to True Contentment by Ezra Bayda. I ordered this on inter-library loan first and liked it so much that I wanted my own copy.

4) Buddha’s Book of Sleep: Sleep Better in Seven Weeks with Mindfulness Meditation by Joseph Emet. I refer to my bed as “the pit of torture” due to insomnia and chronic pain, so here’s hoping this gives me a way through that.

Since I am doing so much embroidery lately and have extensive stashes of thread and ribbon, I thought I’d buy a new book on crazy quilting. I do like this sort of thing for purses, but I’m not too keen on quilts using this technique. Small items look great to me. What I liked about this book is that she actually tells you what needle to use with what thread and has some inventive insects and animals to embroider. She also uses a lot of beading and silk ribbon and I have tons of that on hand.

5) Foolproof Crazy Quilting by Jennifer Clouston

FoolproofCrazyQuilting

These were on a separate order from some time ago but they both have interesting information on colour and technique.

6) Urban Watercolor Sketching: A Guide to Drawing, Painting, and Storytelling in Color by Felix Scheinberger. Scheinberger’s book was originally published in German and he has a very European approach, and an interesting technique with colours which is bold. I like the storytelling aspect he speaks about too.

UrbanWatercolor_Scheinberger2

7) Urban Sketching: The Complete Guide to Techniques by Thomas Thorspecken. “Composition, line work, color, mood, speed and impact for sketching buildings, people, cars, bikes, streets, public spaces, and the world that surrounds you.”

UrbanSketching_Thor

Both books are similar to what I have, but a bit heavier on staying loose and colour. I like illustration books more than painting books so I like to have a few of these. They are great for browsing through and simply enjoying the art of other people.

I could probably enjoy the art of other people in the books I own for 1,000 years, but I do like a visual!