Friday, 22 March 2013

Book review - folk art needlecraft by Clare Youngs

This is such a pretty book, I ordered it thinking I'd probably use it more for inspiration. I have to say though that I am really pleasantly suprised by how nice the projects in this book are. Although I own tons of craft books I rarely make anything from them as I prefer to dream up my own projects but I have already earmarked several projects in this book I'd like to make.
Patterns for the projects are at the back, and most do need enlarging, there is also good advice on adapting the size of the patterns and instructions of different transfer methods.The instructions on how to make up the projects are very clear- and well illustrated. Most of the projects could be made by a beginner.

There are five different sections; bags and purses, for children, pillows and throws (including the gorgeous cushion below), for the home and gifts and accessories. There is some (very) simple cross stitch, some sashiko, applique and lots of pretty hand embroidery.
My only critism is that as an embroidery nerd I would have liked some photos of the tradition needlecrafts that inspired some of the projects in the book, for example the author includes a design based on traditional Hungarian embroidery so it would have been lovely to see an example of a traditional embroidery piece.

The images I've shared here are my favourites and are two of the more detailed embroideries, but if you like this style you will probably like most of the designs from the book.

I would love to know if any of you have this book, and what you think about it. What's your favourite craft book at the moment?

Thursday, 14 March 2013

finished skeleton embroidery

My skeleton piece is finished. The pastel baby colours work so well and I think the effect is beautiful. I like the way the skulls seem to be dissembling and merging because of the symmetry. To me it seems like they are in motion which was unplanned but a happy accident.
It definitely gives the impression of the skull being split apart into fragments rather than moving to join together despite it being a scientific diagram that is intended to illustrate how the parts fit together. I wanted to illustrate both the amazing engineering that we contain and also the vulnerability and fragility of our bodies.

This piece took a long time to stitch as the outlines were so intricate. There was a lot of fill stitching too but I quite enjoyed that. The black thread I used was a cheap floss from a multipack- and it was horrible! My advice would be that cheap floss is fine for chunky stitching but when split into strands like here it is too weak and not smooth enough- there are so many knots on the back of this piece! I plan to get this framed- I'll stretch it over some mountboard first.
I'd love to know what you think of it- please let me know.