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8 February 2008


Home from the library with 10 interlibrary loans of Embroidery books, I've already decided that I would love to buy a couple.

One I really like is "A Practical Guide to Canvas - Victoria and Albert Museum". (edited by Linda Parry, intro by Santina Levey!)

It has some actual charted patterns for some slips!! Only three - a pansy, a bug and a snail - but hey! that's more than I've ever seen before. The pansy is used to build a "tree" with leaves and multiple pansies - just lovely

I do hope I'm staying within "fair use" guidelines by showing just this one slip - there are plenty more in the book so hopefully it'll serve as an incentive to get the book, rather than giving it's secrets away.

Obviously, you'd need to chart up the rest yourself, and do a bit of colour variations on the pansies - but the basis is there.

There is also the pattern for a German 17thC sampler and 4 bargello patterns, in the lovely 'saddened colours'. I don't like the colour usage in modern Bargello/Florentine books - they are just so flashy! And there's more!

I also really like "The Craft of Florentine Embroidery" by Barbara Snook.

I think that it might be a bit concise for a beginner. It has the line patterns grouped together by type, 6 or 8 to a page. It's a great reference.

The more complicated patterns (like a pomengrate) or the very arched Florentine patterns naturally need more space.

She includes some additional stitches to use for borders or in conjunction with the bargello (I saw a very nice pattern on a book cover recently that had a panel in the *middle* of the design.
And then projects at the end.

I have borrowed almost every Bargello/Florentine book available to borrow in Australia by now, and this is one of my favourites.

I've also received another copy of Muriel Best's Stumpwork. I had organized to borrow this book before, but some *criminal* had cut out the most important pages from the book - the ones that tell you actually *how* to do things!

History - yes.
Practically obligatory photo of that purse that is made up of grapes, stuffed and in detached button hold stitch - yes.

A lovely closeup of a free standing bird, covered in button hole stitch, padded over a wire frame.

I've noticed that several of the birds shown in detail here have ribs on their wings, rather like bats - an opportunity to do some raised work for the embroiderer. I also like the tree, whose leaves are made of closely packed picots. "Design and Method in Historical Work" is the kind of chapter heading that I like to see *grin*

There are lots of close up photos (mostly b&w but some colour plates)

The important bits, I think, (and the pages that had been removed in the other copy) have headings like

Stiffening Shapes with Wire
Padding (felt, vilene)
Unstiffened lacy shapes
Wrapping vellum
Raised Stems and Borders

and Making People.

And then the stitches. I have no idea what Banksia Rose Stitch is, or Curl stitch, but I'll find out!

The end of the book is modern stuff, which I personally dislike (tho the pineapple is kind of cool)

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Blogger celeste said...

If you are interested in stumpwork, the best books for flowers and insects are by Jane Nicholas. For stumpwork figures, I would recommend books by Barbara and Roy Hirst. And from a historical perspective, one of my favorites is "British Embroidery Curious Works from the 17th Century".

Stumpwork is my favorite embroidery technique. I've posted photos of my finished projects at

Saturday, February 09, 2008  
Blogger Elmsley Rose said...

Celeste, since you are from the blog of so many people I hope you see my reply here (I normally reply to people's comments in their own blogs)

Jane Nichols : have them all!

Hirst : intend to check them out. I understand there are 2 books now. I'm not really into making actual people tho.

Thanks so much for the mention of the Curious Works. I'll add it to my ILL (Inter Library Loan list)

Saturday, February 09, 2008  
Blogger Elmsley Rose said...


I just had a look at your work.

It's totally totally gorgeous. I know people always say that about each other's, but I really mean it.

My fav's are the purple orchid, the yellow dahlias, and the beadwork purses. Followed shortly by everything else, but I gasped out loud when I saw the orchid so that's got to count for something special

Saturday, February 09, 2008  

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