Excerpt from Joyful Stitching: Transform Fabric with Improvisational Embroidery by Laura Wasilowski.
Introduction: Free-Form Embroidery
A Rare Song Bird by Laura Wasilowski, 7˝ × 9˝
Hand embroidery may seem like a quiet pastime for quiet people in a quiet room. But we all know there is a secret, creative power lurking in each stitch. Hand stitchery transforms fabric from a flat, plain surface into a world packed with color and texture and joyful pattern. In short, hand embroidery brings fabric to life.
Love at First Stitch by Laura Wasilowski, 8 1/4˝ diameter
It is this transformation of fabric by stitch that makes free-form embroidery my passion. Yes, it is an art form that is compact, portable, uses few tools, and is meditative, but it is also a delightful challenge for an artist. Like any art form, you are constantly making decisions about color, line, pattern, and texture. Free-form embroidery pairs the warm, friendly, notion of the hand-made along with the heady thrill of improvisation.
Yellow House Landscape by Laura Wasilowski, 9˝ × 6 1/2˝
In this book, I share with you the joys of free-form embroidery. There are six projects that begin with simple shapes destined for embellishment with a riot of thread. You’ll learn about the materials and tools needed to make these designs and about transferring designs for embroidery. You can review step-by-step embroidery stitch directions as needed. And there are more ideas for free-form embroidery (page XX) to inspire you as well.
A Tasty Bite of Apple by Laura Wasilowski, 7˝ × 8˝
Free-form embroidery is not about being precise or meticulous. You have permission to be loose, relaxed, and cozy when stitching. Change the designs, use different colors, try new stitch combinations. Free-form embroideries are made just for the pleasure of stitching and the enjoyment of placing colorful thread on fabric.
Hand of Fortune by Laura Wasilowski, 6 1/4˝ × 7 1/2˝
I hope this book challenges you to invent new ways to mark fabric with stitches. I hope you discover the thrill of liberated stitching. And I hope you find this intimate art form a creative way to express yourself. So you see, I have high hopes for you in this joyful adventure.
And here is the best news: You can always remove stitches if they aren’t placed where you want them.