Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery: Visual Guide to 120 Essential Stitches for Stunning Designs is aimed at both beginners and seasoned embroiderers. It is not a project book, but a reference book of 120 hand-embroidery stitches with clear, step-by-step photos instructions for both left and right-handed stitchers.
I thoroughly enjoyed writing and stitching the samples for Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery as it is a book many people have asked for. For many years, I have had an embroidery stitch dictionary online at Pintangle.com, which lead to many requests for a book based on the site. I felt the book had to be different from what was already out there online. Although people had told me they wanted what was on my website, I felt that I could offer something more — as a website and a book are two different things. They have a different life and a different role in peoples’ lives. So, I have thought about this book for a long time and at some depth.
I decided that for the book I wanted to offer something fresh. So the journey started with all new step-by-step photos. For the book version, I made sure to have both right and left-hand photos and instructions.
Also, I added a number of stitches that were not already online. I know the stitch geeks out there will like that. Of particular note, I have included a visual contents list which makes it much easier to identify which kind of stitch you are looking for — even if you can’t recall its name — as each stitch has a small icon of what it looks like.
I stitched loads of new examples, since my website visitors have always been inspired by the samples as they give people ideas of how they can use the stitches. Once I started on this path, the pleasure in writing this book deepened. It became a personal challenge to offer each stitch in a way that inspired and give stitchers fresh ideas of how they might use the stitch.
A fun section of Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery is devoted to illustrating how you can create your own variations and patterns with the stitches. I break the stitches down to their component parts, and draw attention to points in the process of its construction where a stitch may be changed and adapted to create interesting effects. I call these ‘play points’.
I show you how by playing with the stitches―manipulating the height and width, direction, stacking up designs, or exploring the effects of multiple rows that you have endless creative variations at your finger tips. I have illustrated many of these creative variations with samples — and I thoroughly enjoyed creating them!
I am more than happy for teachers to use these ideas and the book in stitching classes. The directions on how to work the stitches will also save them from producing their own teaching materials.
My aim with this book is to help readers see contemporary hand embroidery with fresh new eyes and to be inspired to incorporate new techniques in their projects. I hope that these tiny tweaks and simple techniques will stimulate ideas, produce variations and adaptions that will take readers on a creative journey to unexpected places.