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New Library books

There are five exciting new books in the library, waiting for our return.

Crewel Birds: Jacobean embroidery takes flight 
Blomkamp, Hazel
Search Press, Kent, UK, 2020.
ISBN: 978-1-78221-834-0
746.446 BLO

Crewel embroiderers looking for designs beyond the standard Jacobean style will love this book. Hazel Blomkamp has already shown us how to use traditional crewel stitches in more contemporary ways. We possess her Crewel Creatures and this new book seems even better, perhaps because the curve of bird feathers suits the crewel style so well. The author includes needle weaving and needle lace in her projects, giving very clear instructions, and these techniques meld very well with more traditional crewel stitches. She provides six projects, all bird figures, plus detailed information on materials, stitches, hand quilting backgrounds, and more. Some of us may quibble about her instructions for Long and Short Stitch, but we will all welcome this fresh approach to crewel work.  Reviewed by Margaret Ridland


Bojagi: Design and Techniques in Korean Textile Art
Cook, Sara
Batsford, London, UK, 2019.
ISBN: 978-1-84994-521-9
746.46 COO

This is the first book I have found to examine this distinctive and beautiful style. For me, Korean patchwork – bojagi – conjures up images of glorious, floating, translucent pieces used for window coverings, wraps for gifts and purchases, jackets and more. When there is light behind the fabric, the seams show as darker lines and add complexity and depth. The author covers the evolution of bojagi and its historical and cultural principles. She also looks at all the traditional fabrics – silk, ramie and hemp – and the different seaming techniques needed for these fabrics. From there, she moves to explore ways by which modern textile artists and quilters can interpret the principles in creative and exciting new ways. There is a foreword by internationally renowned bojagi practitioner Chungie Lee, plus contributions from other international artists. Truly, an inspirational book.   Reviewed by Margaret Ridland


The Art of Chinese Embroidery 2: Intermediate Level
Lee, Margaret
Inspiration Studios, South Australia, 2020.
ISBN: 978 6482873 7 7
746.440951 LEE

Margaret Lee is a distinguished tutor in this technique, who tutored at Embroidery House for many years. This is the second book of her series. Her first (the Foundation Level) covered the foundation stitches and techniques. This book introduces new ‘tools’: the various techniques used with Random Stitch embroidery, very clearly illustrated. This technique was introduced in the early twentieth century but is now firmly established as part of the Chinese embroidery repertoire. There are also sections examining design, working with landscapes, and the art of photo realism, all based on Random Embroidery techniques. Two tutorial exercises, eight projects and three case studies are presented, and these consolidate the concepts presented. This book is a fascinating guide not only for students of Chinese embroidery but also for crewelwork stitchers, thread painters, machine embroiderers and other stitchers.  Reviewed by Margaret Ridland


Goldwork Embroidery: Techniques and Projects
Pye, Lizzy
Crowood Press, Wiltshire UK, 2020.
ISBN: 978-1-78500-647-0
746.448 PYE

Just published, this book provides exactly what is promised: a comprehensive presentation of the materials and techniques of goldwork. The instructions are clear and detailed, with ample step-by-step photographs and much practical advice. The focus is on traditional methods, though you are also shown how metalwork can combine with other techniques such as crewel work and blackwork. Six projects designed to practice your goldwork techniques are presented, again with detailed instructions and photographs. The author presents both traditional and contemporary designs. Both beginners and more experienced embroiderers will find something of value here. Reviewed by Margaret Ridland


Simply Stitched with Appliqué: Embroidery Motifs with linen, cotton and felt.
Higuchi, Yumiko
Zacca Workshop, Salem, US.
ISBN: 978-1-940552-32-3
746.44 HIG

This book is a joy to peruse: appliqué and embroidery are combined to create shapes out of felt or cotton or linen, which are then decorated with surface stitchery. The designs are inspired by nature: flowers, insects, birds and leaves. Thirty-six projects are suggested, each with appliqué instructions, thread colours, number of strands to be used, and stitch names. You can choose how to present your projects and the making up instructions are very easy to follow.  Reviewed by Anne Pollock

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