once upon a time... there were straight stitches
the Library of Stitches
A richly illustrated book with color photographs and diagrams, 132 pages, 24 x 32 cm,
by Veronique de Luna.
ISBN 13 : 978-2-9519108-1-2
Retail price : 30 €
My first objective is to show what can be done with straight stitches. Only straight stitches ! They are really simple. You just cover a number of wefts or warps, i.e. vertically or horizontally. And, using these simple components, you build surprisingly varied motifs.
You will find in this book all you need to take pleasure in your work. The core is a « Library of stitches » comprised of about thirty motifs explained in detail. You learn how to multiply and combine them to produce decorative patterns and create objects of many kinds. You can see examples of these on this page but there are many more. All the necessary diagrams are included, together with finishing instructions.
As is the case in my teaching, my aim is to take you to the point where you will be able to create your own designs. Obviously, in the beginning, you have to be content, and so you must be, with slavishly following the instructions. But once you have mastered the technique comes the moment when you feel that you wish to spread your wings. This you must do, and it doesn’t matter if you make mistakes, as you inevitably will. The Italian proverb says « sbagliando s’impara », you learn from your mistakes. Nothing is truer, as I should know !
From the conclusion :
Having reached the end of this book, I realise one thing. Several years ago I set out with no definite aim, my only idea being to suggest some examples of straight stitches on penelope canvas. Slowly I came to realize the wealth of possibilities. Not only is there no limit to the number of motifs which one can design, but they can be applied to a wide variety of objects, as I discover time and again. It is often not necessary to make the whole item out of tapestry. One element is enough : the strap of a bag, the pocket of a cardigan or of an apron, a movable headrest for a bed, the lid of a box. I repeat : tapestry is a decorative art. It adds an often discreet, but never unnoticed, touch. It adapts to circumstances, changes colour, shape, depth. It is experiencing a revival thanks to a newfound interest among the younger generations. Once foremost in the area of needlework, it might well regain its former place.
You now have at your disposal the tools to help you enjoy taking part in this revival. Do not hesitate to innovate, to create your own designs. All the motifs can be enlarged or combined in many ways. They are there merely as an aide-mémoire and to stimulate your imagination. Soon, you will be doing more and better.