I buy a lot of books. Too many books. Recently, in a cleaning frenzy, I packed up a bunch of books, including some that I had bought recently, and took them down to my mom. Either she would enjoy reading them, or she could sell them online. While I was waiting for her to get ready to go out, I glanced at the book on the top of the pile. “Celebrating the Stitch.” Had I even looked inside that book? I glanced at it, and was surprised at what I saw–that book was definitely coming home with me!
This is just the kind of book I really enjoy. It shows beautiful artwork, and has a write-up about each artist, their work process, and what inspires them. This is not just a book of embroidery. It is truly art that just happens to fit loosely into the category of embroidery–putting thread to fabric. I checked for you, and this book is available used for one cent! (of course, its really $4 because you have to pay shipping.)
It truly is what it says–celebrating the stitch. When I look through it, my hands just itch to make my own stitches. As an experiment, (and to have something to work on while I manned the SAQA booth at the Crocker Museum, I made a little quilt sandwich. I put a machine stitched grid on it. I went through my threads to pick out a bunch of colors that I liked. And I made a couple of rules. No drawing ahead of time. No blue pen to mark. Only one stitch–the running stitch. And every square inch must be covered.
I am enjoying this challenge. I have to admit, many times I pick it up and stare at it, not knowing what color or shape to do next, and just put it back down and go back to my knitting. About every other day, I come up with some new color or shape to add to it. I think its a good challenge, and might lead to something more organized.
(P.S.–the exhibit at the Crocker Art Museum,“Workt by Hand,” is the finest exhibition of antique quilts that I have ever seen. They are displayed beautifully, and you can get quite close to look at the stitching. There is one quilt from, I believe, 1790. The stitching is so tiny and perfect, it looks like they had some kind of special machine to do it! The exhibit will be there until September 1.)