Cross Stitch Wildflowers and Grasses


Textile Art Book Reviews
by Christine Cunningham
Cross Stitch Wildflowers and Grasses by Hisako Nishisu
Book Review – Cross Stitch Wildflowers and Grasses by Hisako Nishisu

At Mr X Stitch we love to review textile art and embroidery books for you. There are so many great books to discover, packed with needlework inspiration and textile techniques, so we dive into each book to find out what’s good, what’s bad and let you know why you should pick it up. Here’s what we think of Cross Stitch Wildflowers and Grasses written by Hisako Nishisu, published by SEARCH PRESS.

Hisako Nishisu invites you to try her new collection of Cross Stitch Wildflowers and Grasses, designs inspired by beauty and simplicity. There are over 30 stunning motifs to choose from, so whether you admire the lily of the valley or the violet, or prefer to stitch the Japanese silverleaf, there is sure to be a project that will catch your eye. After a gallery of beautifully photographed embroideries, a cross stitch overview is provided outlining the tools, materials and techniques needed for completing these charming samplers. This is followed by a clear, full-page chart for each design. Once your floral sampler is finished, frame it and hang it for a beautiful addition to any room, or use the designs to add pretty motifs to your linens, clothing and accessories.

About the Author

Hisako Nishisu is an embroidery artist from Japan. She is the director of JACA – The Japan And Craft Association – which teaches European embroidery with a motto of ”enjoyable embroidery, exciting creation”. Cross stitch is a type of counted-thread embroidery with a graduation of colour perfect for capturing the essence of wildflowers and grasses. The technique of stitching the thread in a cross is a simple one, suitable for everyone to learn.

Who is the book aimed at?

I remember being very young and learning to cross stitch at school – Japanese ladies in Kimono dress, pansies and my Family Tree. Children and beginners can learn this simple skill quite easily because it is a repetitive technique guided by the grid of holes within the fabric. And because designs are small, colour and number coded you can achieve a lot in a small amount of time. So perfect for busy parents and students as well as embroiderers wanting to perfect their stitch. The Arts and Crafts movement has always been a fashionable accessory and this book allows you to acquire the traditional skill of cross stitch creating beautiful designs to decorate your home. Gardeners may even appreciate this as a design catalogue of traditional flowers for their coffee table.

Cross Stitch Wildflowers and Grasses
traditional cross stitch

Content

A comprehensive guide with a gallery of designs.

Cross Stitch Wildflowers and Grasses
cross stitch designs

Each design is cross referenced to instruction pages

Cross Stitch Wildflowers and Grasses
designs are cross referenced to diagrams

with diagrams providing a colour chart of numbers and symbols, making the process easy to follow (similar to a ‘paint by numbers’ formula) with reference to the thread conversion chart on page 111.

Cross Stitch Wildflowers and Grasses
diagrams – numbers and symbols

With information on embroidery threads, tools, techniques, fabrics and a clear stitch guide this book offers a defined manual for beginners and seasoned embroiderers.

Cross Stitch Wildflowers and Grasses
cross stitch guide

Photography

Imagery is well documented and has enlarged additional detail so that you have a good overall view of the design in additional to the diagram information.

Cross Stitch Wildflowers and Grasses
detailed designs

What makes this book special?

Not only does it offer a great step-by-step instruction guide there is a ‘How to use this book’ and online venues are listed for suppliers in the UK and USA, making the process of ordering threads and fabrics easy during lockdown. An inspiration gallery offers ideas for using designs within the home and also embellishing clothing.

Cross Stitch Wildflowers and Grasses
inspirational ideas

Anything wrong with the book?

Designs are small and simple studies of wildflowers and grasses. If you want to create more complex designs then this would be a good starting point from which you can embellish. The diagrams remind me of infant school and laying the foundation of becoming a textile artist. I think this is a delightful book to inspire anyone interested in picking up a needle and learning to embroider.

Conclusion

Get your copy of Cross Stitch Wildflowers and Grasses and support independent bookshops.

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Is This The Most Helpful Cross Stitch Book? It Could Be! #bookreview #crossstitch

Christine Cunningham

Creating art from recycled materials using traditional methods (applique, patchwork, quilting) with a modern exploration into fabric manipulation and padded structure. Unusual materials include hair, plastic, rubber, metal, disintegrating fabrics and found objects. I source my treasures from carboot sales, charity shops and freecycle. Original poetry captures the essence of an experience, an emotional layering to which the viewer can relate on a personal level. I have two bodies of work. The Natural Collection explores abstract flower design and the seasons, religion, visions of India and Buddhism, childhood nostalgia and the seaside. The Womanhood Collection explores natural states of being including breast cancer, sexuality, the ageing process, anatomy, love, fragility and independence. I was inspired by my own experiences of breast cancer, both the physical brutality and fragility of living in the aftermath.

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