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.
A comprehensive guide with a gallery of designs.
Each design is cross referenced to instruction pages
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.
With information on embroidery threads, tools, techniques, fabrics and a clear stitch guide this book offers a defined manual for beginners and seasoned embroiderers.
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.
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.
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.
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