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 Playful Free-Form Embroidery written by Laura Wasilowski, published by C&T PUBLISHING.
Playful Free-Form Embroidery – Stitch Stories with Texture, Pattern and Color teaches you how to create bold and colourful narrative embroideries from the best-selling author of Joyful Stitching. Laura Wasilowski brings you six new hand embroidery projects with full-sized patterns and step-by-step pictorial directions. Each project features a unique stitch combination, including some wool applique. With a few guidelines on what to stitch, this free approach encourages you to cultivate your own imagination. Accuracy is not important, enjoyment is! The goal is stress-free stitchery. Embroiderers have illustrated treasured stories, memories, phrases and tales in thread since the Bayeux Tapestry in 1067 to contemporary embroideries on Instagram today.
About the author
Laura Wasilowski is a textile artist and creator of hand-dyed fabrics and threads. Her pictorial art quilts and free-form embroideries are collected and exhibited internationally. Her artwork, created from fused fabrics, hand embroidered or machine quilted, is inspired by stories of family, friends and home. Her embroideries depict everyday objects, landscapes and personal narratives. She has an undergraduate degree in costume and a masters in fiber. She is a lecturer, instructor and author of Fusing Fun! Fast Fearless Art Quilts, Fuse and Tell Journal Quilts, Fanciful Stitches, Colorful Quilts and Joyful Stitching. You can contact Laura, book tutorials and visit her dye shop at Artfabrik | Hand-dyed Fabrics and Threads and Art Quilts by Laura Wasilowski .
Who is the book aimed at?
With an introduction to inspire storytelling, where stitch captures memories and emotions, Laura encourages the reader to go on an adventure full of joy and creativity. A great introduction to inspire beginners, parents and children looking for a half term project, anyone looking to create a unique bespoke gift for a friend. With a fun and experimental approach in bite sized bits this will certainly be achievable with a busy work / home schedule. You can use the projects and templates or create your own using the information – choosing a design, sketching and transfering to fabric, using the embroidery diagrams to embellish with lots of tips and inspiration. I admire the childlike quality of the bold imagery, strong colour palettes and repetition of stitch to create texture and depth.
Tell Your Story in Stitches provides a step-by-step method of translating your idea into original design …
… with great tips to encourage balance of colour and texture.
There are six projects …
with full-size patterns …
… showing you the process from inspiration to the final stitch, with a combination of fabric shapes and embroidered shapes stitched to the background fabric.
Tips on finishing and displaying artwork establishes a professional product:
Colourful imagery balances instruction with step-by-step photographs for a comprehensive guide. Attention to stitch detail within each design achieves transparency at each stage to encourage embroiderers along their creative journey.
What makes this book special?
It is fun with bold imagery and simple instruction to build a good foundation of skills which would encourage anyone with an interest in textile applique and embroidery. It demonstrates how to build texture and colour in easy steps which is effective and achievable over a period of time. A lovely Birthday, New Baby and Christmas gift.
Anything wrong with the book?
If you want a more sophisticated textile library of techniques then this is not for you but it does provide insight into the basics of creating and transfering design to produce a textile which is fun and personal to the artist. I love it!
Get your copy from Playful Free-Form Embroidery: Stitch Stories with Texture, Pattern & Color (bookshop.org) and support local bookshops.