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 Stitch a masterpiece by C&T publishing by in a nutshell.
Stitch a Masterpiece by C&T publishing is exactly as it sounds; it’s a book full of famous designs from famous artists, all for you to sew. Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir – they’re all in there looking fabulous. Art lovers, grab your needle and thread!
Who Is This Book Aimed At?
The book is aimed at hand embroidery lovers, but I could see it also lending itself very nicely to free motion embroidery on the sewing machine, or even just being something really relaxing to colour in, sketch your own versions of, or paint if you wanted to.
About The Artists
Well, where do I start. Art history lesson anyone? The artists inside range from Michaelangelo to Leonardo da Vinci, to Vincent van Gogh, to Edvard Munch. Oh yes, The Scream is in there – I can’t wait to start that one!
C&T Publishing have put the book together to give you as many options as possible on each masterpiece. For example, when I want to start stitching The Scream I’m presented with four different size options. And if you wanted to stitch Two Sisters (On the Terrace) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir you have four options of the full print, plus a close up of each sister individually as well.
The layout of the book, while it works, is quite strange to me. Instructions on how to use it are on the inside front cover and then you’re straight into the designs on page one. There is no welcome or contents. You then have all of the designs, and a gallery of the masterpieces with some colour swatches. It doesn’t give actually DMC references, just colour swatches to try to match your threads up to. I quite like that idea for using it as a bit of a stash buster project. The inside back cover features an array of stitch examples.
There isn’t really any photography to speak of in the book, it is designs and images of the masterpieces. But what makes the book special is, oh hang on…
What Makes The Book Special?
As I was about to say… what makes the book special is the designs in it. They aren’t just outlines for you to copy onto fabric via a light box, they are iron on transfers which will all work several times each. So you can stitch your favourite masterpiece lots of times in various sizes and you can mix up the colours as much as you like to create your own version of any masterpiece in there.
Anything Wrong With The Book?
Call me old fashioned, but I do like a craft book with a nice chatty introduction from the person who has put it together, and this book is missing that. That said, it doesn’t need it, if you want to buy a book so you can stitch a masterpiece you’ve definitely bought the right book. You get everything you need to stitch a masterpiece apart from the thread.
If you know an art lover who enjoys stitching this is a great book. They can iron on the design and get going really fast – and they can do that multiple times with each project, in any size they like. As I say, I’ll definitely start with The Scream, but I’m sure I won’t stop there.