Book Review – Stitchscapes


Mr X Stitch Book Review

Stitchscapes by Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn is published by Double Trouble Enterprises 

Introduction

Okay, so what is a ‘Stitchscape’?  Imagine all those lovely photographs you see of the countryside or the sea….now imagine a stitched version…yup, you got it!

Who is it aimed at?

Those with a keen eye for colour, maybe even those who have photography as a hobby or paint.  This could be a new idea for anyone to try.

About the artist

Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn work together to teach, co-write and exhibit their artwork.  Often seen at The Knitting and Stitching Shows, you may be aware of their work already.

Content

Stitchscapes is divided into certain genres we all like to take notice of.  What’s your favourite to notice, the sky, the sea, a garden?

Stitchscapes Contents Page
There is an image or chapter on most of the scenic things we all appreciate.

Its not all just images of stitches.  The artists let us in to what inspires them, the photographs they use to create their art:

Stitchscapes Skies Page
A whole section on the sky….now is the time to dig out your own photos.

Throughout the book, we get little helpful snippets of information.  For those who don’t regularly draw or paint, there are plenty of diagrams to work from:

Stitchscapes - Woodland Garden - Making a Selection
A whole photo might seem like a steep challenge, so why not just focus on one goal?

What makes it special?

As the book is published with the artists in control, they don’t have a certain layout or style to adhere to.  Thus they have the artistic licence and can really tailor it to their own personal taste.  This makes it a more personal publication.

The colours are sublime throughout and really show off nature to its best:

Stitchscapes - Summer
This one reminds us of summer and all the places we would love to travel to…see how a book which is well written can take you places!

Photography

Personally we love the mix of really large images showing the ‘Paint to Stitch’ journey….

Stitchscapes - Paint to Stitch journey
It is not rocket science. Most of us can at least notice colour in an image and try to copy it!

The stitches explored are not complicated and many are intuitive, led by the background, which is often painted fabric…. so there is another skill you can try, why not paint your basic white fabric, adding a personal feel?

Stitchscapes - painted fabric with stitches
Sea, sky, whatever the inspiration there are guidelines to play with and great imagery throughout.

What is wrong with the book?

Stitchscapes is printed and bound beautifully, with a durable soft cover so there is very little not to like. It is clear that the authors are experienced in producing engaging textile art books as the standard of the whole production is very high. If you prefer a hard back standard book, then the style may not fit your hopes. However we loved the landscape layout, which fitted in well thematically too!

Conclusion

Stitchscapes by Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn is published by Double Trouble Enterprises is available to purchase through this link!


Ailish Henderson

Editor in Chief at Mr X Stitch
As a freelance artist, designer, lecturer and tutor (how do I narrow down that description?!)I have been contracted by numerous arts organizations to provide Talks, Workshops’ and Masterclasses’ in Textiles, Print Making and Fine Art subjects.  These include branches of the Embroiderers’ Guild, Textile Study Groups and The Women’s Institute.  Every year I teach at The Knitting and Stitching shows and exhibit with the Artist in Action stand.Currently I am building up to my exhibition at The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia, London this spring; having also written articles or had work illustrated in Stitch, Inspired, Embroidery, Selvedge, Daphne’s Diary, Prima (online), Cloth Paper Scissors and the Batsford book ‘Be Creative with Textile Art.'

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