Sue Dulle, 2013
Subtitled “A Study in Pattern Couching,” this book is so much more than instructions for two great projects. Couching is a lovely and historic technique but it’s very hard to find information about it. In scattered books you’ll find information about couching in general or its close cousin Laidwork. You might find a project or two that uses some version of Or Nue but I haven’t seen a book that explains the different kinds of couching as clearly as Sue’s book does. She also does an amzing job of explaining different techniques for laying base threads and for stitching the top layer of threads.
This in-depth but introductory chapter is by far the best and clearest writing on laidwork and couching out there. By itself it’s worth the price of the book and will open up lots of new ideas for stitches.
That’s only the first 20% of the book, the remainder`is amazingly clear instructions for the two projects. Beginning with techniques, steps and hints common to both projects, including the common structure of both samplers, it goes on the the instructions for the nine blocks in each sampler.
The centers come first, beginning with a color picture and a placement “map” within the grid. This is followed by a material list (with master chart key), very detailed instructions, and a master chart of the block.
Because the elements, except the center, are common to the two projects, the book does not go project by project. Instead the instructions for each center are followed by instructions for each of the other elements, including the map. thread lists for each of the project, detailed diagrams and stitching instructions. Often there are master charts as well.
When there is a common base (for patterns 9-12) that explanation comes before the detail for stitching each block.
The book finishes up with a short bibliography and several pages of graph paper to work out your own diagrams.
With such depth and clarity, the book is a great addition to every stitcher’s library!
The book is available at some needlework shops and directly from Sue. Email her at: sudu@Kc.rr.com