FOLK ART NEEDLEPOINT: 20 Projects Adapted from Objects in the American Folk Art Museum, Ruth Peltason, Potter Craft, 2008, ISBN 978-0-307-35180-7, $35.00
Folk art, with its simple lines and bold colors is an outstanding source of ideas for needlepoint. This beautifully produced book takes as its sources all kinds of items from the museum, from hooked rugs to weathervanes and delivers them up as lovely needlepoint.
The projects are mostly stitched in Basketweave, with commonly available threads such as floss, pearl cotton, and Persian wool. This is fantastic because it makes the projects accessible to stitchers everywhere. The reference section at the back of the book has instructions on making all the stitches and a color conversion chart.
The projects, designed by Karyn Gerhard, are divided into five sections: Daily Life, Beasts & Bugs, Flowers, Hearts, and Geometrics. Each section begins with a listing of the projects. The projects each have a picture of the original piece and have the needlepoint photographed in a room setting that showcases more folk art (for even more inspiration). The introduction to each project talks about the project and the other folk art in the setting. Each project also has a material list, information about stiching and finishing it, and some lovely and inventive ideas for variations. That seems like a simple thing, but many books lack it and you can tell from the variations that Ruth and Karyn are needlepointers themselves.
The charts are large and in full color with synbols as well, making them easy to read. The color key not only lists the symbols in the chart with the thread and color number, but it also lists how many skeins are needed. If you want to stitch one of the projects in the book, you can take this and buy everything you need all at once. Another useful, but often neglected item.
Also in this section is extensive information about the objects used as inspiration, additional information about needlepoint, finishing instructions, and a list of sources.
A inspiring book, beautifully produced. I’d love to see more like it.