Ruth Dilts with Joan Lohr, Rainbow Gallery, 2007.
Updated August 15, 2023.
In Needlepoint 101, her previous book (out of print), Ruth took us through the process of stitching a canvas with tips, stitches, and several stitch guides. But we wanted more.
Ruth has delivered everything we wanted and even more in this second volume. Here the emphasis is on embellishment of the painted canvas, so lots of clever techniques and new stitches are covered. So much great stuff is packed into this book it’s hard to know where to start.
The book opens with Ruth’s “philosophy of embellishment,” a one-page outline of her approach to selecting stitches and embellishments for a canvas. Next, she defines terms and has a list of abbreviations. Then she has an index. It’s worth taking some time to study this because it is a complete outline of the rest of the book.
Ruth covers many difficult techniques in detail, some of which still confuse me. She has great instructions for stitching knots (including bullion) padding, thread blending, and tufted stitches. There are many other less common techniques too, including wrapped cord (I’ve been looking for a place to use this one).
In addition to the many techniques, a slew of new stitches are diagrammed, one per page. And 12 new stitch guides. The guides are a real treasure. Each design is identified and pictured in color, both stitched and unstitched. There is text covering exactly what stitches and threads were used to create the finished piece. Stitch names are in bold and color numbers are listed in the text. The stitches come from both books.
Ruth has added Helpful Hints and space for your notes where space permits.
I am completely in awe of this book and Ruth’s creativity. She has designed guides that look totally right for canvases I would have stitched in Basketweave and wondered why I was unhappy.
This book has new things for even the most advanced stitcher to learn. And if painted canvases are new to you, it’s a great introduction. Shops can order it through Rainbow Gallery.