NEW CANVASWORK Jill Carter, Batsford, 2007, ISBN-13:978-0-7134-8975-0
This wonderful new book from Englishwoman Jill Carter will inspire you and expand your notion of what you can do with needlepoint.
For years I’ve looked at books on creative embroidery and wished that I could do that. I envied people who created complex, layered grounds on fabric and then embroidered over them.
I always thought I couldn’t do that on my gridded canvas.
This book has opened my eyes to a whole world of possibilities for needlepoint I had always hoped existed. There is inspiration on every page, for needlepointers at every level.
Each chapter in the book covers a different method of changing the canvas or making needlepoint. While there is a chapter of colour, design, and stitch (the heart of most needlepoint books), it’s just a stepping off point for ways to change the background of the canvas, attach objects to your needlepoint, or add couching onto canvas.
In the chapter of background surfaces you find ideas like painting the canvas with spray paint, using fabric paints to color canvas, adding fabric or fusible web to the top of the canvas, or even creating a simple screen print which then becomes patterned background for the stitching. Just think how fun it would be to have a complex pattern of clouds already colored and on the canvas before you began to stitch the landscape.
She also covers doing drawn-thread techniques like Hardanger on canvas. I loved her samplers in this chapter and because of this book, now feel confident in trying this.
Another chapter covers machine embroidery on canvas. I know lots of people do machine embroidery, but never think of combining it with needlepoint canvas. With many examples and detailed instructions, Carter covers ways to add color and texture to the background through machine stitching. Then, building on this, she adds more ideas on adding patterns and even machine embroidery onto the canvas. It’s so inspiring I wish I had a sewing machine.
But even if you aren’t adventurous, you will find ideas here to make your needlepoint fresh and exciting. The chapter on beads and stitches on canvas shows ways in which needs can be incorporated into common stitches. The chapter on backgrounds and borders has ideas for picking your background, creating borders and ideas for other techniques, like pulled thread, which can make unusual and lovely backgrounds.
The last chapter covers finishing techniques, and it’s fantastic. All too often my pieces languish, stitched but unfinished. In this chapter I found ideas for edging canvas, adding fringe, making tassels from bits of needlepoint canvas, and lots of her ideas I’m going to be using to finish up the stuff in my closet.
I just loved this book. It’s going to have a permanent place by my stitching chair to inspire me in my stitching.