Needlework on the Diagonal, Dawn R. Donnelly, self-published, coil-bound, 2021
Before I got this book from the innovative teacher, Dawn Donnelly, I had a hard time getting my head around the idea of stitches on the diagonal. I know of stitches that are made up of threads along diagonal. I even know of methods to make some stitches, such as Scotch, that are made in diagonal rows. These things did not seem like enough to transform my stitching.
Like any good teacher, Dawn begins the book by letting us know about what she wanted to do. In her words, she turned “stitches that normally line up with the canvas grid so they’re at a more dynamic angle.” She discovered through her teaching that many stitchers have difficulty with stitching on the diagonal. This could explain why Basketweave is confusing for many. Her book wants to address this problem. She also wants to show how rotating stitches creates a new effect. Finally, she wants us to try our own transformations.
The stitches, nearly 70 in all, are then divided into chapters with one stitch per page. The descriptions may not be what the reader is used to, but the stitches will be familiar. On the top of the page is the stitch. Below it, in almost all cases, is the stitch transformed in some way. For many of the diagonal stitches, this transformation is the reverse version of the stitch.
In other cases, straight stitches become diagonal stitches and vice versa. These are the most innovative stitches in the book. Often, as in the case of a simple straight stitch such as Bamboo, the change to diagonal stitches makes a dramatic difference. It’s really a neat idea, one that creates looks that make stitches more adaptable for items such as flower petals. You can also easily use them when you want a different look.
I have a piece in my stash that has just the kind of problems this will solve. I can’t wait to start it!
The book ends with a section of patterns, stitches charted out on diagonal lines. These could easily be combined to create your own project.
Unlike many other books of stitches, Transformative Stitching is not a great book for beginners. The relations between stitches and their transformations is not always clear. I think more advanced stitchers wil benefit most from these ideas.
To learn how to get the book, contact Dawn directly.