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The Constance Howard Book of Stitches Hardcover – April, 1979
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About the Author
During her lifetime, Constance Howard was single-handedly responsible for bringing embroidery into the world of art and fashion. In 1948 she established the department of Embroidery in the Art School at Goldsmith's College, London. From running a part-time course, she became principal lecturer in charge of textiles and fashion - with embroidery as a main subject for Diploma in Art and Design. This course would later become the BA Honours degree course. Constance Howard was a member of the British Craft Centre, of the Society of Designer Craftsmen, the Embroiderers' Guild and the Art Workers' Guild, as well as of the World Crafts Council. Her work has been exhibited widely in Great Britain as well as in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA where she has held many workshops. In recognition of her services to art education, Constance Howard was awarded the MBE in 1975. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Why for the advanced embroiderer? Well, let's say, at least the intermediate as the stitch instructions, while present, aren't the best I have seen and in some cases it helps if the embroiderer has some passing familiarity with the stitch or stitch type and some experience learning embroidery stitches from a book. This isn't a book for absolute beginners.
I want to be clear, I love this book and looked through it with pleasure and amazement, there is a lot of treasure in these pages. The Book of Stitches is now next to the chair where I work for easy access as I plan to take advantage of the inspiration and unique use of stitches. Recommended to the embroiderer and crazy quilter with no reservations. Canvas workers, needlepointers and those who like drawn or pulled work should look elsewhere for a stitch guide as The Book of Stitches concentrates on surface embroidery. The book is mainly in black and white as well, with a few color plates for those who demand color, but give this book a chance and it is sure to become a workhorse of inspiration and instruction.
I nearly didn't delve into this book when I first picked it off the shelf at my guild library, because of the black and white photos. (I do like colour!) But on closer inspection I saw how this book is absolute gold in terms of the inspiration it provides for using stitches in creative and interesting ways.
I was going to borrow it from the library, but then I realised that it would be a book that I would refer to again and again, and decided that I actually needed to purchase my own copy. So I did!
This book was invaluable to me as I created the inspiration stitch panels for my own book on left-handed embroidery stitches. It prompted me to push my experimentation with stitches much further than I otherwise would have.
I love the way it uses different textured threads, different weights of thread, different scales of stitch... and I even grew to love the fact that all the thread shows up as white (in the black and white photos) because it stopped me from being distracted by colour, and allowed me to only see the stitches.
The book is not very instructional on how to work the stitches. There are some basic instructions, but you will probably want to use another book to teach you the stitches.
However, this book is pure inspiration.
Since first posting this review (May 2014) I have used the book more ... and, although I stand by my previous comments in terms of lack of directions and hard-to-follow photo descriptions, I have found Ms. Howard's varied use of stitches well worth the purchase of the book. I think it deserves 4 stars. "Gunga" July 1, 2014