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Rebecca Ringquist’s Embroidery Workshops: A Bend-the-Rules Primer Hardcover – April 14, 2015
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The VERY cool thing is that this sampler is shown a bit enlarged on all of page 45. It's just called a sampler of hand stitches. There are neat sections of stitches radiating from the middle and then some segments are a riot of texture with thick, colorful fibers. Let's just say she doesn't restrict herself to DMC floss (which she highly touts). As on the piece of cloth in my hand, the outside ring of the circle identifies the stitches of each section. The entire sampler fits into a 6" hoop and you can still see that outer border with the words just inside the hoop. She has happily left a few of the segments only partially stitched which gives you a sense of immediacy and even intimacy: it looks like she just set it down to answer the phone and will be right back to finish it.
Then something dawned on me. I hiked back to rousing Introduction and across it, on page 9, she shows the BACK of the sampler in the hoop!!! Whoo hoo hooooooo...is it ever messy!!!
From the Intro on, Rebecca (I guess we're on a first name basis) really punches the creative juices simmering in us. She tosses out the rules of young colonial sampler-makers which instilled "perfection, patience and politeness." Instead, she EMBRACES a messy back. She ENCOURAGES using knots that show through so it gives you something to stitch over and add layers to. She ENTHUSIASTICALLY wants to get you drawing and stitching. For once, an artist whose identified medium is embroidery doesn't get you all intimidated with designing. She recommends grabbing fabric that already has designs on it like polka dots: maybe you can use different stitches or colors inside each one...or maybe outline the border of each dot...or maybe play connect-the-dots. Whatever strikes your fancy.
I love vintage and antique books and honor our embroidering forebears who paved the way for us. I love 30-45 yo books that either expanded into embroidery around the world or drilled down into one complex technique like goldwork or hardanger. I love many of the very recent books because they are fresh and really accessible.
Rebecca Ringuist is an author to keep your eye on. This is a good book.