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Joyful Stitching


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About the Author

Laura Wasilowski loves fabric. Her first love was a sweet pink gingham fabric selected for a 4-H sewing project. As a college student, she discovered more exotic fabrics. And while she earned a degree in costume design, she found a new thrill - dyeing. For many years Laura created hand-dyed fabrics for garments that she sold in boutiques across the country. It was a friendly neighbour who introduced Laura to her current flame, the art quilt. This latest love is a marriage of fabric, colour, and whimsy that she truly enjoys. Laura lives in Elgin, IL, where she hand dyes fabric and thread for her business, Artfabrik.


Joyful Stitching, a very apt title as the cover of the book makes you smile and want to look further. The book is nice to handle and is full of colour photos that show every stage of creating the many sample illustrated. As it says on the cover with this book you can learn how to 'transform fabric with improvisational embroidery' and have a lot of fun in the process.

The detail given about the materials, threads and stitches is very clear, excellent for a beginner but not too distracting for the more experienced embroiderer.

Stitch on wool, felt, or silk and enjoy the simple pleasure of stitching. The author also uses a lot of variegated skeins which adds a lot of the liveliness. I really felt that I wanted to have a go at creating something so colourful and 'joyful' either following one of the authors designs - A Rare Songbird, A Tasty Bite of Apple, Yellow Landscape - or even making up one of my own.

-- Anne Sandwell * Sew Region Magazine *

This latest title from textile artist Laura is a feast of colour. Useful advice on materials and tools is followed by detailed instructions for twenty-one popular stitches, each illustrated in full colour. There are six gorgeous projects to stitch, all very compact and achievable, using a wide variety of different threads in delicious bright colours. Full sized templates are included where required with helpful suggestions for further projects. A delightful book suitable for all abilities.

-- Embroiderers Guild * Embroiderers Guild *

Joyful Stitching offers a bright and colorful, simple approach to embroidery combined with wool felt and applique. If you love wool felt, applique, a folksy look, embroidery, texture, and color, Laura's projects will be right up your stitching alley!

Lovely presentation in color, good instruction, fun projects, very accessible to beginners and terrific even for advanced embroiderers who want to simplify and rev things up with a lot of color!

-- Mary Corbet * Needle 'n Thread *

This is the ideal book for anybody who thinks that embroidery is too "quiet" for them. Perhaps it conjures up images of florals and practical items such as tea towels? As it says on the cover with this book you can learn how to "transform fabric with improvisational embroidery" and have a lot of fun in the process.

As soon as I saw the bright, folk art inspired image of a bird on the cover it made me want to start stitching. As the author says in her introduction you can really bring fabric to life with embroidery and the projects in here all demonstrate this. Most books on freestyle embroidery use 6-strand floss on cotton or linen, but this one uses perle thread on silk, wool and felt. The author also uses a lot of variegated skeins which adds a lot of the liveliness and also omits having to buy a very large number of shades of each color. The book starts with a brief overview as well as a section on what you need and how to use it. This includes how to use perle thread, methods of transferring designs to silk, wool and felt and buying the right needles and fabric. Each stitch is then shown in several good sized captioned photographs; these are easy to follow and I like the contrast between thread and fabric. Stitches are listed alphabetically and comprise all the basic freestyle stitches plus a few useful extras. The rest of the book contains the six projects which are wonderfully bright depictions of an apple, bird, heart filled with flowers, stylized plants, hand of fortune and a landscape with a house and lake. Each project covers several pages and contains a fair number of captioned photographs, list of what you need complete with a photograph of the threads plus instructions on finishing. The projects are pictures rather than functional items to be enjoyed as they are. US embroiderers can buy the variegated threads, hand dyed fabrics and even kits of the projects in the author's online store; those in other countries will need to look elsewhere. This aside I found this to be a beautiful and inspiring book, ideal for anybody of any level who wants to see where freestyle embroidery can take them.

-- Rachel Hyde * *

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