This book represents a beginning. If you are new to embroidery, it’s the start of a brand, new adventure into the world of embroidery. If you already have experience with embroidery and the stitches mentioned here, your beginning point is somewhere else. If you don’t already view your embroiderer’s journey as an adventure, it’s time to start! Wherever you find yourself, you have a pack of new ideas and inspiration in this book to guide you along your way. The new approach to embroidery presented here will give you a new beginning point for making your work more personal, more interesting, and more expressive.
The idea behind this book is to go beyond the average embroidery stitch guide and even a step beyond the typical pattern books. The goal is for you, the stitcher, to take a new and different approach to your embroidery.
From the start you are presented with the idea that embroidery is more than just bringing the needle up and down through a fabric following lines, following directions. Instead embroidery is a journey, a very personal one. Perhaps your goal is making a few cute things for young children or a few decorations for your home, you will benefit from training your skills in recognizing the possibilities that embroidery offers you to be creative and find new ways express yourself. Small wall or clothing decorations are an expression of you. It’s worth the time to make them personal.
Embroidery is an artform, and like all artforms, it gives us the opportunity to express ourselves, to show the world our point of view, our experience. Remember this as you read and work the exercises. I will come back to this theme later in the book.
Take the chance to learn the stitches, not just how they are formed, but how you can alter and vary them a bit. Use the media, the yarns, flosses and threads, as well as the fabric to make your work interesting. In art, lines are more than just lines, they have the ability to convey feelings and thoughts without words. With your needle and threads, you have an endless variety of different types of lines at your disposal. Make samplers, make ATCs (artist trading cards) and postcards. These small projects are great for practicing and learning new stitches and techniques, which will help you grow.
An important point to keep in mind is that there are really no rules. There are ideas and techniques that have evolved over time that are often very helpful and time-saving. However, there is no reason you can’t throw them all out and make your own set of rules. It’s your stitching, and you are free to do as you like. Why not pick up the odd bits and pieces from your life and make a unique and personal project from them. It can be unusual or traditional, your choice.
This book is designed with a beginner in mind. However, the experienced stitcher may find a new, wonderfully creative way to think about embroidery. It never hurts to go back to the basics, and look at the stitches and your embroidery in general with new eyes. Perhaps this time you will see some possibilities that you have missed. These possibilites will allow you to develop your own personal style.
You may feel at this point that the goal is that you start making all your own designs, and maybe that isn’t a direction you want to go. This isn’t at all the intention of this book. Rather it’s really all about the stitches, not the patterns you choose. If you use someone else’s design, you can find ways to make it personal and express yourself and create an original interpretation of the pattern through the stitches themselves. After all, an embroidery pattern is really just lines, it’s up to you what those lines become.
One final comment for the beginner. In this book, I have made some references to stitches outside the scope of this book. Do not be troubled by them. If you continue the embroiderer’s journey, in time you will learn them. And there is nothing to say that you can’t research them yourself and start learning them right away! Beginners often find they can create amazing works. You just need to believe in yourself.
There is much for all of us to learn, so now is the time to begin!