Tuesday, 31 January 2017

1 Year of Stitches - Mary Thomas's Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches

As some of you may know this year I have taken on the 1 Year of Stitch challenge, stitching each day in an embroidery hoop in order to help me improve my hand embroidery, which to be honest I have always shied away from because basically I don't know very many stitches. To my rescue then has come my 1948 vintage edition of Mary Thomas's Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches I bought off Ebay a few years ago.


First printed in 1934 the book pictures and describes over 300 embroidery stitches covering just about everything that can be done with a needle and thread. My idea is to plough through the book page by page, trying out every stitch in my embroidery hoop. Sounds simple enough but am I being a bit too ambitious here or maybe just naive? On reading through just the first few pages it strikes me that I really am a complete novice as embroidery is a minefield of techniques such as Applique, Patchwork, Darning, Quilting, Blackwork, Broderie Anglaise, Hardanger, Smocking and Tapestry to name but a few. 



The book is wonderfully illustrated throughout with the method clearly described but what I really love about the book is that sprinkled in amongst the stitches are these funny little caricatures, drawn by Margaret Agutter, amusing little vignettes to match the theme of some of the stitches like these shown below: 
 











To quote Mary Thomas, "Stitches are the 'scales and exercises' of embroidery."  So I guess I had better go and practice my scales.
she covers just about everything that can be done to fabric with a needle and thread, including Appliqué, Cutwork, Patchwork, Assisi cross stitch, Filet darning, Quilting, Blackwork, Hardanger embroidery, Smocking, Broderie Anglaise, Jacobean embroidery, and Tapestry. - See more at: http://store.doverpublications.com/0486245306.html#sthash.jumEGTrE.dpuf

indeed, she covers just about everything that can be done to fabric with a needle and thread, including Appliqué, Cutwork, Patchwork, Assisi cross stitch, Filet darning, Quilting, Blackwork, Hardanger embroidery, Smocking, Broderie Anglaise, Jacobean embroidery, and Tapestry. - See more at: http://store.doverpublications.com/0486245306.html#sthash.jumEGTrE.dpuf
she covers just about everything that can be done to fabric with a needle and thread, including Appliqué, Cutwork, Patchwork, Assisi cross stitch, Filet darning, Quilting, Blackwork, Hardanger embroidery, Smocking, Broderie Anglaise, Jacobean embroidery, and Tapestry. - See more at: http://store.doverpublications.com/0486245306.html#sthash.jumEGTrE.dpuf

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