Author(s): Elizabeth Healey
Experiment with stitch, fabric and thread to create your own unique textiles. This inventive book is a treasure trove of over 40 inspiring practical exercises, a rich and creative exploration of fabric and stitch, and a fascinating all-round read. Elizabeth Healey's approach to sewing is that it should be fun, and not like a chore or an exam we need to excel in. Her aim is to simply encourage you to pick up a needle and thread and get sewing! The exercises draw inspiration from around the world: create corded works of art inspired by Milton Glaser's iconic Bob Dylan poster; create bold embroidered African masks; layer up and cut away to create Mola applique; use bleach and fabric paint to create Aboriginal dreamtime lizards; create knotted works of art inspired by ancient Mayan counting systems; embroider varsity cross-stitch letters or try out decorative Japanese book binding. Alternatively, try a host of other techniques such as quilting, printing, dyeing, couching tumbled crockery, creating pleats and puckers and needlelace. Packed with stitch galleries and bursting with slow sewing ideas, the book also contains 'behind the stitches' features: illuminating insights into sewing movements such as Boro textiles, Gee's Bend quilting and Dorset buttons.
Elizabeth Healey originally trained as a graphic designer at the London College of Printing, after which she worked in various design groups before defecting to the world of illustrated books. For as long as she can remember she has made things - usually with yarn or cloth, but sometimes with paper and clay. She is particularly interested in utility stitching and tries to use recycled textiles wherever possible, in a way that looks fresh, modern and urban rather than old and fusty. Elizabeth has contributed articles to the following magazines: Knitting, Making, Crafty, Felt Matters and Pretty Patches. You can see examples of her work on her blog: www.elizabethsquarters.blogspot.co.uk
Introduction 6 Before the stitches 8 Tools: everything or nothing 10 How a sewing machine works 12 The importance of sketchbooks 13 What is thread? 14 What is fabric? 16 Colour 20 Behind the stitches: The quilters of Gee's Bend 22 Altered images 24 Toning it down 26 Humble stitches 28 Straight ahead: running stitches 30 Exploring straight stitches 32 Lovely jubbly 36 Pojagi patchwork 38 Intentionally random 40 Kantha fishes 42 Behind the stitches: Boro textiles 44 Visible mending 46 A leaf out of my book 48 Type matters 50 Varsity letters 52 African mask 54 Colourful cords 56 String theory 58 In the loop: chain and blanket stitches 60 Exploring blanket and chain stitches 62 Japanese binding 66 Behind the stitches: Saving your pennies 70 Penny wall hanging 72 Fluxus & mail art 74 Stitched memories 76 Silhouette-a-hula 78 Stitching on knits 80 Texture: introduction to raised stitches 82 Exploring raised stitches 84 Mini quilt 88 Drawing with Stitch 90 Dreamtime lizard 92 Seamless repetition 94 Talking knots 96 Natural dyes 98 Behind the stitches: The rise and fall of Buttony 100 Making buttons 102 More than stitches 104 Shibori 106 Pleats, folds and pinches 108 Texture and illusion 112 Worn and loved 114 Behind the stitches: Mola reverse applique 116 Mola: chicken or egg? 118 Chunky rouleaux 122 Drawn thread 124 Behind the stitches: Marriage quilts 126 Trapunto Graffiti 128 Gathered Circles of Joy 130 Behind the stitches: Not to be sniffed at 132 A Christening gift 134 Mirror, mirror 136 Mudlarking 138 Fibonacci flower 140 The poor sewer's embellisher 142 Paisley Park 144 The stitches 146 Templates 152 Glossary 158 Further Reading 159 Index 160