Stumpwork & Goldwork Embroidery Inspired by Turkish, Syrian & Persian Tiles by Jane Nicholas finally arrived! And I’m pretty darned excited to show you this beautiful book!
I’ll start with a teaser of the endpapers in the book:
Pretty, eh? I just love endpapers.
Stumpwork Tiles is definitely a project book. That is, if you are already somewhat familiar with stumpwork & goldwork and you’re looking for some exciting projects, this is a great book for that! There are 16 projects in the book, featuring a combination of stumwork, goldwork, and beads.
The book is a hard-cover tome, and it isn’t a little book. It’s just short of an inch thick, and checks in at 271 pages.
The author launches straight into the projects, which she has divided into four categories: Turkish tulip tile designs, Persian peony tile designs, Syrian pomegranate tile designs, and Islamic miscellaneous designs. Each project begins with a title page and a photo of the finished project.
The design is supplied as a line drawing, to be traced or photocopied at the size given (there’s one exception, I think, for piece that has to be enlarged on the photocopier). Along with the various instructions, there are pictures peppering the whole book – pictures of variations on the designs in the book, little close up photos of different elements of the designs, and so forth. The book, in short, is very colorful.
Following the line drawing, you’ll find a thorough list of supplies for the entire project.
The supply list is followed by a breakdown of the project into its various sections, which correspond with the order of stitching. Each section begins again with a supply list just for that section of the project, and then continues with step-by-step written instructions on stitching the project.
This is not a technique book – the instructions for stitching assume that there is some understanding of basic stitchery and of stumpwork. You won’t find step-by-step photos of each element in a project being stitched. Rather, the instructions are written out, and occasionally they are clarified by small line drawings in the margins.
The line drawings provide suitable instruction for the intermediate embroiderer or for the very determined beginner. (For beginners who really want to try these projects, I’d suggest starting with Jane Nicholas’s Stumpwork Embroidery, which has more detailed instruction.)
Following the projects, there is a section titled “Techniques” that covers everything from mounting your ground fabric in an embroidery hoop to placing mounting your finished piece in a glass paperweight. There are all kinds of hints in here that can be applied to all kinds of embroidery projects.
I really like the page on equipment, which covers what should be in a well-equipped work basket.
Finally, at the end of the book, there’s a stitch dictionary that covers all the stitches used in the various projects.
My favorite aspect of the book is, of course, the various projects. They’re so rich and colorful. But within the projects, what I like best of all is the variety of edge treatments. I love the way Jane Nicholas combines different goldwork threads, colored flosses, and beads to make those gorgeous edges on each project! Another thing I like is the fact that there is a range of projects, from smaller, simpler designs to the larger more complex designs.
If you’re a beginner who has never done stumpwork or goldwork, this might not be the book to start with, unless you’re one of those really enthused beginners with a basic knowledge of stitchery. If you’re into goldwork and stumpwork, and you like the look of these designs (if you love vibrant, rich colors and the sparkle of gold!), then chances are, you’ll love this book!
You can find kits to go along with the projects in the book at Jane Nicholas’s website. If you browse through her list of kits that go along with this particular book, you’ll get a good idea of all the projects in the book, too, so it’s worth stopping by her site for a visit!