If you love stumpwork embroidery, if you love flowers, and if you have a bit of a penchant for historical embroidery, literature, poetry… then you’ll definitely want to know about Jane Nicholas’s new stumpwork book, Shakespeare’s Flowers in Stumpwork, which is due out soon, soon, soon!
I’m so excited about this book! And on so many levels.
Stumpwork. Flowers. History. Literature. Poetry. Shakespeare. I’m a sucker for all of the above.
But really, it’s Jane’s exquisite artistry with the needle that seals them all up into such an appealing package.
When daisies pied and violets blue
And lady-smocks all silver-white
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
Do paint the meadows with delight…
Shakespeare’s poetry is jam-packed with references to flowers. The lines above from Love’s Labours Lost are a favorite. They’re so pretty, despite the rest of the song. I’ve always wanted to illuminate them. Paint them. Stitch them. Or do something with them.
And I’m so glad that Jane has done that with stumpwork.
(Especially because I have no idea what cuckoo-buds are. I think he made the name up – he was prone to doing things like that.)
I haven’t seen the book yet – I’m waiting eagerly for it – but I promise that as soon as it’s in my grimy little paws, I’ll work up a detailed review for you.
Based on Jane’s other books, though (I have them all), I have no doubt this book will be exquisite.
The Contents of Shakespeare’s Flowers
Shakespeare’s Flowers in Stumpwork is divided into five sections. Here are the content details:
Part 1: A border of Shakespeare’s flowers, apothecary rose, barberries, bellflower, borage, cornflower, gillyflower, grapevine, heartsease, knapweed, periwinkle plum, redcurrants, strawberry, and sweet briar.
Part 2: Shakespeare’s Flowers: The Samplers
Sampler One: Sweet Briar, Grapevine, Heartsease and Strawberries
Sampler Two: Apothecary Rose, Borage, Cornflower and Redcurrants
Sampler Three: Gillyflower, Periwinkle, Plums and Barberries
Part 3: Elizabethan Flower Panel, bluebell, crab apple, honeysuckle, Lancaster rose, pea pod and primrose
Part 4: Garland of Spring Flowers, English daisy, Forget-me-nots, wild pansies and snowdrops
Part 5: Techniques, equipment, stitch glossary, framing up with hoops or frames, working with wire, materials and equipment
What I’ve found with every one of Jane’s books is that they’re not just embroidery books.
Ok, they are embroidery books. But they’re So Much More!
They’re works of art on their own. They’re dream books. They’re sources of inspiration. They’re picture books, coffee table books, pleasure books. You can just flip them through and they make you happy!
They’re also technically and precisely well written. But they’re not usually heavy on detailed, instructional images, so if you’re new to stumpwork all around, you might start a little lighter, with some of the recommendations below.
Recommendations for Beginners
If you are an absolute beginner to stumpwork, Shakespeare’s Flowers, like several of Jane’s other books, might not be the place to start.
Don’t get me wrong, though. If you’re already pretty familiar with surface embroidery and comfortable with stitching in general, and you’re a determined beginner in stumpwork, I think you can handle Jane’s books.
But if you’re a beginner in embroidery in general and you’ve never done stumpwork, I’d recommend Stumpwork Flowers by Sachiko Morimoto for your first foray into embroidering stumpwork flowers. The projects in that book are small, simple projects that will help you achieve good results.
I’d also recommend investing in the RSN Essential Stitch Guide to Stumpwork, to use as a handy reference.
Shakespeare’s Flowers – Where to Find It
You can order the book through the following book affiliates:
In the US, you’ll find Shakespeare’s Flowers in Stumpwork available through Amazon.
Worldwide, you can find Shakespeare’s Flowers available through Book Depository.
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