Good morning, my friends!
A Happy Monday all around, and Happy Veteran’s Day (well, yesterday, really)! If you’re enjoying a three-day weekend – perhaps you’ve got a whole extra day to devote to your needle and thread! – be thankful to the people who made that possible. (Thanks, Dad!)
Today, I’m going to review for you a hefty but incredibly beautiful book. This book combines projects and instructions into an artistic, gorgeous format that makes the book a showpiece in its own right.
If you ever wanted needlework to make a statement to the wider world – to the world that might not appreciate needlework in itself, but that appreciates beauty in a simple yet inspirational setting – then this is the book to present. It’s definitely a creative twist on the typical embroidery project book.
The book is A Passion for Needlework: Factoria VII, from Inspirations Studio.
You might be wondering about the “Factoria VII” part of the title of this book, so I’ll get that out of the way right now.
Factoria VII is a small, unique cottage hidden away in the hills of rural South Australia. It has a history to it, which you can read about in the book. The cottage, refurbished and incredibly charming and peaceful, makes an ideal setting for the twelve needlework gems featured in the book.
Photography plays a major role in the whole presentation of A Passion for Needlework: Factoria VII. The book is eye-catching and exquisite – it’s a piece of visual art, with needlework as the focus. There’s a little bit to read in the book, but mostly, between the covers, it’s a serene escape into a different world.
It’s a hard-bound book, with a linen-like binding on the spine. It sports a nice ribbon marker, too.
And the book is large. It’s substantial. Think: Ideal Coffee Table Book.
As embroiderers, though, we want to know what’s in the book!
There are twelve embroidery projects presented here, with everything you need to know to recreate them.
In the first part of the book, the “Gallery,” the projects are displayed throughout Factoria VII, photographed in creative ways to tie the needlework into the setting. It’s really very ingenious – and very pretty! I’m guessing the photographer must have had fun!
We get nice close-ups of the needlework, too. It’s not all about the beautiful setting, after all – it’s about needlework in the setting!
The projects cover a whole range of needlework techniques and abilities. The Flower Pots pictured two up feature stumpwork atop lids on little “pots.” And there’s crewel embroidery (pictured directly above).
Red Currants is a free-standing dimensional embroidery project.
And the chicken in the kitchen is a bonus!
It could be the time of year, or it could just be the red factor … but I think Red Currants is my favorite project in the book!
(Actually, it’s hard to pick a favorite!)
Modern and striking, this splash of color in needlepainting is breathtaking!
Le Magnolia is the design of Catherine Laurençon of France – her work is ever enchanting!
Combining charm and function, this Versailles chatelaine set is evocative of the Louis eras of Versailles, yet it maintains a kind of cottage feel with its strips of roses and trellis fillings.
It’s very sweet!
You’ll find a lovely Reticella Sampler detailed in the book, for those who love needle lace.
What I especially like about this sampler is that it is large enough to cover techniques in a challenging way, but small enough to be manageable.
If I were picking one project from the book that I’d be most likely to do – to practice the techniques and enjoy the challenge – it would either be this project or the other whitework one detailed below.
Hazel Blomkamp makes a recognizable appearance with a lovely footstool cover (it could also be a cushion cover, or a framed piece).
As always, the design is exuberant and full of variety. The color choice keeps it subtle and soft. A fun project for those who like lots of stitch variety!
Another small but manageable project here, in whitework and needle lace techniques. I love the finishing details on this!
This is the second of the two projects I’d be most likely to do out of this book. There’s something about the crisp linen and the white-on-white that beckons me right now. Plus, it’s a manageable size in techniques that I’d find interesting, challenging, and instructive.
For the counted needlework enthusiast and the lover of serviceable stitching accessories, the Edinburgh Etui features a fantastic collection of finished needlework accessories that tuck into a serviceable and decorative box.
Nicola Jarvis also makes a recognizable appearance in the book, with one of her floral encrusted creatures – a linnet in a gilded cage, featuring a combination of different techniques including goldwork.
This exquisite piece, Blackwell Roundel, features goldwork, bead embroidery, shading and other stitches, a little appliqué – some of everything, in a small space and a tasteful design.
In the book, it’s accents the front of a little “pins & needles” cabinet of sorts (it almost looks like a clock body for a very arts-and-crafts style mantel clock), with a drawer in the front and a pin cushion on top.
I want this.
And finally, a pair of vivid bee-eaters, in needlepainting, by Renette Kumm of South Australia!
Those are the projects featured in Factoria VII – they cover a wide range of techniques and skill levels and they are just waiting for you!
And of course, there are instructions!
The second part of the book is devoted to the instructions. You’ll find complete materials lists for every project…
…along with step by step instructions (with diagrams and tips) for completing each project.
In the back of the book, you’ll find a simple stitch dictionary…
…as well as a pocket with a pull-out pattern sheet for all the projects.
For those who want a matching set, the newest edition of A Passion for Needlework (Factoria VII) and the first volume of A Passion for Needlework are both available with hard covers with fabric spines, as shown above. The hard copy of the first volume is called the “deluxe edition,” if you’re looking for it.
I previously reviewed the first volume, A Passion for Needlework here, if you want to read my review. Both books feature unique-to-them projects.
Both books are beautiful. They are delightful for needleworkers and non-needleworkers alike, so they’re the kinds of books you’ll want out in your house, where friends and family can browse through them and grow in their appreciation for all things needle and thread!
Where to Find
I don’t want to sound pushy, but if you want this book, get it now. I don’t know if there are plans to reprint it, but it has sold out through some regular suppliers already.
Amazon carries A Passion for Needlework, Factoria VII here.
Worldwide with free shipping, you can find it available here through Book Depository.
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