This book is such an inspiration, as Jan shares fascinating information about how she prepares and creates her projects. There is so much detail in her Expressive techniques, including Dyeing fabric & threads, Printing, Stamping & stencilling, Embellisher, Applique, Free-motion embroidery, Expressive hand stitches, Historical & world sewing techniques plus Experimental embellishments.
This is then illustrated through her beautiful Expressive Projects including Stitched Landscape, Stitched Landscape Gallery, Memory Cloth, Memory Cloth Gallery, Bird Sculpture, Bird Sculpture Gallery. A wonderful creative book! Highly Recommended!
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An experienced tutor, Jan Dowson has covered a lot of ground with this book, which takes an in-depth look at ways of using stitch to express an idea or portray a mood. Beginning with sections on materials (including basic art supplies for mixed media), inspiration and an excellent section on recording, it also covers colour, markmaking and hand and machine stitch.
The section, 'Developing expressive work', covers initial design and the colouring of thread and fabrics. The basics of printing, stamping, and using stencils, are touched upon before we move on to the delights of the embellisher and sewing machine. This section also covers stitch techniques such as free machining, applique, and hand stitching. It is in the last of these that I feel we come to the heart of Jan's work with some delightful finished pieces and small samplers illustrating the stitches shown.
There is a section on 'Expressive Projects' and, while not a fan of projects, I can see the logic in Jan's assertion that they can be a great starting point for a more personal piece of work geared to the interests of the reader. I like the way Jan has pulled together the previous sections of the book here, with step-by-steps on landscapes and memory cloths. It's easy to see how your own versions of these could interpret your own expressions of landscape and memory.
The small section on using 'experimental embellishments' such as feathers, twigs and so on, merited more than just a double-page spread. I enjoyed the book for its honest, down to earth approach, relying less on quick fixes and more on feeling and emotion. You are probably familiar with most of the techniques but Jan's wise words about your relaxing into your stitching (especially hand stitching) and shutting out the world for a while have special resonance in these troubled times.
-- Maggie Grey * D4Daisy.com *
When a book guarantees awe-inspiring results, it's hard not to be curious - and we sure are glad we took a look inside this one. The pages are filled with step-by-step instructions, guiding you through how to create magnificent stitched representations of some of your happiest memories. Author Jan Dowson is an award-winning textile art tutor and artist, so you can be certain you're learning from the best.
* Sew Magazine *