Thursday, May 31, 2012

New Canvaswork by Jill Carter

First Line: Today's canvas work (also known as needlepoint) can be anything you want it to be, so banish any of your preconceived ideas of it being restrictive and take pleasure in all that is canvas.

I can see the looks on your faces now. Why on earth is a book about needlepoint being reviewed on a crime fiction blog? Because (1) I don't just read crime fiction and feel the need to remind everyone of that once in a blue moon, and (2) I enjoyed this book so much that I wanted to share it with many of  my readers who also indulge in "fiber arts."

Occasionally on Fridays you'll see a photo of something I've made included in my weekly link round-ups. Recently I made two items and mailed them to a friend in the UK. She insisted on paying me for them. After much hair pulling, I gave her the authors and titles of a few English books that I would love to accept in trade. New Canvaswork is one of the books she sent me. After opening the package, I immediately sat down with this and began reading.

In the past few years, I've felt the need to explore and broaden my horizons. From merely following the directions on someone else's patterns, I've begun designing my own, and I've also begun amassing a collection of buttons, beads, ribbons and other trims. Colors and textures have begun having even more meaning for me. Let me tell you, this entire book fires my imagination!

One of many illustrations in New Canvaswork
Carter includes overviews of all the different types of canvas that can be used as well as a small stitch encyclopedia, but the main emphasis in New Canvaswork is on what you can do to a piece of canvas to turn it into a very personal-- and beautiful-- work of art. She offers up many different ways to color the foundation canvas (fusible web, transfer paints, and decorative papers are three examples) and to choose different fibers, threads and yarns to interpret the imagery. If that weren't enough, she also shows how to incorporate beads and embroidery stitches to further embellish your canvas.

This book is not meant to be a step-by-step guide but rather an inspiration. I found myself drooling over the many illustrations in the book, but better yet, I found myself in my craft room going through yarns, threads and embellishments, and planning future wall hangings for the family room.

If you ply a needle-- like me-- and would like some instant inspiration, get your hands on a copy of this book. (And don't be at all surprised if you find yourself heading off to your favorite craft store!)

New Canvaswork: Creative Techniques in Needlepoint by Jill Carter
ISBN: 9780713489750
Batsford Ltd.  ©2007
Hardcover, 128 pages

Genre: Non-Fiction, Crafts
Rating: A
Source: Gift


  1. Cathy - What a visual feast! I so much admire people who are able to create like that!


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