Book Review – The Gentle Art of Stitching

Gentle Art of Stitching Book CoverOnce again, I come to you offering a glimpse into a simply beautiful book. In The Gentle Art of Stitching (A20786) by Jane Brocket, the subtitle offers “40 projects inspired by everyday beauty.” However, the book is so much more than a project book. You’ll find instructions and contemporary twists on age old traditional techniques. Buttons, cross stitch, embroidery, needlepoint, and sashiko are all represented here. All this and more are just waiting for you to enjoy in this lovely book.

The chapter entitled “Haberdashery” offers ideas for recycling and upcycling items you already have at home. This is one of my favorite things to do, using old items in new ways. My only problem is knowing how to store all of these sometimes oddly shaped, often singular items. Brocket offers suggestions on this as well as directing the reader to other potentially helpful resources.

Sashiko stitching

I’ve heard or read “Sashiko” mentioned quite a bit but have never investigated what it really means until now. Sashiko is “an ancient form of stitching from Japan, a form of darning … used to reinforce and patch worn and damaged clothing. … The distinctive look of sashiko comes from the consistency, and the visibility of the stitching combined with the vast number of patterns – ancient and modern – to which it can be applied.” (p. 18) Personally, I think the geometric patterns are what draw me to this art style. I will definitely be ordering myself a kit to try this style of stitching very soon.

Needlepoint Pin CushionsAnyone who can take a craft such as needlepoint, and make it look interesting and dare I say, modern, is impressive in my book. It’s nice to be able to learn from other’s experiences and the author’s work with needlepoint is just such an opportunity. She’s broken down the process into only it’s most integral steps and created several stunning, yet simple, projects for you to try.

Kantha QuiltOne thing I’ve been challenged by since working at a quilt shop is how to use Kaffe Fassett’s fabrics in projects for my own home. I’ve not yet allowed myself to buy any because I really just haven’t known what in the world to do with it. I may have found my answer in the Seasonal Kantha Quilt projects. The simple stitching is just the foil for the bold, colorful fabric.

We all can use opportunities to slow down from the hectic pace of life that we live now. Overall, I think it’s the “gentleness” of this book which appeals to me the most by offering just such an opportunity.  The author manages to make all of the different, very disparate craft types easily accessible to all. From cross stitch to kantha, there truly is something for everyone.

By the way, if you’re still wondering which design I chose to use with my log cabin squares, here it is! Log Cabin - Final

The Straight Furrows design won out over the others this time. It was simply soothing to the eyes which, I thought, is what the fabric combinations were suggesting.

(To find an item on our web page after clicking on the highlighted words, hold down the “Ctrl” key and touch F. Enter the item number in the box, press enter, and you’ll be taken to that item.)

Remember, you can see What’s New at Erica’s almost every day! Any page of our website has a column on the left that tells you where to find things, and all you have to do is look for “New Items” in purple, and click to find out.

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