Just Stitch

Turpin-Delport, Lesley and Nikki Delport-Wepener
Welgemoed, South Africa, Metz Press, 2007 ISBN: 978 1 919992 81 5 160 pages 

 I have never reviewed a book published so long ago. I noticed it on the new books list online from Auckland Libraries, requested it and fell in love with it – so much so that I have ordered a copy for myself. 

As always, I read the introduction which explains why the authors wrote the book and how they have chosen to set it out. They start out with ‘the sewing basket’, which is a list of suggested materials you may find inspiring, rather than just a definitive list of what you need, although those items are also included. The next section (38 pages long) is aptly named ‘new dimensions – exciting techniques’. It describes many methods, some familiar, some novel, which are used to accomplish the lovely embroideries. It is a section which you could refer to when designing your own work, both for inspiration and for ways of realising your own vision. 

 The next and largest part of the book has been divided into twelve colours. Each colour comes with two projects, one simple and one quite adventurous, again, beautiful photographs illustrate each idea. However, there is plenty of scope to interpret each project your own way, using threads and materials you already have in your stash. Close up photos show clearly the detail of some elements. The book concludes with a dictionary of stitches used and many templates.  This book is about using a variety of ideas, some familiar, some new to me, to produce gorgeous mixed media embroideries. Although I’ve not tried any out yet, the instructions look clear and are beautifully illustrated with coloured photos and black and white diagrams. Some of the designs are a bit OTT for my taste, but we are all different and so are our preferences. 

Erica Marsden