Tuesday, 8 August 2017

The Hand-Stitched Surface, by Lynn Krawczyk. Review.

Slow Stitching and Mixed-Media Techniques for Fabric and Paper

By Lynn Krawczyk

Creative Publishing International 2017

Paperback  £16.99 UK/ $24.99 US / $32.99 CAN

ISBN 978-1-58923-942-5

Star rating: ****

Lynn Krawczyk is a mixed media artist whose embroidered boho creations radiate folk art warmth. The particular good news for us is that she has honed her techniques for embroidering on paper – and is sharing her secrets with us, in this delightful new book (which covers both paper and fabric embroidery).

The “Up Front” section of this book is top notch. There’s an invaluable chapter on “Tools and Tips for Stitching on Paper”, where you will be introduced to the screw punch (a handmade-book-maker’s hand tool for drilling holes in card), awl, and hand-held hole punch (probably already your bestie, if you are a papercrafter). There’s a capsule stitch directory and a plethora of tips. You will learn how to transfer the design on to the surface to be embroidered (be it paper or fabric).

The author’s style has a spontaneous, ad hoc appearance, but of course, if you are stitching on paper the stitching holes must first be pierced – so every design is actually carefully considered.  

The projects are grouped into fabric projects and paper projects.The paper embroidery projects are Stitched Botanical Note Card, Stamped and Stitched Book Ribbon, Embellished Photos, Paper Succulent Garden, Mended-Paper Painting, Origami  Candy Catcher, and Moon Phase Calendar. These projects incorporate techniques that, as a paper crafter, you already love – such as making home made rubber stamps and collage. The Mended Paper Painting elevates sock darning technique to new heights (get weaving!). 

If you have never embroidered before, have no fear. The projects are user-friendly   never over-whelmingly complicated. They are about an appreciation of materials and technique. Clock the beauty of a frayed edge,  the juxtaposition of colours (the author is a a fab colourist).

The fabric projects include Stitched Buttons (yay!), Boho Collage Coasters (mandala-look!), and a Doodle Love Lap Quilt.

Same-size pattern templates are provided back-of-book, but the strength of this book is providing  foundation skills for your own creative adventures.

This book jumps on the slow-crafting/meditative bandwagon, which I am always a little skeptical about because any absorbing craft releases those beneficial alpha waves, so why state the obvious ?... but  hey, mellow OK. :D

The book emphasizes the portability of hand-stitched projects. So if you are going on a peaceful, bucolic holiday sometime soon – that could be the ideal time to get stitching. Or, just set aside your own craft oasis during the wonderfully slow days of August.

Note: I was provided with a review copy of this title.