Monday 4 February 2019

Writing a book on thread painting and silk shading.

So, I have published a book.

It has been a long time in the making. In fact nearly two years of ' In the making'. This is not down to me being slow at writing or making, it is just how long it took me to plan, design, stitch, photograph, describe and edit the intricacies of thread painting and silk shading and as I am a perfectionist it took as long as it took!!!

Luckily I was asked to write a book by Crowood Press on my favourite embroidery subject, I am not sure I would have accepted or enjoyed 65,000 words on the history of English Smocking for example. That sounds a lot of words, when said out loud, BUT I could have written double that. I found there was so much to say and explain and point out, I wanted people to be totally sure on how to apply the principles of thread painting to their own projects.

I have to say I loved every minute of writing it, I am not saying it did not have it stresses. It did. One project which was to recreate an eighteenth century dandelion motif from a mans waistcoat took three attempts before I was happy with the result. I am glad I took the time to get the technique perfect so it is easy for the reader to replicate. 

The front cover of the book featuring the Japanese style project  describes a padding technique on the outer edges and uses flat silk floss. The background fabric is an antique kimono silk which added great texture to the cover.
The book covers everything you could possibly need to know about thread painting; inspiration, colour theory, setting up frames, what threads to use and then twenty step by step projects.
The projects are very varied, you can work a simple feather, stitch a London sky line or learn how to use real peacock feathers in a seventeenth century style project. 

The motif on this project is from an antique Chinese panel, it sits on a paper envelope of silk threads and uses french knots for texture. Although it is a very simple idea the motif is striking when contrasting colours are used for the petals. Again this project uses silk floss.

Throughout the book are photographs of historical and differing cultural examples of silk shading which I have sourced from The Royal School of Needlework and other private collections, the motif above is seen many times in antique Chinese embroidery to create a simple but effective flower shapes.  
A more advanced project, this sprig of hydrangea flowers is stitched over wire and then cut out. It uses DMC variations threads to create all those wonderful shades. 

This is the London Gherkin being worked in tapestry shading. It shows the lines of split stitch that are embroidered first before being covered in long and short stitch. This ensures a smooth edge.

The book is for beginners and advanced stitchers alike. Beginners will find every stage of long and short stitch and the projects fully explained and illustrated with step by steps. Experienced embroiderers will find lots of little tips scattered throughout to help them improve their thread painting and general embroidery and ways to use my designs to adapt to their own ideas.

 Please get in touch using the contact section on the side of this page with any questions or to let me know what you think of the book if you have bought it. At the moment it is available in the UK and USA on Amazon and later this year the rest of Europe, Far East and beyond. I hope you enjoy it. Click here to see and buy the book on Amazon.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Margot. I have your book and I think it is simply wonderful. The instructions are so clear and the pictures are beautiful. Thank you for giving us such a wonderful resource, the next best thing to actually having you in the room,