on 12 January 2001
Stumpwork Dragonflies by Jane Nicholas
This is the third book on stumpwork by Jane Nicholas. Prompted by the idea of a fellow stitcher Jane embarked on creating a specimen box. She says in her introduction that "what started as a collection of insects in one specimen box, rapidly expanded into a collection of specific insects grouped according to order and suborder, in a series of boxes!". The first specimen box to be completed was the dragonfly box and so the book was born. The book begins with Natural History and this chapter charts a brief history of the dragonfly and details information on their anatomy and their natural habitat and the differences between dragonflies and damselflies. This chapter is followed by one about how these insects have been used through the ages in embroidery, this also includes 8 samples of dragonflies in different embroidery styles, complete with traceable patterns and a list of the stitches used. Next is a section with further design sources for dragonflies with a few project ideas. After all this background information comes the specimen box of 9 dragonflies, each has a page to itself which lists the Latin name, information particular to that insect and its habitat etc, plus a list of the bits and pieces needed to create it in stumpwork. A detailed section follows this on how to embroider the dragonflies. Then there are three project ideas for your finished insects. From start to finish this book is clearly laid out with detailed instructions for each section. An interesting book to read even if you don't think you could stitch any of these intricate little creatures. My only suggestion would be that a couple more project ideas would be nice for stitchers who may not have the confidence to design their own. Initially I thought the price was a bit high for a fairly slim volume compared to her previous books, but reading through you can see the immense amount of work and Jane's attention to detail make it well worth it.
on 14 June 2010
I actually bought this book for a friend who is a quilting fanatic and who also loves dragonflies. I thought she could make little dragonfly embellishments for appropriate quilts, which have been made as wallhangings rather than a functioning quilt. She was absolute delighted and says she loves this book, so I think I can safely say it is a hit.