Tuesday 20 October 2015

Slow Stitch

Slow Stitch by Claire Wellesley-Smith
Published by Batsford
3rd September 2015
Hardback Edition
This lovely book by the talented Claire Wellesley-Smith caught my eye a few weeks ago, and I was lucky enough to be sent a copy by the publishers at Pavillion to read.  The first thing to note is that the cover itself is made of a velvety material which makes it very tactile indeed.  I know it won't be to everyone's taste but I really loved the feel of it.
The idea behind the book is thus:
The pleasures to be had from slowing down can be many, with connections to sustainability, simplicity, reflection, and tuning into traditional and other multicultural textile traditions. Slow Stitch is a much-needed guide to adopting a less-is-more approach, valuing quality over quantity, and bringing a meaningful and thoughtful approach to textile practice. Claire Wellesley-Smith introduces a range of ways in which you can slow your textile work down, including: * Using simple techniques inspired by traditional practice (including hand-stitch rhythms) * Reusing and re-inventing materials (reuse even old textile projects) * Limiting your equipment * Mending revisited (practical and decorative techniques) * Project ideas and resources that help towards making a more sustainable textile practice Richly illustrated throughout, and showcasing work from the best textile artists who work in this way, this is a truly inspirational book for those looking to reconnect with their craft and to find a new way of working.
Taking heed from the Slow Movement, Slow Stitch encourages you to take more time over the work that you produce.  That a row of hand stitched work is equally as worthwhile as row after row of machine made stitching.  It practically begs you to grab some old remnants of fabric and to begin piecing them together to create beautiful, unique things that you can stop and start at leisure.
Claire showcases the talents of a number of textile artists whose slow stitch projects all vary from each other, and encourages the reader in how they too can participate and produce their own similar work from that shown.  My hand stitching isn't very creative but I have to say that this book has certainly made me want to look further into the meditativeness of slow stitching, and I think a stitch journal might be right up my street.
G x


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