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Before you react to this book's title, while it is an embroidery book, there is very little here that can't be used for needlepoint. I have not ever seen a book about stitching faces or portraits before. I know I have seen a number of canvases with faces included in the design lately so I thought this book was worth a look.
The subtitle is:
Ideas, Inspiration and Techniques
Jan Messant is a well-known name in embroidery. She is a teacher of Embroidery As An Art Form and a member of the Embroiderer's Guild.
Quoting from the back cover
"With a different and delightfully practical approach to a traditional and time-honored subject, Jan Messant shows you how to create portraits in stitch"
There, that says it all, doesn't it?
More quotes from the back cover
"There are simple instructions for shaping and padding different angled heads, creating faces, adding features and stitching the hair & garments, as well as explorations of the most suitable fabrics, stitches, threads & embellishments to use".
I looked through this book and got very caught up in it. There are instructions to create a large variety of faces, in different ways.
There are fully stitched faces, some done with a variation of Long & Short Stitch. There are padded faces made of fabric with features stitched on or in a few cases some painting is added to the stitching on the padded fabric (things like pink cheeks etc).
There is yarn hair, stitched hair and all kinds of embellishments. Almost all of this could easily be used for needlepoint. This book is full of ideas, sketches, loads of color pictures and clear instruction.
Now that I think about it, I have recently seen a series of stitched needlepoint historical ladies. Many of the ideas & techniques in this book could have been used, to great effect, in these designs.
I am both intrigued and impressed.
Embroidered Portraits in a large hard cover book with 128 pages. Published by Search Press in Tunbridge Wells, Kent in the UK in 2012. The text is copyrighted 2012, as well so it is a very recent book.