29 December 2016


BC Paperback

204x260 mm



160 pages

Search Press

Stitch, Fabric & Thread

by Elizabeth Healey

Experiment with stitch, fabric and thread to create your own unique textiles.

This inventive book is a treasure trove of over 40 inspiring practical exercises, a rich and creative exploration of fabric and stitch, and a fascinating all-round read. Elizabeth Healey's approach to sewing is that it should be fun, and not like a chore or an exam we need to excel in. Her aim is to simply encourage you to pick up a needle and thread and get sewing!

The exercises draw inspiration from around the world: create corded works of art inspired by Milton Glaser's iconic Bob Dylan poster; create bold embroidered African masks; layer up and cut away to create Mola applique; use bleach and fabric paint to create Aboriginal dreamtime lizards; create knotted works of art inspired by ancient Mayan counting systems; embroider varsity cross-stitch letters or try out decorative Japanese book binding. Alternatively, try a host of other techniques such as quilting, printing, dyeing, couching tumbled crockery, creating pleats and puckers and needlelace.

Packed with stitch galleries and bursting with slow sewing ideas, the book also contains 'behind the stitches' features: illuminating insights into sewing movements such as Boro textiles, Gee's Bend quilting and Dorset buttons.

Book Contents

Introduction 6
Before the stitches 8
Tools: everything or nothing 10
How a sewing machine works 12
The importance of sketchbooks 13
What is thread? 14
What is fabric? 16
Colour 20
Behind the stitches: The quilters of Gee’s Bend 22
Altered images 24
Toning it down 26
Humble stitches 28
Straight ahead: running stitches 30
Exploring straight stitches 32
Lovely jubbly 36
Pojagi patchwork 38
Intentionally random 40
Kantha fishes 42
Behind the stitches: Boro textiles 44
Visible mending 46
A leaf out of my book 48
Type matters 50
Varsity letters 52
African mask 54
Colourful cords 56
String theory 58
In the loop: chain and blanket stitches 60
Exploring blanket and chain stitches 62
Japanese binding 66
Behind the stitches: Saving your pennies 70
Penny wall hanging 72
Fluxus & mail art 74
Stitched memories 76
Silhouette-a-hula 78
Stitching on knits 80
Texture: introduction to raised stitches 82
Exploring raised stitches 84
Mini quilt 88
Drawing with Stitch 90
Dreamtime lizard 92
Seamless repetition 94
Talking knots 96
Natural dyes 98
Behind the stitches: The rise and fall of Buttony 100
Making buttons 102
More than stitches 104
Shibori 106
Pleats, folds and pinches 108
Texture and illusion 112
Worn and loved 114
Behind the stitches: Mola reverse appliqué 116
Mola: chicken or egg? 118
Chunky rouleaux 122
Drawn thread 124
Behind the stitches: Marriage quilts 126
Trapunto Graffiti 128
Gathered Circles of Joy 130
Behind the stitches: Not to be sniffed at 132
A Christening gift 134
Mirror, mirror 136
Mudlarking 138
Fibonacci flower 140
The poor sewer’s embellisher 142
Paisley Park 144
The stitches 146
Templates 152
Glossary 158
Further Reading 159
Index 160

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