Melitastitches4fun's Blog

Books in My Library – A Needlepoint Christmas with Ruth Dilts and Sandra Arthur

Books are always appreciated! And, I’m sure I’ll enjoy these.

In May 2012, I donated quite a few books in an effort to make room available for what turns out to be more books ( I still have (probably) more books than I need or use. Then in August 2012, I started a post of “Books I Am Keeping” but never completed that draft. That was almost 10 years ago! Well, I think I’d like to resurrect that idea and discuss books I do own. So, this is my first post to begin a series of book reviews.

Needlepoint 202 A Guide to 12 Different Techniques with Illustrations for Embellishment of the Painted Canvas by Ruth Dilts intrigued me because my ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter has been discussing how to stitch painted canvases. I’ve not read every page but I found the discussions of thread painting and tufted couching particularly interesting. The book (from 2007) provides stitch guides for 12 painted canvases of which I easily found 4 are still available (online google search) including: Baby Carriage by Cooper Oaks, Moose in the Birches (Oval) by Kathy Schenkel, Slavic Doll by Shelly Tribbey, and Grape House Gingerbread House by Susan Roberts. The stitch selections for all the canvases are still interesting to read. I liked the thread blending for the shading of the Water Maiden by Terry Medaris (Sundance Designs). That canvas doesn’t appear to be available but the shading on the painted canvas is seen quite often and is similar to that seen in Madonna #2 by Terry Medaris (Sundance Designs). There are 42 stitch diagrams in addition to the technique diagrams. And, Ruth discusses aspects of 32 threads used in the models. I didn’t know that the twist of Splendor is tighter than most silks making it easier to use and unlikely to snag on your fingers/hands (unless they are really rough). I haven’t read too many stitch guides for painted canvases but what I have read are presented in a table with columns for Area, Thread, and Stitches. Ruth writes conversationally rather than in a table format which I found made for more of an enjoyable read.

Shapes of Needlepoint Diamonds, Hearts, Octagons, and Stars – Series II completes my collection of Sandra Arthur’s series of 4 books covering all different shapes. I love that Sandy indexed them by shape and by thread count. However, they can be adjusted to fit the space you have available. The diagrams are large and easy to read. Google duodesignsinc and look for the tab for books and you’ll see details of each 100-page book and examples of the diagrams. Past Christmases brought the others in Sandy’s Shapes of Needlepoint. So, I might as well include them in this post as well. They are: Circles, Squares, Triangles, Rectangles – Series I; Corners, Hexagrams, Ovals, Parallelograms – Series III; and Diagonals, Horizontals, Verticals – Series IV.

While waiting for my husband to golf at Shipyard on Hilton Head last month, I pulled up a chair to the book table at Needlepoint Junction (basically just across the street in a mall) and found Tisket, Tasket, Lots and Lots of Baskets by Sandra Arthur. I have an idea about baskets that I’d like to pursue at some point. Sandy really captures the art of basketry. I hadn’t see this book on her website or in her Etsy shop. So, this was a must have!