...but also deeper and more ancient feelings, like those I experience when I pause to think about the great importance for women of inventing embroidery. I think about the pain but also the patience, courage and desire to "fly" that our ancient grandmothers must have had when they started "making holes" in the fabric which they had often woven themselves, motivated by their desire to discover through them the transparencies and the nuances produced by the thread with which they tried to construct designs, patterns and decorations.
Sulle tracce del filo "Lenzuola e Sampler a Punto antico"
Retini di fondo (Pulled Thread Work) is useful for learning how to handle the fabric: the threads must pass through warp and weft following well-defined patterns. This is why for beginners I suggest simpler work in "squares"; I then proceed to projects in round or oval areas, and later more complicated shapes. The manual includes diagrams and scans of finished projects and detailed explanations of working techniques.
A fili contati (Counted Thread Work) is done on even weave fabric without a "pattern": the embroiderer counts the number of threads in the design, usually according to a repertoire of antique stitches which have been part of our embroidery tradition for centuries.The manual includes diagrams and scans of finished projects for reference, produced by students at my School, to aid understanding of the suggested themes.
Il Reticello (Reticella 1) is a basic handbook for learning and exploring this technique.
The preparatory work is done by drawing threads from an even weave linen fabric with 15 or 16 threads per cm (but one can also begin with 12-14 threads), to give the "empty" spaces which form the basis for embroidering various motifs, choosing the most appropriate threads for the type of fabric used.
My fourth book is designed to give instructions for a drawn thread sampler which I use in my hemstitch courses: this allows me to demonstrate a process which is fairly simple, but essential for the finishing off of any piece of embroidery (hems and corners). The manual covers various types of drawn thread work, needleweaving and wrapped stitch knotting, with diagrams and scans for reference, accompanied by the "School of Corners" section, a topic not to be underestimated for a successful outcome.
Fior di reticello (Reticella 2), which continues the theme of reticello begun in Volume 3, goes deep into the detail, especially for the new designs and the use of colour in reticello: from just two colours to the wide variety found in the final section of the book. The use of colour was a gamble for me, but since then the consensus has been overwhelmingly positive, at home and abroad.
Punto antico in Veneto was the fruit of a long and laborious gestation, due to the complexity of the research and the difficulty of the execution carried out with the School. Although in the first section of the book I illustrate a piece of embroidery which was highly acclaimed at the first Italia Invita Forum in 2003, but which I had never explained. The volume contains diagrams and instructions for several projects which combine punto antico with reticello.
With Lenzuola, sampler a Punto antico (Sheets, Samplers in Punto Antico), I partially continue the theme of reticello in colour which was discussed in Volume 5, as illustrated by the detailed instructions - with diagrams, scans and photos - for the pink sampler, which abounds in reticello and punto antico elements. Requests from many of my embroidering friends for instructions on embroidering sheets led me to feature in this volume the sheets created by two of my students for the 2009 Italia Invita Forum, which had the theme "the bottom drawer".
Stelle e bordure a reticello (Stars and Borders in Reticello) once again proposes coloured reticello patterns, on a less complex level than the two previous volumes. Here I provide instructions for embroidering a table runner in red on 15-thread raw linen, in which ten "stars" (squares) alternate with the same number of "borders" (rectangles), finished off with two embroidered triangles at either end. The same patterns are reinterpreted in the second section of the book, using different fabrics and threads.