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Great reviews for Crewel Twists

We've always said our books do well, both locally and abroad, and here's the proof ... Crewel Twists became an instant hit with local embroiderers and now you can read what our international reader's have to say.

If you are a fan of Jacobean stitching, or Crewel work as it is also known, you will love this book which presents a new slant on this traditional method. The author draws on the variety of stitches and surfaces available in Crewel work and updates the technique by using creative approaches to this traditional technique. Her use of metallic threads, beads and needle-made lace techniques bring new creative methods of stitching to an old technique. There is information on stitches which are beautifully illustrated, suggestions for threads and suitable beads, plus rich decorative illustrations of projects. She borrows techniques from other forms of needlework and integrates them beautifully into the traditional designs. Satin stitch, shading and variations on trellis couching are all well known methods and the author also uses these to create textured surfaces to enhance her projects. This book would appeal to the traditional stitchers who wish to develop their techniques to create sumptuous surfaces without loosing the richness of the Jacobean tradition.

It is nice to see someone pushing the boundaries of traditional crewel work. Also known as Jacobean, this form of embroidery has been around for hundreds of years. Hazel’s work is definitely traditional but has a twist, in that she uses materials not traditionally associated with crewel work. Her projects also use beads and metal threads and techniques used by lace makers. Great projects in this book. I very much like the way the projects are used in cushions and for useful additions to the home. Not sure about the comments on the Chinese, if I had been the editor I would have deleted that. Daylight lamps are surely the answer to embroidery and eye sight problems. Good instructions and photographs.

In her new book Hazel explores the use of a variety of materials with the addition of beads and metal threads, to inspire more creative techniques, whilst maintaining a recognizable Jacobean, or Crewel, style. Beautiful coloured photographs show the detailed stitches, and full instructions guide the embroiderer through each project step-by-step, with suggestions of uses for the finished work. This book is highly recommended for the traditional stitcher, or anyone wishing to try a more contemporary approach to this most popular form of embroidery.
-East Kent Embroiderers’ Guild

Embroidery Lovers of Jacobean or Crewelwork embroidery should definitely get hold of a copy of this new book. The author takes a new approach with the traditional techniques of this form of embroidery to create six splendid projects you will find difficult to resist stitching. There are six substantial projects in the book and the first pair incorporate beads and metallic thread which adds sparkle to one and a sophisticated subtlety to the other. The second two projects introduce needlelace to Crewelwork with a gorgeous monochrome piece that replicates the finest Whitework and an open, less intense design which uses the needlelace panels effectively. The final two projects are more traditional in style and use the gamut of stitches and techniques found in Jacobean work to create richly embroidered design. All the stitches used are illustrated with large, clear diagrams, along with lots of general advice and each design is broken down into easy to follow steps.
-New Stitches

I have been a keen embroiderer for years and confess a love for Jacobean (or crewel) work but I have never attempted it. This is because I am allergic to wool, and as embroidery experts have told me many times, you have to work this style in wool. But rules are made to be broken, and somebody has now done just that and produced a whole book of Jacobean embroidery where no sheep have been involved. Cotton floss, shiny rayon threads, metal goldwork strands and beads - yep, got all that right here and used it for years. Feast your eyes on this sumptuous treat of a book and look at all that lovely Jacobean work made using these modern and wool-free materials. To begin the author goes through all the aspects of starting that often get forgotten. These include how to obtain the right glasses if you need them, how to keep the work free of grubby marks and other helpful tips. Choose your fabric, get the right threads and tools and then practice the stitches shown over the next few pages, including needle lace. Most of these are unique to Jacobean work and quite complex; they are explained with a single drawn diagram showing the stitch being done and with a few words on working. No, this is not a suitable book for total beginners but anybody who is au fait with embroidery and has made a few projects ought to be able to make something to be proud of. All the projects have been made into items other than pictures; there is a box, stool and several cushions and pillows instead. They are beautiful too, shining with vibrant colors in most cases or worked in monochromes or shades or ecru and featuring those lush florals admired in stately homes and museums. The instructions are detailed but aimed at intermediate and upwards stitchers on the whole but nothing wrong with that as there are plenty of other books on this subject for beginners. This is a beautiful book that will make any embroiderer itch to start stitching - but not because of any wool!

Crewel work is often called Jacobean embroidery - but that’s more to do with the designs than with the techniques. Traditionally stitched in wool, these crewel work designs are worked in a variety of threads, including stranded cotton, stranded rayon, cotton pearl and even lace-making thread. Beads, sequins and metallic threads are used to add sparkle and texture - and the resulting glitz really lifts the designs. Needle-lace stitches add another dimension to the embroideries, and traditional embroidery stitches such as satin stitch and many variations of trellis filling showcase the qualities of the different threads. Working with a fairly broad definition of crewel work, the ideas and stitches allow embroiderers to borrow techniques from other styles of needlework and produce a piece that is still recognisably Jacobean in style. A lovely book - it really makes you want to reach for your needle.

For embroiderers looking for some inspiration, Hazel Blomkamp’s book is an exciting take on Jacobean embroidery. It uses a wide selection of materials to update techniques within the confines of this classic crewel style. The original designs include incorporating beads and metal threads to add sparkle and texture, monochrome embroidery and needle-made laces - a delightful resource.
-Craft Focus

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Jaw-droppingly gorgeous! August 8, 2012
By Tiger Lily
Amazon Verified Purchase
This little gem is a stunner. There are seven projects to embroider and, unlike most wooly crewel work, the stitches are vivid, very fine and precise. This is couture embroidery, people! Each stage is photographed and instructions are given, although I think only an advanced embroiderer will be able to execute the designs. The great news is the author does have her own website where she sells everything you’ll need. No embroiderer’s library would be complete without this title. I hope she comes out with more.

For more information or to order you copy see Crewel Twists online at Metz Press.

Posted in Craft, Embroidery,
Written by: Metz Press - 13 August 2012
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