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Here is a quote from the preface (page v) of the book Art in Needlework by Lewis F Day and Mary Buckle, that SharonB let us know about in this post:

…the practical use of embroidery is to be beautiful.

I love it! Concise and to the point. I’m going to be quoting this frequently as I encounter many people who very kindly convey the opinion there is no practical use for my embroidery and therefore it is wasteful. That may lead to some interesting discussions about beauty as objective or subjective truth.

I think it’s always helpful to get the views of those outside our own time. I also relish the opportunity to see them evaluate and employ the various stitches they knew and loved, some of which I use today.

That said, you may imagine I’ve been having fun going through this book since Sharon brought it to my attention. It has pictures of the front and back of the samplers, another one of my favorite things to see when I’m learning about a stitch. I’ve read a few snatches here and there and several chapters along the way.

One of the interesting chapters I read was titled, Stitch Groups (p. 175-179). It is about classifying stitches on the basis of various criteria. It made me think about all the TSTC stitches and the benefit of trying to classify these stitches as I learn through this year. So I’ve added a page to the blog trying to determine a very broad family for each stitch based on its construction. It’s mostly for my own use, but you’re welcome to look and agree or disagree. I have debates with myself about some of them!

The authors suggest several other ways to group stitches and I think I want to at least go through my visual journal and evaluate the limitations and strengths of each stitch at the end of each week. I do all these samples to determine what I can do with a stitch but if I don’t evaluate it afterwards and in comparison to other stitches, I will be losing some knowledge that is worthwhile. My sharpest thoughts are during the time I’m spending with the stitch, if I wait until the TSTC is over too much will have faded from my mind. For me this book pointed out a very helpful step to take. Many thanks, Sharon, for pointing out this and so many other great resources!

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