Monday, September 14, 2009

The Story of a Book 

I have been assembling some copies of my booklet 100 Blackwork Charts to be shipped to Nordic Needle today. I always say "every book has a story" and this one certainly has a tale to tell.

It was the first book I assembled and sold. When I took a chance and took a table at Merchandise Night at EGA National Seminar in San Francisco in 1996 I panicked when I realized I had nothing to sell. I did bring along some gold threads for sale and offered part of my table to fellow CompuServe Fibecrafts Forum stitchers to display their work. Then I turned to my sketch books of charts created from original textiles in English Museums.

I found that I had available more "blackwork" sketches rather than those of other sorts. Soooo I charted 100 of them in the charting software by Hobbyware, printed a master copy of each page and photocopied up some sets of the pages. After a visit to my local paper wholesaler I came home and printed some covers on some rather ugly, shiny brownish sort of cover stock and Bob's Your Uncle, the biz began. If you have a copy of that first printing, you are in a very small minority because very few were printed using those materials.

I continued using a photocopied format until printers became powerful enough to print each book individually. I then began using the linen textured paper that is still used today. It is 30% post consumer recycled paper and that suits me just fine.

I decided the little charted designs in the book needed names so I christened them with names that suited their appearance ( in my humble opinion). Some of the names have personal meaning for me but might be a mystery to the owners of this publication. For example #4 Exodus, a pomegranate design, reflects the first embroidery instructions found in the Bible book, Exodus.

Number 17 looks to me like spiders climbing, climbing, climbing. Thus named Eensy.

Number 24 - VP has a group of repeating H sorts of stitches. Hubert H. Humphrey (forever VP but never president) popped into my mind.

With a bow to the entertainment industry: #31 Lucy recalls the song title Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds and #34 Hollywood brings to my mind the Walk of Fame stars in the Hollywood pavements.

Stay tuned to this channel and if anyone is interested, I'll share a few more tales of the pattern names with you one of these days.

Labels: ,

So San Francisco in 2010? Merchandise Day is Wed Sept 8. We would love to have you!
Congrats! Long may you be in print! Kim Salazar (stitching again at String-or-Nothing)
2010 is certainly on my "wishlist". We're keeping our fingers crossed hoping it is possible.

and thanks for the comment Kim. You have certainly been an inspiration to all of us who love embroidery and its history and want to share it with others.
I have two copies of 100 Blackwork charts and a copy of Another 100 Blackwork charts.I wouldn't part with any of them. They are a memory of a good friend.

Do you remember when you gave Steve a blackwork lesson in our living room?

Andrea in Yorkshire
Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?