An amazing range of textures and effects can be produced through the creative use of stitches. The author begins by analysing in detail the effects that can be achieved by using different background fabrics, threads and needles and moves on to explore all the possibilities offered by a range of 40 different stitches. She asks questions such as 'Can the stitch be worked in circles?', 'Can it be worked upside down?' and illustrates some possible answers. She encourages the embroiderer to go beyond the 'correct' or conventional method of working, towards new approaches. There is also a valuable section on design which, by the use of sketches and photographs, introduces the principles of observing people, buildings, trees, flowers and landscapes and translating them into designs suitable for embroidery.
At art college Jan Beaney discovered an enthusiasm for stitching which led her to study and later teach embroidery. She has been involved in the world of embroidery for over 30 years as a designer, tuor and author. She teaches extensively around the world and is a member of the prestigious 62 group. She presented the successful BBC TV series, Embroidery and is co-author with Jean Littlejohn of A Complete Guide to Creative Embroidery and Stitch Magic, both published by Batsford and regularly reprinted.