Over the four years or so that I have been stitching I have acquired a small collection of books on various aspects of the craft. As I have not been able to do much in the way of actual stitching recently I thought I would share some of my collection. As Bargello work is my favourite type of stitching it is no surprise to discover that books on this make up the better part of my library.
The Bargello Book by Frances Salter was the first book on Bargello that I bought. It is a very simple little book, consisting almost entirely of illustrations of 34 Bargello patterns. Each pattern has a colour illustration and a black and white pattern sketch. I use this book a lot and simple though it is, it is one of my favourites.
Bargello Magic by Pauline Fischer and Anabel Lasker is also full of patterns, but this is a much more ambitious book, as can be gleaned from its subtitle – How to Design Your Own. For this it has an extensive introduction on the key principles of design and how they apply to Bargello stitching. The core of the book though is a series of illustrated designs. Each one comes with information about the design and hints on threads, colours and possible uses. the book does not though have detailed illustrations of the stitches. You have to work this out yourself. I picked up my copy second hand and it is probably my favourite and most used book.
Bargello, A Fresh Approach to Florentine Embroidery by Brenda Day is a collection of 12 practical projects for stitching such as coasters, pincushions, box lids etc. Each one is lavishly illustrated with lots of information about the inspiration behind the designs. The book has a good range of easy to follow patterns. I have used a few of the designs from this book, but it is more a source of ideas than patterns to follow.
Free-Form Bargello by Gigs Stevens is the final book in my Bargello collection. This is another second hand pick up and a very unusual book too. There are no patterns as such in the book, but rather an extensive introduction to the art of free-form design. There are some very good ideas in the book, but so far I have only attempted one free-from project myself. Mainly because I feel this type of Bargello is most suited to large scale designs for cushions or for rugs, neither of which I do. Though I keep thinking about trying some rug making in the future.