I have been a fan of Jan Constantine’s work ever since I first saw her, now iconic, “Love” cushion a few years ago. Jan launched her hand-embroidery business in 2002 after leaving a successful career in fashion design to raise her two daughters in the Cheshire, UK countryside. In just a few years, her business grew from a cottage industry, to an established brand.
In all of her work, she captures a sense of graphic sophistication that kind of hits you over the head with its message. Whether it is patriotism, love, springtime or a day by the sea, Jan can turn an ethereal feeling into a tangible representation that combines fine handwork with bold artistry.
For me, what is so exciting about Jan’s work is that she works almost exclusively with felt and uses just a few basic embroidery stitches to bring her work to life. Never has the blanket stitch stitch looked so glamorous.
And while the blanket stitch is used in most of the 21 projects included in this book, only eight other basic stitches need to be mastered in order to embellish everything from a cushion, to a needle case, to bags and more.
The step-by-step instructions are illustrated with fabulous watercolors and the projects are showcased in stylish settings through the vision of lifestyle photographer, Caroline Arber.
The book’s final project is one I really pushed for: a patchwork (of course!) that uses 30 of the motifs from projects within the book that have been combined into a full sized blanket.
Felt, embroidery, handwork…with all of these graphic projects that combine three of the hottest trends in decorating and design, what’s not to love?