STITCH-AND-BITCH WITH THE AUTHOR TONIGHT AT TYPE BOOKS
Story by Odessa Paloma Parker
Leanne Prain, author of the new book Hoopla, wants you to think differently about embroidery. It’s not all about floral motifs and your grannie’s pillowcases – the work featured in Prain’s ode to embroidery is anything but quaint.
Examining everything from the history of the craft to “manbroidery” (a concept coined by Johnny Murder, the musician/artist who runs the Manbroidery Flickr Pool – a site that encourages men everywhere to take pride in their stitch work), Prain’s admiration for and fascination with the work of embroiderers shines in this visual and thoughtful collection of interviews and instructional guides.
Hoopla showcases the importance of embroidered pieces as historical and artistic; interviews with Takashi Iwasaki, Ray Materson, Alexandra Walters and Esther Oh explore the diverse body of work put forth by these stitchmasters and others, and why we just can’t stop telling stories with a needle and thread. Many of the artists featured in the book are Canadian, and all have a unique story to tell (Materson learned to embroider while in prison, and Jenny Hart – creator of the design company Sublime Stitching – is largely acknowledged as the modern champion of embroidery).
But what would any encouraging words be without a call to action? Hoopla wants to involve you, the reader, in the community of craft, and includes instructions for creating 28 arresting embroidery patterns, including “Chug Like A Champ” (a pattern that depicts a young woman shot-gunning a beer), and “Along For The Ride” (a cross-stitch ode to Manhattan’s Metrocard that you can turn into your own card pouch).
If you’re especially interested in embroidery, or just like the sound of what Hoopla and its author have to say, make sure you’re at Type Books (883 Queen Street West) tonight for a stitch-and-bitch hosted by Prain. Bring along your current craft project, and enjoy a visual talk and book signing, too.