Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Blended Embroidery
Combining Old & New Textiles, Ephemera & Embroidery
By Brian Haggard

C&T Publishing (distributed in the UK by Search Press)
9 July 2019/ ISBN 9781617458095
How-To Books / Needlework / Embroidery

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde


There are quite a few books that give you ideas on how to use scraps left over from craft projects, or even those from everyday life. This book goes one further and shows how you can also incorporate antique and vintage items into your stitched work.

Give old family items or things from flea markets a new lease of life by combining them with modern materials to create quilts, wall art and more. If you like crazy quilting (or have always fancied trying it) this book will show you what can be accomplished. It is certainly lovely to look at, and filled with the author’s personal work based around his own family history, plus lucky finds while out browsing. There is even a useful guide to shopping for vintage items and looking for things that “speak” to you rather than just hoarding. Discover what tools and materials you need to work with the old as well as the new, learn some basic stitches and delve into Mr Haggard’s wonderfully inspiring projects. I wouldn’t recommend this book to the total beginner as it assumes some level of knowledge regarding basic sewing methods, but the lushly photographed stages are not hard to understand for improver-level stitchers. All the text reads as though the author is talking directly to you, which is a great feature, and makes it all seem easier than it might otherwise. He likes neutrals, but there are some colorful projects too and it is all about finding the look that appeals to you; essentially this is a book of guidelines. As well as quilting skills and some basic embroidery, there are projects that make use of photo transfers, 3D work and at the back a rather more useful gallery than the usual pages of briefly captioned photographs. All these pieces, by both the author and others, come with more lengthy explanations as to how and why they were made. This does take up a chunk of the book but this is part of the appeal; getting the reader to think about what they want to do with what they have. Even the five projects are more about getting under the skin of a piece, and as they are all so personal, they encourage going beyond mere copying. It certainly got me thinking, and fishing around in my own loft to see how I can incorporate antique photographs and fabrics into projects that will give them a new lease of life. A very inspiring and imaginative book.

If you cannot find a good range of embroidery and needlecraft materials locally try for a list of suppliers.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2019