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The Embroidery Stitch Bible
Betty Barnden

Search Press
11 December 2017/ ISBN 9781782216025
How-To Books/Embroidery

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


Expand your enjoyment of embroidery by learning over 200 stitches. Whatever your preferred style or fabric, there is a stitch for it, and this larger format reissue of the 2003 original is an essential resource for all levels of embroiderer. Although a total beginner might be daunted by the sheer number of stitches, they could learn all the basics (and more) from this useful book. As well as the stitches, there are sections on all the essential topics from what you need to start through to choosing fabrics, working from charts, using a hoop and finishing off.

Turn to the back for a short section looking at various types of embroidery, both freestyle and canvas. Each short description contains photographs and diagrams to whet the appetite, plus lists of stitches associated with the style and a brief history. The bulk of the book is given to the stitches themselves, which are divided into two sections (fabric and canvas) and helpfully showcased at the front in a stitch selector. The stitches are grouped in families, eg line, chain, blanket, smocking, loops, pulled etc., which makes searching for a stitch suitable for a particular effect or style easier.

Each stitch is shown photographed, and then how to work it is shown in one or more colored diagrams. These are very clear because they are drawn with the thread a contrasting color to the background, which also contrasts with the white page. They are also large enough to be easily seen, and backed up with written instructions. At the base of the page the stitch’s uses are given, plus any notes. There is an index at the back, and a page showing more embroidery books by Search Press so you can take your knowledge further. There are no patterns or projects, but this is not that type of book; instead this is one you will never finish working through, and it’s suitable for every level of embroiderer. Highly recommended.

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

Reviews of other Craft titles by Betty Barnden

The Encyclopaedia of Cross Stitch Techniques
Compendium of Knitting Techniques
Finishing Techniques For Crochet
The Embroidery Stitch Bible

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2017