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A Perfect World in Ribbon Embroidery and Stumpwork
BY Di van Niekerk

Metz Press (distributed in the UK by Search Press)
17 April 2018/ ISBN 9781844482313
How-To Books/Needlework

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde


We might not live in a perfect world, but we can at least create one with this book! The “world” here is a beautiful seventeen panel sampler to display on your wall, giving you a “perfect” opportunity to practice and refine your embroidery skills.

This is another stunning book by talented embroiderer Di van Niekerk, which shows not only how wonderful embroidery can look, but how much fun it can be.

Turn to the back and you will find the watercolor picture that needs to be enlarged and then transferred to cloth. Instructions for doing this are given, or you can buy a pre-printed cloth from the author’s website if your country has a store that stocks it. As with pretty much all of this author’s work, this project would be pretty daunting for a total beginner, but anybody with some experience will be able to make a decent job of it. Partly this is because a lot of it is easier than it looks, but mostly this is due to the excellent instructions and diagrams.

Before the project, there is a wealth of useful information about transferring, tips on what to buy and how to tackle various aspects of the work, but most of what you need to know can be found in each of the panel chapters. There are seventeen of these, each organized by dealing with each item in the panel separately. This typically consists of a mixture of about four flowers and creatures, each described briefly with a list of what you need to buy and the stitches used.

Staged instructions feature small detailed photographs, and if you need to refresh your memory or learn a new stitch, turn to the back for some clear diagrams. The designs are mostly worked in chameleon threads and hand dyed silk ribbons plus a few seed beads, giving the work a lovely and lifelike look, rather like a botanical painting. Included, too, is a chart showing how you can use the panels in various other crafts and which ones would be suitable. There is a wide range of choices from decorating a teddy bear to adorning a wedding dress. The book finishes with a chapter on finishing the sampler, and then you just stand back and wait for the admiring remarks. Another lovely book for the keeper shelf.

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

Visit the author’s site at which includes a worldwide list of where you can buy her ribbons, kits and other items.

Chameleon threads and hand dyed ribbon can be bought in the UK from and

Reviews of other titles by Di van Niekerk

Dreamscapes in Ribbon Embroidery and Stumpwork
Embroidered Alphabets With Ribbon Embroidery
Cicely Mary Barker’s Flower Fairies in Ribbon Embroidery and Stumpwork
Little Flowers In Silk and Organza Ribbon
Monograms and Words in Ribbon Embroidery
A Perfect World in Ribbon Embroidery and Stumpwork

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