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The Seasons in Silk Ribbon Embroidery
The Textile Artist: 20 Beautiful Designs, Techniques and Inspiration
BY Tatiana Popova

Search Press
1 April 2019/ ISBN 9781782216551
How-To Books / Needlework

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde


If you are an embroiderer looking for a challenge and want to create some stunningly beautiful works of art using silk ribbon, this is definitely the book for you. Many of these flowers look real, created from ribbons that have been hand colored and stitched on in a number of innovative ways, including new stitches created by the author. This is one book that really has the “wow” factor in spades.

Like me, Ms Popova tends to recommend first choosing a project you like a lot and going for it. The projects have difficultly ratings, but like garment patterns these are often based on arbitrary things and what one person finds too hard another person will find simple enough. If you truly are a beginner who has never done embroidery and barely knows one end of a needle from the other, I would recommend starting with an easier ribbon book (Search Press has more than one). I would also suggest practising a few basic embroidery stitches as well as some other techniques like dyeing, working with computer transfer paper and painting ribbons and backgrounds; there are some excellent instructions for all that in here. Before tackling anything in here, do try out some of the more unusual stitches first; I thought I knew all the ribbon embroidery stitches but there are many more in here, plus some invented by the author. The stitches are helpfully organized into family groups and there are plenty of good sized photographs to follow, many with examples of what you can do with them. This is a large format book which helps, as do the captions and arrows, for a foolproof finish. There are some thread embroidery stitches too; most of the usual suspects plus a couple of less usual ones, and a wonderful way of using a table fork to make a bow.

The rest of the book contains twenty projects organized into seasons. Many of these come with anecdotes and the author has a chatty style which is entertaining, as well as making the more advanced techniques seem less daunting. Each project has a list of what you need plus another list of stitches used and full instructions with some staged photographs. The order of work feature is also helpful, showing a picture of the finished item with numbered arrows. Projects include four cute owls representing the seasons, lots of floral studies for various occasions from Mother’s Day to Christmas and my own favorite, a beautiful study of serene koi carp. Turn to the back and you will find the background pictures for transferring to cloth, complete with instructions for doing this. Each project requires quite a list of ribbons and other items, so if you prefer, the author sells kits on her website. Another lovely book for the keeper shelf, and my favorite book of 2019 so far.

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 for books, kits, silk ribbons and more
  • Silk ribbon can be bought in the UK from
  • Chameleon Silk ribbons available from
  • River Silk 4mm and 7mm ribbon can be bought in the UK from
UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2019