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The Embroidery Book
Visual Resource of Color & Design - 149 Stitches - Step-by-Step Guide
Christen Brown

C&T Publishing (distributed in the UK by Search Press)
21 October 2016/ ISBN 9781617452246
How-To Books/Embroidery

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


The photograph on the front of this book definitely possesses the “wow” factor, and invites the reader to delve into a colorful world of enjoyable stitching pleasure. Perhaps a better name for it could be “The Crazy Patchwork Book” as this is what the book is mostly about; using the 149 stitches and ideas to decorate scraps of fabric sewn together. This is not exactly a primer, as there are no step-by-step projects in here but that is not the aim of the book. Instead you are given the tools to create your own masterpiece, by which I mean stitch diagrams, lots of examples and information about how the finished pieces have been made.

The book starts off with a handy chart showing all the stitches arranged in groups. These include not only the usual freestyle stitches but also ribbon embroidery, using beads and buttons plus various ways off adding decorated trims. The instructions for these are all at the back, shown as photographs and drawn diagrams. There is a short section on what materials and tools you need, some basic color theory, help on choosing a palette and how to lay out a rough sketch of what you are going to do. Following on are chapters on getting started and ideas on how to use the stitches, plan a simple project and more. All this is illustrated with a wealth of finished examples, and the rest of the book follows suit with lots of ideas on design, color and form. Total beginners might find it all a bit daunting but this is more a book aimed at the improver and up; the stitcher who wants more than transfers and tracings and enjoys a freer look at the hobby. I found it stimulating to see and read about the various pieces and was keen to learn a few more stitches and get started. This is a great way of using up oddments of fabric, yarn, embellishments and even found objects to make something new and exciting. One for the keeper shelf.

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

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in Sewing World, Sew Hip, Popular Crafts and other magazines.
Reviewed 2017