Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Crewel Embroidery
BY Tatiana Popova

Search Press
27 January 2020/ ISBN 9781782217220
How-To Books / Needlework

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde


Last year I reviewed this author’s first book The Seasons in Silk Ribbon Embroidery on this site. This was a book with the wow factor in spades, a rare treat for the more advanced embroiderer. A year on and here is another such book, this time showing what crewel embroidery is capable of when inspired by fairy tales.

The main project in this book is a larger piece entitled Tree of Happiness. Each section of this is also featured as a smaller design elsewhere in a different colorway, and each of these sections was inspired by a different fairy tale. Ms Popova is from the Ukraine, so the tales are more varied than they would be from an English speaking author. Andersen’s The Wild Swans are featured as is the Wizard of Oz and Cinderella, but there are also Polish and Russian stories plus a ribbonwork owl, the inspiration behind the author’s website name. To learn the stitches start at the beginning where you will find some very clear and foolproof staged photographs. There are also many tips here, and a gallery of photographs showing the whole tree plus all the separate elements. Each of these is also shown paler with a numbered key showing which stitch goes where with a handy page reference. This is a large format book and there are plenty of good-sized photographs with close-ups so you get a good idea of what the work is supposed to look like. Each chapter covers a different element, and as well as the expected key and list of materials there is a brief description of the story plus a personal reminiscence about how the author was inspired to choose it. This makes for interesting reading, and also caused me to ponder on what gets my own creative juices flowing. The embroidery uses Appletons wools or DMC threads which include stranded cottons (including variegated) plus pearl cotton sizes 8 and 12. The instructions are clear, but despite the author’s claim that beginners can tackle the projects I imagine most newbie embroiderers would be better starting with simpler work. Turn to the back for the outlines and advice on transferring to fabric, including tips for working on patterned material. This is definitely one for that keeper shelf, and my favorite book of 2020 so far. I can’t wait for book three!

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 The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2020