Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Stumpwork Inspirations
BY Inspirations Studio

Inspirations (distributed in the UK by Search Press)
14 April 2020/ ISBN 9781782218319
How-To Books / Needlework

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde


Australian needlecraft magazine Inspirations has been inspiring (and wowing) people for over thirty years. This book is part of a new series of books, each containing eight projects which will challenge and delight embroiderers.

Stumpwork is notorious for being one of the more advanced styles of embroidery, and like just about everything produced by this magazine, I would recommend this book for intermediate level and up. If this is you, then rejoice, because this book manages to update stumpwork for the 21st Century while retaining its lush appearance and celebration of nature. The eight projects depict flowers and fruits, and they have all been previously featured in issues of Inspirations magazine. There are violas, a coneflower and butterfly, windflowers, tansy, raspberries and crabapples, strawberries and, my own favorite, the very Jacobean partridge in a pear tree.

The book opens with a two page history of stumpwork, and the rest of the book contains the projects. Each one is several pages long and has everything you need to complete the piece, including a pattern on the sheet at the back tucked neatly into a pocket. Along with many large and colorful photographs (so useful due to the level of detail in each one), there are staged photographs for stitches plus colored diagrams. What you need is broken down into fabric, supplies, needles and threads with DMC stranded floss being the main choice, but also Madeira metallic, Anchor floss, perlé cottons, ribbon and various types of silk threads. Each thread is assigned a number and is referred to by it in the instructions, which apart from the stitches are mostly in written form. At the back is a glossary of all the stitches and techniques, each shown in a good number of staged photographs. I think my favorite must be the piece on how to utilise a real snail shell together with wire, thread and glue to make a snail! This is a method the original Jacobean embroiderers would have recognized. A beautiful and inspiring book for the keeper shelf.

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

Au Ver A Soie silk threads available from
Good range of DMC thread including floss and perlé available from

Madeira metallic threads, Au Ver A Soie silk threads and Mill Hill beads available from
Kits for other embroideries and more available from Inspirations Studios shipped worldwide

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2020