As I've been learning embroidery my favorite embroidery books are beginning to mark some special times in my life. I've found that I really enjoy embroidery whenever I have been waiting for something to happen in the future. The arrival of new members in our family, and updates during the current pandemia events. I must find something soothing in this creative and rhythmic art form, and by sharing my favorite books with you I hope you might discover something similar.
For fifteen months now I, along with most of the world, have been hoping for some kind of normality to return. In the meantime, I have gone back to one of the most satisfying things I can do other than sewing, in fact, if I am honest with you I prefer to embroider rather than sew when it is time to find peace.
For me, embroidery is like painting with thread. You can do it at any time and anywhere, and even continue projects you started years ago. Adding texture and color to a plain piece of fabric is one of the most rewarding art forms and one of the oldest expressions of art in fashion.
My Favourite Embroidery Books
I have a small collection of embroidery books, below I am sharing the ones that inspire me the most. The list below is in a reversed chronological order.
The Royal School Of Needlework Book Of Embroidery: A Guide To Essential Stitches, Techniques, And Projects
This is a behemoth of a book, I have the Kindle for iPad edition and I enjoy every one of its 398 pages. The ability to zoom in on the pictures of the sample works is priceless. Endless amounts of information and very comprehensive step-by-step instructions of different techniques make this one of the best books on the subject. If you do not buy any other embroidery book in your life and just want to have one, this is it in my opinion.
The best part about this book is that gives you a brief history of the technique, the tools you will be using, the instructions with very clear explanation and photos and samples of what can be achieved with the embroidery technique. With this context, you get to truly understand the art and can quickly begin to personalize your own techniques.
The Embroidery Stitch Bible written by Betty Barnden
This book is what it means to be, every embroidery stitch knows to man is here with 256 pages. This book is very good if you want to design your own embroidery. I purchased this book when I was pregnant with my second child. There is a new edition out, but I only have the old one, so perhaps those of you that have the new edition can tell me if anything has changed. Normally with new editions, the book tends to get better.
The best thing about this book is that is divided by stitches that you will need if you are working with fabric or canvas.
The stitches are further grouped by technique and you can choose easily in one page the one that will be the best for your design. This makes this book a great, easy-to-access reference book fro all levels.
The Encyclopedia of Embroidery Techniques by Pauline Brown
In my opinion, this book is the perfect purchase for the complete beginner.
This is the first book I ever purchased about embroidery and the first book I bought in Australia, so I might be a little biased about it. I was pregnant with my first child and I was thinking about staying home and stopping working for a few years. I already had a whole line of baby clothing in my mind that I would sell from home or at weekend markets. Perhaps one day I will share those designs with you.
You will find a collection of embroidery stitches, machine embroidery, applique, quilting, and other techniques. The themes section of the book was for me best source of inspiration back then. There are landscapes, people and animals, flowers and plants, abstract, objects and garments.
This is my older edition, for the new one you can click on the title above and it will take you to the Amazon website where you can have a look at the new edition and all the reviews.
Some Samples Of My Work
None of the works below are finished. The finished pieces I have either sold as samples with the patterns or given away as gifts.
My latest handbag with space enough for my phone, a small sketch pad, and a small wallet.
What do you think of my favorite embroidery books? Have you got one that I should check out? Please leave your suggestions in the comments section below.
Until Next Time, Happy Sewing!