Archive for books

Christmas gift

A little late but I want to share with you what I got from my husband. Of course it was a planned gift as he’s not so well orientned in what books I’d like to have at the moment, but anyway it is so nice that he accepts my crazy hobby and doesn’t try to buy a standard gifts 😉

I also got 2 CDs whith ethno music, it was a real surprise 🙂

Christmas gift

I think the first two books are well known so I won’t write about them now. The most interesting is the third one, Pulled Thread Embroidery by Moyra McNeill. It’s a small and not really attractive-looking book, there are only drawings and black-and-white photos but don’t be mistaken by its look. It contains excellent choice of drawn thread stitches and some directions how to start. Anyway, it’s a book for experienced stitchers rather than begginners. People new to drawn thread embroidery can find it a little difficult. You’ll find there a good reference on designing your own embroideries and some historical information. The version shown on the photo is a reprint of a book published in 70’s and the proposals of patterns are “modern” for that times. I prefer more traditional patterns and I want to use the stitches for my own designs.


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New redwork book online

Check the site of Patricia Cummings She generously shared whith us her new book
Redwork Embroidery and Needlework Traditions in Europe and America. It’s a huge source for all who look not only for patterns, but also for some historical and cultural reference.

Patricia published also some other craft books, it’s a lot of reading for free!

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the Art of Embroidery

The Art of Embroidery is a fascinating journey through textile arts. You won’t learn too much about stitches, but it’s a book for all who want to improve their skills in design and find new ways in seing the world and translating it into the language of embroidery. If you’re not very experienced in embroidery, you can find it a bit too general (in the meaning of technique) and perhaps it’s better to start with a book that gives  review of stitches. If you feel skilled in textile arts or just want to see more than a traditional embroidery book, it’s the right choice.  It’s really inspiring, full of wonderful photos of nature and unusual solutions. Have a look.

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CQMag comes

A hot issue of CQMag Online has jus been published, you can find it here. Even if you don’t do any CQ it’s worth reading as there are articles about many techniques that you can use not only in CQ. I have just scanned this issue now and left most part for having  a longer time to read but there’s a pretty victorian pincusion which made me thinking about a small bag in a similar mood.

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Something special

Few days ago I got a book from my father-in-law, and it’s a book that belonged to his mother. The book is perhaps nothing special on its own, but the think that they had it for so long and that it became a kind of heritage is. To say more- I have another book by the same author, at the similar age and on the same theme, that was owned by my grandma. It was one of the firsts craft books in my collection and I was always fascinated by the patterns for lace gloves and stockings.

Isn’t it special that although they both never met and even didn’t have a possibility to know each other, our grandmas somehow gave us the same?


Here’s the book I got.


And here’s my grandmas book that I found ones in a family library.

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Know more- stitch more

I think the knowledge is the first step to make a good embroidery. At the beginning you always have to get some information (even if they are not really very complicated or technical) and then you try to use what you know. Everybody started whith information that there is something called embroidery, you need some threads, fabrics and needles and there are some stitches and this stitch is done this way. When you know this, you try to embroider your first time and then get some technical skills that allow you understand more and create your own patterns or stitches. Every time the knowledge that something is possible produces the “what if..” questions and creative solutions. That’s why learning about embroidery should be something as important as learning embroidery itself.

Not to be theoretical, I’d like to write about two books I bought some time ago. I have read them both and now can share my opinion. The first is 18th Century Embroidery Techniques by Gail Marsh, and this is the book that gives rather a great historical background than a technical information. If you want to learn how to embroider, you won’t find there much information, but if you know some stitches, this is a huge resource to 18th century embroidery styles, motifs and clothes. Every item is given a detailed description and a photo or picture. The most interesting motifs are also drawn so that you can analize details. For me it was very interesting to read the parts about embroiderers and embroidery quilds and also fragments of letters or books written in the 18th century. It’s always fascinating to check how some things where done and suprising that not really much has changed.

The book is divided into parts containing information about different techniques, like silk embroidery, crewel, tambour or knotting (is there anybody who does it??). Every part begins whith some theoretical backgroud (which is some kind of how-to) and then you find descriptions of real items. I think it’s a must-have for everybody interested in history of embroidery and looking for inspirations. It’s also a good resource for those who want to do some research in crafts as it there is a part about treating old clothes and contacting whith museums.

The second book is the Embroidered Knot Gardens by Owen Davies and Gill Holdsworth. This one describes both the technique of making three-dimensional embroidered gardens and historical background.  You won’t find ready-to-stitch patterns here, but there’s a lot of information about the designing process and looking for inspirations. I think it’s much more than patterns. Every stitch is perfectly described and photographed, so you can learn it easily at home. More information you can find here.

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