embroidery how-to books

My back is out today (yes, it snowed again and my poor body just can't take much more) so I'm going to answer a question instead of doing a new stitch this week. A reader emailed a few days ago to ask if I could recommend some embroidery books. I get the information for my posts from several different sources and take pictures as I go along, so I'm not really referencing a particular book. The books I do have are fairly old anyway and you might not be able to find them. But I did a quick search on Amazon to see what's out there. I used the search words "embroidery how-to" and got almost 300 hits, most of which weren't quite what I had in mind (although it's good to know that embroidery is so popular!). Here are a couple that sounded interesting (clicking on the links will take you to Amazon)—

Reader's Digest Complete Book of Embroidery.
Here are more than 100 embroidery stitches to learn, all with step-by-step directions, grouped in stitch families. Includes 20 projects, a special techniques section covering crewelwork, beads, monograms and more, plus over 75 design motifs.

Embroidery Stitches: Over 400 Contemporary and Traditional Stitch Patterns by Mary Webb.
The most exhaustive reference guide to embroidery stitches ever published. In a small format for easy portability, this book contains detailed information on more than 400 embroidery stitches. From the basic to the more intricate and from traditional to contemporary, each stitch is demonstrated through clear, colorful illustrations and detailed, easy-to-follow instructions. Stitches are grouped according to type, making it easy to locate a specific stitch, and presented in order of difficulty, from beginner to advanced.

The Embroidery Stitch Bible by Betty Barnden.
More than 200 stitches are photographed and accompanied by easy to follow charts in this essential reference for embroiderers. From basic cross stitch and chain stitch to more complicated couching, laid work, and drawn thread work, this is the stitch bible for embroiderers wishing to improve their technique and add new dimensions to their work. Stitches are arranged according to their use, including outlines, filling stitches, isolated stitches, motifs, edgings, hems, insertions, flat stitches, backgrounds, and textures. Concealed spiral binding allows embroiderers to read and practice simultaneously.

Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches by Mary Thomas
Mary Thomas' Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches was first published in 1934; regarded as a standard, this book has long been a favorite of novice and experienced embroiderers alike. Later updated by Jan Eaton, it pictures and describes over 400 stitches; arranged by usage, they range from basic outline and border stitches to more complex detached-filling and pulled-fabric stitches. More than 100 color photos show the stitches worked in sampler form, while individual diagrams, color-linked to the photos, illustrate the working method for each stitch. An outstanding reference book that will enable all needleworkers to master the art of embroidery.

While I can't personally recommend these books because I haven't seen them, all sound like good overall reference books for stitches. I'm definitely going to check them out myself. But I'll look at the library first. Once I've determined whether they're "keepers" or not, then I'll buy them for my library.


mijk said...

The trhiftshope here (the netherlands ) is a great source for embroidery books.

Carly said...

"The A-Z of Embroidery Stitches" is the one that I can't live without. Thanks for the other references!

African Kelli said...

Janet! I am so sorry you are having a hard time with the weather. I hope your back feels better soon.

If you feel comfortable doing so -- will you email me your snail mail address? I have a little something I'd like to send your way.

Ash said...

Hello! I don't know how I have missed you before but I found you just now through a link on TLC's blog. Your shop and blog are a delight and I would like to link to you through Tart's Tales. I am building a webshop at the moment which might appeal to you. When it's done I'll be shouting about it to anyone that will listen. Hope your back's better - I'll be back to read more very soon

janet said...

Hello Ash! If you're like me there's not nearly enough time to find and read all the wonderful blogs out there. You stumble across them here and there, mostly through links from other blogs. So feel free to link to mine and I'll do the same.

Can't wait to see your web shop when it's up!