I learned how to embroider in Girl Guides many, many years ago. It is a pastime that I find very relaxing and endlessly creative. Plus, I love floss. And all things considered (in our chosen hobby/work/art/craft) it is super cheap.
Embroidery can be simple, or complicated, but either way it is not difficult. Earlier this fall I took a wonderful 2-day course to hone my skills and learn some new stitches. The excellent (and extremely patient) teacher, Bonnie Adie, recommended a reference book called The A-Z of Embroidery Stitches by Country Bumpkin Publications. Unfortunately the book was very hard for me to find locally, so I contacted the publishers and guess what? They sent a copy all the way from Australia for me to share! Now you can learn, too!
This guide comes with a brave claim on the front cover that it is "One of the great reference books of all time". I don't know about that, but I do know everyone capable of holding a needle can learn every stitch contained in this book. Beginning with the Algerian Eye Stitch, and ending with the ZigZag Stitch, every page is stocked with full-colour photos to guide you through each stitching step required.
Look, you can do Shisha!
Helpful tips are inserted along the way in text boxes, including tips for lefties, needles, using hoops, knotting your thread and finishing you work. I love it when publishers are clever enough to bind crafting books with a spiral so they will stay open and flat on your work table - makes following step by step instructions so much easier.
After learning a basic stitch, you'll be ready to combine techniques for beautiful effects like this loopy blanket stitch rose, above. This book doesn't have a lot of fluff - it's full on useful information from page 1 and I know I will refer to it often. There are no project ideas, it's strictly technique for over 150 stitches.
I love the two-colour chain stitch!
I had never heard of Country Bumpkin before (not surprising they are in Oz, land of beautiful stitchery!) and have learned that they publish beautiful magazines and many other reference titles. So, how'd you like to add A-Z of Embroidery Stitches to your crafting library? Just leave one comment for your first entry and then sign up for Country Bumpkin's e-newsletter and comment that you've done so for a second one. Please, please make sure there is an email link in your comment so I can contact you.
(random winner will be chosen Saturday, December 3rd)
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