Kew Book of Nature Samplers – Trish Burr!


Amazon Books

If you haven’t heard the great news yet, I’m excited to tell you that Trish Burr has once again produced a beautiful embroidery book, and it is (nearly) available!

If you are remotely interested in learning how to create beautifully shaded embroidery, if Trish’s beautiful needlepainting embroidery style is up your alley, or you just want inspiration and ideas for stitching lovely elements of flora and fauna, you’re going to want to add this book to your wish list, get it pre-ordered, or send out your Christmas hints for it now!

I’m pretty sure this book is going to be even more popular as an instructional and project book than the previous Kew Gardens embroidery book by Trish Burr.

There’s so much to recommend about this new book. It’s one of those books that is eminently suitable for absolute beginners all the way to experienced stitchers. Today, I’ll tell you what makes The Kew Book of Nature Samplers particularly desirable, and I’ll show you some of the projects that are in it.

Kew Book of Nature Samplers by Trish Burr
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Studio Work, Threads, and Summer!


Here on the studio end of Needle ‘n Thread, we’re gearing up for our first summer in our new (very old) building. While the first half of 2023 has proven to be a wild adventure involving much upheaval on every level, I’m really hoping the summer settles into a quiet, focused, productive era!

Here’s some fabulous news: I’ve expanded our staff! We have part-time morning help for the summer! Christine – a young lady who participated in my kids’ classes years ago when she was just a wee thing – is a teacher with some summer time off and she was looking for part time work. She’ll be a great fit here! This means we can catch up from the frenzy of the first half of the year. It means we can actually get kits assembled and out in a timely manner for the next Stitch Snippet! It means we can restock on ready-to-stitch items – and bring out two new summer sets (remember that camper?!). And it means that we can finally bring a pet project of mine to fruition!

Am I excited? You bet!

Frankly, I’m excited that we’re at the point where we can offer some employment to locals who are looking for flexible part time work. It’s so important in small rural communities that there are job opportunities! And I hope that Needle ‘n Thread continues to grow enough to be a viable part our our community in that way.

Anyway, my pet project! It has to do with thread, of all things! Surprising, isn’t it?

Building color collections of floche
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The Leafy Tree – Relaunched for 2023!


By far one of the most popular projects here on Needle ‘n Thread is The Leafy Tree, which developed here over four years ago in 2019. So much has happened since then in the world and personally, that it seems like it’s been much, much longer than four years!

If you’re new to Needle ‘n Thread in the past four years and you’re not familiar with the project, I’ll tell you a little about it. If you’ve been hanging around here with me since the tree first emerged, you might enjoy reading about the 2023 version.

Despite the design being a whole four years old (in tree-life, I suppose that isn’t very old), it still exudes a contemporary and colorful charm – which is why I just love this little tree!

The Leafy Tree embroidery kit for 2023
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Little Blooms Part 8: Finishing Touches


Good morning and Happy Wednesday! I hope you had a terrific weekend!

It was a holiday weekend here in the States (Memorial Day), so a three-day weekend for many. Here in Kansas, my weekend involved (finally!) moving into my newly rebuilt / renovated house…

…only to have to move out again Monday evening (this time to a temporary Airbnb rental), due to a major plumbing issue.

So life is still quite hectic here.

I’m convinced that there must be, eventually, a season of calm ahead. Well, the key is to forge on ahead! And to that end, today, we’re going to finish up Little Blooms. Specifically, we’ll accomplish the two finishing touches – the embroidered scalloped edge on the flap and the snap closure.

Let’s go get this project finished, shall we?

Little Blooms - Finishing Touches
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Little Blooms Part 7: Construction


Finally, today, we construct the Little Blooms mini snap purse!

Today’s article is rather lengthy because we need to cover the whole construction process so you can finish it in one work session. I can’t fit the finishing touches into this article, though, so next week, we will cover the final bits – adding the hand embroidered trim on the outside edge of the flap and sewing the other half of the snap in place. (I have an easy method for that!)

If you are a member on Patreon, today you will have the final PDF for the project and it will take you through all the construction as well as the finishing touches.

And – Big News! – if you have been patiently awaiting a materials kit for Little Blooms, at long last, we have some available now!

Let’s get on with the construction!

Little Blooms - Construction of embroidered purse
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Adding a Gemstone to Goldwork Embroidery


Another topic that generated a lot of questions around the goldwork altar cover project is how I attached the large semi-precious gemstone to the medallion, the central decorative piece on the altar cover.

There are different ways that stones can be attached to goldwork. When considering how to attach a stone, you have to think in terms of size and, especially, of usage. If your piece is going to be framed and rarely if ever handled, you have some wiggle room in how stringent you are with the attachment of the stone(s). But if you’re creating a piece that will be used, moved, folded, and so forth, it’s a good idea to figure out some way to make sure the stone is super duper secure.

Initially, we were looking at a faceted stone for this piece, but two problems presented themselves: 1. a faceted stone of any size is normally very deeply cut on the back – and that was the case with the stones that we had to choose from. Their depth made them problematic. 2. Because of their depth, setting them into any hardware (jeweler’s setting) would increase their weight and their height and make sewing them on and working them into the embroidery difficult and – I thought – rather ungainly. As much as I prefer a faceted stone for its brilliance, if the stone doesn’t have a flat back – or at least a very shallow back – it seems awkward on a textile.

adding a semi-precious stone to goldwork embroidery
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Pasting the Back of Goldwork Embroidery


One of the techniques we used on the goldwork altar cover we recently finished was coating the back of the embroidery with adhesive or paste.

When I mentioned this briefly in the finish article on the project, it generated a lot of discussion and questions via email. Several people asked if I would revisit the topic and explain how we did this step.

So, today, briefly – because it’s a very simple, uncomplicated process – I’ll show you what we did.

rice paste on back of goldwork embroidery
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