I can’t believe I haven’t reviewed the A-Z of Stumpwork before now! It’s been on my bookshelf for several years, and I’ve referred to it and I’ve recommended it more times than I can count! When the studio got a bit of a shake up before heading out on vacation, I pulled this book off the shelf and made a note to (finally) review the book for you.
A-Z of Stumpwork is published by Country Bumpkin Publications and is part of their famous A-Z series which features step-by-step photographic instructions for all kinds of needlework techniques.
Like all the A-Z books, A-Z of Stumpwork is a colorful book, with “half Canadian” binding (a spiral binding hidden behind the cover) so that the book lies flat when open.
The book begins with general information about stumpwork: materials needed, tools, how to transfer the design, and so forth. Then it launches into the instructional section, which covers surface embroidery stitches (both raised and padded stitches), padding and slip techniques, wirework techniques, needlelace techniques, and beading techniques.
Each technique section is filled with step-by-step color photos.
Below each photo is the written explanation of the step illustrated.
If you’ve wondered how to use felt as padding, wonder no more – the book shows several different ways to use felt, whether in single layers or worked up over many layers.
The book instructs on ways of making separate slips – that is, embroidered pieces that are separate from the main design and then attached onto the design.
Wired leaves always come to mind when I think of stumpwork, and the book demonstrates clearly how to make these detachable leaves and petals, and how to attach them to the main design.
Beads are a regular part of many stumpwork designs, so there’s a thorough section on how to attach beads to your stumpwork projects.
And often in stumpwork, we run across covered beads – berries or whatnot made out of thread-covered wooden beads. The book details different ways to cover these types of beads.
Finally, the back of the book features over twenty beautiful stumpwork projects created by talented designers from all over the world. (Incidentally, the “Magic Mushrooms” stumpwork design above is available for free on the Country Bumpkin website.)
The designs range from tropical birds to modern flowers to scenes of Africa to Elizabethan flowers – there’s a wide variety of designs, and they’re suited for beginners to stumpwork, to intermediate (and beyond).
The back of the book contains line drawings for all the designs and their elements.
What can I say about this book that the book doesn’t say for itself? If you’re interested in stumpwork embroidery, then I’d say this is one of those necessary reference books that you’ll want on your bookshelf! The A-Z books usually run around $33 (US), but I’ve always had good luck recommending readers to Wooly Thread for this particular book, where it can usually be picked up for $15. (I’m assuming this is while supplies last?)
Do you have this book? Do you like it? Is there another “how to” book for stumpwork that you’d recommend over this particular book? Any thoughts? Leave a comment below!
And for more book reviews, don’t hesitate to visit my Books & Links page, where you’ll find a whole array of needlework books I’ve reviewed right here on Needle ‘n Thread.