Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Embroidery Basics – Book Review


Perhaps the most frequently asked question that arrives in my inbox is a variation of this:

I’m new to embroidery and don’t know where to start. Can you recommend a book or a project for a beginner?

Embroidery Basics by Cheryl Fall

Embroidery Basics by Cheryl Fall is just such a book, with many projects in it suitable for the beginner.

It’s also a book that would make an excellent teaching aid for folks who are interested in passing embroidery on to the younger generation. My 12-year-old niece took to the book like the proverbial duck. There are plenty of projects in it that caught her eye and that she can figure out on her own, using the book as a guide.

Embroidery Basics by Cheryl Fall

Embroidery Basics offers all the useful, basic information that is the foundation of embroidery, using supplies and tools that are easily accessible from local shops.

Embroidery Basics by Cheryl Fall

Handy tips fill the first half of the book – tips on choosing threads, transferring designs, handling threads (conquering the pull skein and the pearl cotton twist), choosing the right needle, and so forth.

Embroidery Basics by Cheryl Fall

Essential techniques are covered, too – such as starting and ending threads without knots.

Embroidery Basics by Cheryl Fall

There’s a basic stitch dictionary with bold diagrams that cover 42 stitches, including surface embroidery stitches…

Embroidery Basics by Cheryl Fall

…counted stitches…

Embroidery Basics by Cheryl Fall

… and drawn thread stitches.

Embroidery Basics by Cheryl Fall

The second half of the book is devoted to many projects that cover a variety of interests. From lavender pillow cases…

Embroidery Basics by Cheryl Fall

… to bold blossoms worked in chain stitch…

Embroidery Basics by Cheryl Fall

… to a simple framed alphabet sampler (and a matching needle case)…

Embroidery Basics by Cheryl Fall

…to a group of zany redwork pumpkins.. and thirteen other projects (martini cocktail napkins, monograms, a purse decorated with free-style embroidery, several counted thread projects…) – there’s something here for everyone!

Embroidery Basics by Cheryl Fall

There’s an section at the end of the book on finishing, from blocking to actually make up your projects into their finished forms.

Embroidery Basics is an excellent book for beginners, and if you’ve been wanting to start embroidering, but just didn’t quite know what to start with, I recommend you check this book out! It’ll get you stitching in no time, and give you plenty of ideas for projects that will help advance your skills!

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(6) Comments

  1. Dear Mary

    Thanks for the reference, from your photos the book looks like an interesting read and very informative especially as it covers 42 stitches including drawn stitch. I love the ABC samplar and the drawn thread which I want to tackle for my next project.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  2. Hello Mary in snowbound Kansas! You folks are being hit much, much more than here in Southern Ontario. The tail end of “your” storm is supposed to arrive in our neck of the woods later this afternoon but it seems as though we are to be spared with only a few inches of the white stuff.

    Your book review is appreciated as I have been considering buying such a book for my three granddaughters. This would be perfect! Thanks so much for your insight.

    Linda A.
    Ontario, Canada

  3. I’m so anxious to get my hands on this book myself. But it’s not sold at the local bookstores. I wish there was some way to encourage them to carry it. She covers a lot of topics, makes everything very clear to understand and see. Some embroidery books I’ve checked out from the library have diagrams that look like chicken scratch (no, not the stitching kind). I look and twist my head trying to figure it all out. And I may be a bit biased but I know she’s a very talented woman and writer. 😉 Hugs to you Cheryl.

  4. Hey Mary! That’s beaut. I’m always on the lookout for suitable items & info for beginners with THE granddaughter in mind. She’s a bit young to do ‘proper’ work yet but likes to ‘piddle’ and takes an interest in our work. She loves looking at books. This one would capture her interest and can imagine the questions already. A good jump off point for look and learn. Thanks.
    Cheers, Kath.

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