Mary Corbet

writer and founder


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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2016 (112) 2015 (246) 2014 (294) 2013 (294) 2012 (305) 2011 (306) 2010 (316) 2009 (367) 2008 (353) 2007 (225) 2006 (139)

Books & Links

Books and Links

Book Reviews

5 stars = Must Have

4 stars = Good, Worth Getting

3 stars = Ok, especially if interested in the subject

2 stars = Minor potential – better ones out there

1 star = Barely worth the cost

0 star = Don’t Bother

The links below will take you directly to my book review for each book listed. They do not take you to any outside website. Within each book review, I often will direct you to where you can find the book online for purchase.

I use affiliate programs when linking to books on Amazon and other books sources. The small percentage that I receive from your purchase helps to cover the expenses of running Needle ‘n Thread.

17th Century Women's Dress Patterns17th C. Women’s Dress PatternsTiramani & North5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Eighteenth Century Embroidery Techniques18th Century Embroidery Techniquesby Gail Marsh4.5 StarsRead Full Review
19th Century Embroidery Techniques19th Century Embroidery Techniquesby Gail Marsh4.5 StarsRead Full Review
19th Century Embroidery Techniques20th Century Embroidery Techniquesby Gail Marsh5.0 StarsRead Full Review
A-Z Embroidery Stitches 2A-Z Embroidery Stitches 2By Search Press5.0 StarsRead Full Review
A-Z Embroidered MotifsA-Z Embroidered MotifsBy Search Press5.0 StarsRead Full Review
A-Z of GoldworkA-Z of GoldworkBy Search Press 5 StarsRead Full Review
A-Z of StumpworkA-Z of StumpworkCountry Bumpkin5.0 StarsRead Full Review
A-Z of WhiteworkA-Z of WhiteworkCountry Bumpkin Publications4.0 StarsRead Full Review
Abécédaires de TraditionAbécédaires de TraditionBy Marie Clare3.5 StarsRead Full Review
All that GlittersAll that GlittersBy Alison Cole4.5 StarsRead Full Review
Anchor Manual of NeedleworkAnchor Manual of NeedleworkBy J&P Coats4.0 StarsRead Full Review
Art of Chinese EmbroideryArt of Chinese EmbroideryBy Margaret Lee5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Art of Embroidered ButterfliesArt of Embroidered ButterfliesBy Jane Hall5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Art of EmbroideryThe Art of EmbroideryBy Lanto Synge5.0 StarsRead Full Review
The Art of Teaching CraftThe Art of Teaching CraftBy Joyce Spencer and Deborah Kneen3.0 StarsRead Full Review
Arts & Crafts EmbroideryArts & Crafts EmbroideryBy Laura Euler3.0 StarsRead Full Review
Autopsy of the Montenegrin Stitch: ExhumedAutopsy of Montenegrin StitchAmy Mitten4.0 StarsRead Full Review
Basic Principles of Schwalm WhiteworkBasic Principles of Schwalm WhiteworkBy Luzine Happel5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Basics of Embroidery on PaperBasics of Embroidery on PaperBy Erica Fortgens4.5 StarsRead Full Review
Bead Embroidery MotifsBead Embroidery MotifsBy Yasuko Endo4.5 StarsRead Full Review
Bead Embroidery Stitch SamplesBead Embroidery Stitch SamplesBy Yasuko Endo4.5 StarsRead Full Review
Beginner's Guide to Crewel EmbroideryBeginner’s Guide to Crewel EmbroideryJane Rainbow4.5 StarsRead Full Review
The Beginner's Guide to GoldworkThe Beginner’s Guide to Goldworkby Ruth Chamberline5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Beginner's Guide to Silk ShadingBeginner’s Guide to Silk ShadingClare Hanham5 StarsRead Full Review
BiblioCraftBiblioCraftBy Jessica Pigza5 StarsRead Full Review
Blissful BeginningsBlissful BeginningsCountry Bumpkin4.5 StarsRead Full Review
Broderie et Dentelle sur Carton PerforéBroderie et Dentelle sur Carton PerforéBy Veronique Maillard5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Broderies Colbert (Colbert Embroidery)Broderies Colbert (Colbert Embroidery)Éditions L’Inédite – Paris4.0 StarsRead Full Review
Bunnies in My GardenBunnies in My Gardenby Jenny McWhinney4.0 StarsRead Full Review
Colour Confidence in EmbroideryColour Confidence in Embroideryby Trish Burr4.0 StarsRead Full Review
Crazy Quilting by Allison AllerCrazy QuiltingAllison Aller4.0 StarsRead Full Review
Crewel and Surface Embroidery: Inspirational Floral DesignsCrewel and Surface Embroidery: Inspirational Floral DesignsTrish Burr5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Crewel Embroidery: A Practical GuideCrewel Embroidery: A Practical GuideBy Shelagh Amor4.5 StarsRead Full Review
Crewel Embroidery in EnglandCrewel Embroidery in EnglandBy Joan Edwards4.0 StarsRead Full Review
Crewel TwistsCrewel TwistsHazel Blomkamp5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Designing Celtic OrnamentDesigning Celtic OrnamentDavid Balade4.0 StarsRead Full Review
Dictionary of Embroidery StitchesDictionary of Embroidery StitchesBy Mary Thomas4.5 StarsRead Full Review
Early American Crewel DesignsEarly American Crewel DesignsBy Frances Bradbury4.0 StarsRead Full Review
Early Kolacsa EmbroideriesEarly Kolacsa EmbroideriesFolk Patterns5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Early Schwalm WhiteworkEarly Schwalm WhiteworkLuzine Happel5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Elizabethan StitchesElizabethan StitchesJacqui Carey4.0 StarsRead Full Review
Embroidered Flora & Fauna: Three-Dimensional Textured EmbroideryEmbroidered Flora & Fauna: 3D Textured EmbroideryTurpin-Delport & Delport-Wepener4.5 StarsRead Full Review
Embroidered Flowers for ElizabethEmbroidered Flowers for ElizabethBy Susan O’Connor5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Embroidered PortraitsEmbroidered PortraitsBy Jan Messent3.5 StarsRead Full Review
The Embroiderer's HandbookThe Embroiderer’s HandbookPublished by the same people who put out the A-Z series5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Embroideries from an English GardenEmbroideries from an English GardenBy Carol Andrews5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Embroidery BasicsEmbroidery BasicsCeryl Fall4.0 StarsRead Full Review
Embroidery on PaperEmbroidery on PaperBy Cynthia Rapson3.0 StarsRead Full Review
Embroidery on Paper for Every OccasionEmbroidery on Paper for Every OccasionBy Joke and Adriaan de Vette4.0 StarsRead Full Review
Embroidery Stitch BibleEmbroidery Stitch BibleBetty Barnden4.0 StarsRead Full Review
Embroidery Techniques and PatternsEmbroidery Techniques and PatternsMarie-Noelle Bayard4.0 StarsRead Full Review
English Crewel Designs: 16th - 18th CenturiesEnglish Crewel Designs: 16th – 18th CenturiesBy Frances Bradbury4.5 StarsRead Full Review
Fancy HemsFancy HemsBy Luzine Happel5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Fancy HemsFleurs en TransfertsBy Huguette Kirby4.0 StarsRead Full Review
Fashioning FashionFashioning FashionLACMA Exhibit4.0 StarsRead Full Review
Floral Interpretations for Silk Ribbon EmbroideryFloral Interpretations for Silk Ribbon EmbroideryBy Helen Dafter4.0 StarsRead Full Review
Filet Lace - Introduction to the Linen StitchFilet Lace – Introduction to the Linen StitchBy Marie-Jo Quinault at Filet Lace By the Sea5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Goldwork Embroidery: Designs & ProjectsGoldwork Embroidery: Designs & Projectsby Mary Brown4.5 StarsRead Full Review
Home Sweet Home: An Embroidered WorkboxHome Sweet HomeBy Carolyn Pearce5.0 StarsRead Full Review
In Fine StyleIn Fine StyleBy Anna Reynolds5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Interwoven GlobeInterwoven GlobeBy Amelia Peck5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Iron-On TransfersIron-On TransfersSeveral Reviews in One Review4.0 StarsRead Full Review
Variety Magazines: Italian Cut Work and Filet LaceMagazines: Italian Cut Work and Filet LaceMultiple volumes digitally refurbished by Iva Rose Prod4.5 StarsRead Full Review
Lefkara Lace EmbroideryLefkara Lace EmbroideryAndroula Hadjiyiasemi5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Left-Handed Embroiderer's CompanionLeft-Handed Embroiderer’s CompanionBy Yvette Stanton5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Letters and Monograms House of MalbrancheLetters & Monograms House of MalbrancheVan de Velde-Malbranche & Rosenthal4.0 StarsRead Full Review
Long and Short Stitch Embroidery, A Collection of FlowersLong and Short Stitch EmbroideryTrish Burr5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Mains et MerveillesMains et MerveillesFrench Published Needlework Magazine4.5 StarsRead Full Review
Making Hand-Sewn BoxesMaking Hand-Sewn BoxesBy Jackie Woolsey5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Mastering the Art of EmbroideryMastering the Art of EmbroideryBy Sophie Long3.5 StarsRead Full Review
Metal Thread EmbroideryMetal Thread EmbroideryBy Jane Lemon3.5 StarsRead Full Review
The Midas TouchThe Midas TouchBy Alison Cole5.0 StarsRead Full Review
More William Morris AppliquesMore William Morris AppliquésMichele Hill4.0 StarsRead Full Review
Needlepainting: Fresh Ideas for BeginnersNeedlepainting: Fresh Ideas for BeginnersTrish Burr5.0 StarsRead Full Review
The New CrewelThe New CrewelBy Katherine Shaughnessy3.0 StarsRead Full Review
Openwork Pattern SamplersOpenwork Pattern SamplersBy Luzine Happel5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Painting with a NeedlePainting with a NeedleBy Young Yang Chung4.5 StarsRead Full Review
Pocketful of PosiesPocketful of PosiesBy Salley Mavor5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Portuguese WhiteworkPortuguese WhiteworkYvette Stanton5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Redwork CircusRedwork CircusBy Jenny McWhinney5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Redoute's Finest Flowers in EmbroideryRedoute’s Finest Flowers in EmbroideryTrish Burr5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Ribbon Embroidery and StumpworkRibbon Embroidery and StumpworkBy Di van Niekerk, published by Search Press5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Estense Embroidery or Ricamo Estense Italian EmbroideryRicamo Estenseby E. H. Spinelli5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Right Handed Embroiderer's CompanionRight Handed Embroiderer’s Companionby Yvette Stanton5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Roses in Silk and Organza RibbonRosesBy Di van Niekerk5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Royal School of Needlework Embroidery TechniquesRoyal School of Needlework Embroidery TechniquesBy Sally Saunders4.5 StarsRead Full Review
RSN Bead EmbroideryRSN Bead EmbroideryShelley Cox5.0 StarsRead Full Review
RSN Blackwork Stitch GuideRSN Blackwork Stitch GuideBecky Hogg5.0 StarsRead Full Review
RSN Canvaswork Stitch GuideRSN Canvaswork Stitch GuideRachel Doyle3.5 StarsRead Full Review
RSN Crewelwork Stitch GuideRSN Crewelwork Stitch GuideJacqui McDonald5.0 StarsRead Full Review
RSN Goldwork Stitch GuideRSN Goldwork Stitch GuideHelen McCook4.0 StarsRead Full Review
RSN Handbook of EmbroideryRSN Handbook of EmbroideryLetitia Higgin4.0 StarsRead Full Review
RSN Silk Shading Stitch GuideRSN Silk Shading Stitch GuideSarah Homfray4.0 StarsRead Full Review
RSN Stumpwork Stitch GuideRSN Stumpwork Stitch GuideKate Sinton4.5 StarsRead Full Review
RSN Whitework Stitch GuideRSN Whitework Stitch GuideLizzy Lansberry5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Russian EleganceRussian EleganceLuisa Yefimova5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Schwalm Whitework EmbroiderySchwalm Whitework EmbroideryChristine Bishop4.5 StarsRead Full Review
Secret Garden: Inky Treasure Hunt & Coloring BookSecret Garden Coloring BookJohanna Basford5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Stitch SamplerStitch SamplerLucinda Ganderton4.0 StarsRead Full Review
Stumpwork Butterflies & MothsStumpwork Butterflies & MothsBy Jane Nicholas5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Stumpwork EmbroideryStumpwork EmbroideryJane Nicholas5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Stumpwork FlowersStumpwork FlowersBy Sachiko Morimoto5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Stumpwork: Medieval FloraStumpwork: Medieval FloraBy Jane Nicholas5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Stumpwork TilesStumpwork TilesJane Nicholas5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Tambour WorkTambour WorkBy Yusai Fukuyama5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Temari TechniquesTemari TechniquesBarbara Suess5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Threads of LightThreads of LightGlen Ketchum5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Treasures of Ancient YaroslavlTreasures of Ancient YaroslavlBy Blazhevskaya Zubatenko4.0 StarsRead Full Review
Twixt Art and Nature: English Embroidery from the Metropolitan Museum of ArtTwixt Art and Nature: English Embroideryfrom the Metropolitan Museum of Art5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Wessex StitcheryWessex StitcheryBy Gay Eaton5.0 StarsRead Full Review
White WorkWhite WorkBy Carter Houck (Dover Publications)4.0 StarsRead Full Review
Women's WorkWomen’s WorkBy Pamela Parmal5.0 StarsRead Full Review
The Wool Embroidery CollectionThe Wool Embroidery CollectionBy Gail Rogers5.0 StarsRead Full Review
Why Not Embroider BoxesWhy Not Embroider BoxesBy Daphne Ashby and Jackie Woolsey5.0 StarsRead Full Review

Free Books Online

  • Blackwork Filling Collections
    from String-Or-Nothing
    Description: A collection of free downloadable (PDF) blackwork filling patterns. There are nearly 220 filling patterns here, in a collection of 4 PDFs.
  • The Encyclopedia of Needlework
    by Therese Dillmont
    Made available by Project Gutenberg
    Description: A comprehensive book on needlework, covering a whole range of techniques. If it’s needlework, you’re bound to find a reference for it in this book!
  • Jacobean Embroidery
    by Ada Wentworth Fitzwilliam and A.F. Morris Hands
    Made available by Project Gutenberg
    Description: This is a wonderful book for anyone interested in crewel work, needlepainting, or, of course, Jacobean embroidery.
  • Beeton’s Book of Needlework
    by Isabella Beeton
    Made available by Project Gutenberg (HTML format) and Antique Pattern Library in PDF form (links below)
    Description: This is a comprehensive needlework book. It contains instructions and pictures of different techniques, as well as patterns and some very nice monogram alphabets. Available in three files: Part I, Part II, Part III.
  • Art in Needlework (PDF – 24MB)
    by Lewis F. Day
    Available on American Libraries Internet Archive
    Description: A comprehensive needlework resource, this one is made up of a good bit of text, but has some nice illustrations in it and some very good tips for the embroiderer.
  • The Art of Modern Lacemaking
    Published by Butterick in 1891
    Made available by Project Gutenberg
    Description: Browsing through this book, you’ll find some great patterns and some techniques that can be used in surface embroidery as well as lace making.
  • Assisi Embroidery
    by Therese Dillmont
    Made available by the On-Line Digital Archive of Documents on Weaving and Related Topics (hereafter, Digital Archive)
    Format: Two PDF Files: Part One & Part Two
    Description: Will interest anyone who likes counted thread techniques and historical embroidery. The first part of the work is where you’ll find the technique explained, and the second part is devoted primarily to color plates.
  • Church Embroidery and Church Vestments
    by Lucy Vaughn Hayden Mackrille
    Made available by Digital Archives
    Description: This is an excellent resource for anyone interested in ecclesiastical. The separate links to the PDF files are listed in my brief blurb on the book.
  • Embroidery and Tapestry Weaving
    by Mrs. Archibald Christie
    Made available by Project Gutenberg
    This is a great book covering embroidery techniques, with plenty of pattern and design ideas. Fun to browse through!


Embroidery Supplies

  • Hedgehog Handworks – this is a great site for harder-to-find supplies, especially goldwork supplies, good linen, Soie d’Alger floss, floche, Renaissance Dying wool, and other fine embroidery supplies. They also have a terrific books section. Service is excellent.
  • Lacis – this is probably the most thorough supply house for any kind of needlework. Lacis is located in California. They have a great online catalog. Their shipping rates are reasonable, but expect to wait a bit if you order with standard shipping, especially if you live in the Midwest or on the East Coast.
  • Needle In A Haystack – Located in Alameda, California, this store has a great online catalog with a wonderful selection of everything, especially threads. Excellent service, but on some items, a little more expensive than elsewhere.
  • Berlin Embroidery Designs – Here you’ll find embroidery designs, kits, instructions, and supplies for all kinds of techniques, all put together by Tanja Berlin. She’s in Canada, so whatever we in the US might save on the exchange rate, we pay in shipping. But it’s worth it!
  • Country Bumpkin – The editors of the A-Z series books and Inspirations Magazine. They have gorgeous stuff! Enjoy browsing their site. If you’re looking for back issues of Inspirations, you can find them here – but beware, overseas shipping can be expensive!
  • Nordic Needle – a thorough source, especially for Hardanger and Counted Cross Stitch. They also carry heaps of accessories. Service is always excellent.
  • Alison Cole Embroidery – Alison Cole is another Australian embroiderer. She specializes in goldwork and stumpwork. Her site includes full kits that you can order (for US customers, remember to convert currency, and don’t forget postage rates!).
  • Wooly Thread – If you’re looking for Appleton wool for crewel work, or wool fabrics for blankets, this is the place to look. They also carry great wool felt, and most of the A-Z series books as well as Inspirations Magazine. Excellent service.
  • Japanese Embroidery Center – This is a great resource for flat silk and for goldwork supplies (imitation and real Jap for couching and embroidery). The JEC is a non-profit educational organization. Their shipping is reasonable and pretty quick, and the service is excellent.
  • Su Embroidery Studios – Not strictly a supply source, this is a resource for good quality Chinese embroidered art. You’ll also find plenty of information on their website about Suzhou embroidery. If you’re looking for embroidery reproductions or custom embroidery reproductions, this is a good place to go!