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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The Embroiderer’s Handbook


Amazon Books

Embroidery books are a great way to learn the art of embroidery on your own. But if you’re starting out, and you don’t know just what to buy, it’s nice to get a little direction before you purchase. Have you bought embroidery books that weren’t quite what you expected, and built of library of less-than-desirable, but expensive books? Avoid that – read some reviews, and then choose. Here’s a review on a book I recently aquired, but it’s become a favorite!

Embroiderer's Handbook

The Embroiderer’s Handbook by Margie Bauer is a step-by-step illustrated guide to beautiful stitches. If you’re familiar with the Country Bumpkin publications and you like them, you will love this book! If you aren’t familiar with them, that’s ok! You’ll still love this book! You’ll find all the common stitches, and many uncommon stitches, illustrated in this book.

Embroiderer's Handbook

Interspersed among the stitching techniques, you’ll find gorgeous photos of great projects. The description on the back of the book reads: “The essential guide to over 150 creative stitches and a comprehensive reference book for the embroiderer.” The book includes clear instructions and photos of every stage of the stitch, along with practical tips on different threads, fabric, and equipment. There are also some trouble-shooting hints spattered throughout, covering the more complicated stitches.

Embroiderer's Handbook

Whether you are a beginner or an expert, this is a great book to have in your library. The only drawback to it, for me, is that it is not spiral bound like the A to Z books put out by Country Bumpkin. However, the book is “floppy,” so it does lay flat enough to stitch and read at the same time. This is a treasure of a book that will always serve as a good reference or just as an enjoyable browsing book – or you could put it on a coffee table just for looks! It’s gorgeous.

You can find The Embroiderer’s Handbook through The Book Depository (they offer world-wide free shipping, which is a great deal if you have to order from outside your own country!). You can also find it through Amazon:


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(13) Comments

  1. I just found your site this weekend as I machine sew and wanted to try my hand at embroidery. I picked up this book at my local bookseller and it’s a great resource. Great pictures and instructions


  2. Your wedsite is fascinating, thankyou for all the information. I have a problem maybe you can
    advise me. I live in Spain and have just begun needle enbroidery on machine net. It is very
    poular in the Granada area of Spain where they
    make wedding viels of Tulle. Do you know of any
    instruction book of the stitchs used for fillings in this type of work? Any help would
    be gratefully received. Many thanks.

    1. Hi, Vivien –

      Yes, there’s a very good book called “Embroidered Machine Nets: Limerick and Worldwide” by Pat Earnshaw. It’s available at new from Lacis (www.lacis.com – just search their online catalog for the title) or better yet, you can find it used through amazon US for as low as $7.89. It contains history, techniques, and patterns. It’s a nice book!

      I have had such a hard time finding a nice tulle in the US – one that is actually limp, with a good “drape” – rather than the very stiff tulle that’s commonly found everywhere. I had a short bout with tulle embroidery using Pat Earnshaw’s book, and would like to get back to it some day – but probably not in the near future.

      I hope the book answers your needs. If not, check the Lacis online catalog for other books on the subject (there are quite a few different types of embroidery on machine net, so maybe looking up a specific kind – like “needle run lace” or something like that – or Carricmacross, or Limerick run laces, etc. – might turn up something you like better.


  3. Hello Mary I see that some of my concerns re pounce powder doesn’t rate a mention, thought you might have cut a bit out and posted it as a warning for the health of others.. nevertheless, I do enjoy your updates and your product evaluations and seeing your projects coming along.

    I have found very helpful your evaluation of the Millenium and the Needlework stand. I gulped and thought, justify getting those old girl. The postage for the Millenium was nearly the same price as the Frame. I even thought to get the smaller size but postage was only $3 less. Ah well we can all dream.

    I really only was writing to you today with an idea about clamping the frame.

    If you wanted the stand more central have you thought about 2 pieces of flat wood the length of the bars and to the edge of spreaders. Bind them with a couple of tight heavy elastic bands and then you could use the clamp more central. But the ends will have to be securely anchored. Maybe small clamps.

    I am away now to think of how I can convince myself I need, not just want the frame and stand. But where’s there a will there is a way. Women can be so inventive.

    If you are reading this thank you.
    I have no intention of offending, just my concern.
    I suppose it is from my medical and scientific backgound.


    Denise T

  4. I have been wanting to buy this book for two months. Ii started trying to teach myelf the new stuff. As i said i have a lot of books but am now keeping a list of the ones you recommeed. This would make a great. christmas present from my new mentor,
    Love, Sharon

  5. Comment is above but when signing i forgot to put my full name and emaiilj so i entrered it agin. Mary i don’t mind you posting but jplease delete a lot of thr personal items..

    QUESTION i am. Workin on a baby’ s first Christtmas stiocking for my new granddaughter it is 4 inch stockinng in pink, rasberry, and white ginghm. Would a 4 stitch Rhodes stich which i love, over poer it. I also have a alphabet that i
    have charted for the top. Should i use the rasberry impressions or another thread. I. Have quite a stash of threads since i am also working on a handpaintedneedlepoint birth record for her.

    1. Hi, Sharon – Thanks for your comment. I think the Rhodes stitch would work nicely on gingham. I’m not really able to give particular color advice, because it’s difficult to know the actual colors of the threads you’re using. The best thing is probably just to try it out with a little bit and see if you like it! It sounds like it would work ok….


  6. Mary,
    Thank you for your quick response. I really appreciate your advice because i am just starting out with all these new stitches and threads. Who says an —- dog can’t learn new tricks. I refuse to use the blank word with respect to myself or any baby boomer. I am going to try the Rhodes. Stitich i think it will give it some punch. Thanks again for the fast reply it really helps me to be more adventurous and dedicated to know that there is someone out there who cares. There are very few people out there like you and i feel blessed for having discovered your website. May you and your family have a Happy Holiday season and a wonderful and most important a HEALTHY New Year.


  7. Hello Mary,
    If i had to choose one of these two books which one should i choose:
    The Embroiderer’s Handbook OR The Embroidery Stitch Bible
    I checked out the contents of both the books and found that the handbook has ribbon work and such and its similar to the a-z series which is why my choice is leaning towards this book but at the same time i want a book which has easier instructions and lot of stiches and photographs. …so im torn between which one to get .I really am looking forward to get one.
    Thanks a lot for your help.:)

  8. I am searching for a book that is for left-handed stichers as well as righted stichers. I have found a lovely beginner books on your list but none seem to show left handed examples of how to pictures.

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