Ribbon embroidery and stumpwork may not be your idea of “beginner’s” embroidery, and, in some cases, I would say it really isn’t. But this fantastic book by Di van Niekerk makes both ribbon embroidery and stumpwork accessible even to the newbie.
Ribbon embroidery in itself isn’t too difficult. If you know your basic stitches then you can apply them to embroidery with ribbon almost as easily as with thread. But if you want to go beyond the average daisy or rose, then you’ll want to have a good guide to show you how.
Di van Niekerk is just such a guide. The book Ribbon Embroidery and Stumpwork not only makes the journey from simple ribbon stitching to complex, full-textured stumpwork and ribbon easy, but it also makes it fun. This book is beautiful – anyone, whether an embroiderer or not, would be enchanted just flipping through it. The flowers and plant life are realistic and charming. The author takes the stitcher step-by-step through creating 12 different “panels” or motifs in stumpwork and ribbon. Each panel is made up of a small collage of flowers or fruit or greenery, sometimes accentuated with an insect or bird. The little panels can be worked in one lattice-like composite (gorgeous!) or separately. The concepts can be adapted to any of your own designs.
The author also takes the stitcher through all the basic stitches. There’s a colorful and clear stitch glossary in the middle of the book.
Besides covering the embroidery aspect, you’ll get some good direction on setting up your fabric, choosing threads and ribbon, and transfering designs. There’s quite a bit on heat transfer, using your color printer (or a commercial one) to print the design on the appropriate type of heat transfer paper. (Find this at Joann’s online – it’s called Photo Effects Transfer Paper). You then iron the design on to your fabric – so you get all the color. The lattice-work composition that is shown on the front cover of the book is included inside. It’s a watercolor-type print that you can scan and print on the correct transfer paper.
Anyone interested in either ribbon embroidery or stumpwork – or both! – will love this book! And you can’t beat the Amazon price – I paid 25.95 for it from a retail embroidery shop. (That’s quite a bit of thread!)