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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Needlework Book Dilemma! Calling on Readers for Help!


Amazon Books

There are TONS of needlework books on the market. I know I have my favorites, and I also know I have a library of some almost-200 books that deal with embroidery or needlework in some way. But recently, I was asked for a rather specific book recommendation, so I thought I’d ask readers to contribute their thoughts, experience, and preferences to help narrow down a book recommendation.

Here is the question: If you had to recommend a beginner’s embroidery book to someone who had only $15 and the book was for someone 15 years old or YOUNGER, what book would you recommend and why?

I have a friend whose company wants to promote “how to” books for different crafts and hobbies for youth. As far as embroidery goes, they want to start with a basic beginner’s book.

I hate to give “just any” recommendation! And so many books have so many angles I like, but not all books have all the angles I like to see in a beginner’s book.

For example, I love the A-Z on Embroidery Stitches (ok, we’ve exceeded the $15 range here, obviously). I like them for beginners because of the step-by-step photos. Same with the Embroiderer’s Handbook (Country Bumpkin as well). The latter is closer to the $15 range. But neither of those have projects in them. For beginners – and especially youth – it’s nice to have a pool of projects to choose from.

Then there are the Anchor books. The Freestyle Embroidery book has projects in it, but I don’t know if the “New” one has diagrams in it or photos. I just bought a copy of the new one to review, but it hasn’t arrived yet. The old one had diagrams only, but I like the way they provide a picture of a small motif completed with the stitch. I also like the variety of designs for stitching provided in the old book. But the diagrams are just your typical diagrams. Some kids just don’t get stitch diagrams.

Then there are the various “Beginner’s Guide To” books by Search Press, all of which are excellent in their own technique, but there isn’t one overall “Beginner’s Guide To Embroidery” by Search Press.

And then there are the individual, non-series type books out there on beginning embroidery…

So the question is: WHICH BOOK?

Any input? I’d love to hear what you would recommend!



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(10) Comments

  1. I always loved Klutz books when I was growing up. They have really clear concise pictures and instructions, and came with a kit to get started. I saw they have a newish embroidery book, but I haven’t actually looked through it in person to know if it’s any good or not… It’s certainly aimed at the 15 and under crowd!

  2. Both the books I would recommend are old, so i dont know if they are out of print, or not. (being 2nd hand they are def. under $15)
    the first is The stitches of Creative embroidery by Jaqueline Enthoven. She wrote this with beginners in mind, particulalry children/teenagers. it has a good intro, lots of stitches, with diagrams, rather than photos, and some examples of work/samplers. It is focused on making a sampler of stitches, rather than projects like ’embroider a baby bib’ style of thing, but the samplers can be a picture, rather than lines of stitches. ISBN: 0442110871
    The other book is Stitches for embroidery by Heather Joynes. This has 20 basic stitches, but lots of ideas for how to use them – leaves, flowers, sky, trees, houses, water etc. The stitch directions are photos, not diagrams. and is in colour (my version on Enthoven is B&W;) ISBN: 0864173717
    The other book i would consider is the Constance Howard book of stitches (i dont own this one) but it is in B&W; and I dont think it would appear accessible to teenagers.
    Unless book prices are cheaper in the US, i cant imagine any book under $15 being suitable – most reasonable new books cost twice that much in Aust.
    hhhmmm – maybe there is a market for a new book…..

  3. When I was younger my mom taught me
    how to embroidert. she put the iron on picture on a old dish cloth
    and it was a very easy picture.
    That was the easy way to show some
    body to emboidery and do all kinds
    crafts qulting and that was the
    best book I ever had and we did it with all 7 of us girls by quilting
    and keeping in touch with each other,

  4. Thanks for all the ideas and comments, everyone!

    Hey, Paula – talk about expensive! The second book you mention (Joynes) is available here in the States, used, for a mere $89.00!!!! I was intrigued by the description, but I think it’s out of the price range!! Thank you, though, for taking the time to make some really good suggestions!

  5. Great project! I second the motion that you write one!!!!

    I definately recommend Klutz Embroidery. It covers most of the basic suface techniques. The designs and colors are very fun and there are iron-on transfer patterns and floss included. It is very clear and easy enough for kids as young as 7. But I think older girls would enjoy it just as much because it is contemporary: with a stong emphasis on clothing decoration.

    I’ll try to think of others; I know there must be some that I can’t think of right now. . . It is after midnight. . .

  6. Ms. Corbet i wanted to let u know that i looked these books up that were metioned and i found them on amazon.com all under 20.00 dollars.. the first one was under 5 and the one u refered to was under 19.00 dollars i just wanted u to know they were lots cheaper …. and this is a great sight to order from….

  7. I just saw this on Ebay :
    (although this may be an old issue by now)

    all you need to know to start stitching
    by Betty Barnden

    This is an English book from 2005 that is an essential guide to embroidery. It starts with which threads and fabrics to use and then helps you master different stitches and more complicated techniques. From cross stitch to applique, more than 30 stitches are examined with step-by-step photos and easy-to-follow diagrams. The book includes 12 lovely projects to allow you to practise your skills – a great book for beginners.

    Condition: this is a new pictorial hardcover book in excellent condition.
    Publisher: Apple Press, U.K., 2005.
    ISBN: 1-84543-050-6 / 1845430506.
    Size: 22.1 by 28.7cm : 8¾ by 11¼ inches.
    Pages: 128.
    Weight: 880g.

  8. Hi, My name is gerry for short, I learned to embroidere when I was a little girl, My garmother taught me. she had an eye for color, an d did wonderful work. that is what I learned from her. If I didn’t take small enough stitches, I got the chanch to take out and do over. I was bound to be as good as her, She was like a bantam rooster, and she made sure I was doing it right. I did learn and I can do as good as she now. she has been gone for many years, and I have her hoop that she used, and that is what I use. anyway, I would love to try doing rhw contempoary embroidery. I Love to learn something new, and I have been looking all over to find a beginners book, one with projects.I KNOW!! I will learn to do it and be good at it, because I always feel she is there waiting to make me take it out and do over. so I want to do it right the first time because it is hard to take out those stitches. So I would love to find a beginners book. Thank You very much for reading this, and please email me @ guyie@midmaine.com and tell me where I can find one Thank You, Gerry

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