If you’re gearing up for the holidays and have it in mind to make your Christmas cards, you might consider embroidering them. And if you’re considering embroidering your Christmas cards, you might be looking for books to help you out!
Our little embroidery guild has been working on embroidered cards the last two times we met (last night and a month ago). I thought it would be fun to introduce the ladies to embroidery on paper, in case they wanted to make their own cards, gift tags, ornaments, etc. – and it would make a welcome break from the on-going saga of the silk sampler!
I had a few books on the subject of paper embroidery – but after a while, they all seemed kind of ho-hum since I had seen the patterns so often before. I decided to spice things up by adding a few more books to the collection before last night’s meeting.
The first book book is Basics of Embroidery on Paper by Erica Fortgens.
I really like Erica’s books, primarily because of the patterns in them. She’s got a huge variety of patterns in this one, and a nice selection of new Christmas patterns. As far as explanations of techniques are concerned, her books lack a bit, but the basics are there, and the abundant amount of really pretty patterns make up for the lack of technical discussion.
The second book is Embroidery on Paper for Every Occasion by Joke and Adriaan de Vette.
In this book, there’s a little more discussion on technique, and some very nice patterns, including holiday patterns. In fact, there’s even a Madonna and Child pattern in this one, if you like religious themed cards. The lamp on the front of the books is typical of the ornate and delicate style of the patterns in here.
The third book is Embroidery on Paper (A Passion for Paper) by Cynthia Rapson.
I bought this book particularly because it focuses a LOT on original finishes for paper embroidered items. In fact, it focuses mostly on finish work, which is nice. The drawback is that it doesn’t focus that much on the embroidery itself – there are no patterns in this book for the actual pricking of the paper. The author relies on brass stencils, which is nice and all, but if you don’t have the stencils, it ends up costing beginners considerably more to get into paper embroidery if they start with this book. But again, she really goes into some interesting and unique finishing techniques for cards and other paper products (including paper boxes, little paper memory books, paper purses, etc.). Since I had books that focused on the embroidery, I thought this was a worthwhile investment to show how an embroidered piece of paper could be finished into all kinds of things. One other shortcoming with this book is that the author gives stencil numbers for the embroidery and embossing stencils she uses, but she never says who makes the stencils. Not very helpful!
Each of these three books has its own merits. If I were getting started with paper embroidery, I’d pick one of the first two; if I were looking for finishing ideas after already knowing the basics of embroidering on paper, I’d consider the third book.
So, if you’ve got the bug to create your own greeting cards this year – and, hey, maybe you could make it a New Year’s Resolution, to make all your own cards throughout the year – you might want to check out these three books. They’re fun! I like all three (even if I do list a few disadvantages of them!) I think if I had to pick my Absolute Favorite in this batch, it would be Embroidery on Paper for Every Occasion (the second one listed). They’ve got some great little patterns in there!