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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A-Z of Embroidery Stitches 2: Book Review


Amazon Books

Embroidery Stitch Dictionaries are handy books to have on your shelf, if you’re a die-hard embroidery fanatic.

Even if you only dabble in hand embroidery as an occasional hobby, you’ll never be sorry you have a stitch dictionary or two at hand – they are wonderful reference tools to have on hand, especially when you want to expand your stitching horizons a bit.

One of my favorite series of how-to books for embroidery is the A-Z series, which used to be published by Country Bumpkin, but is now (as of 2014) published by Search Press.

Today, I want to show you one of their stitch dictionaries – A-Z of Embroidery Stitches 2. It’s a terrific stitch dictionary for stitchers wishing to increase their stitching repertoire.

A-Z of Embroidery Stitches 2 published by Search Press

As the title suggests, this is the second A-Z book on embroidery stitches. The first one, A-Z of Embroidery Stitches, is excellent, too, but I especially like this second one because it delves into stitch combinations, variations, and so forth that are not as commonly seen as those stitches found in the first book.

Update, 2014: The cover above is the new cover, from the Search Press Classics edition. The old cover looked like this:

A-Z of Embroidery Stitches 2 published by Search Press

The contents of both books is the same.

A-Z of Embroidery Stitches 2 features over 145 embroidery stitches, variations, and combinations, each shown in detail with step-by-step photos of the actual stitch in progress.

A-Z of Embroidery Stitches 2 published by Country Bumpkin

The book begins with a long index of the stitches included within!

A-Z of Embroidery Stitches 2 published by Country Bumpkin

Before the stitching instructions begin, in the front of the book you’ll find some excellent information for the embroiderer. For example, there are several pages devoted to needles used in embroidery, including what types are used for what, and a page of actual sized photos of the various types of needles. How many times have you wondered if you’re using the “right” needle for your work? Or which needle to choose before you start? This is a great resource that helps answer those questions!

A-Z of Embroidery Stitches 2 published by Country Bumpkin

There’s a good section on using an embroidery hoop, binding a hoop, and keeping your work clean – excellent information for beginners and beyond.

A-Z of Embroidery Stitches 2 published by Country Bumpkin

But the real “meat” of the book, of course, is in the instructions. The step-by-step photos of the various stitches are what make the book perfect for learning.

A-Z of Embroidery Stitches 2 published by Country Bumpkin

Besides regular surface embroidery stitches, you’ll find some ribbon embroidery techniques included throughout the book…

A-Z of Embroidery Stitches 2 published by Country Bumpkin

… and in this particular book, you’ll find lots of interesting composite stitches, filling stitches, and stitch variations.

A-Z of Embroidery Stitches 2 has been on the market for a while – I’m not reviewing a “new” book here! – but since lately I’ve found myself returning to it over and over again for stitch ideas, I thought it would be a good one to review. Combined with the first A-Z of Embroidery Stitches, these two books make up a very thorough resource for embroidery stitch instruction.

If you’re looking for a good stitch dictionary that will allow you to add some variety to your stitches, you can’t go wrong with this book.

Where to Find

You can find A-Z of Embroidery Stitches and A-Z of Embroidery Stitches 2 through the following book affiliates:

In the US: A-Z of Embroidery Stitches is available here through Amazon, and A-Z of Embroidery Stitches 2 is here at Amazon.

Worldwide:: A-Z of Embroidery Stitches is available here at Book Depository, and A-Z of Embroidery Stitches 2 is here through Book Depositorywith free worldwide shipping.

This article includes affiliate links to book sources, which means that Needle ‘n Thread receives a small commission for purchases made through those links. Thanks!


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(37) Comments

  1. I just bought the A-Z book of thread painting and I was so pleased with the text. It really will be an invaluable resource. However, the copy that I got had a very awkward binding. I could not get the pages to turn easily. I finally took it down to a local shop to have it rebound with a larger coil. Could I ask you if you had a different binding on the copy you got? The contents really are outstanding!

    1. Hi, Laura – Ah. I know what you mean. I like the spiral binding on the A-Z books, but I don’t like it when the pages catch. I’ve had a couple that have done that, but I notice that once I use them a bit, the pages somehow “loosen” up and are easier to turn, or maybe it’s the coil that loosens up. This particular one is ok, though. It opens easily…

  2. Wow
    is it so?
    If this bok is full of illustration then it will be very good for the beginner like me.

  3. Hi Mary,

    Looks like a wonderful book to have in the personal library. Thank you so much for your review of it! Take care.

  4. I loved the first book, I didn’t even know there was a second one 🙂 I would love ideas of stitch combinations, for some reason I freeze up whenever I have to create my own 🙂

  5. I knew I was too anxious. I’ve been looking for a good book on stitches. Checked online, checked at the local book store. It’s difficult to find anything. Finally picked up The Complete Illustrated Stitch Encyclopedia. It’s not bad but I sure like the looks of this one you’ve shared. I should have waited. I guess there’s no law against having two different stitch books, right? Now to convince my husband. LOL

  6. Swell. There’s a word I don’t hear much, but always reminds me of fun oldie movies.=) Nice.

    Anyway, thanks for this review. I’ve been wanting this book for a long time and I think I certainly will get a copy after having seen some more of it. I’ve already got the latest version of Mary Thomas and the CB ‘Embroiderers Handbook’, which is very good, but this one looks like the perfect addition.=)

    All the best!

  7. These A to Z books are really great. I didn’t know there was a second one on stitches. Must see if I can get one on-line. Thanks for doing the review.

  8. I have this book and agree that it IS a good resource. I certainly don’t have all the A-Z books in their series but I really like the ones I do have in my collection.

  9. This is a wonderful compendium for a beginner like me. I love the A-Z books. I have the first book in this series and would love to add this one. Thanks for the give away!

    Susan R. in WV

  10. I have just read your review of A-Z of Embroidery Stitches 2. This book of instructions sounds ideal for me due to the fact I have ADD and have to re-read information to make sure I understood it the first time. With the review plus the clarity in the pictures I feel this would be a very important book in my collection of “How To’s”.
    I’m 76 years old and about a year ago I became re-interested in embroidery. Alva

  11. I love it being able to see the detailed stitching moves would be the best part for me. I get tired of Googling every stitch when I run into one I forgot how to do.

  12. Hey,
    thats a wonderful news! I was waiting for this opportunity to get my hands to it. The instructions seem so clear and i want to try each and every stitch given in that book. Really i will be the luckiest if i happen to get it. I have one book of stitches from India but this looks like it contains more new stitches for me to try….Hope god makes me lucky this time.

  13. I would to win this book, mainly because I am re-learning embroidery in a second language (English) and when my grandma whom is 85 years old and only speak Spanish and i try to communicate in relation to stitching is a bit hard because i know the name of the stitch in English and she only knows the name of the stitch in Spanish…..so a guide with PHOTOS! will be of much help for the two of us!
    thank you and good luck to everybody
    Marianela, Canberra, Australia

  14. I find the step-by-step photos very helpful as english is not my native language. Can’t be too many photos!
    Good luck to everyone!

    Kjersti – Norway

  15. Hi,
    I love the book when I had seen it, it seems to be covering a lot of stitches which appear decorative and simple to work on. I am a addict to needle work and hence look forward to be a lucky one to receive it.
    Good luck to all the entries.
    pramila .. canada.

  16. Hi all
    What an excellent source of information for anyone who does needlework. I’m just beginning hand stitchery, and having a reference book like this one to refer to would be awesome! I’m forever searching the internet to find more information about different stitches and its terminology.
    I will certainly look out for it at my local bookstore or be one of the lucky two to be given a copy!

  17. You don’t need to be a fanatic to have these books: they are a gorgeous source for begineers as well. I taught myself to stitch from them (and from the crewel book in the same series, it’s really the only three books I have on the subject), and everybody ask me if I went to a school to learn embroidery 🙂

  18. Thanks for the review…I’ve already ordered from Wooly Thread and am anxiously awaiting its delivery! Thanks for the other reviews as well…I’m looking into ordering some of them… Your videos of stitches have been a godsend as well! Thanks again… Cathy

  19. Thank you, Mary, I have just ordered this book from Wooly Thread. It is still $15 there, $21 with shipping to Florida. Better deal than on Amazon or eBay. Thanks again!!!

    P.S. I also noticed unusual for me word “swell”. It reminds me of swelling (but English is my second language, my first is Russian).

  20. Hi Mary, i’m Zainab from nigeria in africa i want to purchase A _ Z embroidery book and i find it very difficult to purchase due to problems of different in currency, shipping etc also transactions on line is not very safe, please can you help?.

    1. Hi, you might try Book Depository in the UK. They ship world wide, for free. I don’t know if they carry the book, but it would be worth looking. Hope that helps! – MC

  21. I have tried to order this book but my order was canceled. Where can I order A-Z Embroidery
    stitches and A-Z Embroider Stitches 2. I am from Malta.

  22. I am just beginning to learn to embroider,,so
    this book looks wonderful. I’m starting with the feather stitching and would like to learn other stitches like it to use on 5 wonderful crazy quilt blocks from the early 1900’s that my grandmother and her sister pieced,so I want them to look period.

  23. hola me interesaria saber que libro de bordado debo comprarte, yo se lo basico pero me interesan bordados rellenos algun libro de paso a paso de como hacerlo

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