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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Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples & Motifs – Books Review


Amazon Books

Yes, Books Review. I’m going to review two books at once, because they’re both closely related, by the same author & publisher, and they’re both So Much Fun that they deserver never to be separated.

The books are Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples and Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples: Motifs by Yasuko Endo.

If you like embroidering with beads, if you like embroidering little things, if you like embroidering on paper for cards and such, if you like embroidering on crazy quilts, if you like embroidering samplers, if you like embroidering decorative edges, if you like embroidering… if you just like embroidering, I think you’ll like these books! They’ll inspire many an idea for embellishing with needle and thread and beads.

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples & Motifs

I’ll start with the first of the two books, since it was published first.

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples is an instructional and idea book for embroidering with beads. It concentrates primarily on decorative lines and bands worked in transitional embroidery stitches, with small seed beads added to the stitching.

Besides the decorative lines and bands that take up the majority of the book, you’ll also find a cross stitch alphabet accented with beads, some filling and needle lace stitches accented with beads, a small selection of cross stitch motifs (Nordic folk motifs) accented with beads, and some individual floral motifs worked with surface stitches and beads.

But the majority of the book is devoted to decorative lines and bands, which can be used in many ways in all kinds of surface embroidery. And, of course, you can always take the decorative lines and bands off the “straight line” and adapt them on curves, circles, what-have-you. They make great frames around embroidery, and many of them would make terrific edging techniques on embroidered items.

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples & Motifs

The organizational concept in both books is pretty simple. First, you get a page that shows each sample (and there are some 130+ samples), stitched.

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples & Motifs

Next to that page, you can see those very samples worked out step by step with needle and thread.

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples & Motifs

So, again, stitched sample on the left, corresponding step-by-step samples on the right.

Each of the stitched samples has a corresponding number next to it, and these numbers in turn correspond with further diagrams in the back of the book, where the stitch samples are arranged according to types of stitches.

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples & Motifs

You can see the diagrams are drawn diagrams here, and they are very clear. They include the step-by-step motion of each stitch, where to put the beads, and all kinds of little tips to ensure success with each sample.

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples & Motifs

The book is packed with fun and colorful samples, and accented with several instances of how the various stitch samples can be put to use on clothing and made items…

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples & Motifs

…like this parasol. I always thought it would be fun to make a parasol. I just don’t know what I’d do with it, once I made it.

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples & Motifs

I especially like the lacy stitch and bead samples in the book. Delicate and Pretty!

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples & Motifs

Again, turn to the back of the book, and there are all the diagrams, so that you can work out each sample yourself and adapt them any way you want to adapt them.

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples & Motifs

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples: Motifs is the same concept as the previous book, but instead of mostly line stitching, here you’ll find individual embroidered elements – from flowers to bugs to birds to people, items, and sundries – worked up with traditional embroidery stitches and beads.

This book is a lot of fun! There are many little individual elements that would work great for adorning embroidered little things – like the little things in my Lavender Honey & Other Little Things ebook. You could take any of these little embroidery and bead motifs and work up scissor fobs, needle books, pin keeps, ornaments, scissor pulls, buttons, etc. with them! Hundreds of options to keep you busy making gifts for all your stitching friends for the rest of your life!

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples & Motifs

I just love this book. But then, I have A Thing for little things. Acorns, anyone?

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples & Motifs

In the Motifs book, you’ll find decorative lattice fillings…

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples & Motifs

…nature motifs, from flowers and birds to bugs and acorns and buds…

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples & Motifs

…stylized floral motifs…

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples & Motifs

…larger motifs…

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples & Motifs

…paisley motifs…

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples & Motifs

…lots of clear diagrams for all the motifs…

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples & Motifs

…even wee people in folk costumes from various parts of the world…

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples & Motifs

…and the sweets they eat, like cakes and cookies (with tea pots!)…

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples & Motifs

…and penguins.

Adorable penguins.

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples & Motifs

And every motif is further categorized in the back of the book, and worked out with clear diagrams.

Two super-duper fun books, full of exciting stitch samples composed of simple traditional embroidery stitches and beads!

Both books are suited for any level of stitcher. Beginners will find the books quite accessible, and novice and advanced stitchers will find loads of ideas and inspiration for brightening up their stitching repertoires and keeping the fun in their embroidery.

Where to Find Them

You can find both books through the following book affiliates:

In the US, you can find Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples and Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples: Motifs through Amazon.

Worldwide, with free shipping, you’ll find Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples and Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples: Motifs at Book Depository.

If you’re looking for other embroidery books to add to your needlework library, feel free to browse through my other needlework book reviews here on Needle ‘n Thread, where you’ll find all kinds of books on all kinds of embroidery techniques, for beginners and beyond.


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(29) Comments

  1. Oh, stop tempting me! Both books are on my ever-growing wishlist. The first book looked interesting when first published and then some time ago I spotted Motifs and it looked even more exciting. Just gorgeous! Both the flower motifs and those cute penguins won me over.

    Now if only I had an infinite — or at least bigger! — budget for buying embroidery and bead books… Sadly, this one will have to wait…

  2. LOVELY! Oh I need to do that parasol for my mother! Her health requires her to avoid the sun, but she’s unhappy indoors, so this will help! It’s also ironic because I have hundreds of tiny glass beads from my beading days that sit around unused because wire and findings to make jewelry are just too expensive right now. The waste galls me, but I couldn’t figure out how to use them on embroidery when most of the stuff I do is meant to be used and slept on.

    I need to do that parasol! I’m seeing a sister project sometime soon.


  3. Oh Mary! What great little “bead inspiration” books! Lots of applications for CQ (crazy quilting): lines for seam treatments, spot motifs for patches. As to using the parasol–wear your crocheted lace gloves & take tea. Tea rooms have grown in popularity, so I bet there’s one nearby. Otherwise, a quiet spot in your garden will do, as soon as it thaws in your neck of the woods.

  4. Dear Mary

    What lovely books and they look so interesting, the things you could appliqué these wonderful little things on is mind blowing. Like you I like the lacy bits and the samplers are interesting. I especially like the second book with the wee people and flowers and animals motif, I could motif all my clothes with these small things so lovely. Thanks for sharing these so interesting books with us and for reviewing them.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  5. I just got both those books from Amazon. I’ve only had time to glance through them, but I thought they were so darling. I can’t decide what to stitch first!

    I loved the little square motif they worked on the side of the Ugg boots.

    These books are a great addition to my growing collection.

  6. Mrs. Corbet,
    What would you do with a parasol? You would use it to keep you out of the sun, of course 🙂


  7. You are so right. I discovered the first book at our local library and fell in love. I am a quilter and have been adding embroidery stitches and recently beading. What a great tutorial. So I ordered the book, plus some for my friends and ordered the second book for me. I am in Canada. Chapters has no charge shipping over 25.00. Each book was 15.00 and change. Can’t tell you how excited I am for them to arrive, any day now. You are my other go to teacher. Being left handed has its draw backs, so I am always looking for help.

  8. O.O im in love. Combine these books with some stitch encyclopedias and others…. I will be set for next winter!
    Btw, could you pretty please do a quick lil article on using cretan stitch (and perhaps other similar stitches) for filling irregular shapes like leaves? So far ive only found tutorials and examples of it in lines and I really want to try it for the leaves like you suggested! Its the narrow points and rounded bottoms that Im a lil lost at. Ive been playing around with filling stitches in irregular shapes and how to adjust according… but you always have the best advice and knowledge that Im sure everyone will learn something new from you!

  9. G’day Mary,
    These are both treasures indeed. The first one is certainly crazy patchwork inspirational. And those penguins. Oh, the darling baby ones. They’d be beaut, using larger beads, for my granddaughter. Yes lots of wonderful patterns and motifs. Thank you.
    Cheers, Kath

  10. Marie,
    Thank you for news books.But all is write in english…I have a good news for french embroidery,now we are RSN crewel embroidery and Blackwork , all write in FRENCH in Edition de Saxe and I take with the beautiful book Susan o’Connor:flowers for Elizabeth (french too).It is more easy for me…

  11. Dear Mary,
    Since you started posting photos for the SG project, a little idea has been on my mind. I would like to use some beads… Maybe the answer, on my version, for your dilemma with the leaves outlines!!!?
    It might turn out to be a totally different project from yours but I’m hoping to combine your stitch choices with some beady highlights.
    These books might come as a great source of inspiration. Thanks for bringing them to my attention.
    Now I just need to find some time to actually start the project and see it through to the end 😉
    Thank you for your energy and all the knowledge you share…
    All the best,
    Carla, from Switzerland

  12. I have the Stitch sample and I have a question for you. On page 7 they refer to a chart on page 86, do you have that? I see the chart on page 89 but I don’t see a needle recommendation for the thread and beads. That would be helpful for a beginner like me. Page 8 figure 4 has an arrow missing too. Not trying to be picky it is just that I am too new to this. thanks for the review.

  13. Hi Mary,
    I LOVE your website and look forward to each day’s post! It doesn’t look like the recent books you have reviewed have been added to your “master” list of reviewed books. I just got a BN gift card and went to your site to see what books to get and noticed that neither or these are on there and Embroideries from an English Garden is not either. I’m not sure if there are others, but these were ones I noticed. Your advise is so helpful and I like the star rating system. Keep up the good work!
    Carrie G

  14. I was instantly intrigued by the designs in these books so I rushed to order them! They shipped them the same day, and I received them yesterday. If you haven’t ordered them, you must! The detailed instructions, photos,designs, everything is simply amazing!!

    Mary thank you for telling us about these fabulous & fun books!

  15. I was thoroughly delighted, as I began to read this post, to realize that I actually already owned the book (and, for once, I wasn’t going to have to add one onto my wish list….yay!!). And then….I read further. Don’t have the second book, so guess what I’m doing next?

  16. I’m a Nigerian interested in beading and embroidery and the books you reviewed will serve me to a very large extnent but don’t know how to get them

  17. Sirdingai dekoju uz Jusu pamokas,nuostabius darbus,visad seku naujienas.Aciu uz Jusu nuostabius darbus,jie dziuguna akis
    Knygos suprantamos,aiskios

  18. I just purchased the second book…as a novice it has been very helpful. After your review, I am going to purchase the other one as well.

    Thanks for the informative reviews.

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