Yes, I know I should have done this two weeks ago! But there are a lot of things I’m doing right now, that I’m sure I should have done two weeks ago!
Every year, I’m accosted with the what-do-you-want-for-Christmas question, and I’m pretty sure there are plenty of stitchers out there who are also asked the same thing.
As time ticks away and Christmas looms closer, you still have a chance to lay out some heavy hints. If you have family and friends who might be baffled about what to get you for Christmas, forward this list!
You can even act like you did it accidentally.
And if you’re like me and you have to finagle (or even buy!) your own Christmas presents, maybe you’ll find something on the list you didn’t even know you wanted. Get it! Wrap it! Sneak it under the tree!
Then thank your husband, your wife, your brother, your sister, your parents – doesn’t matter who! – profusely for it.
Embroidery Books for Christmas
Oh golly! Any of the books below are gorgeous and instructive. Some are new – just out! – and some have been around for a bit. Some, I haven’t reviewed yet, but all are good!
If you can’t find them locally, you can order them online through Amazon and have them well before deliveries stop on Christmas Eve.
Beginner’s Guide to Silk Ribbon Embroidery is a new one. It’s not a huge book – only about 50 pages – but it’s got plenty of little flower vignettes and straightforward instruction. It clocks in under $10, too! I’ll be doing a thorough review of this one in a few weeks.
Another new one on the market, The Stitch Bible: A Comprehensive Guide to 225 Embroidery Stitches and Techniques is a hefty tome, at about 180 pages. I’d slot it for beginner to intermediate embroiderers. It has clear diagrams for instruction, and quite a few projects in the book. Another one I’ll be reviewing in detail soon!
For stitchers hankering to get into goldwork, Hazel Everett’s Goldwork: Techniques, Projects and Pure Inspiration is a fantastic book. It’s instructional and it’s beautiful – and it covers just about Everything Goldwork, for beginners and beyond. You can read my review of Goldwork: Techniques, Projects and Pure Inspiration here.
A-Z of Embroidery Stitches is an excellent stitch dictionary, full of step-by-step photo instruction for all kinds of embroidery stitches. For beginners, intermediate stitchers, and even advanced stitchers, this is a great book to have on your shelf for reference! This has been re-printed by Search Press – it’s the same A-Z of Embroidery Stitches published by Country Bumpkin years ago, just with a different cover. A classic, and a must!
A-Z of Silk Ribbon Flowers by Ann Cox is another oh-so-gorgeous silk ribbon embroidery book, packed full of clear, step-by-step instruction. Another one I haven’t reviewed for you yet, but I will! For those who like mixed media and stumpwork, there’s quite a bit of good stuff in here that you can apply to your embroidery projects.
Beginner’s Guide to Crewel Embroidery is a lovely instructional book for beginner to intermediate crewel embroiderers, and a good refresher for more advanced embroiderers. If dabbling in crewel work is on your list for next year, this book will come in handy! You can read my review for Beginner’s Guide to Crewel Embroidery here.
Stumpwork Butterflies & Moths by Jane Nicholas came out earlier this year, and it’s a beaut! If you love stumpwork, butterflies, nature in general, this book is for you! It’s by Jane Nicholas, after all. What more can I say? You can read my review of Stumpwork Butterflies & Moths here.
Trish Burr’s book, Needle Painting Embroidery: Fresh Ideas for Beginners is a perfect place to start if you’re planning to take the plunge into long and short stitch shading in 2015. It’s for beginners to needle painting (some embroidery experience is good to have when you first launch into needle painting) and beyond – intermediate and advanced stitchers will find plenty of inspiration here! You can find my review for Needle Painting Embroidery here, if you’d like more details!
Another stitch dictionary that I really love! The Embroidery Stitch Bible has a lot to recommend it, beyond the 200+ stitches in it. What I like best about this book is the organization of it and the visual index, along with the stitched samples. So easy to find stitches in it! This is one of those books that was around for a while, then super hard to find, and is again more widely available. If you’re looking for a stitch dictionary, you can’t go wrong with this one! And I have a review of The Embroidery Stitch Bible here, too, if you want more details!
Another classic for those wishing to learn realistic needle painting techniques, Embroideries from an English Garden is a beautiful, instructive book to add to your library. I think this is one of the best books out there for learning shading techniques. And, the book is full of beautiful floral projects, so you have plenty of scope for practice. I’ve got a detailed review of Embroideries from an English Garden here.
Stumpwork Flowers by Sachiko Morimoto is the book you need if you’re just starting out with stumpwork, or if you’ve been doing stumpwork for a while and you want some smaller, quicker projects that are fun, pretty, simple, sweet, minimalistic, clean. The instructions are crystal clear, the projects are small and manageable, and the end results – beautiful! I love this book. The projects within are perfect for gift embroidery, too! Want more details? Here’s my review of Stumpwork Flowers.
Finally, more than a book! And a gift that keeps on giving! How about a subscription to the world’s most beautiful embroidery magazine, Inspirations? This is the first item on my wish list every year! Inspirations is a lovely magazine published in Australia that comes out quarterly. Subscriptions are actually pay-per-issue, so you pay quarterly for the magazine. Each issue is like receiving a project book, an instructional book, an embroidery newspaper, a resource guide, and a long, cozy letter from a good friend – all in one! Inspirations is an ideal Christmas gift. If you don’t have a subscription to it yet and you don’t think you’re likely to get one from someone else, treat yourself. It’s worth it! You’ll find two options for subscribing on the Inspirations subscription page: a regular hard copy subscription (if you’re not familiar with the magazine, it’s large, printed on quality paper, with amazing photography and full size pattern pages) and a digital subscription with printable patterns in PDF format.
I could go on and on recommending embroidery books – there are few things I like better than a good needlework book. But I think a dozen good ones, plus a magazine, will do!
If you’d like to browse through more needlework-related books to get good gift ideas, feel free to visit my Needlework Books page, where you’ll find links to all the books I’ve reviewed here on Needle ‘n Thread.
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