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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Stumpwork Embroidery: Here’s Flowers for You!


Amazon Books

If you love stumpwork embroidery, if you love flowers, and if you have a bit of a penchant for historical embroidery, literature, poetry… then you’ll definitely want to know about Jane Nicholas’s new stumpwork book, Shakespeare’s Flowers in Stumpwork, which is due out soon, soon, soon!

I’m so excited about this book! And on so many levels.

Stumpwork. Flowers. History. Literature. Poetry. Shakespeare. I’m a sucker for all of the above.

But really, it’s Jane’s exquisite artistry with the needle that seals them all up into such an appealing package.

Shakespeare's Flowers by Jane Nicholas

When daisies pied and violets blue
And lady-smocks all silver-white
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
Do paint the meadows with delight…

Shakespeare’s poetry is jam-packed with references to flowers. The lines above from Love’s Labours Lost are a favorite. They’re so pretty, despite the rest of the song. I’ve always wanted to illuminate them. Paint them. Stitch them. Or do something with them.

And I’m so glad that Jane has done that with stumpwork.

(Especially because I have no idea what cuckoo-buds are. I think he made the name up – he was prone to doing things like that.)

Jane Nicholas - Shakespeare's Flowers in Stumpwork

I haven’t seen the book yet – I’m waiting eagerly for it – but I promise that as soon as it’s in my grimy little paws, I’ll work up a detailed review for you.

Based on Jane’s other books, though (I have them all), I have no doubt this book will be exquisite.

The Contents of Shakespeare’s Flowers

Shakespeare’s Flowers in Stumpwork is divided into five sections. Here are the content details:

Part 1: A border of Shakespeare’s flowers, apothecary rose, barberries, bellflower, borage, cornflower, gillyflower, grapevine, heartsease, knapweed, periwinkle plum, redcurrants, strawberry, and sweet briar.

Part 2: Shakespeare’s Flowers: The Samplers
Sampler One: Sweet Briar, Grapevine, Heartsease and Strawberries
Sampler Two: Apothecary Rose, Borage, Cornflower and Redcurrants
Sampler Three: Gillyflower, Periwinkle, Plums and Barberries

Part 3: Elizabethan Flower Panel, bluebell, crab apple, honeysuckle, Lancaster rose, pea pod and primrose

Part 4: Garland of Spring Flowers, English daisy, Forget-me-nots, wild pansies and snowdrops

Part 5: Techniques, equipment, stitch glossary, framing up with hoops or frames, working with wire, materials and equipment

Jane Nicholas - Shakespeare's Flowers in Stumpwork

What I’ve found with every one of Jane’s books is that they’re not just embroidery books.

Ok, they are embroidery books. But they’re So Much More!

They’re works of art on their own. They’re dream books. They’re sources of inspiration. They’re picture books, coffee table books, pleasure books. You can just flip them through and they make you happy!

They’re also technically and precisely well written. But they’re not usually heavy on detailed, instructional images, so if you’re new to stumpwork all around, you might start a little lighter, with some of the recommendations below.

Recommendations for Beginners

If you are an absolute beginner to stumpwork, Shakespeare’s Flowers, like several of Jane’s other books, might not be the place to start.

Don’t get me wrong, though. If you’re already pretty familiar with surface embroidery and comfortable with stitching in general, and you’re a determined beginner in stumpwork, I think you can handle Jane’s books.

But if you’re a beginner in embroidery in general and you’ve never done stumpwork, I’d recommend Stumpwork Flowers by Sachiko Morimoto for your first foray into embroidering stumpwork flowers. The projects in that book are small, simple projects that will help you achieve good results.

I’d also recommend investing in the RSN Essential Stitch Guide to Stumpwork, to use as a handy reference.

Shakespeare’s Flowers – Where to Find It

You can order the book through the following book affiliates:

In the US, you’ll find Shakespeare’s Flowers in Stumpwork available through Amazon.

Worldwide, you can find Shakespeare’s Flowers available through Book Depository.

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(25) Comments

  1. Thanks for the pre-review, Mary. Many years ago, I loved Jane’s work. My stumpwork tastes have changed since then, and her style is now a little too precise, too exacting for me in most cases, but this book looks terrific.

    I do have her first two books (the first one she autographed for me at an EGA seminar way back in the 90s). Will probably pick this one up as well.

    Looking forward to your review.

    Carol S.

  2. I haven’t done any stumpwork myself, but I adore looking at it. If I could, I would cover my coffee table in such books ๐Ÿ™‚ This one looks like another treasure trove of inspiring pictures. Those grapes look so delicious! Thanks for sharing, this book is definitely going on my wishlist.

  3. Those are amazing. And I bet they’re even more incredible in real life. I’m happy to see she added a few little garden critters with the flowers. Bugs are not always welcome when I’m working in the yard but in stitching, they seem to add a delicate realism to the scene.

  4. Dear Mary

    I really must try stumpwork as I love the 3D effect and I do like a challenge. Shakespeare’s flowers in stumpwork looks a great book and with so many flowers to choose from you would never get bored embroidering them. I’ve just ordered the RSN essential stitch guide to stumpwork and I have Kay & Michael Dennis stumwork embroidery which is an excellent book for beginners. Dennis also has a tutorial video on needlelace which I have watched and I will try it soon as I would love to create a 3D butterfly and other motifs to add to my project which is a lace journal for my niece. Thanks for reviewing Shakespeare’s flowers in stumpwork and for the additional references on the subject. I hope you have a great weekend.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  5. oh this is fantastic news, Mary!
    such a wonderful book, filled with all the things I love! I know nisba about stumpwork embroidery (which looks gorgeous and so very difficult), so I really appreciated the references to the other two volumes, thank you!
    now we wait, the guys at Book Depository already know where I live ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Mary, I am also a big fan of Jane Nicholas. I can find myself staring at her beautiful work for a long time and then asking myself if I can do that?
    I actually learned about her through your website. I investigate every source you kindly put out there for us.
    Looking forward to your review. I have been on a wait list for weeks now waiting for it to be released! My husband wonders how I can get so excited about another embroidery book, he will never understand!

    Lynn S.

  7. I just drooled all over my Ipad… So looking forward to this book! And thank you for pointing out that Jane’s books are probably not the right place to start for beginners. I feel the same; you certainly do need to know how to stitch and be pretty precise. That said, they are good sources of inspiration and just lovely to flick through!

  8. I just pre-ordered this book via Amazon and I just can’t wait to get it! Wow…this book looks fantastic!

  9. Wow, Mary, that book is a dream! I’ve been ‘having a go’ at stumpwork for a while now, starting off with the book you recommend by Sachiko Morimoto along with some others. As I grow lots of the Shakespeare flowers for bees and butterflies in the garden, and live about 8 miles from Stratford on Avon…. well I’ve just got to get it, haven’t I?!

  10. I could spend forever curled up with these kinds of books and never touch a needle! Thankfully, Mary, your expert guidance on where to start exploring the technique ma actually give me the courage to go beyond the reading pleasure. Flowers will be a great subject for a cold winter week in Maine!

  11. Hello Mary!
    You have many fun responses today!
    I had a chance to take a Stumpwork class taught by Jane last autumn through our EGA group. She is a terrific person and a wonderful teacher! So patient and encouraging. After taking her course and getting to know a little about her, I ordered some of her previous books. They are all simply excellent– just like her– true value. She is down-to-earth in class. She puts a lot of time and effort into her writing with superb directions and beautiful illustrations. She has been an inspiration to me. Looking forward to her new book very much. Thanks, Mary, for this reminder about her upcoming book and highlighting Jane today.

    Roxanne in MN

  12. Get thee waaaay back behind me, Satan. My house is bursting at the seams, my studio is bursting at the seams. And what is causing all this bursting? Books, that’s what. And now here is Mary with yet another irresistible offering. What is a girl to do? Buy a bigger house, you say? Oh, yes.

    Thanks Mary. This one is a must-have.

  13. Oh, Shakespeare AND stump work. How fantabulous! Thank you, thank you, thank you. How had I not heard about this wonderful treasure trove of books? I’ve just been to Jane’s website and am drooling. Now I want to buy ALL her books.

    I checked out the cuckoo-buds online, I thought it might be cuckoo-pint, though that isn’t really yellow, but most experts agree it’s probably buttercups – as Liz has already said!

    I learn so much from you – thank you for sharing your knowledge.

  14. How exciting! I can’t wait to see the book when it comes out. As has been noted by others her books are such eye-candy that they’re good to have around just to look at.

  15. Hi Mary,

    Do you know The quilt of belonging (Esther Bryan) ?

    Its to see, its wonderful.

    Ask on google

    quilt of belonging canada

    so, it is a nice story.

    Louise , Quรฉbec

  16. I’m one of the very lucky ones. I live in Australia and have done (begun) both of these two beautiful projects you have used to accompany your article. Jane is an amazing teacher and such a lovely lady. In my helter-skelter life I need Jane to make me settle down and concentrate on my stitching. This book is too enticing to let pass. And looking at these beautiful pieces once again has encouraged me to get these embroideries completed.

  17. Jane I purchased the kit of four Shakespeare Flowers on this website PIN 1 a number of years ago. A friend wants to purchase it as she loves working on your projects. Can you give me an idea of what you sold it to me for as I have forgotten what I paid for it.

    Many thanks

    Mary Flaherty
    Otago Embroiderers’ Guild NZ

    1. Hi, Mary – if you’re trying to contact Jane Nicholas, the author of the book I’m reviewing in this article that you’re leaving this comment on, you might want to look her up online and contact her through her own website. I don’t think she will see your comment here on my website. Hope that helps!

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