Time for a thorough review of an upcoming book – the newest in the Techniques, Projects, and Pure Inspiration series from the Royal School of Needlework and published by Search Press.
Ever since Appliqué: Techniques, Projects & Pure Inspiration – the first book of the series – came out last year, I’ve been looking forward to this one!
So, come along – let’s explore the ins and outs of Raised Embroidery: Techniques, Projects and Pure Inspiration by Kelley Aldridge.
Raised Embroidery is a large format, paperback book. It opens up and lies flat, though, which is always nice with an instructional book.
While many folks like to have their instructional books rebound into spiral binding so that they can lie flat while working from them, I don’t think this one really needs it. It’s large, not too floppy, but opens up just fine.
I love what’s going on on the inside title page of the book!
And here, you get a good sense of what the book is about. In case you’re expecting another needlework book focusing solely on stumpwork, this book isn’t really that kind of book.
In this book, raised embroidery is used as an umbrella term, including the wired embroidery elements often seen in stumpwork, but also including lots of textured and dimensional stitches and techniques.
The table of contents gives you a good idea of what the book is all about – lots of stitches and techniques, plus a section of projects on which to put them to use.
The book begins with the preliminaries: information on the Royal School of Needlework, on raised embroidery in general and on its history in particular, and an overview of materials used in raised embroidery techniques.
I’m always entranced by the materials sections of needlework books. It’s fun to see what materials are recommended for different techniques, and I always learn about new things to try!
Found objects, silk flowers, ribbons, buttons, beads, jewelry findings – all are fair game for raised embroidery techniques!
So if you like to fiddle with embellishments and pretty things, raised embroidery may definitely be right up your alley!
There’s a good section on designing raised embroidery projects, too. This is very helpful for those who want to do a project, but prefer to start with their own concept rather than copy someone else’s design or execute a project from a kit.
Kelley also introduces a neat designer’s idea, called a “mood board.”
A mood board is essentially a place where you can pin up your ideas for a project, all collected in one place, so you get a sense of color, design, placement, and the whole “mood” of the project.
You can add to it, subtract from it, and get an overall idea of the feel of the project as it develops.
A lot of people use journaling for the same concept, but I like this idea of a completely visual mood board – it keeps the ideas right in front of you, available for manipulation the moment inspiration strikes.
The instruction in the book ranges from very basic, beginner instructions all the way through to more complex stitches and techniques, making Raised Embroidery suitable for very beginners and beyond – all the way up to advanced stitchers looking for ideas and new things to try.
From padding techniques (which can be used in all types of embroidery)…
…to all kinds of step-by-step stitch instructions…
…to creating and using embroidered wired shapes, you’ll find all the instruction you need to excel at raised, dimensional, and textured embroidery.
The second part of the book is devoted to projects, and most of these are usable projects, rather than simply decorative.
I always love it when books include finishing ideas and instructions, to make embroidery projects that are not just beautiful, but useful, too.
The instructions for the projects include patterns, materials lists, and step-by-step guides to stitching and finishing.
Finally, throughout the projects section, you’ll find inspiration scattered all over the place.
Pictures of all kinds of unique raised embroidery projects – some by the author, some by other stitchers – will whet your whistle and get the Idea Juices flowing!
In a Nutshell
Raised Embroidery: Techniques, Projects & Pure Inspiration is exactly what the title promises it to be. You’ll find instruction, projects, and plenty of inspiration to get you stitching and keep you stitching!
I like it. It’s pleasant to read, fun to explore, and it’s full of great ideas!
Where to Find It
You can find Raised Embroidery: Techniques, Projects & Pure Inspiration available for pre-order through the following book affiliates. The book is due for release in June.
In the US, you’ll find Raised Embroidery available here, through Amazon.
Worldwide, with free shipping, Raised Embroidery is available here, through Book Depository.
Tomorrow, I’ll share some fun embroidery and needlework related finds with you, for your weekend reading. And just for the heck of it, I’ll throw in a personal update for those who are wondering what’s going on in my life. (Don’t expect too much! It’s a quiet life!)
Monday, we explore linen – and not the kind made for embroidery, either. But it might serve some good and useful needlework purposes (and it’s relatively inexpensive), so it’s definitely worth chatting about!
I’m stitching on that book cover I told you about on Wednesday. Despite the outcome, I promise to share it with you. It’s…. not turning out quite as I would have liked, but hey, that’s what I get for a rush job!
Enjoy your weekend!