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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Passion for Needlework, Factoria VII – Book Review


Amazon Books

Good morning, my friends!

A Happy Monday all around, and Happy Veteran’s Day (well, yesterday, really)! If you’re enjoying a three-day weekend – perhaps you’ve got a whole extra day to devote to your needle and thread! – be thankful to the people who made that possible. (Thanks, Dad!)

Today, I’m going to review for you a hefty but incredibly beautiful book. This book combines projects and instructions into an artistic, gorgeous format that makes the book a showpiece in its own right.

If you ever wanted needlework to make a statement to the wider world – to the world that might not appreciate needlework in itself, but that appreciates beauty in a simple yet inspirational setting – then this is the book to present. It’s definitely a creative twist on the typical embroidery project book.

The book is A Passion for Needlework: Factoria VII, from Inspirations Studio.

A Passion for Needlework: Factoria VII, book review - cover

You might be wondering about the “Factoria VII” part of the title of this book, so I’ll get that out of the way right now.

Factoria VII is a small, unique cottage hidden away in the hills of rural South Australia. It has a history to it, which you can read about in the book. The cottage, refurbished and incredibly charming and peaceful, makes an ideal setting for the twelve needlework gems featured in the book.

Photography plays a major role in the whole presentation of A Passion for Needlework: Factoria VII. The book is eye-catching and exquisite – it’s a piece of visual art, with needlework as the focus. There’s a little bit to read in the book, but mostly, between the covers, it’s a serene escape into a different world.

A Passion for Needlework: Factoria VII, book review - side view

It’s a hard-bound book, with a linen-like binding on the spine. It sports a nice ribbon marker, too.

And the book is large. It’s substantial. Think: Ideal Coffee Table Book.

A Passion for Needlework: Factoria VII, book review - table of contents

As embroiderers, though, we want to know what’s in the book!

There are twelve embroidery projects presented here, with everything you need to know to recreate them.

A Passion for Needlework: Factoria VII, book review - table of contents

In the first part of the book, the “Gallery,” the projects are displayed throughout Factoria VII, photographed in creative ways to tie the needlework into the setting. It’s really very ingenious – and very pretty! I’m guessing the photographer must have had fun!

A Passion for Needlework: Factoria VII, book review - table of contents

We get nice close-ups of the needlework, too. It’s not all about the beautiful setting, after all – it’s about needlework in the setting!

The projects cover a whole range of needlework techniques and abilities. The Flower Pots pictured two up feature stumpwork atop lids on little “pots.” And there’s crewel embroidery (pictured directly above).

A Passion for Needlework: Factoria VII, book review - table of contents

Red Currants is a free-standing dimensional embroidery project.

And the chicken in the kitchen is a bonus!

A Passion for Needlework: Factoria VII, book review - table of contents

It could be the time of year, or it could just be the red factor … but I think Red Currants is my favorite project in the book!

(Actually, it’s hard to pick a favorite!)

A Passion for Needlework: Factoria VII, book review - table of contents

Modern and striking, this splash of color in needlepainting is breathtaking!

Le Magnolia is the design of Catherine Laurençon of France – her work is ever enchanting!

A Passion for Needlework: Factoria VII, book review - table of contents

Combining charm and function, this Versailles chatelaine set is evocative of the Louis eras of Versailles, yet it maintains a kind of cottage feel with its strips of roses and trellis fillings.

It’s very sweet!

A Passion for Needlework: Factoria VII, book review - table of contents

You’ll find a lovely Reticella Sampler detailed in the book, for those who love needle lace.

What I especially like about this sampler is that it is large enough to cover techniques in a challenging way, but small enough to be manageable.

If I were picking one project from the book that I’d be most likely to do – to practice the techniques and enjoy the challenge – it would either be this project or the other whitework one detailed below.

A Passion for Needlework: Factoria VII, book review - table of contents

Hazel Blomkamp makes a recognizable appearance with a lovely footstool cover (it could also be a cushion cover, or a framed piece).

As always, the design is exuberant and full of variety. The color choice keeps it subtle and soft. A fun project for those who like lots of stitch variety!

A Passion for Needlework: Factoria VII, book review - table of contents

Another small but manageable project here, in whitework and needle lace techniques. I love the finishing details on this!

This is the second of the two projects I’d be most likely to do out of this book. There’s something about the crisp linen and the white-on-white that beckons me right now. Plus, it’s a manageable size in techniques that I’d find interesting, challenging, and instructive.

Passion for Needlework Factoria VII book review

For the counted needlework enthusiast and the lover of serviceable stitching accessories, the Edinburgh Etui features a fantastic collection of finished needlework accessories that tuck into a serviceable and decorative box.

A Passion for Needlework: Factoria VII, book review - table of contents

Nicola Jarvis also makes a recognizable appearance in the book, with one of her floral encrusted creatures – a linnet in a gilded cage, featuring a combination of different techniques including goldwork.

A Passion for Needlework: Factoria VII, book review - table of contents

This exquisite piece, Blackwell Roundel, features goldwork, bead embroidery, shading and other stitches, a little appliqué – some of everything, in a small space and a tasteful design.

In the book, it’s accents the front of a little “pins & needles” cabinet of sorts (it almost looks like a clock body for a very arts-and-crafts style mantel clock), with a drawer in the front and a pin cushion on top.

I want this.

A Passion for Needlework: Factoria VII, book review - table of contents

And finally, a pair of vivid bee-eaters, in needlepainting, by Renette Kumm of South Australia!

Those are the projects featured in Factoria VII – they cover a wide range of techniques and skill levels and they are just waiting for you!

A Passion for Needlework: Factoria VII, book review - table of contents

And of course, there are instructions!

The second part of the book is devoted to the instructions. You’ll find complete materials lists for every project…

A Passion for Needlework: Factoria VII, book review - table of contents

…along with step by step instructions (with diagrams and tips) for completing each project.

A Passion for Needlework: Factoria VII, book review - table of contents

In the back of the book, you’ll find a simple stitch dictionary…

A Passion for Needlework: Factoria VII, book review - table of contents

…as well as a pocket with a pull-out pattern sheet for all the projects.

Passion for Needlework Factoria VII book review

For those who want a matching set, the newest edition of A Passion for Needlework (Factoria VII) and the first volume of A Passion for Needlework are both available with hard covers with fabric spines, as shown above. The hard copy of the first volume is called the “deluxe edition,” if you’re looking for it.

I previously reviewed the first volume, A Passion for Needlework here, if you want to read my review. Both books feature unique-to-them projects.

Both books are beautiful. They are delightful for needleworkers and non-needleworkers alike, so they’re the kinds of books you’ll want out in your house, where friends and family can browse through them and grow in their appreciation for all things needle and thread!

Where to Find

I don’t want to sound pushy, but if you want this book, get it now. I don’t know if there are plans to reprint it, but it has sold out through some regular suppliers already.

Amazon carries A Passion for Needlework, Factoria VII here.

Worldwide with free shipping, you can find it available here through Book Depository.

This article contains affiliate links to book sources, which means that Needle ‘n Thread receives a small commission for sales placed through that link. Thanks for your support!


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(18) Comments

  1. Mary – the box for the Blackwell Rondel can be custom ordered from Jennie. Her father designed it and now she has a special woodworker make them for her. The top is a pin cushion. The front has a drawer. The back has a door that opens to a large storage compartment. I had wood hooks put on the side of mine to hang threads and my scissors. As a special treat I had my monogram inlaid on the back – it matches the font in the front.
    It is not cheap but will become a family
    Heirloom. There was even a special embroidery scissors from France you could order with it. Alas, those are all gone.

    Jennie’s father also designed a lovely low round box for the rondel.

    1. Oooooooh… that just sounds LOVELY. I can imagine it’s gorgeous in person. But yes, pricy! Especially coming from the UK. Jenny’s pieces are always beautiful and interesting. I hope she gets her new website set up soon!

      Did you know that you can order beautiful Roulot scissors from French Needle, in case you need a pair worthy of that box? 🙂

  2. Well, once again you have cost me a bunch of money. After reading the review how could I resist and since I don’t have the first volume and like things to match I ordered both. I ordered directly from Inspirations and honestly, I didn’t think the postage was that expensive. I have quite a wonderful collection of needlework books and a surprising number because “Mary said I needed this book”. Thanks for the great review and all of the amazing information you send out to us. JoyceAnne

  3. Mary, I have been hoping you would review this for us! I am always impressed that you are able to provide so many pictures with your reviews, as well as your helpful insights. Your efforts really help in deciding which books to acquire. Thanks!

  4. Oh no! I was waiting for Black Friday to get this! I was so thrilled to see this published as I love the projects here, especially Edinburgh etui. Thanks for the heads up! I rushed to British Amazon but I wonder will they Be able to send me a copy…

  5. I have just received my copy of Factorial VII and I’m thoroughly enjoying reading it through. I smiled at your top choices, the two white work embroideries are my picks as well for the projects I’d like to attempt. If you decide to embroider either of these I will be very interested to follow your progress, although no pressure as I know we all have an ever expanding embroidery wish list in mind! But definitely yes, both the designs and the sumptuous photography aesthetic make for an utterly stunning and inspirational book.

  6. Well, Mary, I will be waiting for my copy from your pre-Christmas give-away. Probably thanks to your review, The French Needle is out of stock, and Wooly Thread can’t find it. 🙂

  7. I LOVE this book! Thank you for reviewing it. My partner recently went home to Sydney, so I ordered it from Inspirations and had it shipped to his Mum’s. However, I sure heard about how heavy it was when he had to carry it home. 🙂 I definitely recommend ordering it from a US retailer if you’re in the US.

  8. Dear Mary

    and a happy Monday to you. It looks like a great embroidery book one which I would love to own, but I will wait in anticipation for the pre Christmas give-aways, perhaps I might be lucky, you never know? My favourite like you is the red currents project it looks so interesting. Thanks so much for sharing with us this beautiful embroidery book A Passion for Needlework, Factoria VII and for the beautiful photos.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  9. I enjoy all forms of needlework that is why I am a big fan of you. I enjoy all of your posts and some more than others. I have learned a lot. I just learned Hardanger and smocking and am happy to do these as well. Crewel embroidery is where I started doing my adult embroidery and everyone loves the pictures and pillows that I have done. I think that I should go back to it and give it a try. The Inspiration magazine that I receive have been a big help it leading me back.

  10. This book is an inspiration to accomplish things I would not have tried other wise.
    The projects are designed to encourage a person to step beyond their normal
    areas of possibility. thank you for your wealth of information.

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