"EMBROIDERY" BOOKS (not counted-thread)

Annemieke.jpg - 8155 BytesThe Art of Annemieke Mein: Wildlife Artist in Textiles is a book devoted to the wonderful creatures of Dutch-born Australian Annemieke Mein. She works in a variety of media (paint on fabric, machine embroidery, hand embroidery, fabric sculpture, beading, etc.) to create large scale and very realistic designs of the flora and fauna of Australia. This is not a project book but an inspiration book. Ms. Mein's work is exhibited and collected as fine art, and deservedly so. I have so many favorites from this book, but her frogs and birds are particularly well executed. Please note that we now have this book in a new softcover edition.

The Art of Annemieke Mein (first published 1992, 2001 edition, 159 pages, softcover) $30.00

 
 
worldofembroidery.jpg - 8837 BytesHelen M. Stevens' World of Embroidery is a beautiful book from this woman who truly deserves the name Needle Artist. Chapters in this book are "Sea Fever" (designs related to water, including underwater scenes, plants and animals associated with the sea, ships, etc.); "Europa" (typically European landscapes, plants and animals); "Sands of Time" (designs of exotic locations, flora and fauna); "New Worlds" (plants and animals native to the Americas); "City Lights" (cityscapes, architecture, a 1920's sophisticated woman; "High Country" (designs from faraway, inaccessible landscapes; and "Xanadu" (includes an incredibly modern design of the earth as viewed by an astronaut on the moon, as well as mythical and magical designs of fairies, fantasy creatures, even Santa Claus!).

My favorites are still her exquisitely rendered plants and animals, but there is something in this book for all those who appreciate or want to execute representational (rather than abstract) embroidery designs. As with most of her other books (except her Master Class series), this is not a book with specific projects and directions, but rather a book to inspire those who wish to create original embroidery designs.

Helen M. Stevens' World of Embroidery (2002, 143 pages, hardcover) $29.99

 
TimelessArt.jpg - 9593 BytesThe Timeless Art of Embroidery by Helen Stevens shows how she creates extremely realistic pictures of plants and animals by using relatively simple stitches (mostly straight stitches and "long-and-short" stitch). The book is profusely illustrated with photos of her work as well as line drawings of some of the design elements she stitches; however, it is not a book filled with projects for you to slavishly duplicate, but rather an inspirational book to help you create your own works of art.

The Timeless Art of Embroidery (1997, 144 pages, hardcover) $29.95

 
Stumpwork.jpg - 9331 BytesStumpwork Embroidery: A Collection of Fruits, Flowers and Insects for Contemporary Raised Embroidery by Jane Nicholas is an absolutely exquisite book by a noted Australian designer and teacher. Mrs. Nicholas creates incredibly intricate raised embroideries, much of it extremely realistic, on a very small scale. The book gives very detailed instructions (including recommended materials) on how to embroider individual elements, but also includes several complete projects which it would be possible to reproduce in their entirety by following the directions. This book is not to be missed.

Stumpwork Embroidery (1995, 189 pages, hardcover) $34.95

 
StumpworkDesigns.jpg - 5485 BytesStumpwork Embroidery: Designs and Projects by Jane Nicholas is the second book by this author. Please note that the author states "It is assumed the the embroiderer has access to the first book...for information on all the materials and equipment used in stumpwork, and for detailed instructions on all the basic stumpwork techniques." This second book contains new projects and new design elements. Included among the new projects are several needlework accessories and gifts. There is an entire chapter devoted to different colored pansies. As with Jane's first book, Stumpwork Embroidery: A Collection of Fruits, Flowers and Insects for Contemporary Raised Embroidery, this title contains very explicit directions to embroider the designs within.

Stumpwork Embroidery: Designs and Projects (1998, 192 pages, hardcover)   $24.95

 
completestumpwork.jpg - 7077 BytesThe Complete Book of Stumpwork Embroideryby Jane Nicholas is a "new" book that does not contain new material. Rather, it is a combination of her two books reviewed above (Stumpwork Embroidery: A Collection of Fruits, Flowers and Insects for Contemporary Raised Embroidery and Stumpwork Embroidery: Designs and Projects). Thus those who already own those two books will most likely not have a use for the combined volume, but for those who don't, they will get all the material from both books at a reduced price.

The Complete Book of Stumpwork (2005, 399 pages, hardcover) Currently out of stock

 
StumpworkDragonflies.jpg - 5738 BytesStumpwork Dragonflies by Jane Nicholas is another beautifully written and illustrated book by this well-known Australian stumpwork designer and teacher. Her style of raised embroidery is extremely realistic, and in order to achieve that realism, she really studies the objects she protrays in needlework. In this book she goes into a great bit of detail about the anatomy of real dragonflies, dragonflies as they have been portrayed in needlework (primarily English) in the past, and then she gives extremely detailed instructions on how to construct a number of different real dragonfly and damselfly species. There is absolutely nothing left out in her book that you would need to know to duplicate her exquisite work.

Stumpwork Dragonflies (2000, 95 pages, hardcover) $24.95

 
beetles.jpg - 6827 BytesThe Stumpwork, Goldwork and Surface Embroidery Beetle Collection by Jane Nicholas is a true tour de force.

Weighing in at a massive 424 pages, all of the designs in this book are based on beetles, and (in many cases) reproduce the actual beetle as closely as possible in embroidery. As the title would suggest, three different embroidery techniques are used, Stumpwork, Goldwork or Metal Thread Embroidery, and Surface Stitchery.

After some introductory chapters containing information about real beetles, beetles as depicted in embroidery and other forms of art, and historical embroidery that incorporated actual beetle parts, Ms. Nicholas proceeds to three chapters of designs, with each chapter being an interpretation of beetles in the three techniques: stumpwork, goldwork and surface embroidery. In the stumpwork chapter, Jane has created her version of a beetle specimen box (as illustrated on the front cover) and proceeds to show how to make a total of 21 different stumpwork beetles, EACH ONE using different techniques and materials. This chapter also contains designs that all incorporate a beetle in the design, but give you an opportunity to make a complete picture including plants, berries, a peacock, etc.

The next chapter, on Goldwork beetles, contains examples that I would say are arguably the most beautiful. Next is a chapter on surface embroidery followed by chapters on appliqued beetles and beetle "bags" (purses). The book concludes with a section on materials and techniques, and includes a welcome dictionary that gives equivalent terms for some of the products she refers to, as these may be known by different names in different countries.

Techniques used in this book can certainly be applied to stitching other design motifs besides beetles. And if you didn't know what an "elytra" is before reading this book, you certainly will afterward (hint: it refers to part of a beetle). Jane Nicholas is a meticulate craftsperson and the execution of her designs is always exquisite. Some of her pieces are indistinguishable from fine jewelry. This book is well worth its truly nominal price.

The Stumpwork, Goldwork and Surface Embroidery Beetle Collection (2004, 424 pages, hardcover) $34.95

 
EmbroiderySeasons.jpg - 9803 BytesEmbroidery for all Seasons by Diana Lampe with Jane Fisk is a "new" book that actually is a reprint of two books that are now out of print, Embroidered Garden Flowers and More Embroidered Garden Flowers (there is one new project in this book that has not been previously published). The portion of this book reprinted from Embroidered Garden Flowers consists of a melange of spring floral designs using a variety of embroidery stitches. The material in this book originally published in More Embroidered Garden Flowers adds designs for summer, autumn and winter gardens. In addition to detailed stitch instructions, there is an explanation of which stitches to use and suggested colors to recreate specific flowers. All flowers and plants in this book are all created on rather a small scale (if you wanted to create, for example, a 2" wide violet, you could not follow these techniques).

In addition to stitch instructions and instructions to make specific flowers and other related garden elements, this book consists of projects (pictures) made of the different flowers and design elements.

Embroidery for all Seasons (2006, 193 pages, hardcover) $25.00

 
Monograms.jpg - 5216 BytesMonograms: the art of embroidered letters by Susan O'Connor is a very comprehensive guide to traditional monogramming. The majority of this book is related to non-counted monograms, although a couple of small projects are done in counted cross stitch (charts for these are included). General monogramming techniques (marking, outlining, padding and stitching techniques) are clearly explained. A few projects that incorporate monograms are included in this book. American stitchers should be aware that some of the recommended materials, particularly threads, are not readily available in the US, but certainly suitable substitutes are available.

Monograms: the art of embroidered letters (2015 reprint of 2007 original, 135 pages, softcover) $39.00

 

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