Friday, October 8

Books I learn stitches from & Embroidery Stitch Challenge kick off!

These are the books I use to learn stitches from. From top to bottom: Mary Thomas's  Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches, Stitches of Creative Embroidery by J. Enthoven, The left-handed embroiderer's companion by Yvette Stanton and the A-Z of Embroidery Stitches from Bumpkin Press.  

The left-handed embroiderer's companion truly is my companion and for obvious reasons: all other books have diagrams for right handed stitchers so this book is my first choice to learn stitches from. It has very, very clear diagrams of the stitches too. There is also a version for right handed stitchers. Mary Thomas's book lists many stitches (and the various names they have) but the diagrams are not very clear. My version of this book is from the early fifties and it has been reprinted many times so it's quite possible that the book has improved on this point! The A-Z of Embroidery Stitches is a handy to the point stitch dictionary. It has clear photos of how to make embroidery Stitches from the Algerian Eye Stitch to the Zig Zag Stitch. Jacqueline Enthoven's The Stitches of Creative Embroidery is a wonderful comprehensive book about embroidery stitches. It has lots of information and describes the stitches in detail. I also love the many examples and creative ideas for using embroidery stitches. There are a lot of black and white photos in this book though, it was first released about 50 years ago. Maybe more a book for Stitch Geeks? Anyway all these books have a different approach and you will have to find out for yourself which one suits you best.

If you want to look for information online you can't go wrong with Mary Corbet's NeedlenThread. Her video library of stitches is a wonderful resource for learning new stitches. As is Sharon B's Embroidery Dictionary.

I managed, thanks to some of my dear blog readers, to make a list of Stitches to learn over the next couple of weeks. Today I'm kicking off with the Bullion Knot! A couple of months ago I wrote a little bit about that stitch on Feeling Stitchy.  I'm reporting back on Monday with some examples of my Bullion Knots. If you would like to join in the fun please do! I've started a new Flickr Group called Embroidery Stitch Gallery where you can post your photos of embroidery stitches. You can also post photos there of other stitches than those from the Embroidery Stitch Challenge, but please do tag them correctly (with the stitch name) or mention which stitch you used in the description.

Hope you all have a great weekend!


  1. I am also left handed and sometimes struggle with translating the stitches. I didn't know there was a book out there just for us left handers - thanks for posting!

  2. I'm left-handed and will have to see if I can find the Left handed Embroiderer's Companion! Thanks for the tip. I just found your blog and signed up as a follower.

  3. Hi Sandy thanks for the follow :)
    I have ordered my copy of the Left handed Embroiderer's Companion at the, they ship world wide for free! As a fellow left handed stitcher I can really recommend it.


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