Today I bring you a book review with an abundance of photos.
When I took Rachel's Handstitched Class last summer, I realised I needed to refresh my basic hand-sewing/embroidery skills...how may times had I done chain stitch when I was younger and I cannot for the life of me remember how to now?
Enter, The Stitch BIBLE by Kate Haxell.
"A comprehensive guide to 225 embroidery stitches and techniques", and boy does it deliver. Without even looking inside this book it appealed to me, the black and white monochrome bird is beautiful (and thats coming from someone who is petrified of birds).
The overall feel is fresh and modern with fantastic photography, clear instructions and 17 projects (2 for each chapter and an introductory project) you actually will want to do....no 'fuddy-duddy' stitching projects in this book.
It is split into sections, Getting Started, Freestyle, Hardanger, Blackwork, Crewelwork, Goldwork, Pulled Thread, Canvaswork, Drawn Thread and finally a Templates and Charts section at the back.
Getting Started is a comprehensive section covering the basic equipment, the different fabrics and techniques for preparing your fabric and transferring designs.
The book starts with your basic Freestyle stitches, these are the ones we all know
|basic freestyle stitches|
and then shows you some more in-depth Freestyle stitches
Each chapter has an overview page and recommendations for fabric, threads, needles etc.
|cute sunglasses case|
and lots and lots of stitching charts with really easy to follow instructions
|hmm, a darned wheel or spiders web filling stitch?|
and then at the back there are the templates and charts for the 14 projects that need them
So can I do a chain stitch now?
Of course!! Well it was a bit iffy at first, see the row of horizontal lumps above the vertical line of chain stitch? That was my first attempt, but I got better.
|little stitch sampler|
I also had a go at Blackwork, using Aida instead of evenweave linen
|tiny blackwork sampler|
I love Blackwork, it's addictive. There will definitely be more of it in my life.
This is a fantastic book, its informative, interesting and lovely to look at. A brilliant starting point for anyone new to embroidery, it shows you the basics and allows you to progress with the second project in each chapter, a taster for different disciplines of embroidery.
My only gripe - and its a tiny one - is the usual left handed person moan about instructions being written for right handed people, it did leave me with a look of confusion a couple of times, but no more confused as I usually am!
If you fancy having a go, Stitch Craft Create have it in stock. Go on, you know you want to.....
I haven't been paid in cash or fabric for this review, but I have been given a copy of the book to review and keep by F&W Media in return for a fair unbiased review. I am not sponsored by any manufacturer or supplier, I only use fabrics I like and suppliers that provide excellent service. All photos are taken by me and all opinions in my blog are entirely my own based on my personal experience.