FFFoF – Book buys for needle nerds + win a copy of PUSH Stitchery

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I thought I’d take a moment to select a few other stitchy books that I think would make ideal Christmas gifts for needlecraft lovers out there this year!

It goes without saying that PUSH Stitchery should be at the top of everyone’s list. 🙂

It's PUSH Print

The sister publications, PUSH Paper, PUSH Print and PUSH Jewelry are of equal merit and all look fantastic on your coffee table. With big pictures and interviews with contemporary crafters, the PUSH series is really shaping up into a must-have collection.

If you’re after a book to sink your teeth into, Hoopla by Leanne Prain is a terrific book of our times. It’s jam-packed with thoughtful content and interviews from a massive range of international textile artists. If you like Hoopla, you’ll also like Indie Craft by Jo Waterhouse.

The Subversive Stitch by Roszika Parker

You can’t beat learning about the context of stitch and The Subversive Stitch by Roszika Parker is one of the best books for explaining the history of stitch and why cross stitch is for your grandma (paraphrasing hugely). And where would we be without the other Subversive book – Subversive Cross Stitch by the magnificent Julie Jackson!

Hand Stitch Perspectives by Alice Kettle and Jane McKeating

And if you’re a practising crafter who wants to scratch beneath the surfaces of needlework, you should really consider Hand Stitch Perspectives and Machine Stitch: Perspectives by Alice Kettle and Jane McKeating. These are excellent books that really explore the theory and practice of hand and machine embroidery, written by two of the biggest names in the sector. Valuable for textile students and stitch fans!

That’s just a small selection of books that I love and think you will too! If you’ve got a favourite stitchy book, you can use that knowledge to win stuff below! 🙂


See Also

Competition Time!

Win a signed copy of PUSH: Stitchery, the world’s best contemporary embroidery art book*!

There are so many books to choose from, that I’ve barely gotten started. I want to know what books you like, and so I’m good give one lucky commenter a signed copy of PUSH: Stitchery to ensure that their collection has the best book out there!

All you have to do to win a copy of this book is leave a comment with a recommended stitchy book for us all to enjoy!

Competition closes at midnight GMT on 9th December, at which point (or possibly in the morning after) I’ll count the comments and use Random Number Generator to pick a winner. Good luck!

*If I say so myself. Which I do.

View Comments (30)
  • A book I love has stitchery, yarn, beads amongst its pages, but not a cute animal in site and that is the Anticraft by Zabet

    • GO CH!! Don’t we just love it. And it’s by Renee Rigdon and Zabet Stewart. Full title ‘AntiCraft: Knitting, Beading and Stitching for the Slightly Sinister’.. I’ll have to think of another one for my entry now!
      I do have a book called ‘Learning to Sew’ by Barbara Snook, from the sixties which is just beautifully laid out and illustrated as well as being very informative and having lots of usable and adaptable motif suggestions. Not sure where you’d find a copy now though.

  • Oh all of these are on my wish list, esp Hoopla!

    I would like to recommend Julia Caprara’s book “exploring colour – experimental approaches to clour and stitch”. It’s my all time favorite!

  • When I think embroidery, I immediately think of my “bible,” Erica Wilson’s Embroidery Book. Yeah, it’s from the 70s, so I’m obviously ready for something a bit more contemporary — like Hoopla!

  • I love vintage craft books, so I would recommend Applique Stichery by Jean Ray Laury. Originally published in 1966, her artwork still looks fresh and modern.

  • I took up stitching to help with fine motor control in my left hand after losing my right (dominant) one. I have found “The left-handed embroiderer’s companion” by Yvette Stanton has helped my technique, as I’m no longer forcing awkward movements with my left hand.

  • So hard! It’s like choosing your favourite baby. One that I can’t put down at the moment is “Palestinian Embroidery Motifs – a treasury of stitches 1850 – 1950” by Margarita Skinner in association with Wiwad Kamel Kamar. Loads of full colour pics and designs, it’s a book that explores the history and culture of Palestine, and shares the motifs for contemporary embroiderers.

  • As I already have all of the recommended books apart from Push, I obviously need it to complete my collection. I recommend anything with the grandma of stitching on the cover Constance Howard. You might need to be pretty sneaky to get hold of a copy tho. Lol xx

  • I bought A handbook of lettering for stitchers and Handbook of stitches by Elsie SvennÃ¥s and I think they’re very good. It gives me inspiration when I don’t really know what to do!

  • Makoto’s cross-stitch super collection by Makoto Oozu. Designed with a good sense of humour & lots of ‘male friendly’ designs. The models sport stitched paper bags on their heads & there’s a giant 3D dinosaur on pegboard. What’s not to like? As it says on the cover ‘not lame’ & ‘super cool’ 🙂

  • I wish I were sophisticated, but I’m not. 🙂 I recommend Julie Jackson’s Subversive Cross Stitch – it’s excellent for beginners!

  • I met Natalie Chanin recently, and was really impressed with her business. She oversees a cottage industry in Alabama that completely hand sews clothing using embroidery. Her DIY books, Alabama Chanin, show how to replicate her techniques.

    I am craving a funkier stitch book like Hoopla!

  • “Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches”. A classic! Every stitch you ever wanted to learn (plus great illustrations and photographs) are in this book.

  • I’ve only been stitching since the summer, so I don’t have any really exciting books yet (although PUSH and others are on my Christmas list!). I do have a useful little “Cross Stitch Motif Bible” by Jan Eaton. Very mainstream, but that can be useful when you’re looking for some standard designs to add fun subversive elements to.

  • I bought a copy of Karen Nicol’s book “Embellished – New Vintage” when it came out and it hasn’t left my bedside table yet. There is so much delicious inspiration within the pages, well worth its price tag.

  • I love my Subversive Cross Stitch book by Julie Jackson and Indie Craft by Jo Waterhouse.

  • I’m still adding books to my collection, but have enjoyed Doodle Stitching.

    Thanks for the chance!

  • I’m fairly new to cross stitch, so only have one book, which I was given. It’s got lots of classic designs in and is a great resource for picking different motifs to use together, so that’s why I recommend it. The book is “Sampler Workbook motifs and patterns” by Caroline Vincent. I hope to add a more modern-themed book to my, um, ‘collection’!

  • I have a particular fondness for a 1964 book, Teaching Children Embroidery by Anne Butler. It boasts chapters like ‘Secondary Modern and Grammar School teaching’ in which it is suggested teachers expose children to Paul Klee and Mark Rothko and that ‘The techniques of embroidery should be taken to as high a level as possible, though every child is not going to become an artist, a knowledge of the basic rules in art will help her later on to form her own opinions, and relate the art lessons to herself and her home’.

  • Great book focusing on hand made art – By Hand: The Use of Craft in Contemporary Art by Shu Hunh & Joseph Magliaro. Not totally stitch based but still a good one!

  • I know its a little simplistic but I really love the Essential Stitch Guide to Blackwork. It’s the kind of embroidery I do the most and it has some beautiful base patterns.

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