Artful Embroidery on Canvas by Irene Schlesinger

Textile Art Book Reviews

At Mr X Stitch we love to review textile art and embroidery books for you. There are so many great books to discover, packed with needlework inspiration and textile techniques, so we dive into each book to find out what’s good, what’s bad and let you know why you should pick it up.


Artful Embroidery on Canvas by Irene Schlesinger is an easy-to-learn book of tutorials packed full of impressive stitches and mixed-media ideas all intended to be stretched over canvas. There is an extensive project gallery for inspiration, and an array of techniques such as appliqué, beadwork and incorporating acrylic paints.

About the author

Irene Schlesinger is a talented embroiderer based in San Francisco and learned to stitch from her grandmother. Throughout her education, Irene was drawn to folk, surrealist and expressionist artists. This all inspired her use of vibrant colours, patterns and textures and lead to the beautiful style of mixed-media and embroidered canvases she is known for today.

Who is it aimed at?

Those who are interested in Mixed Media as well as Artful Embroidery. The book has a wide scope due to its use of mixed-media materials and is suited to painters and illustrators, as well as those interested in textiles.


The book is divided into two halves. The first half begins with inspiration for creating the work, as well as supplies and what you need to get started. Working on canvas takes preparation, so it is important to have the right set up before you begin creating your artwork. As we transition into the second half, this is where we begin our project, using all of the inspiration we’ve collected beforehand. 

artful embroidery
Contents page showing how the book is separated into clear sections

One of my favourite parts of the book is the materials section. We have vibrant colours and textures and it’s all about collecting items and patterns that bring us joy. All of these materials meet as one as we bring the elements together to create unique pieces of textile art.

Materials required and how to use them.


Great shots throughout, including pieces of work created be Irene’s students.

Artful Embroidery on Canvas by Irene Schlesinger
Artful Embroidery on Canvas by Irene Schlesinger

What makes this book special?

We love the way the book teaches us that anyone can be an artist and create artwork to be displayed. Working on stretched canvas is a great way to bring a professional look to your work. For so long, textile art has not been appreciated among the fine artists of painting and sculpture, and Artful Embroidery is set to change that.

Artful Embroidery on Canvas by Irene Schlesinger
We loved the way this artist encourages us to exhibit ourselves – even teaching us how to frame work

Anything wrong with the book?

If you don’t like the idea of extending your textiles work into Mixed Media, then maybe this isn’t for you.


Artful Embroidery on Canvas by Irene Schlesinger  is a great guide to creating and combing lots of different skills and textures to create complete pieces of Textile Art. The book has a wide appeal and for those already stitching or painting, this is a great opportunity to bring your skills to a whole new outlet.

Artful Embroidery on Canvas by Irene Schlesinger

Artful Embroidery on Canvas by Irene Schlesinger is published by C&T Publishing, purchase here.