Book Review – Embellish, Stitch, Felt

Mr X Stitch Book Review

Embellish, Stitch, Felt by Sheila Smith
Who is it aimed at?

Are you one of many who have bought an embellisher machine but have no idea how to use it, or what it can be used for? Admittedly as the Editor writing this, I do have one in my possession and I do have good intentions to use it, but always lacked the ideas. This may be a great point of inspiration for us all!

This book explores felting techniques which may be new to many, including dry felting with hand needle punch and the machine Embellisher ways. Will this open up a new “felty” angle for you? And me too?!
About the artist

Sheila Smith is an experienced felt maker, teaching throughout the UK. She has also written for a number of publications and produced other books relating to felt. Thus she’s got a lot of experience to give…..

Look at that for a list. She doesn’t just cover the standard Needle Felting techniques, there’s chapters on dyeing, creating sculptural items and using random materials within the felt and embellishing techniques! We don’t see much room for boredom….but do you know where to begin?

Haven’t a clue where to begin? The images show the tools required.

Advice is given the whole way through…

What materials are needed? This may seem like a stupid question to ask – much better that she tells us than if we have to ask ourselves!

What makes it special?

Ever think of felt as a flat piece of material? Think again! Smith shows us how felt can be manipulated like any other fabric. The bonus here with this weaving is that there is no fray! She even projects ideas at us how to decorate it…look at those swirls….

Woven felt!

Are you a “from scratch” person? If so, check out the dyeing section, where there is advice on which ones to purchase and how to use them…

For those who wish to dye their own colours.


Unsure how to use a hand felting needle? The photos cover it all, via zoomed in images…..

Loads of images are dotted through the book to showcase possible outcomes.
The photographs are used to illustrate throughout, making it an easy book to follow.

What is wrong with the book?

Embellishment, specifically the use of a machine may not be to everyone’s taste. Some may prefer the traditional wet felting methods.


Looking at this book, I began to feel guilt. Why had I not got my machine out to try this technique? Maybe its the way she explains it that’s so easy to follow; but hey I know I am going to take a second look and give it a go!

Embellish, Stitch, Felt by Sheila Smith is published by Batsford.

Get it right here!

Ailish Henderson

Editor in Chief at Mr X Stitch
As a freelance artist, designer, lecturer and tutor (how do I narrow down that description?!)I have been contracted by numerous arts organizations to provide Talks, Workshops’ and Masterclasses’ in Textiles, Print Making and Fine Art subjects.  These include branches of the Embroiderers’ Guild, Textile Study Groups and The Women’s Institute.  Every year I teach at The Knitting and Stitching shows and exhibit with the Artist in Action stand.Currently I am building up to my exhibition at The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia, London this spring; having also written articles or had work illustrated in Stitch, Inspired, Embroidery, Selvedge, Daphne’s Diary, Prima (online), Cloth Paper Scissors and the Batsford book ‘Be Creative with Textile Art.'

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