Book Review – Embellish, Stitch, Felt

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.

Introduction

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? I 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!

Embellish, Stitch, Felt by Sheila Smith 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?!

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!

Content

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?

Book Review - Embellish, Stitch, Felt
Haven’t a clue where to begin? The images show the tools required.

Advice is given the whole way through…

Book Review - Embellish, Stitch, Felt
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!

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….

Book Review - Embellish, Stitch, Felt
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…

Book Review - Embellish, Stitch, Felt
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…..

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

Is There Anything Wrong With This Book?

Embellishment, specifically with the use of a machine may not be to everyone’s taste. Some may prefer the traditional wet felting methods and if you are strongly committed to the more traditional felting flavours, then this might be somewhat experimental for you.

Conclusion

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. Feel free to get your copy via our affiliate link!