Hand Embroidery Dictionary

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.

Hand Embroidery Dictionary by Christen Brown, published by C & T Publishing


Christen Brown’s Hand Embroidery Dictionary provides detailed instruction on how to make 500 different embroidery stitches. It is a fantastic resource for anyone who enjoys hand embroidery , as it provides easy access to new stitches, ranging from simple stitches to complex techniques. If you want to broaden your stitching skill set , this is a must-have book.

About the Author

Christen Brown began her own artistic journey in 1991, teaching and exhibiting her work. She is so enthusiastic about her practice and endeavours to share this with all who surround her.

Her website tells us: ‘I am an artist, a designer, a technician, a crafter, a writer and a poet. Every thing I do is because of the confidence that my husband and daughter show in me; and I know that it is their love for me that gives me the ability to bring my inspirations to life.’

Christen Brown hand embroidery dictionary about the artist
Christen Brown’s biography

Christen is the author of several books on hand embroidery and the Hand Embroidery Dictionary is further proof that she is an excellent teacher.

Who Is This Book Aimed At?

Those who are new to embroidery will find this super educational. Those who already have experience will find this a great refresher.


CB hand embroidery contents
contents list

The contents includes images of the stitches to help you understand what you’re going to learn. Before you have even made a stitch, Christen supports you in creating the right base to work on…

CB Hand Embroidery what to do with stitches start
This book has all bases covered

As you would expect in a Stitch Dictionary, this book is packed with photographs that illustrate every aspect of making the stitch. Christen strives to make even the more complicated techniques simple to learn and while they may prove tricky to execute, she gives all the help she can.

CB Hand Embroidery visual stitch guide
Who would have thought that so much could be done with the old humble straight stitch!

The stitches are grouped into types – fly stitches, cross stitches – and within those types are variations that can be used to add more interest to your work.

As well as exploring stitches, the book gives ideas for different bases that can be used to work on.

CB Hand Embroidery cloth
There’s much more to cloth than you’d think!

From basic stitches, to sophisticated techniques, to embellishment, this dictionary has plenty of ideas, and the photography helps get those creative juices flowing!

CB Hand Embroidery added extras
all the added extras

What Makes The Book Special?

The Stitch Dictionary contains a wealth of information on stitch types, enough to get you started, but also throws in some new concepts, like embroidering around buttons…

Christen Brown hand embroidery dictionary button ideas
Buttons need never be boring again!
CB Hand Embroidery Techniques tips tricks
Tools and tips

Christen’s experience as a stitcher and a teacher permeates the book, and as well as featuring useful tools, she drops in tips and tricks to help you out.

She also includes a few finished examples so that you can appreciate the stitches in context!

CB Hand Embroidery what to do with stitches
What to do with all those hand embroidery stitches learned?

Anything Wrong With The Book?

There are no obvious problems with this book, indeed as a tool for teaching a wide variety of stitches, it does a great job.


A Stitch Dictionary can be a much-loved book for a stitch enthusiast, and as well as showcasing the variety of stitches, it needs to explain how to accomplish them. Christen Brown’s experience as an artist and teacher shines through this book, fulfilling those goals and making it a trusted companion as you follow your creative path.

Hand Embroidery Dictionary is written by Christen Brown and published by C&T Publishing.

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