Book Review – RSN Applique

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.

The Royal School of Needlework RSN Applique (published by Search Press) is just one of a collection of books, each one covering a valuable skill.  We may feature more of these publications in the future, but for now, we will review this particular one…..

The publishers promise that:  ‘This is a practical, instructional guide that offers a complete grounding in all essential appliqué techniques’.

‘This is a practical, instructional guide that offers a complete grounding in all essential appliqué techniques: it contains a comprehensive stitch guide and will lead you through each technique using clear step-by-step photography and easy-to-follow expert guidance. It shows you how to knot thread and start stitching correctly, how to create a design, transfer it onto fabric, frame up a slate frame, build up, cut away, apply a variety of edges and apply fabric, as well as basic ribbonwork, goldwork, shadow work and silk shading. The book contains two beautiful projects that put these techniques into practice. The book also features an introduction to the RSN and its prestigious heritage, as well as revealing the history and context of appliqué and showcasing galleries of inspiring appliqué work from around the world’

Lets have a look shall we?

Who is it aimed at?

Those with a prior knowledge of embroidery, looking to refresh their skills or learn something new.

About the artist

Kate Cross, the author of this instructional book actually teaches for The Royal School of Needlework.  Thus she has the ability to discuss current techniques and ways of working, as well as expressing how valuable certain traditional skills are.  The publishers of RSN Applique tell us:  ‘Kate has worked on some prestigious projects, including working as part of the RSN team on the Duchess of Cambridge’s Wedding dress. Her company, Bespoke Embroidery, a customer-focused business, allows her to continue what she does best: creating and teaching technical hand embroidery. This is her first book. Kate lives in Godalming, Surrey, UK.’


RSN Applique contents
List of what this book covers.

Lets have a deeper look…

In this publication, Cross introduces us to the history of this technique, as well as teaching us the methods.

Are you new to embroidery?  Maybe new to this particular technique?  Then you might wonder what you will need to get to begin learning this method via RSN Applique…

RSN Applique
The question we may hesitate to ask…what do we need to do applique?! Yup, Cross has it covered for us!

To really achieve the best results with this way of working, there are some hints, tips and instructional step by steps well worth following.  The writer here details them visually, so that there is no confusion…

Book Review - RSN Applique
Carpet felt anyone?! Who knew..

As mentioned above, step by step illustrations really help the reader to understand the method, as shown again via this image….

Book Review - RSN Applique

What makes it special?

Imagine that a The Royal School of Needlework as an organisation will only convey the traditional, the historical?  Well you may be surprised!  Indulge in this….

Book Review - RSN Applique
How about stitching your breakfast?!


A mash up of small step by step images, married with large full page ones really helps this RSN Applique book to be clear and educational:

Book Review - RSN Applique
What fabric?!

There are also some awesome cakes to look out for – we wont spoil the surprise though – you will need to look inside yourself!

What is wrong with the book?

Nothing, its a great tool for those who want to learn, teach or refresh the skill of Applique.


If you want to learn applique, this book is a great place to start. Learn from the Royal School of Needlework and you’ll have a terrific foundation to build your skills. Get your copy of this brilliant book now!

What Technique Is This?

This is appliqué, one of the most popular way of using fabric to create textile art. There are a few types of appliqué that you can try, and if you need help starting we recommend the Royal School of Needlework’s book.

Appliqué is different to patchwork, in case you were wondering, and if you want some appliqué inspiration, here are some posts to check out!