- Craft Rocks: Fingerprint Reindeer Christmas Decoration - 29 December 2019
- Book review – Sarah’s Hand Embroidery Tutorials eBook - 18 December 2019
- Craft Rocks: Putting my stamp on things…lino cut printing - 1 December 2019
Christmas is coming so it’s time to get working on that gift list, and I think Sarah’s Hand Embroidery Tutorials eBook would be a welcome addition to any stitcher’s library.
Sarah, the author, has been tutoring embroidery for over a decade and is constantly researching more about the art of stitching. Her aim is to make embroidery accessible to everyone around the globe, and I felt that global desire to teach shone through really well in this book.
What she has done very cleverly is successfully target this book at a really huge audience. Whether you’ve never done any embroidery before or you’ve been sewing for decades, there will be lots in this book for you.
As you can see above, for the sewing novice there is a “before you begin” section which goes into great detail about things like fabric and even how to thread your needle. There is absolutely no assumption made that you have any prior knowledge of embroidery when you open the book.
I love that approach because even though I’ve been sewing for years I always like to hear how other people do even the most basic tasks, I am a firm believer that you are never too old to learn and it’s always interesting to hear how other people do things. I would be amazed if anyone read this book and don’t pick up a variety of tips and new ideas.
The book is full of clear photos to demonstrate whatever Sarah is explaining – and in a book that boasts over 200 stitches to learn – the step by step photos really helps you know your Lantern stitch from your Burden Stitch. And did you know that the Burden stitch is named after Elizabeth Burden, a 19th Century needleworker who taught at the Royal School of Needlework and was the muse of William Morris? Well now you do – and the book is full of fab facts like that.
As you can see here, each stitch also comes with a difficulty level, direction, details of what it could be used for and details of other stitches you need to know before you try this one.
Sarah’s way of writing really worked well for me. I found her instructions easy to follow and enjoyed the mix of teaching, historical facts, information on stitching around the globe, storytelling and pictures a great mix to keep me entertained.
Ensuring she covers absolutely everything, once you have mastered the beginners basics and the stitches, Sarah even provides printable pattern designs you can use to create embroidered pictures of your own without you having to close the book and go off to find designs of your own.
Overall I thought this book was a great ‘how to’ reference book but with the addition of genuinely interesting facts, suggestions and tips. I can imagine I’ll refer back to it a lot over the years, and I love books like that. I like that it’s an eBook too, I do a lot of sewing in airports and on planes as I travel back and forth to visit family in Northern Ireland and I can’t bring a big hardback reference book in my hand luggage. This book sits happily on a tablet I’d be bringing anyway.
Christmas isn’t far away folks, and if you’ve been good this year maybe you should ask Santa to pop this in your stocking! As I write, the book is on offer at $20 (it is usually $29) and is available here.
Originally from Northern Ireland, Jo Burgess is a craft crazy rock music loving gal based in England. With a career including time spent as a motorsport journalist in England, in the film industry in Northern Ireland, and working on ghost tours in Scotland, her background is as mixed up as her love of craft. Jo will try her hand at anything and loves learning a new skill with tea and cake, crafty friends and great music blasting out of her speakers. Cross stitch, electronics, sewing, beadwork, glass fusing - she loves it all, and through this column Jo hopes to pass her love of different crafts, music and (of course) cake on to you. Craft rocks!