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A-Z of Crewel Embroidery


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Compiled by the expert team at Country Bumpkin, renowned Australian publishers of embroidery books and magazines.


Crewel embroidery is ever popular, so it's good to see a new book on the subject. The eighth in the popular A-Z series, the spiral-bound style of this book means that it's very easy to use. The stitch instructions and all techniques are illustrated with clear step-by-step photographs. In some stitches, such as laid work and trellis work, the basic stitches are worked and then there are photos of various ways to work and embellish them to create a range of patterns...The designs are all very traditional, but, worked in a wide range of stitches, every one will enhance your stitching skills.

From the history of crewel work to preparing, working and finishing an embroidery, you'll find everything you need to know, and there are also tantalising snippets of information scattered throughout the book.

* Stitch *

This is a reprint of a book that has become a classic. It tells you all you need to know about crewel embroidery. From the history of this beautiful needlework to the stitches and techniques, this book will inspire. 500 step by step photographs will help you to master the stitches and there are full size patterns to use. Purple Pomegranate is my favourite. This handy reference is suitable for all levels.

* Karen Platt *

In this recent title seven embroiderers provide an exciting range of designs, each with a full-sized pattern, inspiring both beginner and the more experienced needleworker to try the versatility of this historic stitch technique. Beautifully illustrated in full colour, forty-five stitches are shown in detailed step-by-step photographs together with comprehensive chapters on materials and methods. Excellent value-for-money and a valuable addition to an embroiderers' bookshelf.

* East Kent Embroiderer's Guild *

A clear, concise, cleverly crafted book in the new, easily laid open format. Clear photographs, concise instructions and clever designs. A lovely book for beginner and experienced alike. It's already on my Christmas list and will be worth the wait.

* West Country Embroiderers *

This book introduces you to the tradition that is crewel embroidery and its transformation into an art form that is still popular today. It is a perfect introduction for beginners and a 'must have' for more experienced embroiderers. Presented in an easy to use style, it overflows with hundreds of step-by-step photographs and invaluable hints for creating over 16 original designs in styles ranging from traditional to contemporary, each one accompanied by colour photography, clear working instructions and a full-size pattern... Facts about the beginning of crewel embroidery and its evolution within different societies are included, along with 500 step-by-step photographs and easy to follow instructions for more than 45 stitches and techniques.

* Embroiderer's Guild Stitch *

In common with many spinners, weavers and dyers, my interests extend to other textile-related crafts. Crewel embroidery was traditionally worked with a two-ply, worsted spun, wool thread on linen fabric. It dates back to at least the eleventh century, the misnamed Bayeux Tapestry being a famous example.

This book was first published in 2015 and was already on my bookshelf. The 2018 reprint is more or less identical to the original. It starts with a concise history of the craft, followed by general information about suitable threads, fabrics, needles, frames and other tools. The main section contains detailed instructions for the most commonly used stitches. Each step is illustrated with a photograph, below which is a written explanation. The clarity of the images and the accuracy of the descriptions are excellent.

It covers the most used stitches in crewel embroidery and will remain one of my most consulted texts on the subject. I recommend it to both novice and experienced embroiderers.

-- Sarah A. Pape * The Journal for Weavers, Spinners & Dyers *

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