Jacqueline Enthoven's The Stitches of Creative Embroidery is one of my favourite books to learn stitches from, it inspires me to add more variety in the stitches I use and the book is very informative about the historical and cultural origin of stitches and embroidery.
In this book you'll find the basic and not so basic stitches from all corners of the world: from the Mexican Huichol Zigzag to the Sisha mirror work from India. The stitch diagrams (there are a lot of those!) are pretty basic but probably ‘do-able’ for the little more advanced stitcher. I also like (and this is probably due to being a bit of a stitchy geek) that there is a lot of text in this book, something you don't see often in contemporary craft books. The author gives lots of extra information about the stitches she describes, for example historical backgrounds or additional ideas and tips.
The Stitches of Creative Embroidery was first released in the 1960’s and (at least in my copy from 1996) the photos of historical, folk and ‘contemporary’ embroidery haven’t changed since. Most of them are in black and white too.
I happen to like a bit of retro mid 20th century stitching and historical and folkloric embroidery as well so I don’t mind too much but I think it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring this book into the 21st century with an update of the images! I would totally buy a copy if it was re-released, especially as my copy of the book got very wet one time (old house, lots of rain, left it in the windowsill…) but luckily I was able to rescue it.
Hope you enjoyed this peek in one of my favourite Embroidery books. The Stitches of Creative Embroidery is still available new and as a second hand book. Do you have a favourite Embroidery book too? Let us know!