Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Stitchy books to learn from

The Complete Guide to Needlework The Complete Guide to Needlework
This month the &Stitches team will share our favourite books to learn embroidery (etc) from. I almost chose Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches by Mary Thomas, but I thought so many people know about it already. However, if you don't, do get yourself a copy of it, it's brilliant!

So, on to the book I decided to share with you. It's by another Mary and it is called "The Complete Guide to Needlework Techniques and Materials". Phew, that's quite the title! By Mary Gostelow who has written several interesting books about embroidery. As you can probably tell from the images, the book wasn't published recently, in fact it's from 1988. But when it comes to embroidery, oftentimes older books are really awesome, a wealth of information. As is this one.

The Complete Guide to Needlework The Complete Guide to Needlework
This book is about needlework, so not just about embroidery. Which I quite like! A lot of the skills from one type of needlework can often be transferred to other ones. The book is divided into sections (see the photo of the Contents page above).

The book goes through all the basics of the different techniques. And gives lots of hints and tips along the way too. One thing I really like about older books is that they often have a lot of knowledge that has been forgotten or isn't shared via contemporary craft books.

The Complete Guide to Needlework The Complete Guide to Needlework
Although the book isn't a stitch dictionary, it does show how to do quite a lot of stitches. They are spread throughout the book, alongside the techniques they are most associated with.

The designs shown in this book do feel a bit outdated, but the techniques are universal. There is also a lot of background and historical information about the different techniques, which I think is really valuable. The book doesn't really have projects to make, but I don't think that's necessary. There's plenty other books with projects you can do. But this one is brilliant for teaching you stuff to use in your own projects.

The Complete Guide to Needlework The Complete Guide to Needlework
The layout of the book isn't as pretty as we've become used to seeing in contemporary books, but I actually quite like that the information takes priority. And boy is there a lot of information here! I have nowhere near read all of this book, but every time I open the book I feel like my knowledge has expanded tenfold.

And that just makes me all kinds of happy. I really recommend this book. You will be happy if you have it on your stitchy bookshelf. :-)

Book Info:
The Complete Guide to Needlework Techniques and Materials
Mary Gostelow
Publisher: Fraser Stewart (1988)
ISBN-10: 1853480320
ISBN-13: 978-1853480324

You can find the book on Amazon or on Abebooks.

What are you favourite stitchy books? Do you love older books too? Please your awesome finds in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks...i just love to collect needlework books especially older ones.


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