November: Month of books at

Stitch Magic: A Compendium of Sewing Techniques for Sculpting Fabric into Exciting New Forms and Fashions By Alison Reid, published by STC Craft/A Melanie Falick Book (April 1, 2011).

Stitch magic is as the title says a compendium of techniques. There are a few projects showing off the techniques, but primarily the techniques are stand alone for you to use as you will.

For example cut fabric shapes, can be used in a variety of ways to enhance and decorate a simple design. Different methods of cutting and attaching are discussed, as well as which fabrics will work best with this technique – then you can make a belt and a place mat using what you have just learned. Next you learn about folded shapes and can decorate a bed throw (pictured above) using this striking yet simple technique. Pleating, pintucking, quilting, cording, and smocking all are designed to take you from simple sewing to more detailed and complex sewing. It’s time to move up to the next level.

Drawn to Stitch: Line, Drawing, and Mark-Making in Textile Art by Gwen Hedley, Interweave Press (USA) (October 12, 2010), Batsford (UK) and distributed in Australia through Capricorn link.

Textile artist Gwen Hedley, takes the most basic of drawing concepts – the line – and explores it with stitching. The first two chapters of Drawn to stitch, discuss materials and techniques (collage, weaving, sewing, printing, and drawing), and this then leads in to Chapter three which Gwen Hadley describes as “the kernel of the book”. This third chapter is visually stunning. Gwen uses examples of textile art and deconstructs the techniques used. This chapter showcases sketches, inspiration images and samples of work when discussing how a certain piece of work came into being. The final chapter – my personal favourite section – takes line drawings and sketches and shows how they can be interpreted in stitch.

This book is not only visually stunning and an essential manual for fibre and textile artists but also for others looking for a different perspective on drawing – it is part instructional manual, part workshop and part inspirational journal.

Examples of Gwen Hedley’s work – from her sketchbooks


A Rainbow of Stitches: Embroidery and Cross-Stitch Basics Plus More Than 1,000 Motifs and 80 Project Ideas by Agnes Delage-Calvet, Anne Sohier-Fournel, Muriel Brunet, Francoise Ritz + Frederic Lucano (Photographer). Watson-Guptill; Original edition (October 20, 2009).

Lovely book – lots of inspiration – not your usual motifs – some unusual and interesting and unique designs. I particularly enjoy how the book is organised into colour. But it has very limited how-to … and is not recommended for the beginner stitcher.

Etsy storque has an online tutorial to make one of the lovely projects featured in the book – jam jar toppers.


This pattern is available from slipcoveryourlife.



by kath_red on 03/03/2010

in Fibre+Needlework

Carina’s craft blog always has delicious free patterns and tutorials – the most recent one is the lazy satin stitch and this fruity design. She has recently self published a stitch book – which looks great value.


argyle ornament

by kath_red on 11/12/2009

in Features, Holidays

super cute – argyle ornament – instructions here. [via feeling stitchy]

argyle ornament