Book review: Stumpwork and goldwork embroidery by Jane Nicholas

This book by Jane Nicholas, “Stumpwork and Goldwork Embroidery” is not new (it was published in 2010 in Australia), but it’s a fantastic book, and one of my favourites, so I thought I’d review it.

My copy is a high quality hardback, with 272 page, A4 size. If you’re familiar with the embroidery of Jane Nicholas, you’ll already know that any book of hers is produced to a really high standard, and the embroidery featured will be gorgeous! This book is no exception.

Jane has taken her inspiration from Turkish, Syrian and Persian tiles, and created some wonderful embroidery projects using both goldwork and stumpwork embroidery together – it’s a combination that I particularly like.

S & G 1

The book has 16 different projects in it, from simple little roundels and box lids, to more complex designs for experienced stitchers. As usual with Jane’s books, the instructions are very detailed, and the photos are to die for – really close-up images that show you exactly what you can make for yourself, when you follow Jane’s instructions.

Each project lists the materials needed, fabric needed, a pattern to trace off, shapes for any stumpwork elements, and then the instructions.

Finishing instructions are given in a separate section at the back of the book.

S & G 2

The final chapter of the book covers techniques used, the equipment you’ll need, and a stitch glossary. Although you’d probably need a bit of stitching experience already to get the most out of this book, the instructions are so good that if you are a confident beginner and are prepared to read through everything first, I think you’d be OK doing most of the projects in here. You’ll certainly be tempted!!

Although there are lists of materials needed for each project described, there are details at the back of the book of how to purchase kits for the projects as well, as Jane sells these from her own website. You’ll still need the book to work from, for the detailed instructions.

S & G 3

This project below is one that I’ve had my eye on ever since I bought this book when it first came out (OK, I know that was several years ago now, but a girl has to have a list of projects waiting to be done!). I’d probably make it as a box lid rather than a box insert, as it seems a waste to me to have all that embroidery INSIDE a box! But isn’t it lovely?

S & G 4

Jane has a very distinctive embroidery design style – it’s incredibly neat, and I’ve read that she is constantly unpicking stitches to make them perfect (wish I had that attitude!). These projects will appeal to you if you enjoy neatness. These are not the kind of ‘creative embroidery’ where you do your own thing very much. But if you want to make something that looks just like Jane’s version, you can’t go wrong with this book, as the instructions are so clear and detailed.

Usually, when I review books, there are one or two things that I mention as being ‘less good’ than the rest, but to be honest, with this book, there isn’t anything! Possibly the price is a little high, but then it’s a good quality book, and second hand copies are usually available on Amazon for around half the price of new copies if cost is an issue for you.

Jane has published about ten embroidery books so far, and they are all brilliant. Search online for her other books if this style of embroidery appeals to you 🙂

Title: Stumpwork and goldwork embroidery inspired by Turkish, Syrian and Persian tiles

Author: Jane Nicholas

Publisher: Sally Milner Publishing

ISBN
978 1  86351 409 5

Price: 22.00 GBP

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2 thoughts on “Book review: Stumpwork and goldwork embroidery by Jane Nicholas”

  1. I absolutely LOVE this book. My dad bought me my copy as a surprise 🙂 I’m Lebanese and it’s very rare to find an embroidery book that shows off my culture’s art. There are a few pieces in this book that I would love to stitch one day.

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