Tag Archives: Hand embroidery

Book review: ‘Raised Embroidery: techniques, projects and pure inspiration’, by Kelley Aldridge

I love stumpwork , as regular readers of this blog will know, so I was really looking forward to getting a copy of this book, ‘Raised embroidery: techniques, projects and pure inspiration’, by Kelley Aldridge.

Raised embroidery Kelley Aldridge

There aren’t that many good stumpwork books on the market, but if you’re even remotely interest in this type of embroidery, you just have to get this – it’s wonderful!

Raised embroidery Kelley Aldridge

It’s a 140-page book, about A4 size, that’s full to bursting with wonderful colour photos, some in incredible close-up, that covers everything you need to know to do this embroidery technique. As the title suggests, it doesn’t only cover projects – this book has quite a few pages of ‘pure inspiration’ – there’s a gallery section at the back of over a dozen pages with the most gorgeous examples of stumpwork by various embroiderers, not just by Kelley herself, plus interspersed examples of stumpwork, all in a modern style.

Raised embroidery Kelley Aldridge

The book starts with a very comprehensive section explaining all about the history of stumpwork, and then moving on to materials to use, plus various techniques such as padding shapes and using wire. The stitches you need are covered in detail, including needlelace stitches. That all takes up nearly half of the book – there’s a lot of information in here, apart from the pretty pictures!

Raised embroidery Kelley Aldridge

The section on how to set up a floor frame to stitch stumpwork on is really detailed, with loads of pictures to show exactly how to do it.

Raised embroidery Kelley Aldridge

The projects section then follows – here there are three main projects explained in detail – a brooch, a phone sleeve, and a biscornu. Each has a modern look, although elements from the past are used too. At the end of each project, there are several pages of related items shown in gallery format – for instance, after the brooch project there are examples of other wearable stumpwork, such as a fascinator and a beaded cuff.

Raised embroidery Kelley Aldridge

Although this one isn’t a project, it’s my favourite item in the whole book – it’s a half scale dress with trim around the bustline made to look like old-fashioned sweets!

Raised embroidery Kelley Aldridge

Pros: I really liked this book. It’s colourful, the photography is amazing, and the projects are different from many stumpwork projects I’ve seen before. If you’ve done a bit of stumpwork already, this book will really spark your imagination. It’s certainly given me some ideas of things to make. The early sections on materials, frames, transferring designs, etc., are very well done – Kelley was trained at the Royal School of Needlework, and that really shows in her skill at explaining the best techniques to use for stumpwork. I love the fact that there are so many 3D examples of stumpwork in this book. I’m not really one for pictures, and I particularly like bags and boxes, but having seen this book, I might start making embroidered jewellery, now!

Cons: One thing I wasn’t sure of was the balance between ‘projects’ and ‘inspiration’. I felt that the book was maybe a bit too  ‘padded out’ with pictures just for inspiration, however lovely, that someone with not much experience of doing stumpwork would feel frustrated by. Very nice to look at, but how would you go about making your own version? If you picked this up in a bookshop and flicked through it quickly, you might be forgiven for thinking that you’d be able to make more than just three items from all those showcased in this book – sometimes the ‘inspirational images’ are a bit too blended in for my liking. I know ‘inspiration’ is in the title, but I feel the balance is just a bit too much in the direction of ‘coffee-table book just to look at’ rather than ‘book to make things from’ for me.

Also, there is no list of suppliers, bibliography, or list of websites at the end of the book, which I feel lets it down. I know that sometimes publishers don’t like to include things that make a book obviously ‘English’ when they want it to sell internationally, so maybe that’s why, but I think it’s a pity. I’m sure Kelley knows some good stockists, books and websites!!

Verdict: If you like embroidery and books, get this one  🙂  It’s a no-brainer!

Title: ‘Raised Embroidery: Techniques, projects and pure inspiration’ by Kelley Aldridge

Publisher: Search Press

Price: £17.99

ISBN: 978 1 78221 189 1

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Are you interested in doll’s houses and stitching? Then why not visit my website, where you can buy doll’s house needlepoint kits to make all kinds of soft furnishings for one-twelfth scale dollhouses. There are over 280 kits to choose from, plus chart packs, fabric project packs, tutorials, and lots of eye candy to inspire you! Kits are available on 18 and 22 count canvas, 28 and 32 count evenweave, and 32 and 40 count silk gauze, so there’s something for everyone – from beginners to experts.

As a special offer for new customers on my website, use the code FIRST TIME 10 at the checkout to receive 10% off your first order!

Dollhouse needlepoint kits

A blackwork dollhouse miniature sampler and other special offers!

Here’s a quick heads-up on a couple of offers for mini sampler kits available right now, including my blackwork dollhouse miniature sampler design:

Dolls House and Miniature Scene magazine has a blackwork sampler design of mine featured this month on page 36 (in Issue 278 – the July issue). The article has the chart and detailed instructions for how to complete the miniature sampler. All you need to provide is listed in the article – it’s to be stitched on 28 count evenweave fabric, and you’d need a frame with an aperture of 1 1/2 x 1 3/4 inches. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to make it from a kit which contains everything you need (including the wooden frame), it’s available in my online shop HERE.

Blackwork dollhouse sampler

 

If you would like to stitch a sampler, but the blackwork one isn’t your cup of tea, then have a look through my full range of sampler kits for a different one that might suit you better. There are 12 designs to choose from, and they cover many eras and styles, including a ‘Home Sweet Home‘ one that is always popular!

Home Sweet Home dollhouse sampler

Count your blessings dollhouse sampler

As a special offer, you can choose any sampler kits and then get 10% discount off the usual price from now until midnight on Sunday 2nd July when you use the code SAMPLER10 at the checkout – this offer includes the blackwork one  🙂

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Are you interested in doll’s houses and stitching? Then why not visit my website, where you can buy doll’s house needlepoint kits to make all kinds of soft furnishings for one-twelfth scale dollhouses. There are over 280 kits to choose from, plus chart packs, fabric project packs, tutorials, and lots of eye candy to inspire you! Kits are available on 18 and 22 count canvas, 28 and 32 count evenweave, and 32 and 40 count silk gauze, so there’s something for everyone – from beginners to experts.

As a special offer for new customers on my website, use the code FIRST TIME 10 at the checkout to receive 10% off your first order!

Dollhouse needlepoint kits

 

 

 

 

Autumn quakers 6: almost finished!

I’ve been stitching like mad on  the Autumn quakers sampler by Rosewood Manor , and now it’s almost finished – here’s my progress over the past couple of weeks.

I’ve now finished another page and a half (sort of). Here’s the sampler with two thirds of it done – six pages of the chart in total:

autumn-16

Isn’t it looking lovely? It’s quite big, too – about 18 inches high, and I’ve still got another row of chart pages to stitch.

autumn-17

The bottom right hand corner of the sampler has a kind of cartouche, which you add your initial to, choosing from the complete alphabet of letter motifs which are included in the chart booklet. I haven’t stitched that part yet, as I’m not sure if I’m going to do it exactly as the chart says to, or ‘do my own thing’.

autumn-18

But it’s good to see how high the sampler will be in total, now that I’ve stitched the height of that page, even if I haven’t done the whole width yet.

autumn-19

For most of this sampler, I’ve been cutting the thread straight off the little balls of Valdani three-strand thread. I’ve been using one needle per colour, to try to save a bit of time by not having to re-thread one needle all the time. I bought this thread pack specifically for making this design, and it is very cute, in its own little box, but I decided I wanted something even quicker!

autumn-8

So I unwound all the balls, cut the thread into two foot lengths, and looped it onto a wooden thread sorter, which works much better for me.

autumn-20

Should have thought of that before, really, as you can see from this picture that I haven’t got much more to do, now.

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Are you interested in doll’s houses and stitching? Then why not visit my website, where you can buy doll’s house needlepoint kits to make all kinds of soft furnishings for one-twelfth scale dollhouses. There are over 280 kits to choose from, plus chart packs, fabric project packs, tutorials, and lots of eye candy to inspire you! Kits are available on 18 and 22 count canvas, 28 and 32 count evenweave, and 32 and 40 count silk gauze, so there’s something for everyone – from beginners to experts.

As a special offer for new customers on my website, use the code FIRST TIME 10 at the checkout to receive 10% off your first order!

Dollhouse needlepoint kits

 

Autumn quakers 5: getting hooked on this….

Now that I am making significant progress on the Autumn Quakers sampler from Rosewood Manor, I am finding that I am getting hooked on this, as it’s completely habit-forming, and I keep picking it up to do ‘just one more motif’! In just over a week, I have completed another page of the nine page chart booklet (the centre right portion of this image)autumn-14

You can still see a bit of a ‘bump’ in the diamond area that I talked about last time I showed you this project, but I’m going to have to put up with that, I think. This page of the chart, though, didn’t have anything tricky to manage, except that I mis-counted at one point, and as I couldn’t be bothered to unpick it once I realised, I then had to juggle the surrounding motifs to ‘get back on track’ (and no, I’m not going to tell you where I did that!).

autumn-15

I’m still hooked on stitching this, and I want to get it finished now, as it’s over two thirds finished, and there are other projects calling me….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Are you interested in doll’s houses and stitching? Then why not visit my website, where you can buy doll’s house needlepoint kits to make all kinds of soft furnishings for one-twelfth scale dollhouses. There are over 280 kits to choose from, plus chart packs, fabric project packs, tutorials, and lots of eye candy to inspire you! Kits are available on 18 and 22 count canvas, 28 and 32 count evenweave, and 32 and 40 count silk gauze, so there’s something for everyone – from beginners to experts.

As a special offer for new customers on my website, use the code FIRST TIME 10 at the checkout to receive 10% off your first order!

Dollhouse needlepoint kits