Friday, February 24, 2017

The Embroiderer's Little Book of Hints and Tips

At the last guild stitching meeting, we were talking about embroidery books and Natalie of Sew By Hand (you should check out her page, she has lovely original designs) mentioned wanting to see Alison Cole's The Embroiderer's Little Book of Hints and Tips. This made me realize that no one ever actually reviewed this book. So here it is.

The book is really handy. It's nice and compact so you can bring it along to classes if you wanted to.

Alison signed mine =D 

Here is a peek at the table of contents pages. The book covers everything from materials to getting started.

There are sections on general embroidery and both Goldwork and Stumpwork which are Alison's specialties.

My favorite is the Oh, No! section. We've all had those moments. In this section Alison covers how to fix the more common issues she's encountered during the classes she's taught. She even has sections on preparing for classes, what to look for when framing your pieces and even how to properly photograph them.

Through out the books there are little squares giving extra hints.

The great thing about this book is the paper. More often the paper is really shiny and it's really annoying when you want to add notations in it. If you use pen it takes forever to dry and rubs off making a mess, pencil isn't any better because it slips too much on the surface. This little book has excellent paper for writing. You'll forgive me if I don't demonstrate as I like to keep my books pristine :P These pages can be found at the end of each section so you can add in those new tips you discover along the way.

The very last section of the book is on needles. Here you can find images of all the different types of needles that we could use and the multiple sizes they come in. The pictures are the actual size of the needles so you can easily match an unknown needle and figure out which one it is.

More pages for notes can be found at the end of the book. This book is really a work in progress because new tips are found all the time as stitchers try out new things.

I really love the back cover of the book :) The colors are so vibrant.

I'm really glad I bought this book. It's almost like having Alison in the room with me when I stitch on her Butterfly.

Speaking of Pearl Butterfly, Lesson 3 came out yesterday so I will have lots to do this weekend. I finished one of my secret commissions (I will share more once it's been given to the recipient), so I can now spend the rest of the weekend guilt-free. This lesson, we're working on the body of the butterfly, stitching with whipped plate and adding pearls.


  1. Looks like a great book! Thanks for the review.

  2. The spiral binding does help it to open flat so you can have it to hand as you work, too.

  3. Hope the butterfly stitching goes well this weekend, it is looking lovely. Great informative book by Alison.

  4. Thanks for the book review, it is always nice to get book ideas straight from people who use them. Look forward to seeing the butterfly develop.