The Royal School of Needlework Essential Stitch Guide to Crewelwork is a great book for those wishing to learn the art of crewel embroidery or introducing themselves to embroidery.
Written by Jacqui McDonald and Published by Search Press, this hard cover A5 size book is spiral bound allowing it to lay flat without damage to the pages.
About the Author
Jacqui McDonald’s background lies in the conservation and restoration of antiquities and she spent
seven years caring for the contents of some of the most beautiful houses in the National Trust.
It was here that her passion for embroidery was born. She made the decision to sacrifice the perfect job to join the Royal school of Needlework’s three-year apprenticeship.
On graduating top of the class and attaining a triple distinction, she decided to become a freelance embroiderer and now works from her studio in Hampshire as well as attending the RSN in a teaching role where she enjoys passing on her skills and experiences to others passionate about embroidery.
Jacqui’s designs are still heavily influenced by traditional interiors and historical architecture that she enjoyed during her time with the National Trust and whilst studying at Hampton Court Palace.
About the book
The first two pages give the reader an introduction to the Royal School of Needlework and this is something common to the Essential Stitch Guide range.
Some of my students have felt a little annoyed that the first pages are very much the same in all the publications but it must be remembered that each book is designed to stand on it’s own as well as being part of a series.
The reader is then taken through a brief history of crewelwork embroidery and then instructed about the different threads, needles and tools used.
After looking at creating designs and selecting colour, there is an extensive section on how to set up an embroidery slate frame to correctly stretch the fabric and apply the design for working.
The bulk of the book is dedicated to thirty nine outline, filling and surface stitches, from essential to advanced.
All of these have very clear instructions and images to allow the beginner to follow the stitch step by step.
The author has included some pages explaining the design and makeup of a few classic crewelwork designs so that the reader can see how all of the techniques comes together.
The RSN Stitch Guide to crewelwork is a great book for anybody starting embroidery, as all of the basic crewelwork stitches are commonly used in other embroidery styles.
It would have been useful to have a couple of pages with a few copyright free designs that the reader could trace for practice.
There are plenty of ideas to allow people to create their own designs but the general consensus of opinion from my students is that they feel a little challenged by this aspect and would like a few trial designs to practice on.
Purchase this book – The RSN Essential Stitch Guide to Crewelwork is available from Amazon.
Search Press – View other needlework publications
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