Sunday, February 7, 2021

Weekend Review: Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery


Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery / Sharon Boggon
Concord, CA: C&T Publishing, c2020.
176 p.

Sharon Boggon is an embroidery queen! She's run the TAST (Take a Stitch Tuesday) program online for many years now, she has a great website,,  and a FB group, and is just an inspiring and experienced stitcher. 

So when I saw that this book was coming out, I quickly preordered it :) I knew that whatever she'd have to share would be well thought out, and when I saw the description of the book it completely meshed with my own approach to embroidery -- fiddling around with stitches to get the effect you want. 

It's a thorough and well photographed guide to stitches, no fuss and no nonsense, just tons of useful information and images. If you count all the variations and ideas, there are 120 options for stitches here. Boggon takes a basic stitch, like say one of my favourites, the herringbone stitch, and then shows how to manipulate it to get many new effects. whether that's changing the height or width, threading or lacing a stitch, stacking a stitch, making columns or rows or something else. These changes can alter the appearance and use of a stitch immensely. 

I also like that there is a good variety of base stitches, from basic running stitch to looped, chained or knotted stitches. And there are beautiful samplers that she's made to illustrate how to use stitches in this way. One of my favourites is the cover image, but there are many inside that are quite different from one another. 

She also mentions left-handed stitchers, adds beads to some stitches, focuses on different threads for texture and contrast, and shares ideas from her specialty, crazy quilt stitching. There is so much inspiration here, it's a great book just to look through and dream. But then try some of the things she shares -- this is a resource that I know I'm going to be turning to over and over again. It's well done, and really energizing, encouraging creativity and the love of stitching. 

Since February is National Embroidery Month, (at least in the States ;) ) this is a good time to share this book, and a few others to follow over the next couple of weeks. If you have a favourite embroidery book, please share the title in the comments! 

For now, enjoy Sharon Boggon giving you a flip through of her book in the publisher video below. 

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