24 of the Latest Textile Books for Stitch Enthusiasts

With the threat of an extended lockdown Christmas just won’t be the same this year. Fortunately, we’ve been busy browsing the book shelves to produce an epic list of the very latest book releases. Covering everything from Whitework, to Weaving, and Macramé to mending, this list will surely keep the most agitated crafters busy during the quieter periods.

Buy a present for yourself or a gift for a stitching and crafting enthusiasts. Our list of 24 of the latest textile books contains something for everyone, whether you’re a complete beginner or an established artist.

1. Textile Travels

By Anne Kelly

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An evocative exploration of how travel – local and far away – can inform, inspire and enhance textile art. Travel has always featured heavily in textile art, from artists’ ‘travelling sketchbooks’ to large-scale installations mapping coastal erosion or the effects of climate change. In this book, renowned textile artist Anne Kelly shows how to capture your travels, past and present, in stitch, with practical techniques sitting alongside inspiring images. 

Anne begins the book by discussing maps in textile art, including their iconography as well as incorporating actual maps into textile work. She then goes on to explore the influence of different cultures from across the globe on textile art. From India and Peru to Scotland and Scandinavia, the book shows how to harness traditional techniques, fabrics, motifs and colours for use in your own work. 

The book includes a wealth of practical tricks and techniques as well as exquisite photography of both Anne’s own work and that of other leading textile artists, this fascinating book will inspire all textile artists, embroiderers and makers to use past travels to influence their work.

2. Star Wars: Knitting the Galaxy

The Official Star Wars Knitting Pattern Book

By Tanis Gray

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Featuring 28 projects based on George Lucas’s epic film saga, Star Wars: Knitting the Galaxy is the ultimate guide to creating stunning projects inspired by Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Rey, and a whole host of droids, ships, and aliens from a galaxy far, far away.

Bring the power of the Force to your needles with the first official Star Wars knitting pattern book. Star Wars: Knitting the Galaxy includes patterns for toys, apparel, and home decor inspired by your favorite movie moments, characters (both human and alien), droids, ships, and more. Learn hw to knit a simple Ewok Hood (sized for both children and adults!) to more complex projects like the Darth Vader Pullover. It even includes patterns for knitted replicas of a few iconic costume pieces, such as Luke Skywalker’s cropped flight vest from Episode IV A New Hope and Rey’s vest and arm warmers from Episode VIII The Last Jedi.

3. Korean Patchwork Quilting

37 Modern Bojagi Style Projects

By Choi Yangsook

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A book that will make you see fabric in a whole new way! From its origins as wrapping cloths made from scraps of fabric to its place in contemporary textile art shows. Bojagi-the traditional art of Korean patchwork quilting-is a wonderfully versatile mode of expression that can transform a room or a wardrobe. 

Written by master instructor Choi Yangsook, Korean Patchwork Quilting teaches you step-by-step techniques through the art of assembling bits of lightweight fabric, by means of invisible seams, to create contemporary pieces for your home and life. 

Projects include: 

  • Hangings for walls and window
  • Exquisite table runners and table cloth
  • Delicate bags and pouches Zakka
  • Quirky jewelry pieces And more! 

4. Mixed Fiber Macramé

Create Handmade Home Décor with Unique, Modern Techniques Featuring Colorful Wool Roving, Ribbons, Cords, Raffia and Rattan Baskets

By Chantel Conlon

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Learn to take a new spin on the popular craft of modern macrame with Chantel Conlon’s inspired mixed fiber design. These are anything but ordinary

Mixing fibers adds another layer of texture and visual interest to this already stunning craft. Chantel will teach you everything from the most basic knots and techniques to macraweaving and working with various trendy fibers including ribbon, raffia and bamboo. 

Discover just how simple it is to create incredible macrame pieces. Full of beautiful projects, this book will transform your home. This book contains 25 projects and 25 pictures plus step-by-step photos.

5. A Fine Tradition

The embroidery of Margaret Light

By Margaret Light

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Stitch beautiful needlework accessories, decorative panels and embroidered tiles drawing from a rich and diverse design history ranging from Islamic architecture, 17th century crewel bed hangings and Indian block prints to the Arts and Crafts movement and beyond.

14 projects showcase Margaret’s passion for joyful stitching with ingenious combinations of techniques and glorious colour play utilising wool, cotton and silk threads on linen fabrics. Detailed instructions are provided for every step from stitching to construction, including a comprehensive library of diagrams and step-by-step photographs for more than 90 stitches.

6. Weaving

The Art of Sustainable Textile Creation

By Maria Sigma

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Zero waste is key to Maria Sigma’s renowned weaving designs. Here she shows beginners and more accomplished weavers how that philosophy can transform what you weave. 

Enjoy learning the basics of both heddle loom and frame loom weaving and succeed at 6 guided projects you’ll enjoy adding to your home and wardrobe, while also learning how Sigma has built her practice on sustainability. She shows how to consider the environmental impact at every stage of the design and making process, as well as within your daily work environment and studio space. 

Learn ways to decrease yarn waste and avoid unnecessary cuts, as well as how to consider carbon footprints in terms of your use of machines, water, and petroleum-sourced energy. With this guide, you can make handweaving an even more sustainable craft.

7. RSN Essential Stitch Guides: Whitework

Large format edition

By Lizzy Lansberry

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The Royal School of Needlework teaches hand embroidery to the highest standard, developing techniques in new and innovative ways. Written by RSN apprentice and tutor Lizzy Lansberry, this book contains an extensive stitch guide, as well as guidance on:

  • the materials and equipment you need
  • how to design your own whitework embroidery
  • framing up
  • positioning and transferring your design. 

Each stitch is clearly illustrated with step-by-step photography, along with expert instruction on how to form the stitch and use it in your needlework. With an introduction to the RSN and a brief history of whitework, together with numerous traditional and contemporary examples, this book provides an essential guide to this classic form of embroidery.

8. The Art of Punch Needle Embroidery

By Marie Suarez

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Create stunning embroidered designs with yarns, threads, fabric and more without needing to learn dozens of stitches!

Punch needle embroidery is similar to rug hooking, and involves punching threads into fabric using a tool to form raised, decorative loops. It is a technique that is easy to grasp in very little time.

With internationally renowned, expert embroiderer Marie Suarez, learn and discover the delights of punch needle embroidery in this gorgeous practical book. Starting with the key materials and equipment you’ll need, as well as the basic punch-needle stitches and techniques, go straight into making 20 creative and original projects – including flower-adorned pillows, pretty wall hangings and stylish bags!

All the projects are accompanied by beautiful photographs, diagrams to help you work out what to stitch first, and templates for you to trace off for quick-and-easy needle punching.

9. Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery

Visual guide to 120 essential stitches for stunning designs

By Sharon Boggon

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Find endless inspiration in this photo guide for embroidery stitching. Beginners and experienced embroiderers will create new patterns by playing with stitches – manipulating height, width, symmetry, and layers – for crazy quilting and contemporary projects.

An essential guide to surface embroidery with 120 contemporary stitches, including left-handed stitches, and step-by-step photos.

10. Blackwork Embroidery

Techniques and Projects

By Jen Goodwin

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Blackwork has a rich history that has developed over the years into an iconic and sophisticated style of embroidery. This practical book presents a number of ways to approach blackwork embroidery, from forming basic stitches and patterns to developing complex shaded pieces with confidence. 

Through an assortment of exercises, it introduces the principles of shading along with several projects to further explore the potential of blackwork. Detailed instructions on designing and developing shaded pieces of blackwork embroidery are given along with guidance on how to choose suitable images for translating into stitch. 

Step-by-step instructions on how to form basic stitches and how to form patterns are included as well as almost 250 shaded patterns, indicating how differing patterns appear when worked in different thicknesses of thread. Finally, patterns are grouped by family for easy identification and pattern blending.

11. Mini Kingdom

Crochet 36 Tiny Amigurumi Royals!

By Olka Novytska

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Welcome to the Mini Kingdom! Designer Olka Novytska (AradiyaToys) shares her passion for amigurumi with 36 themed Minis. 

The King and Queen are throwing a big crochet feast. The Drummer announces the event to the whole land. The Astronomer knew you were coming, of course, it was written in the Crochet Constellation. Let’s just hope the Joker and the Fairy don t play any pranks on tonight s yarn stash. The Prince, accompanied by his trusty Knight on horseback, is visiting the villagers. Do you want to come and crochet along? 

Make and explore this bustling little kingdom! Each Mini stays upright on its own, so they make perfect toys for playful little dreamers. You can swap the hair pieces and hats of the figures as you wish, to create even more unique characters for your very own amigurumi realm! With step-by-step pictures and video tutorials, beginners as well as advanced crocheters will enjoy this book!

12. Pretty Punch Needle

Modern projects, creative techniques and easy instructions for getting started

By Andie Solar 

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Curious crafters looking for a new hobby look no further! Punch needle artist Andie Solar provides the perfect introduction with 13 colourful and well-designed projects organized from beginner to advanced level.

Perfect for absolute beginners and the projects are kid-friendly.

13. A Passion for Needlework

Blakiston Creamery

By Inspirations Studios

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A Passion for Needlework: Blakiston Creamery is the third book in the series. Inside you will experience the delight of beautiful embroidery and inventive design sitting perfectly at home in an environment of rustic textures. 

Twelve new stories of superb needlework are showcased in a premium hard cover with a fabric spine, pocket for pattern sheet storage and high-grade paper stock.

14. Textiles Transformed

Thread and thrift with reclaimed textiles

By Mandy Pattullo

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A guide to transforming found and cherished textiles. Textile artist Mandy Pattullo shows how to source, refashion and repurpose vintage textiles to create beautiful collages and other unique textile objects. There are ideas for embellishment, stitch and applique as well as tips for transforming material into impressive quilts, bags, books, tablecloths, tapestry panels and wall hangings and much more. 

Following the make-do-and-mend and folk art traditions of previous generations, Mandy provides simple instructions for working with a variety of vintage textiles and precious fragments. There are projects for working with quilts, patchworks, linen, lace, wool and even deconstructing pre-loved garments. Each project beautifully demonstrates how fabrics and textiles can find a new and repurposed life and will inspire textile artists to incorporate these past beauties into their own work.

15. Diamond Star Quilts

Easy construction; 12 skill-building projects

By  Barbara H. Cline

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Make majestic star and diamond quilts with no inset seams! 12 projects and techniques for constructing eight-pointed star quilts from diamonds. Build your skills as you start with basic patterns and move to advanced designs.

16. The Found Object In Textile Art

By Cas Holmes

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Textile artists have always used found objects, both for decoration and to imbue their work with meaning. Cas Holmes is renowned for her use of `the found’, and her many-layered, atmospheric pieces have been shown around the world. The practice differs from recycling in that the objects often remain `themselves’ when they are incorporated into the work, rather than being transformed into something else and their original appearance being obliterated. The work is often conceived and built around the found object. 

The definition `found object’ can include a wide range of objects, from natural materials such as driftwood and leaves to old bits of machinery and vintage fabrics. Mundane objects such as CD cases can be used to create stunning pieces of art, or more sentimental items such as old jewellery can lend deep meaning to a work. The book covers: 

  • How to find objects
  • Types of found object
  • Using found objects
  • Creating surfaces with found objects

This book contains a wealth of techniques and inspiration for incorporating found objects into your textile work.

17. The Textile Artist

Expressive Stitches: A ‘no-rules’ guide to creating original textile art.

By Jan Dowson

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Whether it’s a landscape, a garden, an animal or a powerful memory of a place or object, Jan shows you how she develops them all into beautifully stitched representations that exude awe-inspiring detail, colour and expression. 

Jan begins the creative process by collecting and storing natural items and exploring different patterns, texture, media and markings to cultivate her final design. She uses simple yet effective methods for altering fabric prior to stitching, including dyeing, embellishing and stamping, then transforms her fabric into a vibrant, textured artwork using a combination of traditional hand stitching, machine stitching, and other media.

Following a fascinating, illustrated step-by step chapter on Jan’s key techniques, join her as she takes you through the stages of three types of work for which she is most renowned – the stitched landscape, the memory cloth and the bird sculpture. Each project also includes a breakdown of the materials, tools and techniques used, so that you can understand as well as see the development of her astounding, mixed-media creations. 

Throughout the book, a gallery of Jan’s work complements her techniques and projects, providing inspiration for your own textile artwork. These are stunning pieces that will open your eyes and turn your own creative concepts into original, personal work.

18. Resilient Stitch

Wellbeing and Connection in Textile Art

By Claire Wellesley-Smith

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Following on from her textile hit Slow Stitch, author Claire Wellesley-Smith considers the importance of connection and ideas around wellbeing. She explores themes around textiles for individuals and communities, including practical ideas around ‘thinking-through-making’, using ‘resonant’ materials and extending the life of pieces using traditional and non-traditional methods. 

The book features some of the very best textile artists around, esteemed American fiber artists and the doyenne of textiles, Alice Kettle. Resilient fabrics that can be manipulated, stressed, withstand tension and be made anew are recommended throughout the book, as well as techniques such as layering, patching, reinforcing, re-stitching and mending.

Finally, there is a moving account of one textile community’s creative response to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. The connection between wellbeing and the creation of textiles has never been stronger, and, as a leading exponent of this campaign, Claire is the perfect author to help you find more than just a finished textile at the end of a project.

19. RSN Essential Stitch Guides: Stumpwork 

Large format edition

By Kate Sinton

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The Royal School of Needlework teaches hand embroidery to the highest standard, developing techniques in new and innovative ways. Written by RSN apprentice and tutor Kate Sinton, this book contains an extensive guide to stitches and techniques, as well as guidance on

  • materials and equipment you need
  • how to design your own stumpwork embroidery
  • framing up
  • positioning and transferring your design. 

Each stitch is clearly illustrated with step-by-step photography, along with expert instruction on how to form the stitch and use it in your needlework. 

20. The New Crochet Stitch Directory

440 Patterns for Textures, Shells, Bobbles, Lace, Cables, Chevrons, Edgings, Granny Squares, and More

By Nele Braas and Eveline Hetty-Burkart

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This is the ultimate collection of crochet stitch inspiration! 440 stitches are presented, each with a sample swatch of the fabric and charted instructions with written notes and detailed chart keys. 

Divided into ten chapters by the type of stitches, such as shells, waves and chevrons, openwork, cables and textures, and even borders and granny squares, this collection boasts a vast variety of stitches, well organized and presented in an easy-to-use fashion. You’ll reference this indispensable resource again and again!

21. The Big Book of Little Quilts

51 Patterns, Small in Size, Big on Style

By That Patchwork Place

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Colossal creativity abounds in this BIG book of little quilts! This latest addition to Martingale’s “Big Book” series offers a whopping 51 patterns for small quilts, 40″ square or smaller, to be exact. 

Quilts are categorized into four diverse chapters: Fresh Takes, Retro Faves, Applique, and Holiday. Take a mini quilting break with Country Threads, Amy Smart, Pat Sloan, Carrie Nelson, Jo Morton, Kim Diehl, and many other talented designers. The quilts in this stellar collection are easy to start and finish, to give and display, and to enjoy while sewing an afternoon away.

22. Mending With Love

Creative Repairs for your Favourite Things

By Noriko Misumi

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Mending With Love shows you how to apply embroidery, patching, darning, felting, stamping and a little crochet to worn pieces of clothing or household items. Instead of stowing or throwing away damaged pieces that hold happy memories, you can employ these beautiful and sustainable ideas to give them a new life.

With this book, you’ll learn how to:

  • Repair knitted and woven fabrics
  • Work with flat and curved surfaces
  • Artfully repair comfy, well-made socks and gloves
  • Make a statement with creative patching
  • Fill in holes with roving using felting techniques
  • Use embroidery to visibly mend frays or damage from the odd cat claw
  • Apply other tips and techniques to torn, worn, or stained favorites

Creative as well as practical, mending is both a source of pleasure and an eco-friendly fashion statement. Instead of buying more stuff with less meaning, this method allows you to hold on to the things that have a special place in your heart. As “fast fashion” has rapidly expanded, mending has re-emerged as a popular, environmentally-friendly movement around the world.

23. Empowerment: Quilts Honoring Women in Activism

By Veruschka Zarate

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Paper Piece Your Favorite Iconic Activists Commemorate social change and inspiring voices embodied in 4 history-defining women with stunning portrait art quilts. Paper-piece quilts featuring Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Frida Kahlo, Angela Davis, and Jane Goodall for a bold and evocative piece of art. Use step-by-step instructions, including beginner information on how to foundation piece, to complete quilts with ease. For those eager to create, but new to paper piecing, links to additional videos for added instruction are also included. 

Each portrait comes with a color map and uses no more than 15 colors, making fabric selection a breeze. Hang your finished art quilt in a treasured spot for a lifetime of inspiration and motivation! Create stunning portrait quilts featuring iconic women of activismScan codes for easy to print full-size downloadable paper piece patterns that print directly to your foundation papersIncludes step-by-step instructions for putting each portrait together with ease.

24. RSN Essential Stitch Guides: Crewelwork

Large format edition

By Jacqui McDonald 

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The Royal School of Needlework teaches hand embroidery to the highest standard, developing techniques in new and innovative ways. Written by RSN apprentice, and now, tutor Jacqui McDonald. 

This book contains an extensive stitch guide as well as guidance on:

  • the materials and equipment you need
  • how to design your own crewelwork embroidery
  • framing up; and positioning
  • transferring your design. 

Each stitch is clearly illustrated with step-by-step photography, along with expert instruction on how to form the stitch and use it in your needlework.

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