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Learning Silk Shading/Long and Short Stitch/Needlepainting

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18 February 2008

Learning Silk Shading/Long and Short Stitch/Needlepainting

This is totally in my humble opinion, but I think the best way to start to learn the above methods would be to buy or borrow from a library

"Beginner's Guide to Silk Shading" by Clare Hanham"

That'll get you started on the simple stuff. Just doing several layers of shaded stitches. You need that information - but it's simple enough to absorb, and have a go at one of the little projects over the lending period of the book from the library. Hanham is perfect for this.

Then Trish Burr's "Long and Short Stitch".

She has heaps of information about how to stitch different common shapes, how to do wedge stitches, shorten stitches to fit particular shapes, stitching unusual shapes, the proportion of colours to use depending on the shape - heaps of extremely useful information that I found out the hard way during my book cover embroidery that you really do need.

But I think that a total beginner's brain may melt if they start with the Trish Burr. It's more a book you'll need to have on-side to refer to frequently once you have a basic grasp of the long and short stitch concept and you want to sew some weirdly shaped part of a flower, or the leg of a cat or something. And the projects she has are more likely to take months.

Again, only my humble opinion. (an d I have no affiliation with either author. This is simply my recent experience)

Gotta figure out the camera so I can photograph the book.

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Blogger MargB said...

Trish Burr's other book gave better instructions for the beginner IMHO - Redoute's Finest Flowers in Embroidery. Also try to find any of Helen Stevens - she has a great website also. As you can tell I am just about to dip my toe into the threadpainting pool also!!! I did try a butterfly once using Stevens' techniques - not brilliant - my butterfly, not the techniques!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

(after some rapid book flicking)
I'd say

- Redoute has some introductory information and some summary informatin

- Long and Short stitch has the most complete 'how to' on L&S

- Beginner's Guide is a beginner's book. The projects are relatively simple. I think this is more complete.

I guess the amount of information in Redoute comes inbetween the other two.

I've read several Helen m Stevens. She's a bit different in that she uses flat thread. Gorgeous work.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found your blog via Maggie's Textiles page. It's beautiful. As a sometime calligrapher/illuminator and constant stitcher, I'll be coming back constantly. :)

I have to second Margb's recommendation of Helen Stevens. She does use flat thread sometime, but the techniques work with other types as well (though they will give a slightly different result), and I've found her directions to be quite easy to follow.

I love Trish Burr's book. Haven't looked at Beginner's Guide, but I'll have to check it out - it might be just the thing for some of my students!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oh, it's absolutely a matter of taste/style and opinion.

I find the Helen M Stevens very pretty but it's just not quite my thing.


Best to check out the Hanham book through the library to ensure it contains enough information to keep your beginning students happy! (IMHO)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings, Elmsley! :) I'm very happy to have been pointed in the direction of your blog. Thank you! I'm sure I'll have great fun looking back over the archives.

I'm sorely in need of help with my Long and Short stitch endeavors! I think I'll start with "Beginner's Guide to Silk Shading" by Clare Hanham". I've popped that title into my Amazon shopping cart but I'm afraid I'll have to let it sit there until next month. I'm still working on getting rid of the guilt I have over this month's Amazon purchases! :P - Jeannine

Saturday, June 21, 2008  
Blogger Trish Burr said...

Thanks for your positive comments on my books, it is always my intention to help the reader improve on their long and short stitch. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions that you feel the books do not answer and I will try to send diagrams or hints to help you overcome your particular problem.

Please persevere, it is a lovely technique once you have grasped the basics and a bit of practise you will be away!

Happy stitching. Trish

Thursday, July 03, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...


Trish, if you do get this answer - I'm honoured that you've seen my blog.

If you have any comments on my Rust Red Iris or current Bunch of Poppies projects, that would be absolutely great. I'm here to learn.

My e-mail is

Thankyou again,

Thursday, July 03, 2008  

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