Sunday, February 17, 2019



     "Our threads color our embroidery.  Our embroidery colors our lives."  Sandy Rodgers - #3 Needlework Tips for the Novice and Expert.


Here we are rushing through a new year.  I'm going to start this first blog of the new year first sharing the new books available and then going into the past with a selection of out-of-print books for you to peruse. I hope you enjoy both selections.  Take time to stop, look and have a cup of tea! 


Potpourri of New Books 

Before I get into the list of new books I'd like to introduce a special new book that comes all the way from Scotland: EMBROIDERED STORIES: SCOTTISH SAMPLERS by HELEN WYLD. 


I loved that the distributor wrote this about not only about the book but about samplers in general:  Samplers were embroidered pictures made by girls, And occasionally boys, as part of their education. Scottish samplers are unique with regard to the amount of information that can be gathered from them. They often include the initials of extended family members as well as details of buildings, places and events, leading to the identification of almost all of these young embroiderers.  $25.95

Leslie Durst, an American with a passion for Scotland, has a collection of over 500 samplers dating from the early 18th to the late 19th century; a small section of them will be exhibited at the National Museum of Scotland until April 21 2019. This book showcases these and reveals the stories behind many of them - embroidered records of two centuries of Scottish social history.  70 samplers are in the book and exhibit. 

Curator, Helen Wyld says, "This exhibition isn't just about needlework; it is about the fabric of life in 18th and 19th century Scotland. Made by girls often from fairly modest backgrounds, samplers give us an alternative view of Scottish history, one that does not appear in the history books."

The samplers come from all over Scotland, with examples on show from the main cities but also from the Western Highlands to the Orknewy Islands, and even an émigré Scots family in upstate New York.  (discount code: heart19)

Other New Books

Bernstein, Alicia - 10 Easy Stitches: Embroider 30+ Unexpected Projects - Our author expands the boundaries of contemporary hand embroidery with super-fast stitches and ideas for the impatient sewist and dazzling motifs for slow stitchers. Learn how easy it is to stitch on unconventional materials like canvas tennis shoes, a denim skirt, or leather bracelets. Change up the patterns to fit your unique style and branch out to create your own custom designs.  Master 10 simple, versatile hand embroidery stitches, each with clear instructions.  $24.95

Hoey, Aneela - Sweet Stitches: 250+ Iron-on Embroidery Designs - No tracing or copying, just transfer and stitch! 250+ embroidery designs from popular designer Aneela Hoey are now available as iron-on transfers, to make applying and using her designs a breeze. Transfer and embroidery stylish designs from her newest book. She includes small to large designs, from florals to geometrics. You can transfer each image several times.  $19.95

Kim, Minki - Diary in Stitches: 65 Charming Motifs - 6 Fabric and Thread Projects to Bring You Joy - Artist Minki Kim turns her own daily sketchbook challenge into 65 stitchable drawings to mix and match. Embroider and applique the whimsical, easy-going way with 6 useful projects to make and share, like a simple zipper pouch or the teacher, a cozy pillow for the handsome chair, or a wallhanging for your family room. She includes an extra gallery of small project ideas from coasters to wall art, a sewing machine cover, mini quilt, bookmarks and more.  $25.95

Kim, Minki and Kristin Esser - Sew Illustrated: 35 Charming Fabric and Thread Designs - Fill your home with small works of art that embody the simple life. Start with 16 useful handmade gifts in the popular Zakka design style, then add adorable motifs pulled from everyday life. 35 charming designs are printed on iron-on transfer paper - have fun sketching them with bits of fabric and free-motion stitching. Customize a variety of bags, a fabric basket, a makeup roll, coasters and more. You can even use images pulled from a photograph, a rubber stamp, or child's drawing.  $24.95

McCollin, Sally - Transfer and Stitch: Butterflies, Bees and Bugs - 32 pages of unique butterfly, bee and bug designs that can be transferred to fabric and stitches. Designs range from traditional, life-like insects to edgy modern steampunk designs. These intricate motifs can be rendered in metallic or variegated threads to give them a colorful, insect-like sheen. There are over fifty designs to choose from, starting from tiny ladybirds up to larger-scale grasshoppers, and each one comes with an iron-on transfer that can be applied directly to fabric.  $21.95 

Multiple Contributors - Make Pincushions: 12 Darling Projects to Sew - Now these are cute!  Treat yourself to a new pincushion that's sure to put a smile on your face. Sew twelve playful patterns from top designers: Alexia Abegg, Bari J. Ackerman, Jeni Baker, Leanne Beasley, Susan Maw & Sally Bell, Julie Creus, Jill Hamor, Aneela Hoey, Virginia Lindsay, Jessica Peck, Anne Sutton and Kajsa Wikman. Chose from 3D shapes to cute little critters. Try out a variety of techniques - like applique, embroidery, and piecing packed book. Perfect for swaps, gifts, and stocking stuffers, these charming pincushions are so quick to sew, you'll want to make them again and again. $12.85

Rennison, Carole - Yarn Hooking - Here we have 14 colorful, contemporary yarn hooking projects, complete with diagrams, yarn color charts and full-size templates. This book offers over a dozen colorful designs inspired by traditional rug hooking techniques for purses, pillows, pictures and gifts, as well as a traditional rug, inspired by folk art and primitive art. She also shows how easy yarn hooking is, providing hooking tips and advice on how to choose the right fabric, wool yarn and equipment. She also demonstrates how to plan and develop ideas, how to chose the right colors and how to complete the design with a professional finish. Also included is a thorough techniques sections that shows how to prepare for hooking, the basic hooking technique and how to finish off your work. Each project comes with diagrams, a full-color chart for simple yarn color reference and beautiful photos of the finished design that will be sure to inspire. In addition, a to-scale template sheet with all the essential motifs for the designs in included at the back of the book, so you can trace and start your creations right away.  $18.95

Shore, Debbie - Debbie Shore's Sewing Room Secrets: Machine Sewing - Step into Debbie's sewing room, where she will share with you her expert tips, techniques and trade secrets for successful sewing. In this first book in her new Sewing Room Secrets series, Debbie walks you through every aspect of machine sewing, revealing her top tips and providing in-depth and helpful guidance every step of the way. She guides you around your sewing machine and explains all the tools and materials you might need, including wadding/batting, interfacing, fabrics and threads. There's handy troubleshooting section to reassure and guide you when you encounter problems. Debbie covers the key techniques you need to know, including inserting zips and piping, using shirring elastic, free-motion embroidery and . The ten beautiful projects help you learn the techniques as you progress through the book, beginning with a simple pincushion before moving on to a pillow cover; a table case, a drawstring bags, a sewing machine mat and more.  $16.95

Witten, Katrina - Hand-stitched Landscapes and Flowers - Create beautiful landscapes and flowers using hand-stitching and layered organza. Katrina Witten uses no more than six simple stitches for each embroidery, plus delicate embellishments and an array of techniques and fabrics to portray pastoral scenes of fields, flowers and creatures with eye-catching three-dimensional effects. There are ten detailed projects to try, depicting, among other things, a hedgerow, a bluebell-emblazoned woodland, sunflowers, a poppy field and a summer scene of buddeia, butterflies and bees. She includes templates for each project.  $26.95



"The embroidery we stitch is a reflection of ourselves, our lives, the people and things we love." Sandy Rodgers - More Needlework Tips for the Novice and Expert

I hope you enjoy the selection of books.  REMEMBER: FIRST COME FIRST SERVE!  There are limited copies of each title, many times only one so please call me at: 1-602-943-0738.


Twisty Stitches: String Art for Needlepoint - Carole Lake and Michael E. Boren - This book contains the Amadeus Stitch through the Jessica Stitch that are sometimes referred to as Jean Hilton Stitches. This curve stitching has been around for quite a while so if you haven't tried it here is your chance.  Originally $52.00 now only $26.00  (3 copies).

Home Sweet Home: An Embroidered Workbox - Carolyn Pierce - I love this book! This charming English cottage, beautifully decorated with a garden of stitches, opens to reveal 9 gorgeous accessories and includes storage for all your notions.  Full color photos and detailed instructions make this an irresistible book. Originally $34.95 now only $22.00  (2  copies).

Raised Embroidery: Techniques, Projects and Pure Inspiration - by Kelley Aldridge - From the Royal School of Needlework - This great guide combines traditional and technical expertise with contemporary designs. Book includes clear step-by-step photos and easy-to-follow expert guidance. Three beautiful projects showcase additional advanced techniques and provide an opportunity for the reader to create beautiful raised embroidery of their own.  Originally $34.95 now only $20.00  (1 copy for sale).

Whitework with Colour - Trish Burr -  This amazing embroiderer taught herself and went on to become known worldwide for her embroidery and her wonderful books. This book of seventeen projects inspired by freshness and elegance of the French style of whitework embroidery but with some colour added. The projects range from complete beginner to more advanced. Trish uses a lot of raised and padded satin stitch in conjunction with stitches such as dot stitch and eyelets to create different textures. Trish understands the need to present instructions in an easy-to-follow manner. Each project includes a list of the threads used, a detailed diagram which shows which colours are used where, and comprehensive step-by-step instructions accompanied by photos. Originally $34.95 and now only $20.00  (2 copies for sale).

Hand Stitched Crazy Patchwork - Hazel Blomkamp - Here is another amazing stitcher who has brought us a number of books on crewel work and now brings us patchwork taken to an extraordinary level through a fabulous mix of embroidery techniques and bead embellishments. She explains more than 160 techniques for bead embroidery, silk ribbon embroidery, needleweaving and tatting as well as free-hand quilting and working from paper templates. There are five projects included, so you can make your own beautiful finished pieces.  Originally $29.95 and now only $14.00. (3 Copies for sale). 

Painted Canvas Embellishment: An Idea Book - Carole H. Lake and Michael E. Boren - I don't think I have to introduce these authors and teachers to you and you've probably heard of this book that covers ideas for threads, ideas for stitches for various parts of a painted canvas like hair and fur, faces, leaves, wings, motifs and much more for small, large, very large areas, that makes us stop and really look at what we are doing.  Originally $34.95 and now only $18.00.  (1 copy for sale)

Stitched in Adversity: Samplers of the Poor - Witney Antiques - I'm a fan of anything Witney puts out on samplers and this book is especially interesting since it brings us insight into how poor children, many in institutions, learned to embroidery samplers.  The full-color plates are wonderful as usual. If you are into samplers and their history this is fascinating.  Originally was $34.95 now is only $17.00.  (1 copy for sale).

It's About Darn Time! - Sharon G. - Nice to have a book about darning. Sharon's book includes over 125 beautiful darning stitches and hints. As she says, "Darning stitches have always been a favorite style of stitching. I love open backgrounds and open stitches allowing the artist's paint to show through the applied threads. Some canvases cry out for a single strand of thread, a simple elegant pattern and a relaxing stitch. Many of her stitches are over one thread that can be substituted with a bead or sequins held in place by a bead. Make a stitch of your own. Experiment and have some fun."  Large, clear graphs with stitch direction.  Originally was $39.95 now only $20.00.  (1 copy for sale).

Next is a great lady, still with us, thank goodness!  Ann Strite Kurz is well-known for her teaching, books and designs.  I'm not sure if her books are out-of-print but I wanted to give stitchers the opportunity to get these at a sale price.

Potpourri of Pattern Encore - This is her collection of previously unpublished patterns for canvas and counted thread use. She presents new patterns with recommended step-by-step sequences for executing them, hoping to inspire others to think outside the box and develop similar creative approaches to their own work. She uses open networks or patterns to allow the canvas to show between the stitched areas. Open networks also call for different priorities in charting the stitch sequences in order to execute spread-out elements properly and to conceal the traveling threads. By enabling the negative space of the exposed painted or dyed ground to become an integral part of the pattern, one is no longer limited to designs with complete canvas coverage.  Gorgeous color pictures show how this works and the graphs are large and she includes plenty of information. Originally was $39.95 now only $20.00  (1 copy for sale).

Creative Canvas Couching - This Ann calls a study of contemporary uses of couching techniques in twentieth century (and beyond!) American embroidery along with a collection of laid fillings from the author's work and that of many of the featured artists.  She includes a disk that uses Adobe Acrobat Reader for PC or Mac. The title was chosen because of laid threads in canvas embroidery offers an endless opportunity to be imaginative and inventive with one's stitch treatments. She includes everything you need to know to do accomplish this technique and she even includes a historical background.  Originally 39.95 now only $20.00


Sometimes a book goes out-of-print not because it is a poor seller but for a more personal reason, such as the author has passed away. This is the case with Sandy Rodgers books.  Fortunately, I had a stock of her titles so she is still with us in print.  The following titles are available on this sale:

Art of Teaching Embroidery - She has included all you need to know to become a professional needlework teacher. Sandy taught for years, lectured, designed and judged so she has the expertise to write this useful book.  She includes the types of embroidery teaching, creating teaching vehicles, pricing materials, instruction booklets, lesson plans, visual aids, finances, copyrights, proposals and portfolios, biographies and resumes, personal contracts, the teacher as a professional and appendix with forms or examples for resumes, biography, invoice, judging contract and invoice, and more.  Originally, $39.95 now only $20.00. (4 copies for sale). 

Expanded Edition: Silk and Metal Threads on Canvas: - This book is comprised of solid "what is it" and "how to I stitch it" information about both silks and metals as they are used on canvas. Both contemporary and traditional techniques are discussed. This material is designed to serve as both a source of knowledge for the beginner and a reference for one more experienced with silk and metal canvas embroidery. If you come across a term whose meaning you do not know, check the index. It is usually detailed.   Originally $39.95 now only $20.00 (two copies for sale).

More Needlework Tips for the Novice and Expert - She calls this book, "A manual of proven methods to improve your needlework." Because this book deals with so many different aspects of embroidery, the Index is unusually detailed. If you're looking for something special, it is likely that the term in question will be listed and you will be directed to any entry which will help you. Words such as "usually" and "generally" are used very often. This is because there are few absolutes in the world of needlework. Words similar to "always and "never" are used here very sparingly. Originally $39.95 now only $20.00 (three copies for sale).

#3 Needlework Tips for the Novice and Expert - As Sandy says, "The tips came coming. Even more of those things which we all wish we had known when we began stitching." Everywhere she went to teach or lecture people would come up to her with another tip so she began arranging, editing, and rewriting, making order out of notes on scraps of paper and email print-outs which had caused my file cabinet to bulge.  Again, if you can't find what you want check the Index.  Originally $39.95 now only $20.00 (two copies for sale).   

Sadly, SuZy Murphy has retired from writing needlepoint books and teaching it I've been told. I have two of her great titles available on this sale:

SuZy's Small Stitches - Jean Hilton encouraged us stitchers to do two things with this book: read what Suzy has to say and experiment with the stitches. These two exercises will enable you to understand the personality of each stitch as well as how it looks in different threads. SuZy puts it this way, "feel the freedom and do the stitches your way!"  The color models found in the back of the book were all stitched on 14 Mesh canvas, using Perle Cotton and SuZy included the size of the thread below each picture. She includes wonderfully large graphs with stitch direction and what each stitch can be used for.  Originally $39.95 and now is only $22.00.  These copies were never used but do have some shelf wear.  On the web her books are selling for high prices but I want my customers to have a copy if so desired.

SuZy's Mini Stitches - In this delightful, informative book SuZy includes the color models of each stitch in the back.  The series of stitches include: straight stitches, cross stitches, diagonal stitches, round and square and pattern. Each stitch includes what it can be used for and tips. Originally $39.95 now only $22.00.


Beaton, M.C. - Death of an Honest Man - Sergeant Hamish Macbeth - Scotland's most quick-witted but unambitious policeman returns in this new mystery. Nobody loves an honest man, or that was what police sergeant Hamish Macbeth tried to tell newcomer Paul English. Paul had moved to a house in Cnothan, a sour village on Hamish's beat. He attended church in Locdubn. He told the minister, Mr. Wellington, that his sermons were boring. He told tweedy Mrs. Wellington that she was too fat and in these days of increasing obesity it was her duty to show a good example. Angela Brody was told her detective stories were pap for the masses and it was time she wrote literature instead. He accused Hamish of having dyed his fiery red hair. He told Jessie Currie - who repeated all the last words of her twin sister - that she needed psychiatric help. "I speak as I find," he bragged. Voices saying, " could kill that man," could be heard from Lochdubn to Cnothan. And someone did.  Now Hamish is faced with a bewildering array of suspects. And he's lost the services of his clumsy policeman, Charlie, who resigned from the force after Chief Inspector Blair berated Charlie one too many times, and the policeman threw Blair into the loch. Can Hamish find the killer on his own? $7.99

Harris, Sherry - The Gun Also Rises - A wealthy widow has asked Sarah Winston to sell her massive collection of mysteries through her garage sale business. While sorting through piles of books stashed in the woman's attic, Sarah is amazed to discover a case of lost Hemingway stories, stolen from a train in Paris back in 1922. How did they end up in Belle Winthrop Granville's attic in Ellington, Massachusetts, almost one hundred years later? Before Sarah can get any answers, Belle is assaulted, the case is stolen, a maid is killed, and Sarah herself is dodging bullets. And when rumors spread that Belle has a limited edition of The Sun Also Rises in her house, Sarah is soon mixed up with a mobster, the fanatical League of Literary Treasure Hunters, and a hard-to-read rare book dealer. With someone willing to kill for the Hemingway, Sarah has to race to catch the culprit - or the bell may toll for her ...  $7.99

Henry, Julia - Pruning the Dead - With hundreds flocking to her inaugural garden party, meticulous Lilly Jayne hasn't left a single petal out of place. But the picture-perfect gathering turns unruly upon the arrival of Merilee Frank, Lily's ex-husband's catty third wife. Merilee lives for trouble, so no one is surprised after she drinks too much, shoves a guest into the koi pond, and gets escorted off the property. The real surprise comes days later when Merilee is found dead in a pile of mulch. Lily wishes she could stick to pruning roses and forget about Merilee's murder until her best friend and ex become suspects in an overgrown homicide case. Now, aided by the Garden Squad, an unlikely group of amateur crime solvers with a knack for planting, Lily knows she has limited time to identify on the true culprit and restore order to Goosebush. Because if the murder's plot isn't nipped in the bud, another victim could be pushing up daisies!  $7.99

Kelly, Diane - Dead as a Door Knocker: A House-Flipper Mystery - When Nashville property manager Whitney Whitaker attempts to flip her first house and instead finds a dead body, it seems everything goes wrong except for the renovations. The author, who by the way, is a former assistant attorney general and tax advisor, brings us a heroine, Whitney Whitaker, who is as good with a hammer as she is with a one-liner, Whitney and her adorable scaredy-cat Sawdust are a welcome addition to your home and bookshelf. This first in a new series has been called, smart and laugh-out-loud funny.  $7.99

Morgan, Alexis - Death by Committee - This is the first in a new mystery series starring Abby McCree. After a rough divorce, Abby only wants to stitch up her life and move on. But other loose ends appear after her elderly Aunt Sybil passes away, leaving Abby to ten a rundown estate, complete with a slobbery Mastiff of questionable pedigree and a sexy tenant who growls more than the dog. As Abby gets drawn into a tight-knit quilting guild, she makes a twisted discovery - Aunt Sybil's only known rival is buried in her backyard! Despite what local detective say, Abby refuses to believe her beloved aunt had anything to do with the murder. While navigating a busy social calendar and rediscovering the art of quilting, she launches an investigation of her own to clear her Aunt's name and catch the true culprit. Incriminating clues roll in, yet Abby can't help but wonder - can she survive her new responsibilities in Snowberry Creek, Washington and still manage to patch together a killer's deadly pattern without becoming the next victim?  $7.99

Mugavero, Liz - Murder, She Meowed - Stan and Jake's wedding will soon take place on the town green in Frog Ledge, Connecticut, followed by a reception at their beloved Irish Pub filled with friends, family, and their four favorite canine companions. Stan just has to endure the traditional girls' night out first. Male strippers jumping out of gigantic cakes aren't her preferred entertainment. But the hired hottie never gets around to taking it all off... because someone takes him out first with one of Stan's kitchen knives. A heartbroken Stan recognizes the victim as one of the delivery men from the local farm.. who must have been moonlighting for some extra cash. Now the guest list has turned into a suspect list .. and Stan's making a vow to find the killer.  $7.99

Ryan, Sofie - No Escape Claws - It's fall in North harbor, Maine, where Sarah owns a charming secondhand shop and sells lovingly refurbished items of all kinds. The shop is always bustling - and not just because a quirky team of senior-citizen detectives works out of it and manages to get in even more trouble than Sarah's rough-and=tumble rescue cat, Elvis. A cold case heats up when young Mallory Pearson appears at the shop, Mallory's father is in prison for negligence after her stepmother's mysterious death, but Mallory Pearson appears at the shop, Mallory's father is in prison for negligence after her stepmother's mysterious death, but Mallory believes he is innocent and asks the in-house detectives to take on the case. With Sarah and Elvis lending a paw, the detective decide to try to give Mallory's father a second change of his own.  $7.99

O'Connor, Carlene - Murder in an Irish Churchyard - The O'Sullivan clan couldn't be prouder of Siobhan, but there's no time to celebrate as she's already on a case, summoned by the local priest to examine the appearance of a dead man in the church graveyard - aboveground. He's a stranger, but the priest has heard talk that an American tourist is in town, searching for his Irish ancestor. As Siobhan begins to dig for a motive along the gnarled roots of the victim's family tree, she will need to stay two steps ahead of the killer or end up with more than one foot in the grave.  $7.99


I hope you enjoyed your visit. If this is your first visit I'd like to introduce you to our business of 26 years. We have set up bookshops for the ANG and EGA, and a variety of other needlework organizations as well as creating this blog and blog and website.

Can't find a certain book? Please give us a call whether the title you want is in or out-of-print.

Give us a call Monday through Saturday at: 602-943-0738.  If the phone is on message please don't be shy about leaving a message. I'll get back to you ASAP! Or you can send an e-mail to: By mail: Ruth Kern Books  7235 N. 9th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021.



Tuesday, December 11, 2018


We will be back February 19, 2019 with a new blog - a few days later than planned due to an urgent medical situation. Thanks for understanding.

             November/December 2018 Blog
Don't Forget -Find Discount 20% Code for all new books you want.
Let's Pause and Reflect Before We Rush Headlong into 2019.

2019?  I can remember when we turned the calendar to 2000 as if it were just the other day. Do you remember the fuss and anxiety we computer users went through about that calendar change?  What was going to happen when 1999 turned over to the new millennium? The world was on alert as was I. I ordered in two new computers just in case.  Luckily I discovered a new computer person who for the past nineteen years has updated us, fixed problems and brought new machines into our lives and became a friend.  Unfortunately, he passed away on September 5th of this year.  Mark and I miss him in our lives.  We lost three other friends as well and I think I will always look on this past year as the year of loss. But we also gained a new great grandchild, Myka, and cherish this new life very much.

All this made me realize how much we rush through each day and I think we all do so much including talking on phones, jobs, preparing meals and trying to keep order in our homes and lives. We all take on too much (I'm looking in the mirror as I think about this.) Maybe before we enter the unknown world of 2019 we should stop and think about what 2018 was about.  If you keep a calendar of all your appointments and events or perhaps even a diary to go back to  take a peek and see what your life was about in 2018.  Me, I take thinking time once a week (at least) and review what was in my life for those seven days.  Now I've started in keeping not only a calendar but a diary. (I don't write in it every day - every three days or so.  I must say it has been eye-opening about where my time goes.) 

Life is short and time is our most important resource. I want to use this gift of time to my best ability. This year four friends had their lives cut short. Too short and unexpectedly. I woke up to sudden endings.  I came to see keeping track of my precious time is important.  I think a diary makes a wonderful Christmas present to ourselves and friends and family.  And if the unexpected happens our journals can be a gift to those in our lives who go on. The end of the year is also a great time to label all our needlework projects with the information about each one and who may to have it.  And most of all, finish all those UFO's stored somewhere for "later".  Lets make time to finish our projects. (discount code: happy18)

I wish all of you Happy Holidays and a great New Year!  Enjoy each day and don't sweat the little things.  See you next year!

I've included a selection of blank journals below for you to peruse.  Remember that old Chinese Proverb: "The palest ink is better than the most retentive memory."

Watercolor Poppies Journal - This lovely cover welcomes us to write whatever we want into this blank book, 5"x 7" with 160 pages for our thoughts, needlework projects, or whatever else you desire. $8.99

Tiffany Window Journal - I found this cover very inviting and a reminder of the artistic mind of a great artist.  The pages are made of archival/acid-free paper and are 7 1/4" x 9". The journal is made to lie flat for easy use.  $15.99

Old World Journal - This old world design cover is embossed with gold foil filigree and includes travel quotes throughout. The journal is 6.4" x 9" high and includes 160 pages.  If travel is on your wish list this might be the journal for you.  $14.99

Creative Ramblings of a Restless Mind Journal - This journal sounds suitable for me!  I definitely have a restless mind always wanting to learn something new. This journal is 7.4" x 5" and is perfect for drawing, writing, and visual thinking of all kinds. The cover is decorated with gold foil and the pages are creamy off-white.  $13.00

Grumpy Cat Flexi Journal with Stickers - It is said that misery loves company, so jot down your personal musings and highlight them with stickers featuring everyone's favorite grump. This journal has 192 pages and is 7"x5" in size. $10.95

Cat Tales Journal - If you prefer your cats with a more pleasant disposition then take a peak at this  journal where the cover is alive with multiple cats at play all over the 7"x5".  160 pages.  Inside the back cover a pocket holds notes, reminders, business card, etc. $8.99

Nevertheless She Persisted Journal - I definitely got a laugh out of that title. I feel I've lived that this past year and maybe you have too.  The journal is 7"x5" with 160 embossed pages.  $8.99

Needleworkers should keep a diary - if not about your personal life at least about your stitching with photos of each completed piece not just for yourself but for posterity. Of course a diary can be kept in a simple notebook but I'm not of that school. If it is worth writing down and meant to last for generations your journal deserve a beautiful cover for posterity. How about a hand embroidered cover? How neat is that! And I vote for hand written. I do like writing on a computer but a diary is so personal I write it by hand. But whatever way you chose, it is creating an autobiography of sorts.  Have fun!

Michele Roberts: A Dream of a Needleworker and Writer of Great Needlework Books
   "The crowning fortune of man is to be born to some pursuit 
         which finds him employment and happiness, whether it     
      be to make baskets, or broadswords, or canals, or statues,
         or songs."   - Ralph Waldo Emerson -

Ralph Waldo Emerson was so right when he wrote those words and what I love most about being with fellow needleworkers is that they
are so passionate about what they do. Michele Roberts is no exception, not only does she love what she does but she brings an extra dimension to this love, she has purposely developed her art into part of her faith. Not a word is necessary to understand what she believes; she lives it, breathes it and needle works it. The designs she creates reflect s her personal relationship with God using the symbols we humans have created to represent the creator.

Symbols crop up everywhere in our world, after all the human brain, "sees in pictures" and a picture we know is worth a thousand words. As John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) wrote, "Nature speaks in symbols and signs," Any good artist knows this and their work holds a secret message given to us in powerful images.  If these images aren't understood, we miss the point of the work even if we do enjoy the picture (or might I add needlework). Michele has done an in-depth study of Christian crosses and symbols and also uncovered the history and meaning of royal jewels. She has given us a great place to learn about symbols that have been used in great art or in a religious faith.

Part of Michele's studies took her took the Royal School of Needlework in England (for which she received the level of Distinction) and has been a Senior Master Teacher in the American Needlepoint Guild (ANG) for which she received the honorary Chottie Alderson and Massachusetts Scholarships for her work. She also completed her Cities and Guilds Certificate in Stumpwork at the Embroidery Guild of America's (EGA) Fiber Forum. That is just to name a few of her many awards.

Embroidery has been her love since early childhood though she took another path at first, after a B.A. from Rice University and M.B.A. in Finance and a career as a bank vice-president, she found her way back to her first love managing to take those classes at the Royal School of Needlework and from the Embroiderer's Guild, United Kingdom. She had also completed her stumpwork certification under the tutelage of Kay Dennis, the author of stumpwork books.

Someone, whose name now escapes me, once said, "Art is the accomplice of love. Take love away and there is no longer art." Michele's needlework designs and books are so popular because the love of what she does shines through.

Below is a list of books Michele has in-print. I've also included Kay Dennis's stumpwork book and some of Chottie's design books among other great needlework books that are classics. After all, taking a step backwards sometimes leads to a confident leap forward.


Roberts, Michele - Christian Symbols: 36 Ornaments for St. Luke's Church - These ornaments done in gold and white are simply stunning! Not only are these symbols beautifully done but each one comes with well-researched information about it's meaning. Michele includes the instructions to needlepoint these beautiful symbols.  $29.95

Roberts, Michele - 50 Crosses Charted for Needlepoint - I never knew so many crosses existed and was unaware of their meanings. What an amazing collection and reference book for crosses. She includes line drawing, charts, instructions, stitch glossary and diagrams with finishing tips.  $39.95

Roberts, Michele - Crosses in Color: 50 Crosses Charted for Needlepoint - Another 50 amazing crosses all in color. Again, she presents us a gift of another great resource book of crosses but fantastic ornaments as well. Again it comes with charts, stitching, instructions, stitch glossary and diagrams as well as color photos of the crosses.  $44.95

Roberts, Michele - Needlepoint Birthstone Jewels: Inspired by the Famous Jewels of History - Each of twelve month's birthstones are turned into twelve needlepoint projects with all instructions and charting needed to complete these jewels. The bonus here is that all the gems are researched and a story of famous piece of jewelry is told as well.  $44.00

Roberts, Michele - Broad Stripes and Bright Stars: A Needlepoint Star-Spangled Banner - This needlepoint flag is divided into 269 squares. She includes dozens of extra stitches from the ones not used in this flag, so this book actually has 366! Large, clear graphs for the stitches that include the direction your thread should go for each stitch.  See also includes a pattern for a flag ornament to match the flag!  Have fun!  $30.00

Dennis, Kay and Michael - Stumpwork Embroidery - Learn stumpwork from two experts, and remember Kay taught Michele Roberts this needlework art. This guide combines their three stumpwork books into one great resource. They show you how to create stumpwork and needlelace plants, animals and figures, whatever your ability.  This book features clear step-by-step techniques and inventive projects making it an essential guide to the art of stumpwork.  $25.95

Next are several favorites by Chottie Alderson:

The Furth Sampler - Chottie may no longer be with us but her work is still requested. After a brief, interesting history of the sampler that was originally worked in the 1860's. This lovely sampler can be worked two ways: One panel: l long piece is 106" long and 12" wide. Or for two panels: 2 pieces 57" long and 12" wide.  Chottie included all instructions and materials needed to complete this needlework project and charts with color key and lots of instructions so you won't be alone through the entire process.  $70.00

Lady Bug Picnic - I love these lady bugs! The design is 146 stitches high and 105 stitches wide and worked on white Aida fabric with DMC floss in cross-stitch. Depending on the count fabric the size will vary from 14.60" x 10.50" on 10 count fabric to 6.08" x 4.38" if on 24 count fabric.  So that is up to you.  $15.00


Gone Stitching - Got Stitches? - This neat little book about 5" wide and 7" high and spiral-bound and full of multi-layered stitches categorizes stitches by the number of threads per each stitch. Whether you have two, three, or four different threads, they have the perfect stitch for you. They also include chapters on trame and trellis stitches.  All stitches are graphed out in color!  $25.00

Minieri, Anthony - Stars For a New Millenium - This is a classic since published in 2000.  The design is a study in color, texture, stitch and thread. Each square is based on a traditional star quilt pattern in needlepoint and is named after a star from Hollywood's Golden Age. He's included great b/w graphs and each pattern graphed in color.  Lots of explanations as you go.  $54.95

Thomas, Cynthia - Noses, Roses and Other Fun Stuff - How can anyone resist a title like that? I get a big smile just reading it. Cynthia has been around the block with lots of needlework books and this one includes lots of information and all projects in color with handy graphs when needed.  $35.00

Carolyn Pearce - Home Sweet Home: An Embroidered Workbox - This wonderful project sells all the time and is popular with needlework groups to take this on as a project for all to work separately but while together.  Beautiful color photos, detailed instructions and diagrams provide everything you need to embroider and construct with beautiful workbox and the matching accessories.  This award-winning design includes a full-size pattern sheet and over 100 step-by-step photos.  $39.95


Wait a minute! Where's your cup of tea? Your Snack? I need those things when I'm selecting new books.  Makes choosing books yummy.  I'm sipping tea right now.  Join me.  And take a peek at these new books.

Abbondio, Sarah - Crocheted Cactuses - Enjoy crocheting these 16 cactuses using simple crochet stitches and widely available yarn. Some are embellished with beads and others have ridges, flowers, bobbles, and look just like the real thing. All these cactuses need is a plant pot to sit it and they need no care and have no sharp spines to stick you.  With a short techniques section at the beginning of the book to get you started, you can make an entire display in no time. Just pick up a hook and go!  $9.95

Mackay, Moy - The Art of Moy Mackay: An inspirational guide to painting with felted fibres and stitch - The renowned Scottish felt artist, Moy Mackay, sold about 30,000 copies of her first book, Art in Felt and Stitch.  She now shows us how to find inspiration for your own felt painting creations, helping you develop your own original ideas. Moy takes you through every step of her felted painting process, including the materials and tools you need, the process itself (easier than you think) and how to put together four fabulous felt painting of varying subjects. There is guidance on stitching - both by hand and machine as well as how to use colour and introduce texture in the form of different fibres and threads. There are numerous examples of Moy's work throughout the book, evoking the dramatic scenery of the Scottish Borders where she lives and works, providing more inspiration for your own paintings. $35.00 

McKean-Smith, Donna - A Beginner's Guide to Kumihimo - Learn the basics of Kumihimo braiding and beading to create more than 12 pieces of jewelry. This colorful and informative beginner's guide to the craft explains how to use a circular kumihimo disc and a variety of braids and beads plus color and style variations for any occasions. Kumihimo is an easy, take along craft to work wherever you are.  $13.95

Rhiannon, Helen - Sew Perfect Pets - 18 fresh and functional animal-themed designs to sew for your family an home. From useful items such as an owl doorstop, a snake draught excluder and a sheep hot water bottle cover to an elephant tea cozy, fox pillow and doggy oven mitt. For the kiddies Helen has also included
beautiful cat and dog toys and an animal-shaped apron. Key techniques and basic materials are detailed at the beginning of the book, and all of the projects include easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions. Templates for all the animals are provided on a fold-out sheet at the back of the books.  For sewers of all abilities. $19.95

Roberts, Kat - Crafting for Cat Ladies - Hmm, how handy that her first name is Kat. In this book she brings us 35 purr-fect projects divided into four sections: accessories, fashion, home and entertaining, with an extensive range of techniques, including sewing, applique, jewelry-making, embroidery and more. Paw-sitvely sure you'll have fun.  $16.95

Stratford, Sue - Sue Stratford's Knitted Aviary - Create your own flock of 21 knitted birds, from best-selling author and knitting designer Sue Stratford. Her book features beautifully clear colorwork charts that make patterns super-easy to follow whether you choose a seagull, puffin, flamingo, bullfinch or parakeet, your bird will take on a personality all of its own. Bet you can't make just one!  As well as the birds themselves, there are ideas for how to display them, and at the end of the book are instructions for a hanging nest, a felt nest box, branches, flowers and leaves along with all the templates you'll need.  $19.95



Alexander, Ellie - Live and Let Pie ( Bakeshop Mystery) - Life is sweet inside Torte, everybody's favorite small-town bakeshop. But what happens when it becomes the scene of a crime? Just when Jules thought she could enjoy some time away from the kitchen, she manages to discover a skull during a picnic by the lake. As if unearthing remains that may be connected to a missing-persons case from the 1960's isn't enough on her plate, Jules must contend with the unsolved matter of her own marriage while her estranged husband Carolos sails the open seas, awaiting a verdict. Then there's Jule's bitter landlord Edgar, who is intent on making a sweet deal on a vacant lot down the block from Torte - until he turns up dead. If only Jules could find a recipe that would let her bake her cake and eat it, too.  $7.99

Blackmoore, Stephanie - Gown with the Wind (Wedding Planner Mystery) - Mallory's fine - really - handling the wedding arrangements for her ex, Keith. But his fiancée, Becca, has at the last minute decided to switch from a Japanese - cherry blossom theme to a Gone with the Wind theme. She wants to honor her ailing grandmother, who owns an impressive collection of GWTW memorabilia - and who is fiercely at odds with the groom's mother over the nuptial plans. But among other complications, Becca gets into a fight with an old childhood rival over a replica Scarlett O'Hara wedding gown. She wins the dress - but soon becomes a murder suspect when the other woman is found dead in Becca's swimming pool. And it's up to Mallory to solve the mystery behind this unhappy occasion, before a different kind of civil war breaks out.  $7.99

Eaton, J.C. - Botched 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery) - A dead body is discovered at the Arizona retirement community where Sophie "Phee" Kimball's mother resides. At first an errant bocce ball is blamed. However, the police find an arrow in the victim's neck. It looks like this was no accident so Phee and her investigator boyfriend, Marshall, will have to team up to bounce a killer into the slammer.  $7.99

Finley, Mick - Arrowood (Arrowood Mystery #1) - This is not a cozy mystery. This darkly crime debut has been named one of the Top Twelve Mystery Novels of 2017 now in paperback.  In the dark corner of Southwark, London, victims of a serial killer turn to a man who despises Sherlock Holmes, his wealthy clientele and his showy forensic approach to crime: Arrowood-self-taught
psychologist, occasional drunkard, and private investigator.  When a man ysteriously disappears and Arrowood's best lead is viciously stabbed before his eyes, he and his sidekick, Barnett, face their toughest quest yet: to capture the head of the most notorious gang in London.  $7.99

Goldstein, Debra - One Taste Too Many (Sarah Blair Mystery #1) - DivorcZe, Sarah Blair is the polar opposite of her bubbly twin, Emily, an ambitious chef. After Sarah's ex drops dead, seemingly poisoned by Emily's award-winning rhubarb crisp, culinary challenged Sarah must figure out the right recipe to crack the case. Includes quick and easy recipes. Unfortunately, for a gal whose idea of good china is floral paper plates, catching the real killer and living to tell about it could mean facing a fate worse than death - being in the kitchen!  Includes quick and easy recipes. $7.99

Ross, Barbara - Steamed Open (Maine Clambake Mystery) - It's summertime in Busman's Harbor, Maine, but a mysterious new neighbor blocks access to the beach, cutting off the Snowden Family Clambake's supply. Julia Snowden is just one of the many townspeople angered by Bartholomew Frick. But who is angry enough to confront him and ends up the last person to see him alive - except for the person who stabs him in the neck with a clam rake. As she pores through a  long list of suspects, Julia meets disgruntled employees, rival heirs to the deceased fortune, and a pair of tourists determined to visit every lighthouse in America. They all have secrets, and Julia will have to work fast to expose the guilty party - or see this season's clam harvest dry up for good.  $7.99

Lee, Amanda - Better Off Thread - (Embroidery Mysteries) - Marcy is busy helping her customers make hand-crafted ornaments at her embroidery shop, the Seven-Year Stitch. But despite the yuletide bustle, when her friend Captain Moe asks for her help, she can't refuse especially when the favor is to play the elf to his Santa for sick children at a local hospital. Marcy finds herself enjoying her role as elf until the hospital's administrator is found murdered. Although the deceased had plenty of people willing to put coal in her stocking with coal, evidence pins the murder on Moe. Now it is up to Marcy, with the help of her police officer boyfriend, Ted, and her Irish Wolfhound Angus, to stitch together the clues to clear Moe's name before someone is crossed off Santa's list for good.  $7.99

Shelton, Paige - Lost Books and Old Bones (A Scottish Bookstore Mystery - Delaney Nichols is setting happily into her new life as a bookseller in Edinburgh, but after a medical student selling antique medical tomes - a friend of one of Delaney's customers - is found murdered, Delaney takes it upon herself to help bring the murderer to justice.  $7.99



If this is your first visit, I'd like to introduce you to our book business of 26 years. During this time we have set up bookshops for the ANG and EGA seminars and a variety of other needlework organizations as well as doing this blog.

Can't find a certain book? Please give us a call and we'll try to find it for you whether it is in or out-of-print.

Give us a call Monday through Saturday at: 602-943-0738. If you get the dreaded answering machine please don't be shy about leaving a message.  I'll get back to you ASAP.  Or you can e-mail me at Or you can mail me your order to: Ruth Kern Books  7235 N. 9th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021.

MOST IMPORTANT!  Look for the discount code hidden somewhere in this blog that gives you a 20% discount on any new book you order from this blog or the previous ones.