Thursday, August 16, 2018



Time for another book adventure. Have fun perusing though this website. What I love about books, you not only learn something new but they take you to a new place. The real world drops away and you are transported to a new place that stays with you while you turn the pages. Have fun! 

The next blog, September/October 2018 I'm going to add in a great selection of out-of-print needlework books. These do not get a 20% discount but they are at a great discounted price already.  Hope you enjoy this addition.

But remember your 20% discount on the new titles and items in all issue.  Just find the discount code in one of the articles and give us a call with your order.  Or just call to say hello or with  a question. I will make time for you.

Now I happily leave you to your reading


Sue Spargo is considered the best of the best in quilting.  I know her book, Creative Stitching is a best-seller and so are her colorful, wonderful designs.
This is a needleworker on the go!  She was born in Zambia, Southern Africa and ended up living in England. As she writes on her website, "The stark contrasts between the arid beige and browns of the African bushveld and the lush greens of southern England have become a rich source of ideas. I am influenced by the energy and color of traditional African designs. These early experiences combined to stir my love of "primitive" arts and crafts."  She has lived in many states that have inspired her. Now she focuses on design of quilted items using textural fabrics and embellishments - workshops and retreats - creating books and patterns. Her other passions are her four children, tending her flowers and traveling to exciting destinations. 

My question is: How does she fit all that in her life?  Does she sleep? You really need to visit her website to see the glorious work of her hands.  Whether you hand stitch or quilt it is worth your time.  Her site is delicious and full of ideas.

Below, I've included some of her work.  Don't forget you get a 20% discount on any new book or item in this entire blog. 

Creative Stitching 2nd Edition - This book is based on her years of experience teaching thousands of students of all skills levels. Sue designed this book to help needleworkers  learn dozens of stitches that can be immediately applied to any project. This second edition includes a new chapter - Stitch Variations, over twenty new stitches, new highly detailed illustrations & photographs, updated section on needles and thread, spiral bound for convenience,  7 1/2" x 6" for quick easy reference anywhere you go.  216 pages.  $32.00

Stitches to Savor - This hardcover 144 page coffee-table book of inspiration is full of photographs showcasing Sue's quilts that shows close-ups in stunning detail that reveal multilayered richness of her work of various combinations and a variety of embellishment. See patterns and shapes in a whole new way. Patterns not included.  $36.95

WILD TULIP SAC - This is one of her neat projects - a pieced wool zipper bag accented with a wool and cotton applique design. The finished bag is 12x8. How cute is this!  $10.00

FOLK TAILS BOOK - Wool Applique quilt with layering and embroidery.  Sue's wonderful design is a story of Africa is deeply embedded in her soul. As she writes, "These childhood memories continually fill my mind, the beauty of the land that is rich with wildfire and wild land. She says she can feel the hot African sun and dry breezes on her skin, the warm, rough sand beneath her feet, the smell of the bushveld - dusty and dry and filled with scent of the animals that live there." She says she heard the songs of a thousand birds during the day and the silence of a pitch black night that at times was broken by the roar of a lion that shakes your body. This is a quilt of those memories. Along with the design she incorporated everything she's came to love as a designer of 12 years. Her love of vibrant colors, hand dyed wools, creating dimension and embroidery.  You really need her Creative Stitch book for the embroidery stitch instruction.  $32.00

Stitches to Savor 2019 Calendar - This is her third calendar in the series. A 3"x 6" sized at-a-glance calendar format and show off the days with each great stitch.  $22.99

FINALLY AVAILABLE: Creative Thread by Jo Dixey - Jo is a Royal School of Needlework trained, professional embroiderer.
In this book she brings embroiderers 20 abstract projects inspired by the faces and forms we see around us: people. The projects range from small embroidered cards to more complex pictures to hang on your wall; simple applique for a scarf to an embroidered jacket all based on the theme of people. Each project introduces new embroidery stitches and technique, Templates of the images to stitch are provided for photocopying and there is a photo gallery of all the stitches covered in the book. along with step-by-step photographs of key techniques such as transferring patterns onto fabric or using batting to create 3-D effects.   $19.95


Lots of good books for you to enjoy!  Grab your favorite drink and sit back and take a look.  There should be something that appeals to your interests whether embroidery, textiles, applique, beading, sewing and more.  There are a couple of titles that have just come back in print and I'm doing a dance they did.  I tell you if they had a different title when first printed - they're really great books but you don't need two copies.  discount code: (kken18)

Got your drink?  Good.  Now just scroll down.

Armstrong, Carol - The Big Book of Pretty and Playful Applique - Carol's stunning garden quilts and charming critters have changed the way many needleworkers now applique. Now her best flora and fauna are together in a single book of blooming flowers and birds in flight to household pets. She uses her favorite technique, "Lightbox Applique," on flora, birds, and woodland creatures. She lives in Michigan's Upper Peninsula with her cabinetmaker husband. This is a treasure trove of applique delights.  $27.95

Cardon, Jenny Wilding - Visible Mending: Artful Stitchery to Repair and Refresh Your Favorite Things - Rip in your jeans? Snag in a sweater? Tear in a tea towel? With this fun introduction to unconventional mending techniques in a format that's half how-to-guide, half idea book, anyone can give worn and torn items new life. Start by learning hand-mending methods, including boro, embroidery, patching and darning. Then rev up the sewing machining for fast mends that puts the
pedal to the metal. Even with not much time to spare, you can create eye-catching repairs with visible mending - 35 examples and more than 150 photos make it easy to put your unique mark on everything you mend!  $23.99 

Collinge, Annette Dr. - Embroidered Treasures: Birds - The Embroiderer's Guild in the UK was founded in 1906 and has collections from all over the world. These wonderful works which somehow survived through the ages, could be said to be one of the most important groups of embroideries assembled in one place. This fantastic book showcases the Embroiderer's Guild huge collection of embroidered birds through the ages. From the subtle shades seen in crewelwork and the Buratto lace of Europe to the glittering silk, metal and beetle wing designs of China, Japan and India, author Dr. Annette Collinge presents a beautiful array of stitchwork. Featuring full-color photographs and extended captions, items are shown also in full, along with detailed images to show off the stunning stitched birds at their best. These wonderful embroidered treasures are as varied as badges, postcards, aprons, wall hangings, dresses, cushion cover and samplers, some of which date back to the 17th century. Collected from many different countries, this exquisite book is an opportunity to see fabulous works that are very rarely seen in public.  What inspiration!  $29.95 in hardback. 

Cope, Peter - The Smithsonian Photography Guide: Shoot* edit* experiment* share - Make the most of your smartphone camera! This enlarged, updated edition of The Smartphone Photography Guide features all the latest information on take, manipulate, and share brilliant photographs and videos. It cover the Top 10 Rules for picture taking, delves into popular genres and provides Pro Tips, "Try This" panels, and jargon-buster boxes that explain technical terms. Suitable for all general smartphone users, platform agnostic, compatible with iOS, Android, and windows phones.   $17.95

Brown, Cassie - Kew Book of Sugar Flowers: How to make beautiful floral cake decorations - I know, I know, this has nothing to do with needlework BUT it does have lots to do with inspiration and creativity.  In this delicious book Cassie teaches you how to craft stunning, authentic-looking flowers and foliage using flower paste (gum paste). Through clear and concise step-by-step instructions, Cassie explains every facet of crafting sugar flowers, from gaining an appreciation of the flower itself, to preparing the flower paste and coloring it to wiring the flowers into an attractive and realistic bouquet. Choose from ornate orchids to delicate daisies. The method for crating each individual flower is demonstrated in stunning detail beginning with an 'exploded flower' photos that illustrates each of the components and working through the techniques and tricks that Cassie herself applies to create her stunning floral displays. This book is endorsed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew giving credit to the stunning realism of the flowers she has recreated.  $24.95 

Essam, Katie - The Textile Artist: Layered and Stitched Pictures - The author's fresh, modern style uses unique combinations of traditional techniques, and in this book she shows you how to create beautiful textile art inspired by the beauty in everyday. Learn how to draw inspiration from animals, birds, gardens, beach huts, and the scenes that surround you and create gorgeous stitched pictures. $29.95

Gula, Kristen - 200 Embroidered Flowers: Hand Embroidery Stitches and Projects for Flowers, Leaves and Foliage -  Learn how to stitch your favorite flowers, leaves and foliage, and learn from this is a collection of tutorials for 200 embroidered flowers and foliage that includes roses, daisies, daffodils, pansies and buttercups as well as more exotic blooms. There are ten projects for home décor and accessories. $24.95

Heptinstall, Joanna - Sewing Lampshades: How to create your own tailored and pleaded lampshades - Sew 18 beautiful tailored, pleated and loose lampshades to suit your style. Included are 18 fully illustrated step-by-step projects, featuring tailored, pleated and loose -cover designs. Each technique is covered in full detail from measuring your fabrics, choosing a frame shape, calculating your seams, creating a shade, adding trims and choosing a stand. The projects require few specialist tools, can be easily customized to suit your home décor, and cover a wide range of styles, sizes and fabrics. Learn the tricks of the trade from an expert.  $22.95

Ishii, Sachiyo - 20 To Knit: Tiny Christmas Toys to Knit - All the projects by the ever-popular Sachiyo bring us  irresistibly cute knitted Christmas toys for knitters of all abilities. All the projects are accompanied by a clear, easy-to-follow pattern and fun photography. There is a useful page of basic techniques at the start of the book, including making up, stuffing and simple, decorative surface stitching.  These wonderful mini knits range from a polar bear, angel, penguin and robin to a Christmas pudding, bauble, snowman and Santa with his sack and many more cute and quirky Christmas ideas, all bursting with character.  $9.95

Ishii, Sachiyo - Sew Your Own Felt Advent Calendar - Sew your own felt calendar with 24 cute little felt toys to delight your family. Sachiyo starts by showing you how to make the basic calendar, and then provides easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions and templates for 24 tiny felt toys to place in the pockets. These cute little Christmas-themed projects are quick to make using just a few pieces of felt, stuffing, thread and ribbons, and make perfect little gifts for children and adults alike.  $14.95

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 motifs and share like a patchwork pouch, a statement pillow, and a sweet wallhanging. Minki's uplifting designs, plus an extra gallery of small project ideas for anyone who wants to add personality to their home and personal accessories.  Minki is a fabric and pattern designer and discovered sewing as a creative outlet to capture the beauty of ordinary moments.  $25.95

Lincecum, Steffani - Sewing Machine Magic: Sewing expert, Steffani Lincecum, shares 30+ years of experience on how to handle a sewing machine with greater ease and confidence and explains how to easily find and use the right presser feet and other accessories, for your machine whether you bought it retail or in a garage sale. You'll learn the logistics of managing thread, how to achieve the proper stitch formations for every project, and how to troubleshoot a variety of common sewing problems. Learn to use more than 30 presser feet and other basic and more specialized tools designed for maximum efficiency. 10 fashion and home décor projects show some of the way to use some of the feet and accessories.  $22.99

Malone, Chris - Animal Attraction: 14 Clever Quilted Creations for Animal Lovers - Here's 14 animal projects perfect for every season or any room using easy fusible applique and easy piecing. use these whimsical projects for gifts or simply make them because you love them. Whether you like farm animals or safari you'll find something you'll just have to make. Technique tutorials included in this book: Raw-Edge fusible Applique Making Yo-yos Padded Applique Over 20 design tips given throughout the book.  $14.95

Patek, Jan - Sleigh Bells: Stitch a Folk -Art Quilt Full of Winter Fun - Make a dozen cute quilt-block designs featuring whimsical snowmen, quaint cottages, towering trees, wonky stars, joyful angels and kids bundled up for wintertime quilt. At queen-size, this cozy quilt can be showcased anywhere - and cuddled under anytime. Use Jan's needle-turn technique, or any favorite applique method, to make each block. For quick coordinating projects, turn single blocks into pillows, wall quilts, table toppers, and more! Full-size patterns included.  $18.99

Pullen, Fiona - Making and Marketing a Successful Art and Craft - Successful craft business owner Fiona Pullen, owner of The Sewing Directory, explains how to turn your hobby into a fulfilling and rewarding commercial success. This is a revised and updated edition of Craft a Successful Business, for those wanting a craft business including giving advice on the importance of identifying markets, focusing on a USP (unique selling point), assessing the competition, making sure the price is right and setting goals. Also included are sections on product photos and videography, branding and legal matter.  Particular emphasis is placed on online selling, with detailed information on markets, blogging, using social media and the importance of analytics and SEO (search optimization).  Information on offline selling is included too, with notes on selling at craft fairs, trade fairs and markets, selling through retail outlets, running courses and workshops, and featuring work in the media.   She shares insights and advice from dozens of successful business professionals including Debbie Shore, Torie Jayne and Laura Strutt.   $19.95

Stanton, Yvette - Smoyg: Pattern Darning from Norway -  Learn how to create 13 beautiful embroidered pieces by award-winning embroiderer Yvette Stanton, inspired by traditional Norwegian embroidery. This great how-to guide full of colorful images and enticing projects to help you discover the beauty of Norwegian pattern darning.  This pattern darning is a simple technique, and beginners through experienced stitchers.  Yvette includes the history of this technique and where it featured on traditional clothing and textiles. You will learn the stitches and techniques of this pattern darning with clear step-by-step instructions and detailed diagrams.  $29.95

Rose, Tilly - Stitched Memories: Telling a Story Through Cloth and Thread - Learn how to create unique textile art using vintage  cloth and embroidery to tell a story and preserve memories. Tilly shows you how to make 15 gorgeous projects, including cloth journals, lavender hearts, framed collages, wall hangings and miniature quilts. All of the designs have a story to tell and are made using a plethora of vintage fabrics, threads, lace, ribbon, buttons, beads, photographs and other found items.  She incorporates a range of exciting techniques, all explained through clear instructions and step-by-step photos, including layering cloth, stamping, applique, embellishing patchwork, free motion embroidery and photo transfer.  $19.95

Various Authors - The Royal School of Needlework Book of Embroidery - New from the Royal School this book is a rich source of embroidery techniques, stitches and projects, covering eight key subjects in detail: crewelwork, bead embroidery, stumpwork, canvaswork, goldwork, whitework, blackwork and silk shading. Containing all the trusted bestselling content from the RSN Essential Stitch Guide series, plus a new section on mounting your finished work. Fully redesigned and integrated, the original eight titles have been given a new lease on life in this larger format.  400 pages.  $35.00


Turpin-Delport, Lesley and Nikki Delport-Wepener - Just Stitch - Stitch 12 exquisite embroidery projects with original fauna and flora designs in a variety of threads to create a 3-D effect. The book is filled with novel concepts in mixed-media embroidery and offers many interpretations and techniques, with striking examples of textured finishes. Lavishly illustrated with beautiful, commissioned photos, it offers 12 color themes to help embroiderers understand and play color, along with inspiring projects to encourage you to produce your own creative work. Also included are an extensive stitch glossary and templates for the designs.  Previously published as Embroidered Flora and Fauna.  $24.95

Niekerk, Di Van - Monograms and Words - Welcome to the wonderful world of stitched calligraphy. Each letter is beautifully reproduced in watercolor, with clear instructions for transferring the designs on to fabric. The step-by step demonstrations show you the basic techniques, accompanied by easy-to-follow diagrams and close-up photos of the embroideries. There are numerous gorgeous designs, including embroidered cards, plaques, boxes, journals, baby clothes and more.  Previously published as Embroidered Alphabets.  $24.95

Niekerk, Di Van - A Perfect World in Ribbon Embroidery and Stumpwork - Di includes innovative ideas for combining ribbon embroidery and stumpwork with other crafts to create unique and special projects. The magnificent sampler includes 60 different elements: flowers and creatures from all over the world, many of them never embroidered before. With step-by step instructions and clear photos, this lavishly illustrated book is an ideal learning tool for beginner embroiderers, yet offers more advanced embroiderers several new and exciting techniques. This book before this reprint sold over 91,880 copies English language editions worldwide excluding South Africa where she resides.  $25.95


Beadadventures is a great way to travel the world and learn beading at the same time.  Visit places you've dreamed about with master beaders and authors and have a wonderful adventure. 

This October 10th-22nd 2018 you could join Maggie Meister and Heather Kingsley-Heath for a tour of Northern Italy of northern Italy including Ravenna, the home of some of the most spectacular wall mosaics you will ever lay your eyes on. I've been there so I speak from experience.  Maggie Meister beside being a master beader has written the wonderful book:

Maggie Meister's Classical Elegance" 20 Beaded Jewelry DesignsThese are all her projects that draw on patterns and motifs as diverse as classical Roman arts, Middle Eastern textiles, and European architecture.  $27.95

Or if you want to stay closer to home: Spend three days in a retreat-setting with Sherry Serafini, often referred to as the "rock star" of bead embroidery,  on Orcas Island, Washington from October 26-28, 2018. This retreat is for experienced bead embroidery artists looking to go to the next level. 

If you can't make this trip you can immerse yourself in her mind-blowing books and make wonderful bead embroidery jewelry: 

Inspired Bead Embroidery: New Jewelry designs by Sherri Serafini - Sherry offers 15+ exciting new projects that combine her textured designs with eye-catching focal beads. This gorgeous 128 page hardback book includes the aesthetics behind Sherry's work, from stitches and materials to color theory. Sherry's textured, dimensional projects include earrings, cuffs, collars and incorporate seed beads, cubes, triangles, drops, daggers, cabochons, leather, fiber, and more. Each project includes concise instructions. The end of the book provides even more inspiration for experienced beaders looking to take their work in new, more exploratory direction.  $24.95

Art of Bead Embroidery: Techniques, Designs,and Inspirations - This book was created with her friend Heidi Kummli and in-between these covers they share their secrets for creating beautiful beadwork. They discuss tools, adhesives, and materials and has an illustrated guide to favorite stitches. Includes gorgeous jewelry and art pieces for those seeking design ideas.  $21.95

Sherry Serafini's Sensational Bead Embroidery: 25 Inspiring Jewelry Projects - She explains the fundamentals behind her work and shares 25 beautiful projects. The stunning designs range from a Spiked Angel Brooch to a "Bling Ring", and each one features a fabulous focal-point cabochon and a scintillating crystal rivoli.  $19.95

If this tempts your creative self go visit and see their other travel and beading plans. Yes, there is much more!


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, EGA, and a variety of other needlework organizations as well as creating this blog and a 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, please, don't be shy about leaving a message. I'll get back to you ASAP! Or you can send me an e-mail at  By mail: Ruth Kern Books  7235 N. 9th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021.



Friday, June 15, 2018

JULY/AUGUST BLOG will publish the evening of August 16th 2018.
                                      Please join us!

     May/June 2018  Blog - Come Join Us!

I love this time of the year!  It's hot in Phoenix, but that's my thing.  The days are long. Mornings come early and I jump out of bed, not like in the winter when the cold and dark lasso me to the warm, comfy bed. I admire those who don't let the cold and dark get them grumbling about arising.  If you are like that I congratulate you on not needing the sun to rise and get things done.  My daughter, Donna, is like that. That certainly does not come from my genes!  So during spring and summer and early fall I thrive.  Get out of my way! I'm raring to go!  I'm an owl, staying up late, too. Are you an owl or a dove, an early riser?  Do you do better in the cold and the dark or embrace the light? 

Whether you are an  early morning, or late night person, I hope you enjoy this blog and all the books included in the time that works best for you.  I certainly enjoyed putting it together for you.

I'd like to add my note of apology to my friend Lores Klingbeil who I wrote about in the March/April Blog. The typo gremlin had a hold of me and I misspelled her name as Loris, not Lores.  My face is so red.  Lores has been a friend for years and is a wealth of information on a variety of subjects and enthusiastically lets me in on her research.  I knew how to spell her name but somehow goofed.  My sincere apology to a special lady.

A Look at Something FAN-tastic!

When we think of fan dancing I'm sure many of our minds turn to fan dancing what is probably remembered is Sally Rand doing her burlesque dance routine with large ostrich plumed fans. But there is another side to using fans in dancing.

There are art lovers who recall the artist Edgar Degas's "Dancer with a Fan" painted in 1879 that reveals a sweet ballet dance in longish tutu delicately holding a lovely open fan close to her. Apparently, fans have been used in the art of ballet as well.

But through a friend, Charlene, who has traveled the world including South Korea last year, I learned about another type of fan dancing that that left me breathless -Korean fan dancing also known as Buchaechum, actually the correct name of the dance. 

This Buchaechum is not often done by a single dancer but of a group of perhaps twenty dancers all wearing the same, colorful costumes: a long skirt and a coat with very long flowing sleeves that has a phoenix embroidered on the front and back.  The headdress is the jokduri, which is a traditional marriage head piece. The fans are very large with colorful images of flower blossoms and are important to most of the movements. These wonderful fans are held up in front of their faces at the beginning of the dance. Then one dancer moves her fan around herself to begin the dance, slowly the other dancers start moving their fans as if waking from a sleep and begin moving around the bare stage too that is brightly lit, with nothing but these gorgeous dancers moving in rhythm that evokes natural phenomena such as flowers, waves, and blooming trees. 

This article is one of those times that a picture is worth a 1000 words so please enjoy the pictures I've included with this article. I tried to find a book or two on this luscious dance but found nothing. However, I encourage you to google this dance and watch the videos that show this artful dance to the fullest.

If you are interested in hand fans you should find the following books fun, colorful and interesting.

Bull, Donald and Rodolphe Roger - Fans: Advertising 7 Souvenir - Over 1750 photos present more than 1550 fans in all their artistry, some showing both sides. The fans are divided into forty-three categories, from Agriculture to Wine. The gorgeous fans of casinos, expositions, hotels, railroads, and theaters are amazing. The delightful fans of the circus are an interesting contrast to the somber fans of funeral parlors. Fans advertising chocolate, champagne, cool drinks and spirits are interesting look at advertising in the past. The authors are from different sides of the Atlantic so they were able to amass a FAN-tastic array of fans. Two indexes show the wide variety of fans by artists as well as manufacturers and suppliers.  $79.99

Noble, Marty - Creative Haven Vintage Fans Coloring Book - Great artistic details in 31 vintage hand fans make these illustrations a delightful challenge for adult colorists. This book also offers historical notes about these lovely fans such as detailing country of origin, age and more.  Illustrations are printed on one side of the perforated pages for easy removal and display. Have fun, reduce stress coloring, and learn  all at once.  $5.99 


As it says in the introduction of, A to Z of Whitework, "So many styles and techniques fall under the umbrella of whitework that it is impossible to include all of them here." I know the feeling. I'd like to show every style and type but I can't either. I'll have to content myself with a brief history and overview, enough I hope to get you enthusiastic about this embroidery.

I wasn't surprised to learn whitework began in ancient Egypt (so many styles of needlework started there) and has been worked in its various forms ever since. Which form of whitework did the Egyptians do? That information has not come to light - at least for me. Now some historians say it originated in India and China. Who knows for sure? But we do know that once these new techniques spread throughout the known world, talented embroiderers developed their own take on this form of needlework that has been passed down through the centuries and is sometimes known as filet lace, a forerunner of real lace. There are two main types: open, when openings or holes are drawn or cut in fabric and the close, or overcast which is worked flat.   

Historians, who have tracked the history of whitework have discovered periods when there was little or no information about this embroidery. Where did it go? Maybe nowhere. Perhaps records were lost or if people were illiterate the techniques were passed down by word of mouth. That could be, after all it has survived.

Today as, to Z of Whitework noted, there are so many variations to chose from: drawnwork, pulled thread, Broderie angelise, Richelieu and cutwork, shadow work, Mountmellick, Ayrshire, Candlewicking, Carricmacross, Hedebo, Tambour and more. What is your flavor? If you aren't sure but want to know more about these elegant techniques,  I've included lots of books to explore all these individual styles, techniques, and history.

Eaton, Gay, Ukrainian
Whitework - This beautiful, enchanting book brings alive the distinctive charm of this traditional embroidery. She includes history, charts, techniques and patterns in full color.  $55.00

Fernau, Renate - Schwalm Whitework, The Exquisite Regional  Embroidery of Germany - This whitework is on of the richest whitework techniques, combining hedebo and surface work, fully described and explored by diagrams and  black and white illustrations.  $24.00

Lansberry, Lizzy - Whitework - This book from the Royal School of Needlework teaches hand embroidery developing techniques in new and innovative ways. With clear instructions and beautiful examples of historical and contemporary pieces, this author shows how to create great embroideries using traditional techniques. $21.95

Ralui, Gioja - Sardinian Knot Stitch: Interpreted by Gioja Raui - Actually the author's name is a pseudonym composed of a few parts of the three authors real names. Based on personal experience, the authors present a book for those who approach this traditional Sardinian embroidery for the first time. Every aspect of this stitch is clearly illustrated with the aid of diagrams, photos, and instructions. In addition to the preface which outlines the origins of the principal motifs and borders used on stitched pieces. A few "non-traditional" projects implement and complete with instructions and diagrams that will help to perfect the execution of the work.  $36.95

Search Press - A - Z of Whitework: The Ultimate Source for Beginners and Experienced Needleworkers - White thread has been stitched onto white fabric throughout the ages, all around the world. Whitework covers a multitude of varied and beautiful techniques. In this book over 1,000 step photographs show surface stitchery and cutwork from Ayrshire to tambour work, taking in Candlewicking, Maderia and Mountmellick. There are historical insights and finished pieces throughout to fascinate and inspire you from beginners to expert embroiderers.  $19.95

Stanton, Yvette and Prue Scott - Mountmellick Embroidery, Inspired by Nature, rev. edition - These embroidery experts include detailed instructions, history, patterns and even include the technique for knitting the characteristic edge fringes for this traditional whitework embroidery of Ireland.  $30.00

Stanton, Yvette - Portuguese Whitework: Bullion Embroidery from Guirmaraes -  Yvette brings us this wonderful bullion and drawn whitework embroidery from northern Portugal and teaches us how to create needlework in this unique style. Includes pattern insert covering projects.  $30.00

Stanton, Yvette - Sardinian Knotted Embroidery - Yvette travels the world in search of unique embroidery. From the town of Teulada in Sardinia, Italy a simple knotted stitch creates the pattern and textures of this embroidery.  11 projects and step-by-step left and right- handed instructions. Includes pattern insert covering projects.  $30.00

Now if you want to see how whitework would look in color I have just the book for you. It doesn't hurt to get acquainted with the other side of whitework especially with Trish Burr, a world-renown embroiderer leading the way:
Her Whitework with Colour opens the door to a whole new world of creative possibilities. Exploring unusual combinations of hues and embroidery designs in 17 unique projects, Trish includes step-by-step directions for you to learn this style.  $34.95  Enjoy!

Potpourri of New Books  

Featured Book:  Antique American Needlework Tools by Dawn Cook Ronningen

I was so thrilled when I saw this book was coming available. It's been quite a number of years since anything has been published on antique needlework tools. This softcover  book is 8 1/2x 11, 256 pages, and best of it has 657 color and B/W images of the tools. 

This book features exquisite examples of needlework tools from museums and private collections, including many rare items and explains and illustrates the history and beauty of American sewing tools. Insight springs from well-documented primary sources like 18th century American newspaper ads or a 20th century thimble patent. The author, herself a needleworker, historian, and long-time collector of sewing and embroidery tools, includes detailed descriptions and photos of needles and threads, bodkins and awls, chatelaines, hoops, lucets, and more. Many one-of-a-kind handmade examples represent American subcultures and regional tastes. What a valuable resource!  $34.99    (discount code: anni18)


Applemints - Cat Lady Embroidery: 380 Ways to Stitch a Cat: Fat, striped, Cheshire, or grumpy this book offers more than 300 embroidery stitch patterns for cat lovers. Each set of patterns offers a range of ideas in different styles, shapes, genres from simple to more complex. A purrfect book for embroidery beginners or those looking for fun and simple patterns. Original designs and clear instructions make this book a must have for any cat embroidery enthusiasts library.  $19.99

Ashton, Darcy - Owls with Attitude: Anna's Awesome Applique Designs - The author includes 20 owls, each with its own personality, based on illustrations in her book, Outstanding Owls. A soft fleece is used to obtain the appearance of dimension and depth when decorative quilting stitches are added to the applique elements. The eyes realistically incorporate a special effect. The use of a softer, feathery, cover stitch perfectly finished the applique pieces using embroidery machines. The pattern includes instructions for creating a wall hanging, tote bag, owl quilt, and detailed instructions for joining the quilted blocks. Each of the 20 Owls has 3 options: 1. Autumn Owls  2. Colorful Owls  3. All Owls that can be done in the hoop (8in. wide hoop).  With quilting background you'll need a 9 1/2 in. wide hoop.  $75.00

Brown, Kathy - Lunch-Hour Wool Minis: 14 Easy Projects to Stitch in No Time - So small, so sweet, so simple to stitch! All you need is a needle, thread, wool, and a little lunch-hour time to make Kathy's cute and creative projects. Seasonal and everyday designs include framed art, pincushions, and fun pieces to make and attach to items you already have in your home. Even beginners can easily sew these charming decorating pieces - and complete each in a few lunch hours of less!  I happen to love the cover project since I was a former beekeeper and still a lover of honey and the makers.  $21.99 


When I read about this book and looked into school I was impressed and all the National and Regional EGA and ANG conferences danced through my head. This book is a must for any needleworker wanting to understand the art of stitching.

Chanin, Natalie - The Geometry of Handstitching: A Romance in Stitches and Embroidery from Alabama Chanin and the School of Making (Alabama Studio) - As the author and teams began to look at needlework closely, they realized all stitches are based on geometric grid systems - and by using grids as guides, they could make learning stitches, even seemingly elaborate ones, as easy as child's play. This book presents their breakthrough method, featuring illustrated instructions (for both right and left handed stitching) for more than 100 stitches - from the most basic straight and chain stitch to the more fanciful feather and herringbone; photos of both right and wrong sides; and guidelines for modifying stitches to increase one's repertoire further. To simplify learning, the book also includes two plastic stitching cards die-cut with the grids on which every stitch in the book is based. These reusable cards can be stitched through for practicing or used as stencils for transferring grids to fabric.  $24.99

Franses, Michael, Penny Oakley, Moya Carey, - Stars of the Caucasus: Silk Embroideries from Azerbaijan - This is the first book on the subject of antique Azerbaijan silk embroideries by a selection of world-leading experts and scholars. The book traces the history of embroidery in the Caucasus, the multi-cultural sources of domestic embroidery, iconography and designs in which the textile traditions of the Iranian and Turkic worlds meet, materials and needlework techniques, as well as the relationship between embroidery and the pile carpet weaving tradition in the region.  $80.00

Hendriks, Jos, - Assisi Embroidery - This book brings us a complete overview of the Assisi embroidery style. There is a chapter with the real history of this embroidery style and a chapter on the definition of a style . The main section is the most extensive collection of important and interesting Assisi embroidery designs. Finally there are many photos of the executed work.  $35.95

Inspirations Books - The Embroiderer's Handbook: The essential step-by-step guide to creative stitches and versatile techniques: This guide features their award-winning photos and detailed instructions taken from the A-Z series and Inspirations magazine. This encyclopedia of stitches is the ultimate guide for the embroiderer in the distinctive style of Inspirations magazine, over 150 stitches are illustrated with full color step-by-step photos. Each step is clearly explained and variations or combinations of the stitches are shown. Techniques and stitches for use with stranded cottons, silk ribbons, wool and beads. combined with photos of all finished products are included. Scattered throughout the book are hints and information to increase the enjoyment of embroidery. This great book is a good resource for all embroiderers from beginners to the experienced.  $39.95

Morgan, Cristin - Hoop Dreams: Modern Hand Embroidery - Vibrant color and rich textures abound in this book. Cristin Morgan of Marigold + Mars outlines the basics of 10 classic embroidery stitches and then teaches you how to use them to create 20 beautiful and practical projects for hoops, for the home, and to wear. The fresh motifs and bold color palettes are empowered by the easy step-by-step instructions and templates and a glossary of more than 50 additional patterns and motifs will inspire you to work in fresh and imaginative ways. As an added bonus the book includes an envelope with 10 carbon transfer papers for quickly transferring patterns to fabric.  $24.99

Mori, Reiko - Elegant Embroidery - Chose from more than 40 picturesque motifs, many grouped into enchanting vignettes to mix and match; then use the motifs in 11 projects, including totes, fabric-covered boxes, and more. Learn 16 embroidery stitches to create designs for holidays (a wreath and tiny ornaments); seasons (chubby bees buzzing around dimensional daisies; and everyday occasions (an antique sewing machine and scissors). Themed chapters include flower, marine, and Christmas collections, as well as an assortment of Reiko's signature black-on-linen designs.  $29.95

Mori, Reiko - Floral Motifs to Embroider - Visit an exquisite embroidered garden in this great volume from Japanese master embroidery artist Reiko Mori. In seven chapters she shares an abundance of motifs inspired by flowers from delicate sprigs and bouquets to climbing vines and perching birds. Blossoms as showy as roses and as modest as dandelions become masterpieces under her hand. Themes within each chapter showcase each embroidered bloom. Delicate bridal accessories, precious teapots and teacups, a ballet slipper, and an astonishing floral alphabet are just a few of the elements embellished with elaborate floral embroidery. A guide to embroidery-floss colors, essential notions and tools, basic techniques, and a how-to library of embroidery stitches will inspire.  $29.95

Rominger, Renee - Edgy Embroidery: Transform Conventional Stitches Into 25 Unconventional Designs - In here embroidery isn't just florals anymore, it's a moth with pinned wings, an old haunted house on a hill or a cow skull with a flower crown. You won't find "home sweet home" here, but you will find "Can U Not". This designer has projects for a new generation and whether you just started or you're an expert looking to enhance your art, this book will teach you something new, fun and easy.  Not only conquer basic techniques, but also how to create more complex stitches like her unique Moonrise Roses. With pattern templates, detailed stitch tutorials and instructions on how to complete each design, every one of these 25 projects you will complete these projects with ease.  $21.99

Schmitz, Kathy - Stitches from the Yuletide: Hand Embroidery to Celebrate the Season - Celebrate the season with exquisiste embroidery from the best-selling author Kathy Schmitz. You'll find embroidered winter scenes inspired by classic motifs, as wells delightful hand-drawn sketches and beautiful watercolor painting in page after page of elegant designs. Create a pillow, tea towels, wall art, ornaments, and more, all perfect for decorating and gift giving. Embroider motifs ranging from jolly snowmen to frolicking, reindeer, Kathy's signature birds and bunnies also make a special appearance.  25.99

Serafini, Sherry - Inspired Bead Embroidery: New Jewelry Designs - Sherry offers 15+ exciting new projects that combine her textured designs with eye-catching focal beads. The book also explains the fundamentals and aesthetics behind her work from stitches and materials to color theory. Enjoy the textured, dimensional projects including earrings, cuffs, collars, and two fashionable purses. These creations incorporate seed beads, cubes, triangles, drops, daggers, cabochons, leather, fiber, and more. Each project includes concise instructions, well-chosen process shots, and diagrams. A gallery at the end of the book provides even more inspiration for experienced beaders looking to take their work in a new, more exploratory directions.  $24.99

Schweitzer, Segolaine - Voyage autour de la Laine :A Trip Around the Wool - Segolaine's work is really astonishing as she closely combines raw and often recycled materials with delicate embroideries of which she knows all the variations. Discover her artistry and get inspired.  $44.00

Volker, Angela, Thun-Hohenstein, Christopher - The Unknown Wiener Werkstatte: Embroidery and Lace - This is an overview of the design and production of lace and embroidery made by Wiener Werkstatte between 1906 and 1930, together with a rich inventory of previously unpublished documents from his archives that comprises embroidery, braids, covers, inserts for curtains and counterpanes; the presentation is enriched by artists' sketches and designs, blueprints, bobbin lace patterns, sample portfolios and historical photos. Around forty designers are known. Tons of information on the beautiful work they created.  In German and English.  $60.00


Lee, Margaret - Art of Bead Embroidery: Japanese-Style - This book was so popular that the distributor ran out of copies but now it is available again. Our author, a renowned needle artisan, reveal the secrets of this spectacular needlework technique stitch-by-stitch and step-by-step. The photography is gorgeous as are the wonderful projects she includes for your stitching pleasure.  $34.95

Wilford, Judy - Embroidery Landscapes - In this book our author layers fabrics to create a background in much the same way a painter uses washes, then uses layers of stitch to bring definition, detail and dimension to the landscape. Combining land, nature, art and stitch creates a multi-layered work with a sense of depth, distance and play of light.  This book is lavishly illustrated in color, with detailed step-by-step instructions accompanied by explanatory photos. Judy is a multi-talented visual artist who has worked in many mediums and has been awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study narrative embroideries in the UK.  $29.95


"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? 
              Sherlock Holmes in the "Sign of the Four"

Meet Peg Cochran/Meg London Mystery Writer 

I'm always amazed to find an author that has time to write books under two different names. I'm lucky to have time to write under my own name! How do they do it?  I always take the time to learn about these writers to get inspired and hopefully find out some great secret of how they write so fluently.

In her bio on her Peg website she tells she grew up in New Jersey and after college managed an art gallery owned by the son of Henri Matisse. When her husband died, she remarried and now lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan and now is the manager of marketing communications for a company that provides services to seniors.

But her greatest love is writing - especially mysteries!  She has a number of cozy mystery series in print.  Those I'll introduce in a minute after we discover a little more about her.

She has pets: a cat named Frazzie and a Westhighland White Terrier, Reggie. I'm an animal lover too so I understand the love of furry creatures. I have Sassy, my cat on my office chair with me as I write. Her and her companion, Molly came to live with me after my friends (their former family) Ed and Nanci died. I had promised I'd take their furry friends so here they are with Buddy my little Chiuahua-mix who pays them no attention. They, however, having never seen a dog, are suspicious of him. Finally, after three months here they are mellowing out about his presence. 

But Peg seems to love one activity I don't care much for but do every day - that's cooking. She loves the kitchen. If invited to a potluck she invariably brings dessert. I do make some desserts but nothing fancy. I have a feeling she goes all out for a special treat.

Well, she has a job, pets, and cooks so she must not sleep if she has this many mysteries published! And they are best sellers! Take a peek. I've included them below:

Allergic to Death - (Gourmet de-Lite Mystery #1) - When an influential food critic dies from a severe allergic reaction to one of Gigi's Gourmet De-Lite's signature dishes, it puts more than Gigi's career on the chopping block. Detective Mertz suspects foul play, and now it's up to Gigi to find out who tampered with her recipe.  $7.99   Includes recipes.

Iced to Death - (Gourmet de-Lite Mystery #2) - Gigi's business may be hot, but her home life is leaving her cold. Her sister, Pia, has dropped in for an unannounced visit and, much to Gigi's chagrin, has immediately fallen for handsome bar owner, Declan McQuaid. So when Declan asks Gigi to help him prep for a big engagement party, she's not only dealing with the heat of the kitchen and her own feelings for Declan, but Pia's jealousy. However, Gigi's rising temperature quickly chills when the host of the party is found stabbed to death with an ice pick. $7.99  Includes recipes.

Steamed to Death - (Gourmet de-Lite #3) - Aging soap star Felicity Davenport is looking to revamp her image, and she's using Gigi's Gourmet de-Lite to help her shed a few unwanted pounds. But when Felicity is found murdered in her sauna, things start getting too hot for Gigi to handle.  $7.99  Includes recipes.

No Farm, No Foul - (Farmer's Daughter Mystery #1) - This series is set on a picturesque farm in Michigan, where Shelby McDonald runs a popular lifestyle and cooking blog that is gaining a growing audience while she is also busy raising two kids and running Love Blossom Farm. The peacefulness is shattered when the minister's wife is murdered on Shelby's property during a fund-raiser for a local church. She's not happy that her good friend veterinarian Kelly Thacker emerges as the prime suspect so she gets to work solving this murder.  $7.99

Sowed to Death - (Farmer's Daughter Mystery #2) - The country fair is the highlight of the year and Shelby McDonald hopes of harvesting a blue ribbon from the produce raised on her farm. But when Shelby's neighbor and volunteer fireman, Jake Taylor, extricates a body during a demonstration of the Jaws of Life. As evidence against Jake grows, Shelby goes after clues to weed out the true killer and save her friend.  $7.99

Bought the Farm - (Farmer's Daughter Mystery #3) - Wedding preparations are in full swing at Love Blossom Farm as Shelby transforms the property for her friend Kelly's down-home country-style reception. But when the lead singer of the wedding band turns up dead the police round themselves up a barnful of suspects.  $7.99

Berried Secrets - (Cranberry Cover Mysteries #1) - When Monica Albertson comes to Cranberry Cove on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan to help her half-brother Jeff on his cranberry farm, the last thing expects is murder. It seems Sam Culbert, who ran the farm while Jeff was deployed overseas, had some juicy secrets that soon prove fatal.  Now her brother is a chief suspect. Monica has her hands full trying to save the farm while searching for a killer. Culbert had made plenty of enemies in this small town but which one was guilty of murder.  $7.99

Berry the Hatchet (Cranberry Cove Mysteries #2) - The town is popping with excitement. Monica Albertson is baking cranberry goodies by the dozen and shopkeepers are decking out their storefronts for the event dreamed up by the mayor who turns up dead during the grand opening ceremony, his lifeless body making its entrance in a horse-drawn sleigh. Monica's mother and stepmother both become suspects since they both were dating him. To make things worse her half-brother Jeff uncovers a clue buried near one of the bogs on Sassamanash Farm. Monica gets on the hunt for the real murderer.  $7.99

Dead and Berried - (Cranberry Cover Mysteries #3) - It is June in Cranberry Cove and Monica's plans to sell cranberry relish to chain stores is taking off. The bogs are in bloom, and local beekeeper Rick Taylor and his assistant Lori Wenk are bringing in bees to pollinate the blossoms. When a fatal prick fells Lori, the buzz is Rick is to blame. More than a few people have felt Lori's sting and it looks like Lori may have agitated the hive a bit too much. With the fate of the farm on the line, Monica must get to the bottom of the crime before another victim gets stung.  $7.99

Now to her Sweet Nothings Lingerie Mysteries Series Under the name Meg London:

Murder Unmentionable - Emma Taylor thought she knew what to expect when she abandoned life as a big-city fashionista to help her aunt, Arabella, breathe new style into Sweet Nothings, her waning lingerie boutique. As she settles back into Paris, Tennessee her escape seems as smooth as silk. But then her Emma's philandering ex, so does a murder. As the police's top suspect, Emma is going to need more than fishnets to snare the real killer.  $7.99

Laced with Poison - Emma is happy to be drawing in customers at the lingerie shop but replacing the store window is going to cost a small fortune. Arabella arranges to have a trunk show at the home of a local socialite who will invite all of her friends and take care of the catering. All Emma and Arabella have to do is show up and show off their wares. But after one of the partygoers takes a bite of the sumptuous spread and ends up dead, the guest list becomes a suspect list. Now Emma must separate facts from idle gossip before the killer gives the cops a slip.  $7.99

A Fatal Slip - For Valentine's Day, Emma Taylor and her aunt have organized a special evening for men only to shop for their sweethearts complete with champagne and hor d'oeuvres. But when art dealer Hugh Granger, Arabella's former beau returns to Paris, Tennessee, the charmer invited the women to a ball  he's having to celebrate his birthday, he's pushed off his balcony.  This paints a sinister picture for Arabella who gets framed for her old flame's murder.  $7.99

To Round Out This Selection of Mysteries I've Included Several More:

Dratch, Dana - Confessions of a Red Herring (Red Herring Mystery #1) - Alex Vlodnachek has been a reporter for 12 years, a P.R. rep for three months, and a murder suspect for all of 24 hours. When her agent's double-dealing CEO is stabbed the story is media catnip - especially her salacious nickname: Vlod the Impaler. Even Alex has to admit she looks guilt. Out of a job and under suspicion, Alex is running low on cash, when she's visited by a second disaster; her family. Soon her tiny bungalow is bursting with her nearest and not-so dear relatives. Alex returns to her reporting roots. She goes undercover to reclaim her life, break the story, and unmask a murder. What she doesn't know: The killer also has a to-do list.  $7.99

Simon, Misty - Cremains of the Day (Tallie Graver Mystery #1) - Tallie Graver married wealthy to get out of the family funeral home business. To make ends meet after her marriage fails, Tallie turns to cleaning the mansions of the snobby socialites she used to call friends. At least she doesn't have to be around the dead until she discovers one of her employers lying in a closet with a knife sticking out of her chest.  $7.99

Simon, Misty - Grounds for Remorse (Tallie Graver Mystery #2) - Best friends Tallie Graver and Gina Laudermilch both seem to spend a lot of time around urns. For Tallie they're part and parcel of the family business, Graver's Funeral Home where she still works part itme.  Even though she's traded ashes for coffee urns. But when Gina's new beau turns out to have a wife, who barges into the coffee shop to take him home, she can't contain her bitterness and loudly threatens to poison his cup. When this wronged wife turns up dead a the bottom of a staircase inside Gina's locked home, she finds herself at the top of the police's suspect list. Tallie needs to sweep in to save her friend before she goes from being a funeral home employee to becoming their next client.  $7.99


I hope you enjoyed your visit.  If this is your first visit I'd like to introduce you to our business of 25 years. We have set up bookshops for the ANG, EGA, and a variety of other needlework organizations as wells as this blog.

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: 602-943-738. 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 me an e-mail at By mail: 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 books you order from this blog or the previous ones.