Tuesday, December 15, 2015

January Blog will publish on January 23rd, 2016

 The 4th medical emergency I have had to deal with in the last month - is me! I took a bad fall when I caught my foot in Mark's rear transporter wheel when, he by accident, backed up. I went down like a cut tree on my right side - my shoulder taking the brunt of the hit on tile. I have a fractured head of the right upper arm bone with massive contusions from below the elbow to the shoulder but all should heal okay. So the blog should be out Saturday, January 23th 2016. Sorry for the delay but the bleeding got worse and it is so painful to use the keyboard for long.  Next month will be timely. I will be fine.  Ruth                         


                       Welcome Aboard Our Latest Blog! Don't forget to find the discount code in this blog and receive a 20% discount on any new book you order.

To Applique or to not Applique that is the question!   

Humans having been messing with fabric for about 100,000 years and haven't stopped yet. In fact, I was reading a copy of The Smithsonian that mentioned technology has stepped in to the textile world and even garbage is being created into fabric.

Applique is derived from the French verb 'appliquer', meaning to put on. So applique is the art of placing one piece of fabric over another. Quilters love doing this technique. What's nice about applique is a needleworker can feel free to try out her artistic skills and find out whatever she or he decides to design is correct whether it is something very simple or really complex. It's all up to the designer.  This is a great way to use up all those fabric scraps, buttons, dress trims  we collect! 

If you want to attempt this art I've included a number of books to get you started or add to whatever you know and show us the techniques used around the world.

Annie's Publishing - Applique: Techniques Made Easy - Have you ever wanted to try a variety of applique techniques all in one book? This book has an assortment of different techniques to try while making stunning quilts and other projects.

Ashston, Darcy - Outstanding Owls for Applique - This book contains 30 different full-sized owl patterns for applique plus numerous options for projects including large quilts, small quilts, tote bags, embroidery projects, wool projects and much more. Instructions include both hand and fusible applique options. I love these owls!  $22.00

Speaking of owls if you want to see art rendering of the real deal I discovered a neat little book, Owls: Our Most Charming Bird by artist and ornithologist Matt Sewell in which he captures 50 species of these birds using pop-art watercolors and witting and irreverent descriptions.  $12.99

Curtis, Helga - Herbs, Spices and Fruits of the Bible - Designer Helga Curtis has selected 15 plants found in the Bible to use in creating applique blocks. Designs for five spices are given: mustard, saffron, cumin, mint and cinnamon.  $9.95

Fassett, Kaffe - Little Ribbon Patchwork and Applique - 20 design samples by Heart Space Studio using Kaffe Fassett's ribbons and fabric, with projects for the home.  $19.95

Henderson, Tope Terri - Applique in Reverse - The secret of her technique is to use large pieces of background fabric underneath the applique designs for easier handling. Tiny seam allowances are a thing of a past. Beginners who love the look of applique can easily master this useful techniques. The book has a menu of 13 block patterns and two border designs from Teri's Garden Nouveau quilt. She shows you how to transform those patterns into nine additional projects: a tote bag, table runners, a bolster, and wall hangings with her applique in reverse technique.  $24.95

Lawrence, Angela - Needleturn applique: The Basics and Beyond - This book visually demonstrates the full range of step-by-step needleturn applique techniques. 10 easy and fun projects.  Full size patterns included.  $27.95

Shore, Debbie - Love to Sew: Quilted Covers and Cosies -This best-selling sewing author has designed 18 neat quilted projects that sewers of all abilities will want to make. She introduces basic quilting, binding and applique techniques, as well as detailing the materials needed. There are cosies to keep things warm and covers to protect and enhance valuables such as tablets and phones. You will get egg cosies, mug hug, tea and coffee cosies, covers for a toaster, sewing machine, bottle, tissue box, chair back and more. She includes clear step-by-step photos are provided where needed and there are beautiful styled shots of the finished pieces. All templates are provided. $12.95

Smith, Rebekah - Wool Applique Folk Art - These projects inspired by 19th century American life that includes instructions on finding and repurposing wool. Hand stitch 14 folk-art projects, each with full-size patterns and step-by-step instructions, including bed covers, wallhangings, and table runners.  $29.95

Sullivan, Jeanne - Simply Successful Applique - Learn new applique skills and get pinpoint accuracy more easily than ever before in this comprehensive visual guide with a bonus CD of full-size template patterns. Seasoned quilters and sewers will also love using these new techniques for more complex designs.  $29.95

Tirico, Deborah Gale - Gorgeous Wool Applique - Sewing with luxurious felted wool, discover the secrets to dimensional applique. Take your embroidery skills to the next level with 8 colorful projects including penny rugs, pincushions, and pillows. Easy-to-learn techniques such as thread-matching, needle-slanting, and fabric-layering. This book includes full-size patterns with placement and embroidery guides. Full-size patterns come with placement and embroidery guides.  $29.95

Potpourri of Needlework Books  

Wanted to let you know I heard from Annie's that a new DVD has been released for the last 5 years 2011-2015 of Sampler and Antique Needlework Magazine. What a great idea the magazine's followers especially if you are short certain issues or just rather have them all available on a disc.  $29.95


I know the author of the book as she lives in the valley and pleased that major distributors have picked up her latest book, Sonoran Borders: Threads of Friendship. This is the fictional journey of two young girls, Feliciana and Emily, who met in the in the Sonoran Desert more than a century ago. Though their time together was brief, their friendships spans a lifetime through correspondence and a shared love of needlework. The tattered remnants of old keepsakes found in the attic come to life in the 21st Century at the hands of this writer, stitcher and pattern designer. Stitch along with the girls, recreating 11 projects, as their story unfolds.  $27.95 

Aoki, Kazuko - The Embroidered Garden - This author has a unique talent for translating the beauty of the garden with needle and thread. By using 40 motifs, she  explores the roses and wildflowers that appear season to season, as well as the
From Book
bees and butterflies. The designs are exquisite, detailed, and artfully rendered. She also presents that feature the embroidery brooches, notebook covers, pin cushions, and pouches. Detailed how-to illustrations are included.  $21.95

Atsumi, Chiba, Minako, Kamio, Kamio Mari - Japanese Paper Embroidery - These three talented Japanese crafters have created a range of delightful paper projects that are modern, stylish and fun to make. Each project is accompanied by a full-size template and notes on how to embroidery the design, and there are clear and detailed instructions on the materials and tools you require; the essential technique of embroidering on paper; and eleven base embroidery stitches that can be used individually or in combination to create all of the exquisite designs in the book. Choose from a range of ideas that includes drawing, writing and more creative projects including paper clocks, notebooks, envelopes, decorations, book marks and card for all occasions.  $19.95

Aunt Martha - Aunt Martha's Embroidery Patterns - Tea Time - This 8 page book contains over 18 different designs and is printed with a single -color heat transfer ink. Transfer with your iron, stitch, and enjoy! Decorate towel, napkins, aprons, toaster covers, bibs, pillows, needlepoint canvas, quilt blocks, tablecloths, fabric and more.  $4.50

Chandler, Ruth - Modern Hand Stitching - Enjoy the confidence of knowing basic hand stitches - then freely play your heart's content with pattern and form. 6 stitch chapters. Includes a gallery of stitching inspirations with step-by-step illustrations.  $24.95

Ganderton, Lucinda - Embroidery: A Step-By-Step Guide To More Than 200 Stitches - Contains step-by-step instructions and clear photos showing how to complete more than 200 stitches. Includes how to chose the right threads, needles, and fabrics.  $15.95

Lapierre, Corinne - Fabulous Felt: How to Make Beautiful Accessories and Decorations - 30 easy-to-make, stylish decorations all made from felt. The book includes templates, a comprehensive techniques section, guide to embroidery stitches and beautifully hand-drawn illustrations to accompany every project that include mug hugs, hanging decorations, seasonal decorations, pillows, ornaments, wall organizers, brooches, children's toys and more.  $22.95

Linn, Don - Sophisicated Stitches - Turn an ordinary quilt into an heirloom with these 66 graceful, versatile designs of art deco motifs, flowers, and Japanese crests. "Mr. Quilt" includes instructions for using the designs to fill any space because they can be enlarged or reduced. Try your hand at machine quilting, applique, and embroidery in individual blocks, medallions, or open spaces. $19.95 

McNeil, Suzanne - Vintage Stitching Treasury: More than 400 Authentic Embroidery Designs - This nostalgic treasure chest of vintage art embroidery patterns offers hundreds of authentic designs from the classic magazines and needlework catalogs of yesteryear.  $19.99

Nelson, Lydia Loretta - Stitch Kitsch - This book puts the fun back in sewing. She features 11 featured designs and 44 playful projects that make perfect gifts. Embellish with embroidery, buttons, beads, trims, and fusible applique. $22.95

Saito, Yoko - 120 Original Embroidery Designs - The author presents 120 original designs that combine the embroideries with applique and quilting to create what she calls "patchwork embroidery". All designs detailed and unique. She also includes 20 "patchwork embroidery" projects.  $42.95 

Saito, Yoko - Woolwork - This book focuses on quilt bags and other projects made primarily of wool and yarn-dyed homespun. Instructions are included for rug hooking, needle-felting, piecework and applique. She'll have you scouring your closets for wool clothing no longer used.  $32.95

Search Press - A-Z of Smocking - Again, Search Press has brought back another of the much beloved A-Z books. This book features every smocking stitch, clearly explained for beginners, but also has inspiring examples and new or little-known techniques to appeal to experienced smockers. It shows how to work the stitches, read graphs, and select colours, fabric and threads. It teaches how to pleat and block a garment, gives advice on different techniques such as ribbon weaving, counterchange, template and freeform smocking and much more. It includes great hints, ideas and inspirational photos. There is advice on the fabric, needles and thread needed and a glossary of smocking terms.   $19.95

Sugashima, Yoki - The Hand-Stitched Flower Garden: 40 Beautiful Floral Designs to Embroider, Plus 20 Project Ideas - Welcome to Yoki's world of stitching. The projects include: Spring violet sewing machine cover, butterfly pincushion, spring snowflake scissors cover, red clover cushion cover, fern leaf shirt, fall bittersweet over mitt, rudbeckia apron, aster napkin ring, acorn egg cozy, fall leaves coaster set, winter snowberry brooch, barette with yew spring, flowering kale necklace, and much more. She includes all techniques, tools and materials and a stitch directory.  $26.95

Watson, Sarah - Pen to Thread - From the creative pen of illustrator and fabric designer, Sarah Watson, come 750 charming whimsical motifs. All these motifs and alphabets are included on a handy CD-rom for easy resizing. Any motif can be made distinctly your with the author's easy-to-follow instructions.  $26.99


Cat Mysteries ala Sofie Ryan 

I am fascinated that writers with so many degrees end up writing mystery stories. Take Sofie Ryan, she has two degrees: Bachelor of Science in biology and Bachelor of Education and loves math. You'll also meet Barbara Mertz who has a doctorate in Egyptology and wrote historical mysteries. Of course, such education doesn't go to waste with their writing - in fact, it helps.

Sophie is married with a teenage daughter and lives on the east coast and loves math and running but writing has captured her spirit.  She writes mysteries involving cats because she loves their independent spirit but unfortunately she can't have one of her own because her husband is extremely allergic to them. In her bio she laughingly says, "If my hubby dies first she's getting a kitty."  Yes, she shows a great sense of humor that flows into her cat mysteries. Fortunately she has become acquainted with many cats in the neighborhood and has studied their habits that is obvious in her books. All cat and mystery lovers will be happy she's written these stories.

Near the end of her blog she gives simple but great advice to would-be-writers: "Read, read, read." Then: Write, write, write." In other words practice makes perfect. I think that could be applied to any interest we are involved in. So, I will say to all needleworkers: stitch, stitch, stitch as well as read, read, read.

These are the books she has in her new Second Chance Cat Mysteries:

The Whole Cat and Caboodle (Second Chance Cat Mystery) - Small town Maine second-hand store owner Sarah Grayson as adopted a black cat she named Elvis. She and her new friend have to solve the mystery of their elderly neighbor Maddie, who is fund with a dead body in her garden.  $7.99

Buy a Whisker (Second Chance Cat Mystery) - Things have been quiet in the coastal town of North harbor, Maine, since Sarah Grayson and her rescue cat, Elvis, solved their first murder. Sarah is happy running Second Chance, the shop where she sells lovingly refurbished and repurposed items. But then she gets dragged into a controversy over developing the waterfront.  $7.99

A Whisker of Trouble (Second Chance Cat Mystery) - Spring has come to charming North Harbor, Maine, and with the new season comes a new haul for Second Chance. Sarah is turning her keen eye to the estate of collector Edison Hall, hoping for fabulous finds but when her rescue cat Elvis discovers a body in the kitchen, everything goes paws up. The body is of an appraiser who had been hired to check out Edison's wine collection. When Edison's sister shows up she hires Sarah's friends a kooky and charismatic trio of ladies who call themselves Charlotte's Angels and work out of the shop to solve the murder. But as it becomes a cat and mouse game of lies, ons, cheats, and family squabbles, can Elvis and Sarah claw their way to the truth before the killer slinks away forever?  $7.99  (due in February 2016)

This interesting author she is also into fabric collage so I thought I'd honor her art with some books on the subject in case you'd want to join her in this neat art form.

Bleiweiss, Sue - Colorful Fabric Collage: Sketch, Fuse, Quilt! - Easy-to-manage techniques for creating vibrant art quilts and colorful accessories, this book walks the reader through the techniques that this renowned quilter uses to create her colorful, vibrant art quilts. Reader will learn easy fusing techniques that serve as the basic for her design, along with ideas for keeping and using a sketchbook, hand-dyeing fabric, and adding further embellishments. Offering techniques and projects, this book leads readers through the steps to successfully design, fuse, and quilt 14 projects. You are invited to tap into your own creativity by encouraging you to drawn on the project pattern drawings and sketch your own quilt designs from scratch. She makes it easy!  $26.99

Eichorn, Rosemary - The Art of Fabric Collage: An Easy Introduction to Creative Sewing - Fabric collage in a method of quilting that gives every sewer the ability to express personal creativity while learning innovative sewing technique.  $21.95

Loveless, Ann - Landscape Art Quilts, Step by Step: Learn Fast, Fusible Fabric Collage - This author shares her time-tested method for creating one-of-a-kind art quilts based on your favorite landscape photos. With step-by-step instructions, she shows you her free-form method of cutting and placing fabrics on fusible web and finishing with free-motion machine quilting.  $27.95 

Malaney, Jeanine Rvard - Painting with Fabric: Creating Art with Fabric Collage and Landscape Quilting - Painting with fabric, artist Jeanine Rvard Malaney explains how to create artworks utilizing fabric. This wonderful artist is not only known for her watercolor and oil painting, and of course her fabric artworks. $29.95

Meier, Rebekah - More Fabric Art Collage: 64 New Techniques for Mixed Media, surface Design and Embellishment - This artist inspires you to stretch the boundaries of fabrics, papers, and fibers. Explore more than 60 new surface-design technique with 7 richly layered projects. Learn how to combine creative processes like resists and image transfers with unique surfaces, embellishments, and objects to create dimensional works of art. Transform everyday materials such as batting and foil into something even more extraordinary than you ever dreamed was possible. Mixed-media artists at any skill level with find something fresh and fascinating to try.  $27.95

My Second Mystery Writer - Barbara Mertz better known as Elizabeth Peters. 

Barbara Mertz (1927-2013) wrote under a number of pseudonyms but her best known one was Elizabeth Peters who wrote about a feisty, intelligent, arrogant but likable single lady, Amelia Peabody, from the Victorian Era. Miss Peabody after inheriting a fortune ends up exploring the Nile and finding the love of her life (and his) Radcliffe Emerson. They marry, get into archeology and back they go to Egypt. Barbara Mertz knows of what she wrote having her PhD in Egyptology from the famous Oriental Institute in Chicago and her knowledge shows in this entertaining well-written series of 19 books. (discount code: 15dec)

Barbara Mertz didn't want to confuse her academic work with her fiction writing thus the pen names. Her books written under Elizabeth Peters, (she used both her children's first names to create her pen name) mirror her the best.  Why did she write fiction instead of being an archeologist? When she got divorced she couldn't find work in her field so she started writing and found she had a knack for it.  All these books hit the New York Times bestseller lists.  She was quoted as saying, "she was so happy to be published that she would have used the name of Jack the Ripper to get there.  Well, she was forced to do that!  Until she died in 2013 she lived with a number of cats (named for the pharaohs) in a 1820 stone house near Frederick, Maryland.

I read lots of history and historical fiction with very little time for mysteries yet even though I've lived in Egypt four times to research my historical novel that is now in the hands of an editor - who loves it thus far,) I overlooked these historical mystery books until a friend Dorothy Struthers passed her copies of the series on to me a few months ago. I glanced through the first book, began to read it and got hooked.

I've been to so many of the sites in the book I've thoroughly enjoyed "revisiting" those places. But you don't have to be a lover of Egyptology or even have any knowledge of this field to get involved in these stories. What hooked me are
the unforgettable characters she created. Her sense of humor shines through them yet you take these wonderful characters very seriously - a knack few writers even obtain. Such wit and adventure.

All I can add is to say her books are a tasty treat. To paraphrase a potato chip commercial I remember, I bet you can't read just one. I'm on my way to reading all 19. After all, I want to see how she ends the 19th book. 

Barbara Mertz was named Grand Master at the inaugural Anthony Awards in 1986 and was awarded Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1998. In 2003 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Malice Domestic Convention.

Long Live her books!

I've listed the first four in the series.  Hope this tempts you! You won't regret reading them.

Crocodile on the Sandbank - Set in 1894, this is the first installment in what has become a beloved bestselling series. At thirty-two, strong-willed Amelia Peabody, a self-proclaimed spinster, decides to use her ample inheritance to indulge her passion, Egyptology. On her way to Egypt, Amelia encounters a young woman named Evelyn Barton-Forbes. The two become fast friends and travel on together, encountering mysteries, missing mummies, and Radcliffe Emerson, a dashing a opinionated archaeologist who doesn't need a woman's help - or so he thinks.  $10.00

The Curse of the Pharaohs - Now married to Radcliffe Emerson and a mother to a small boy they named Ramses, Amelia is bored with home life as is Radcliffe, so they go back to Egypt leaving the boy in the loving hands of Evelyn now married to Radcliffe's brother.  Be ready for more fun and adventure, and mystery on a dig in Egypt.  $10.00

The Mummy Case - Again another adventure in Egypt only this time Amelia and Radcliffe known as "The Father of Curses" are accompanied by Ramses, their genius eight year old son. Denied a permit to dig at the pyramids of Dahshoor, they are resigned to digging in a mound of rubble in the middle of the desert.  When an antique dealer they know is murdered in his shop they are on the case with few clues such as a scrap of papyrus.  $9.99

Lion in the Valley - This time they have access to the much-coveted burial chamber of the Black Pyramid in Dahshoor. With the brazen abduction of Ramses and an expedition cursed by misfortune and death -Amelia is alerted to the likely presence of her arch nemesis the Master Criminal, notorious looter of the living and the dead.  $9.99

If you haven't visited this blog before - WELCOME!  We've been in the needlework book business for over 24 years.  For 21 years we set up bookshops for the ANG and the EGA seminars (both regional and national) and other needlework organizations.

Can't find a certain book? Give us a call whether the book is in- print or out-of-print. We have a website that is being updated but is still plenty usable: ruthkernbooks.com

Questions? Give us a call Monday through Saturday: 602-943-0738 between 9 am to 6pm "Arizona time". (Yes, we are the people who never change our clocks forwards or backwards.) To fax: 602-944-4108 - This is a new fax number. If you prefer you can e-mail me at: rkern3@mindspring.com
 or rkernbooks@gmail.com.  To reach us by mail: Ruth Kern Books  7235 N. 9th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021.

Most Important! Don't forget to find the discount code in this blog that gives you a 20% discount on any new book you order.  We can't discount out-of-print books.

Have a wonderful life! Remember to keep plenty of time available for stitching and reading.

See you next year: January 2016.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

December Blog will publish evening of Dec. 15th 2015.   Sorry this is delayed two days but I've been involved with three medical emergencies. All are doing well. See you on the 15th.

                   NOVEMBER 2015 BLOG

I call November (the month of my birth) a complicated month. For us, today it is the 11th month of the year but actually novem in Latin means "nine". When January and February were added to the Roman calendar November retained its name. Of course in our Northern Hemisphere November is autumn But in the Southern Hemisphere November is spring.  See what I mean by November is a complicated month?

We celebrate Thanksgiving in November so I will wish all of you a happy "giving thanks" day with your family and friends.


Beads have been around since we humans sat around a large fire contemplating the universe and stories of the hunt and probably drilling beads. These beads are considered one of the first ornaments humans possessed and these little
ornaments probably will be important to us until we humans become extinct. I admit to my love of beads and I was a constant visitor at the Bead Museum in Glendale, Arizona until the bad economy ended it. I'm still not over that low blow. The lectures and classes were wonderful and I got to converse with world-known bead designers, historians, world travelers, and teachers just fifteen minutes from my house.

While I lived in Egypt I went to southern Egypt by train and then took a felucca to Soheil island south of Aswan. I had been invited to have dinner (actually served in the afternoon) with my felucca man and
his family.  Little did I know that beads would become part of the story.

It was 116 degrees Fahrenheit that day in July but I didn't care - off I went with Ramadan, my guide and friend, so he could translate. The only scary part was a small whirlpool we had to pass by. Our "captain" laughingly informed Ramadan and I that a former boat of his was sucked down into this eddy but he managed to escape. As Ramadan translated this story I had visions for a minute of that happening to us. I do swim but I wasn't too thrilled with the idea of being sucked down into the Nile. Fortunately, we weren't. 

His island home was a desolate piece of sand and stone but relics of ancient Egypt were scattered about. I excitedly examined a number of pieces but left each of them in the same place as all visitors should do. His
home was a typically designed Nubian home, a series of adobe buildings set around a sand courtyard. His wife and sister-in-law welcomed us and we were treated to a wonderful fish dinner with rice and salad. I don't know the type of fish cooked but it was from the Nile and filled with seasonings and roasted on a fire.  To this day I will say that was the best fish I've ever eaten in my entire life.  The home was simple but the use of color in decorating was stunning.

After the meal the women brought out their beadwork. Of course I bought some -nothing fancy but love looking at those pieces from a memorable day from time to time. I also have some lovely beadwork with silver pieces created by several African tribes. 

Back in the sixties I was a passionate beader and still have a number of pieces I made back then. I loved watching simple beads turn into different patterns and something I could wear. Today what is being done with beads staggers my imagination. I keep threating to start beading again but I at the moment I'd need a much longer day to carry out that threat.

If you start looking around you can discover beads can be found anywhere. Needlepoint and embroidery can be beaded, purses, clothing, quilts, knits, crochet and even lace and tatting can use
By Elena Emelina

beading and I discovered wonderful books that displayed the work of very imaginative people one bead artist who used beads to create doll house furniture. (discount code: novruth)

The bead book at the top of my list is Lois Sherr Dubin's The History of Beads: Deom 100,000 B.C. to the Present (revised and expanded) - This book is by a world-renowned bead expert and it is the world's definitive guide for bead lovers, collectors, and
scholars. This edition includes the oldest bead ever discovered, dating to 108,000 B.C. She also includes why beads worn on the human body were the original media communication system along with maps in color. There is a new chapter on contemporary adornment since the 1980's with a focus on glass beads as well as 200 beads considered by many to the piece resistance. This book guides us through the remarkably rich history of the world's first form of adornment.  $80.00

Below is a list of bead books for all types of needlework.  Enjoy!

Abrahams, Debbie - 25 Beaded Knits: Beautiful Designs in Stylish Colours - This book is packed full of home accessories, fashionable essentials, and wardrobe enhancements, these neat designs are a must-make for the stylish, modern knitter. Each one, from a stunning evening scarf to a decorative cushion for the living room, is creatively bead-dazzling! She includes a section outlining all the beading basics and tips and alternative ideas for every project.  $21.95

Atkins, Thom - Beading Artistry for Quilts: Basic Stitches and Embellishments Add Texture and Drama - Use beads and simple stitches to create magnificent texture, dimensions, and lifelike details on any quilt. Our author teaches everything we need to

know about the best supplies and techniques to get great results plus a bonus tutorial on how to create a beaded bezel. Whether you like to make traditional or art quilts, this book will help you take your fabric embellishing to a whole new level.  $29.95

Clarke, Victoria - Brace Yourself!: A Collection of Bracelet Patterns with Unique Beads, Stones and Tatted Lace - This is a collection of bracelet patterns made using tatted lace and beads.

Tatted lace is a Victorian era lace made using a shuttle and thread. This book is aimed at both the beginner and experienced tatter.  $24.95

Cox, Shelley - Essential Stitch Guide: Bead Embroidery - The Royal School of Needlework (RSN) teaches had embroidery to the highest standard and well respected around the world. In this book she presents a guide to all aspects of bead embroidery,

including info on counted thread beadwork, bead embroidery, beaded surface embroidery, and fringing. Here you will find stitches and technique for every sort of needlework that involves beads. Great resource book.  $21.95

Endo, Yasuko - Bead Embroidery Stitch Samplers - This book goes beyond basic and traditional embroidery stitches to incorporate beads, allowing readers to create delicate and striking trims and embellishments. Stitch patterns range from

elegantly simple single motifs, to complex all over patterns to 3-D designs. Along with step-by-step instructions are numerous examples of how to use and place the motifs on hems, pockets, cuffs, collars and handbags; or as home décor trim on pillows, curtains, or lampshades.  This was snatched up by needleworkers as soon as it came off the presses. $17.99

Endo, Yasuko - Bead Embroidery Stitch Samplers: Motifs - This is a collection of 123 embroidery motifs using beads. Motifs vary from elegantly simple single motifs to complex allover patterns to three-dimension designs. Patterns emphasize beaded edgings

and trims, with step-by-step with numerous examples of how to use and place the motifs on garments, accessories, and home décor items.  $17.99

Kan, Lisa- Bead Metamorphosis - In the pages of this fantastic book you'll learn how Lisa Kan creates her elegant and feminine bead-woven jewelry designs that often feature leaves, faceted stones, and other romantic flourishes. Now she applies her trademark style to a jewelry collection featuring peyote,

herringbone, right-angle weave, netting, and other bead stitches. See how beaded elements transform from simple to complex by changing the beadwork, changing the colors, or adding layered embellishments.  Ideas and inspiration for multiple variations will lead to new metamorphoses, as you create stunning jewelry design with multiple looks.    $25.99

Kingsley-Heath, Heather - Introducing Albion Stitch: 20 Beaded Jewelry Projects - This stitch is the invention of this author. This book includes 20 new projects, all shown in various colorways, using the newest bead shapes like spikes, gum drops, rulia, tile,
and more. This book reflects her playful sense of color and organic, dimensional designs and shows off her beautifully colored and crafted work.  $19.99 Due in December   2015. 

Lippert, Sabine - Sabine Lippert's Beadwork Evolution: New Techniques Using Peyote Stitch and Right Angle Weave - This internationally known beadwork artist brings us 25 elegant projects that teach beaders how a few small variations can make
things easier, neater, or just different from the usual path. In other words this book teaches new ideas for using classical stitching techniques in unusual ways. Gorgeous jewelry!!   $27.95

Millodot, Suzen - Chinese Knots for Beaded Jewellery - This author shows how to create a great array of original necklaces and bracelets using decorative Chinese knots, beads, pendants and semi-precious stones. Simple knotted necklaces look elegant and stylish when combines with beautiful ceramic, metal or
wooden beads. Just one knot with several semi-precious beads is stunning. Matching bracelets catch the eye. Once the techniques are mastered, designs can be as extravagant, or as simple as you want - no special skills. Many detailed step-by-step photos accompanying diagrams and helpful advice, and inspirational projects are included to develop skills and inspire creating.  $19.95
Pretl, Julia S. - Beaded Collars: 10 Decorative Neckpieces Built with Ladder Stitch - In this book this fabulous beader has created a collection of beaded beaded neckpieces, inspired by broadcollars, the dramatic jewelry worn by the ancient Egyptians. These ten original designs for the modern
beadworker can be created by all skill levels from beginner to more advanced. With step-by-step  illustrations and easy-to-follow patterns, she leads the beader through the techniques by creating the stitched basic unit that is combines and joined in various ways to create each of the unique designs. You can also learn how to build decorative fringe, layers, pendants, and netting to add the finishing touch. $21.95

Potter, Cheryl, Sharon Mooney, and Sadie M. Collins - Amazing Lace: 13 Handpainted Shawls with and Without Beads - This team brings us 13 amazing lace shawls (both with and without
beads) made from hand-dyed yarn. Learn how to make every design your own with pages of tutorials and much more.  $9.95

Pretl, Julia S. - Little Beaded Boxes - In this book the author/artist reveals her original method for creating decorative beaded boxes and lids in a wide range of surface designs and
shapes. Color photos of each of the 12 designs introduce each set of instructions.  Step-by-step instructions with drawings.  I love these boxes.  $21.95

Serafini, Sherry - Sherry Serafini's Sensational Bead Embroidery - The author is one of the world's top bead embroiderers and teachers who has produced a great guide to her techniques and art for beginners and advanced beaders alike. She explains the fundamentals behind her work, from

stitches to color theory, and lays out 25 beautifully textured projects that feature fabulous focal-point beads. $24.95

Sweet-McNamara, Amee K. - Soutache and Bead Embroidery - The author's secret ingredient is soutache, a type of colorful cord she winds, binds, and stitches into place. The first section of the book focuses on learning this techniques, while the second section teaches readers how to incorporate these techniques into

beautiful soutache projects. With photos and illustrations takes us every step of the way, beginners will start with small earring and work up to necklaces, cuffs, and pedants, while experienced stitchers can dive right into the new design ideas.  $21.99



I am so happy that two wonderful needlepoint series are once again available.

The first series is the classic Stitches for Effect series by Suzanne Howren and Beth Howren. 

This series won a prestigious award from the ANG.  There are four books in this series:  Stitches for Effect - $29.95; More Stitches for Effect - $33.95 and Even More Stitches for Effect - $35.95.  The focus of this series is to create effects with the use of threads and stitches and in the third book the use of embellishments has been added.  The graphs are wonderful and each stitch is explained along with what it can be used for and the threads that should be used.  The fourth book is their wonderful Stitches to Go,

a wonderful collection of stitches from their first three books that can be carried in a purse or tote bag for easy reference.  $22.95.  These are musts for any needlepoint reference library.

The second series is SuZy Murphy's needlework books - five in number.  I'm so glad all of these classic books are available again: Suzy's Darn Stitches
- A collection of diagrammed stitches that form darning patterns - $32.95; SuZy's Lite Stitches -
These stitches are used for light stitch coverage of a canvas in other words, instead of covering all the painting with stitch you incorporate the painted shading of a canvas with the texture of decorative stitches - $39.95;

 SuZy's Mini Stitches - 
This book is full of a variety of stitches for small needlepoint pieces. $39.95;  

SuZy's Small Stitches -
This book offers over 100 stitches that work in tiny places but also expand to cover larger areas - $39.95;  

SuZy's SurpriZe Stitches - This is an unusual selection of stitches to surprise us!  $39.95.  What I love about all these books they have color photos in the back of each book that show each stitch worked on canvas.  

She has two other books: SuZy's Portable Stitches I and II - That are distilled from her books so they can be easily carried
wherever you go to stitch.  Each is $24.95.

Historical Fiction Corner 

Atkins, Jeannine - Little Woman in Blue: A Novel of May Alcott - Based on May Alcott's letters and diaries, as well as memoirs written by her neighbors, this book puts May as the center of the
story she might have told about sisterhood and rivalry in an extraordinary family.  $16.95

Cameron, Rita - Ophelia's Murder - Cameron weaves historical figures and vivid details into a complex, unconventional love story, giving voice to one of the most influential yet overlooked
figures of a fascinating era - a woman who is both artist and inspiration, long gazed upon, but until now, never fully seen.  $15.00

Christie, Alix - Gutenberg's Apprentice - An enthralling literary debut that evokes one of the most momentous events in history, the birth of printing in medieval Germany - a story of invention,
intrigue, and betrayal, rich in atmosphere and historical detail, told through the lives of the three men who made it possible.  $15.99

Cullen, Lynn - Twain's End - From the bestselling and highly acclaimed author of Mrs. Poe comes a fictionalized imagining of
the personal life of America's most iconic writer: Mark Twain.  $26.00

Dallas, Sandra - A Quilt for Christmas - When tragedy strikes wife and mother Eliza during the Civil War, she takes in a woman and child who have been left alone and are vulnerable,
and she finds solace and camaraderie amongst the women of quilting group. But when she's asked to help hide an escaped slave, she must decide for herself what is right.  $12.99

Fo, Daniel - The Pope's Daughter - In his first-ever novel, Nobel laureate Fo recounts the story of Renaissance Italy's most
powerful and immortal family and their favorite daughter, Lucrezia Borgia.  $16.00

Parmar, Priya - Vanessa and Her Sister - For fans of The Paris Wife and Loving Frank comes a captivating, highly acclaimed novel that offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of Vanessa
Bell, her sister Virginia Woolf, and the controversial and popular circle of intellectuals known as the Bloomsbury Group.  $16.00

Winters, Cat - The Uninvited - From the award-winning author of In the Shadow of Blackbirds comes a stunning new novel - a
masterfully crafted story of love, loss, and second chances set during the fear and panic of the Great Influenza of 1918.  $14.99


Potpourri of New Needlework Books

Ciotta, Donatella - Tatted Lace Accessories - In her latest book, this author teaches us how to make this craft. Learn all the modern needle techniques with easy-to-follow, step-by-step
photos that focus on modern techniques. Different materials can be used, from fine thread to cord, along with beads of different types and styles. She includes 22 gorgeous designs including earrings, necklaces and brooches all illustrated and explained with diagrams and photos. Learn 14 tatting techniques.  $17.95

Hood, Ann, editor - Knitting Pearls: Writers Writing about Knitting - The rhythm, ritual, and pleasure of knitting are
celebrated in this new collection for lovers of both knitting and literature.  304pp.  $25.95

Price, Trisch - Tree of Life Quilts: Featuring modern interpretations of Timeless Quilts  - In this book the author has reinterpreted the concept to create 9 innovative quilts. The quilts
span a wide range of designs and techniques, and interpretations are broad from trees to other life-sustaining habitats such as coral, spider webs, and even our technological world. The designs allow you to try improvising piecing, including a unique quilt-as-you-go design that employs circles rather than the traditional blocks and lots more.  $23.95.

Spargo, Sue - Stitches to Savor: A Celebration of Designs by Sue Spargo - For sumptuous texture and depth, nothing
compares to the handwork quilts of this folk artist. This treasure trove of inspiration showcase her quilts in 200 detail-rich photos.  $24.99 

Mystery Corner

Adams, Ellery - Writing All Wrongs: A Books by the Bay Mystery - After Olivia Limoges and Chief Sawyer Rawlings enjoy a brief honeymoon on Palmetto Island, they're joined by
the rest of the Bayside Book Writers for the Coastal Carolina Crime Festival. As the festival gets underway, Olivia is less than thrilled to deal with a real whodunit after a body is found on the beach.  $7.99

Brandon, Ali - Plot Boiler: A Black Cat Bookshop Mystery - To celebrate the Fourth of July, Brooklyn bookseller Darla Pettistone throws a block party. Everyone's thrilled - except the
proprietor of Perky's Coffee Shop, who thinks Darla's out to poach his customers. When Darla's cat, Hamlet, finds the owner's not so-perky wife, its clear a killer has crashed the party.  $7.99

Carl, Johanna - The Chocolate Clown Corpse: A Chocoholic Mystery - Though an arrest is made after Warner Pier's most
hated clown is murdered, chocolate shop owner Lee Woodyard believes the real killer is on the loose, and still looking for sweet revenge.  Includes Tasty Chocolate Trivia.  $7.99

Carlisle, Kate - Crowned and Moldering: A Fixer-Upper Mystery - When Shannon's new beau Mac Sullivan first moved to Lighthouse Cove, California, he bought the town's historic lighthouse mansion. Shannon is more than happy to get her
hands on the run-down Victorian. During the demolition, the bones of a teenage girl who went missing 15 years ago are found. To get the renovation back on track, Shannon must tackle the cold case.  $7.99

Curtis, Waverly - The Silence of the Chihuahuas: A Barking Detective Mystery - Pepe. aspiring P.I. Geri Sullivan's clever Chihuahua, has stopped talking. But why now, with Geri's best friend missing and her ditzy sister in grave danger? Geri's lost
without Pepe's dogged detective work, but he turns out to be an excelente blogger, and his nose for clues soon has the detective duo chasing down leads.  $7.99

Day, Maddie - Flipped for Murder: A Country Store Mystery - In the first title of a new freshly baked series, this author Day
lifts the lid on a small town in southern Indiana, where a newcomer is cooking up a new start - until a murderer muddles the recipe.  $7.99

Delany, Vicki - Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen: A Year Round Christmas Mystery - First in a new series set in Rudolph, New York, where it's Christmastime all year long, Merry Wilkinson,
owner of Mrs. Claus's Treasures, discovers the body of journalist who was writing a puff piece about Rudolph's Christmas Spirit. But when her best friend is suspected. Merry must figure out who's really been grinching about town.  $7.99

Flowers, Jean - Death Takes Priority: A Postmistress Mystery - First in a brand-new series. Cassie Miller has traded her tailored suits and high heels to become Postmaster in her small hometown in the Berkshires. When the body of an unidentified
man is found, Cassie decides to track the killer before another victim's fate is sealed in the dead-letter office.  $7.99 

Hardy, Susannah - Olive and Let Die - Managing a Greek restaurant in upstate New York, Georgia Nikolopatos has a life like a soap opera- and that's before she's visited by her
estranged mother, soap star Melanie Ashley. And the dramatic family reunion takes a chilling turn when another long-lost relative turns up .... dead. Includes delicious Greek recipes. $7.99

Hamilton, Victoria - White Colander Crime: A vintage Kitchen Mystery - While the Dicken's Days Festival of Queensville, Michigan, is in full swing, food columnist and vintage cookware collector Jaymie Leighton must find out who plotted a murder and took the spirit out of the season.  Includes recipes.  $7.99

Hechtman, Betty - Knot Guilty: A Crochet Mystery - Molly Pink and her crochet group, the Tarzana Hookers, are attending the annual SoCalKnit Style Show. When one of them becomes a
murder suspect, it's up to Molly to get her friend off the hook.  $7.99

James, Miranda - Dead with the Wind: A Southern Ladies Mystery - A Wedding is a good reason for Angel and Dickce Ducote to say a temporary farewell to Mississippi. But when the bride-to-be dies, the sisters discover that many of the guests
attending the wedding had reasons to object to the union. Now, they must expose a murderer who lives for 'til death do us part'.

Lee, Amanda - The Stitching Hour: An Embroidery Mystery - It's October and Marcy Singer's embroidery shop, the Seven-Year Stitch, is celebrating its one-year anniversary. In
addition to Halloween merchandise, Marcy's got all sorts of celebratory swag, including key rings and goody bags. After a local waitress is found dead with one of the store's key rings beneath her, Marcy must act fast to restore the peace.  $7.00

Lee, Elizabeth - Nuts and Buried: A Nut House Mystery - Lindy Blanchrd has enough on her hands at her family's Texas nut farm with her new stain of pecan trees dying. Trouble is, people

are dying too. After a wealthy local is found shot dead, it is up to lindy to crack the case of a mysterious killer. Includes pecan recipes.  $7.99

LoTempio, T.C. - Claws for Alarm: A Nick and Nora Mystery - Sandwich shop owner Nora Charles continues her quest to find the previous owner of Nick, a stealthy little feline gumshoe. But
her investigation is put on hold after her sister Lacey is arrested for murder. Includes delicious sandwich recipes.  $7.99

Oust, Gail - Kill 'Em with Cayenne - Spices are flying off the shelves of Spice It Up and Piper Prescott couldn't be happier. But when the annual Brandywine Creek Barbecue Festival
comes to town, and a local contestant is found murdered - bludgeoned by a brisket - one of Piper's friends becomes the chief suspect. Includes recipes.  $7.99

Perry, Carol J. - Look Both Ways: A Witch City Mystery - Lee Barrett spots the same style oak bureau she once had on an antiques TV show and rushes to the antique shop in Salem,

Massachusetts to buy the piece. The day after the bureau is delivered, Lee returns to the antiques shop and finds the owner dead. She wonders if the murder is connected to her new furniture.  $7.99

Where Did All the Aprons Go? 

When I grew up on Long Island all the moms and grandmoms I knew wore aprons. I don't see this anymore. Those under the age of forty may have never seen the aprons that were worn over dresses. No, those ladies didn't wear slacks or jeans. They wore hats and gloves to church with dresses of course. I guess because I grew up with apron, I wore aprons for a short period in the early sixties and never wore slacks to church. As they say times have changes. Almost anything goes in clothing today but I still can't bring myself to attend weddings and funerals or religious services unless I'm in what I call "respectful clothing". 

I don't wear aprons at home since there I am in casual clothing but when I work with my books I do put on an embroidered smock apron generously donated to me by a member of the EGA at a national seminar. And I have a small collection of about a dozen or so aprons made by my grandmother, Mary Seymour. I rarely saw her without an apron or a needle or at the sewing machine. But these handmade aprons got me investigating the history of the apron.

Who actually invented the apron we don't know. But according to one source aprons appeared first in the garden of Eden, when, after eating the "forbidden fruit" and discovering themselves anked, Adam and Eve ran for cover and fashioned aprons from fig leaves. However, it wasn't until the middle ages that the apron became popular. Today we think of them as protection for our clothing but craftsmen back then used the apron as part of their attire. Just think of all the messy occupations: butchers, blacksmiths, grocers, bakers, milkmaid, and others. There weren't any washers or dryers, just elbow grease and the sun to get clothes clean. Homemakers quickly adopted the apron idea. 

When I lived in Egypt I washed my clothing by hand in the bath tub so I got a taste of the "good old days" and was very excited when my landlord installed a small washing machine in my bathroom. I had to sit on it when it went into the spin cycles so it wouldn't bouce out of the room. But I didn't care. I wasn't hangingover the bath tub anymore. While sitting on the machine I'd read a book while I bounced around. I did wear an apron while washing clothes and hanging them around my apartment to dry.

This got me wondering how were clothes washed in the Middle Ages? I did learn washing was seldom but eventually even a queen's clothes had to cleaned. Her outfits were so elaborate including embroidery and jewels what was the secret to washing them.  I haven't discovered that secret yet. I did learn less weathy souls were satisfied with wearing an apron to preserve the cleanliness of clothing that were too precious to waste.

There are three types of aprons workday, everyday aprons that half, bib aprons and smock aprons. I love them all. I am hopeful this cheery and useful addition to our wardrobe surface again. This important piece of apparel in textile and fashion history. If you want to make some aprons or learn more about them and view styles from the past, check out the reading list below.  If you want a fun site on aprons visit EllynAnne Geisel (pronounced Guy-zull) on her dedicated apron site: www.apronmemories.com.

Make Your Own Apron!

Fairbanks-Critchfield, Caroline - The Flirty Dozen Apron Pattern - Get cut in the kitchen with 12 chic and simple aprons to sew! Choose from three stylish tops and a trio of flattering
skirts especially designed to mix and match. Or leave off the top entirely to sew flirty half-aprons -the choice is yours. Including pattern pieces and instructions in beautiful, reuseable packaging, this one-size-fits-all apron pattern is designed by author and popular blogger Caroline Fairbanks - Critchfield.  $11.95

Mornu, Nathalie - Sewing Aprons: 12 Sewing Projects - Aprons are enjoying a big comeback among creative sewers. This book offers 12 projects from a pool of talented designers, ranging
from ultra-feminine and vintage chic to whimsical and colorful. The designs include a number of apron sizes and shapes, and all templates are included.  $9.95

Source, Wikie - Vintage Sewing Patterns - Aprons: Bib Apron, Cobbler, Cobble Apron, Half Apron, Mother Hubbard Apron, Pinafores, Tea Apron, Advance 2859, Advance 405 - This book
consists of articles from Wikia or other free sources online.  $35.00

Tomshinsky, Ida - Aprons: A Tale of Tradition: History of Fashion Accessories Series: Kitchen Attire - This author has

compiled lots of information of aprons as a fashion accessory.  $37.95


If you haven't heard of Ruth Kern Books before this visit to my blog I'd like to introduce you to our business. We've been in the Needlework Book Business for 24 years. For over 21 years we set up bookshops for the ANG and EGA seminars (both regional and national) and other needlework organizations.

Can't find a certain book?  Give us a call whether the title is in or out-of-print. We also have a website that is being updated but is still plenty usable: ruthkernbooks.com

Questions? Give us a call Monday through Saturday: 602-943-0738 between 9am and 6pm Arizona time. (Yes, we are the people who never change our clocks forwards or backwards.)To fax: 602-944-4108 - This is a new fax number. If you prefer you can e-mail me at: rkern3@mindspring.com or rkernbooks@gmail.com. To reach us by mail: Ruth Kern Books  7235 N. 9th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021.

IMPORTANT!!  Don't forget to find the discount code in this blog that gives you a 20% discount on any book you order.

Have a great life!  Remember to keep plenty of time available for stitching and reading. 

See you in December.