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Mary Thomas's Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches Paperback – September 1, 1998

4.8 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Originally published in hardcover by Hodder & Stoughton in 1989, this is a completely revised full-color edition of Thomas's 1934 classic, Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches. A comprehensive dictionary offering more than 400 stitches, this edition includes 100 new stitches, all described and pictured in full-color diagrams. Essential for public libraries and embroidery collections.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Jan Eaton's books include "Creative Guide to Cross Stitch Embroidery "and" Around the World in Cross Stitch."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Trafalgar Square Books; New edition (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570761183
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570761188
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I checked this book out of the library like I have a hundred other books on embroidery. Unlike all the others this was so clear and easy to understand I had to buy it. This one actually made sense and I was able to apply all that was in it to a great embroidered jean jacket for my daughter. The illustrations and color coding on the different stitches makes it so easy to follow. I am an avid hand quilter and I have never been "into" embroidery until I used this book. So many books have all these great illustrations but regular people like me can't go from the picture to the fabric. With this book I could and did! I used to just see quilts in every great design and unusual color grouping-now I see embroidery! I highly recommend this.
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By A Customer on October 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
I bought this book for all the great photos in it. It is so nice to see the stitches on fabric and in color. This makes it so much easier to use your imagination to create beautiful textiles.The book covers all types of embroidery from pulled fabric stitches to canvas stitches and everything in between. There are very nice diagrams and explanations of all the stitches. It is a very easy and informative book to use for everyone from beginner to experienced embroiderer.I would highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in this art form.
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Format: Paperback
This book is hard to find and I am surprised that Amazon has it readily available.
It really is a rare jewel of a dictionary and though it has no projects the directions are simple and easy to follow and very inviting. Other contenders in this space are A-Z Embroidery and Lucinda Ganderton's offering. This book is better than Lucinda's in showing the finished product; all are standouts.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you buy just one book for embroidery, this should be it. Not only does the book provide great illustrations and descriptions of each stitch, it also has pictures of what the "actual" stitch should look like-- a priceless tool for people like me who have trouble envisioning finished products. A fabulous book for beginners and very useful for more advanced stitchers wanting to try new techniques. I joke that this book makes me want to go out and embroider a kimono or some other large scale project-- I love it!
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Format: Paperback
Mary Thomas created an approachable look at embroidery stitches with the first edition of her Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches in 1934 which was printed in both England and the US. Many intervening revisions and printings ensued. Jan Eaton, a talented and revered needlework designer, has provided a sympathetic and intelligent update of Ms. Thomas's work. I am pleased to see it now available in an affordable format.
Linn Skinner, Skinner Sisters
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wanted a reference of all the possible stitches I might want to use at any given point in my work. This is perfect for that. However, there descriptions on how to reproduce the stitches aren't intuitive and I felt at times there were steps missing. I made up the missing steps, but it meant that a couple of the stitches just never quite turned out the way I wanted them (i.e., like the pictures in the book). This was true especially for the very complicated stitches that resulted in complex geometric patterns. I would recommend this for any advanced embroiderer who wants a quick picture reference of what stitches might work in this situation. I would not recommend it for beginners.
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Format: Paperback
This is the first and best of the embroidery stitch dictionaries. This is a welcome start to any novice's collection and a wonderful addition to any expert's. There are other dictionaries out there, and many of them are fantastic for their specialties, this is the best single unit.

Vital for all stitchers (unless they never have a desire to venture out of 'plain' cross stitch--- it has plenty of x-stitch modifications for those who only want to work on linen), with sections on whitework, couching and canvas.

If I could only have one stitching book, this would be it.
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Format: Paperback
What everyone says here is TRUE! Mary Thomas wrote the first classic encyclopedia of stitches and it has been lovingly updated. It is the PERFECT embroidery overview ever created for both total beginners and advanced. Clearly written with illustrated instructions, expect to be inspired and prepare to succeed!!

I was trying to find a good basic embroidery book and had no luck. Though found all kinds of needlepoint, or machine embroidery books or expensive software but it was really hard to find a good hand-embroidery book. I couldn't believe my good fortune when I found this. It is a total treasure! If the publishers could come up with a spiral bound version, that would be even better.

Have fun!!
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