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Ribbon Embroidery Book Reviews

Ribbon embroidery is a beautiful way to add softness and dimension to your projects. My online class focuses on techniques and patterns found in period examples. If you’re looking for additional inspiration, here are book reviews of the titles I keep on my own bookshelf.

I love the A-Z of Embroidery series. They have clearly illustrated instructions and a nice range of inspiration projects.

Their Ribbon Embroidery book is good guide for expanding your range of stitches and flowers. It has about 30 pages dedicated to creating basic stitches. Many more variations and additional stitches are tucked away in the sample projects. There’s a wide variety of roses in particular, including variations I haven’t seen anywhere else. It has directions for a number of life-like flowers, if you want to venture down that path.

The downside to this book is actually the format itself. The basic stitches are arranged A-Z, as you might expect, but the projects for specific flowers are not. As well, you need to be familiar with stitch names in order to find what you are looking for. Some stitches may be listed under less familiar names. For example, a Wagon Wheel Rose is listed under Spider Web Rose.

This title is not part of the A-Z series above, though the names are similar. First published in 2013, it has crisp, clear photo illustrations. The first 30 or so pages provide an introduction to the basic tools and stitches used in ribbon embroidery.

The rest of the book covers how to make a wide range of beautiful garden florals. Much of the success of these examples is dying the ribbons to produce lifelike results.

The focus of this book is the creation of realistic florals, and it is the best book I have seen on the subject. However, these are better used as decorative pieces, since they would not hold up well on clothing or accessories. If you want to venture beyond vintage styles, I would highly recommend it.

This book has directions for 58 different stitches, including several I have not seen anywhere else. The projects include classic florals as well as sweet, modern designs. I love how the author plays with textured ribbons to add more dimension to her work.

The downside, of course, is that it’s only available in French. However, it’s so clearly illustrated you can follow it without needing to read it.

You can also find this book on Amazon France. Even with with international shipping, it costs less than the copies I’ve found on Amazon.

Ribbon Basics

Published 1995

This book is filled with lush, Victorian-inspired ribbon embroidery projects. If you want to create a fire screen or framed panel, it should be at the top of your list.

However, this book is difficult to navigate if you’re not already familiar with the techniques. It’s arranged roughly alphabetically and each project includes a monogram featuring flowers and stitches that start with that letter. It helps that each example lists the techniques in all caps so you can identify where in the book you’ll find directions.

As an example, F features a fan-shaped design embellished with forget-me-nots, fuchsias, French knots, forsythias, fern stitch, and front-looped ribbon stitch.

This book feels a bit dated, but the information is solid. It has a short section of historical notes and a good explanation of all the basic stitches.

This volume sticks closely to the more traditional side of ribbon embroidery. It does not offer many variations or tackle more lifelike flowers. This actually makes it well-suited to historical and vintage projects. The examples are simple, yet use the stitches effectively on a wide variety of garments and household items.

Another book filled with beautiful, realistic blooms. If you’re looking for artistic inspiration, this is a good choice. It features a large sampler broken down into lessons for smaller sections.

This book steps outside the bounds of simple ribbon embroidery and into the realm of silk flowers. Individual petals are cut, shaped, and curled to create lifelike roses. It also covers ribbon work techniques, beading, and wire to add even more dimension.

This book covers around 30 basic stitches, but the illustrations are very simplistic. It helps to have a solid knowledge of ribbon embroidery going in.

This is an older book, but comes in handy when looking for simple, old-fashioned designs for vintage projects. It includes sketches and brief instructions for each design, as well as the iron-ons. The designs are fairly small, but could easily be scaled up and traced.

Another book in the same series as the one above. Again, these are fairly small designs, but there are many of them. They’d be sweet combined with larger designs or stitched out on ribbon. Nothing earth-shattering, but a great source of ideas for simple vintage projects.

Do you have any favorites I left out? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to check them out!

*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you choose to make a purchase. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers, and I do not recommend products solely to get a commission.

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