Bead embroidery: stitch samples

Yasuko Endo

Loveland, CO, Interweave Press, 2011

ISBN: 13 978 1 59668 706 6

 Basic Lessons is the title of the first chapter in this little book.  Like all good embroidery books, this section includes what materials and tools are needed to do bead needlework, followed by the basic embroidery skills necessary to stitch the delightful samples and project ideas.  The chapter ends with ways beads and running stitches may be combined.  The photographs and diagrams are clear and set out beautifully - very tempting!

The next chapter – Lesson 1, starts with three projects which use beads combined with straight stitches, back stitches, Holbein stitch and blanket stitches.  The use of different colour, stitch and bead variations result in pretty and interesting combinations.

Lesson 2 follows and uses lazy daisy, other variants of chain stitch, cross stitch, chevron, fly and several other embroidery stitches.

Lesson 3 has slightly more complex combinations which create lace motifs, lovely edging stitches, filling stitches and one point motifs.  There follows ideas for a beaded and stitches alphabet - and strangely, given the Japanese author - charts of Nordic motifs.  

The book ends with twenty pages detailing how to make beaded embroidery stitches.  I am not quite sure why this had been included, as there are such clear instructions throughout the book on how to achieve the described techniques. 

At only 120 pages, this is not a large book. None of bead/embroidery combinations are complicated.  Some of the projects seem a little contrived. Who would want to wear a pair of beaded socks, for example?  a little uncomfortable I should have thought.  However, this is an inspirational book.  I think it would particularly appeal to young embroiderers.

The review copy came from the Auckland Libraries system.  I have asked the library to buy Yasuko Endo's other book, called Bead Embroidery stitch samples; motifs.  You may want to request that one too when it becomes available.

Erica Marsden