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Between the Stacks: Stitching inspiration for National Embroidery Month

  • Updated

From the moment my grandmother put needle, thread and Aida cloth in my hands as a young child, I have been enthralled with the sensation of touching fabric, following the lines and patterns, and appreciating efforts wrought in colorful threads.

Growing up, crafting was a big thing in our family, and as my dexterity and enthusiasm grew, I received gifts of cross stitch and embroidery kits which inspired me to be more ambitious in my creations.

Sadly, the busyness of life and deterioration of my eyesight due to excessive time on screens led me to all but abandon these crafts except on extended vacations when my eyes took a break from computers.

The pandemic gave me some of that time back as the pace of life slowed. I found myself picking up needle and thread to doodle first, and then I started browsing our library to see what was new in the 746s.

To my delight, I found ideas from basic to advanced with embroidery strategies to hearken back to ancient times and past decades, as well as embracing modern minimalist trends with simple elegance, intention and even humor.

If you, too, find yourself longing for an activity that will help you increase your focus, sharpen your fine motor skills and create something beautiful, let the library help you begin.

Here a small sampling of some of the excellent books we have for getting started or extending your skills:

Big Book of Embroidery: 250 stitches with 29 Creative Projects

  • by Renee Mery

The Modern Embroidery Studio: 20 Stylish Designs to Stitch, Wear, and Share

  • by Lauren Holton

Embroidery: A Maker’s Guide by Illustrations

  • by Eleanor Crow

If you just want some fun new projects, try these:

Modern Folk Embroidery: 30 Contemporary Projects for Folk Art Inspired Designs

  • by Nancy Nicholson

Lit Stitch: 25 Cross-stitch Patterns for Book Lovers

  • by Book Riot

Cat Lady Embroidery: 380 Ways to Stitch a Cat

CCPL has many craft magazines you can download to your computer, tablet or phone using our Overdrive service. Go to, click on the picture for “Books and Magazines.” Click on Overdrive, search “crafts” in the search bar, and select Overdrive Magazines on the left to narrow your search.

You are sure to find embroidery inspiration in magazines like Love Embroidery, Cross Stitcher, Retro Style Cross Stitch, Inspirations, and my personal favorite, Piecework, which celebrates the history and evolution of needlework.

Hoopla, one of our services for downloadable books, provides a robust selection of books, charts and designs by searching for terms like “embroidery” and “cross stitch.” A bonus of accessing these materials on a computer is the ability to print charts and designs or lightly trace them using the backlighting of your tablet.

Wishing you happy stitching!

Delores Schweitzer is the Branch Manager of the Wando Mount Pleasant Branch Library located at 1400 Carolina Park Blvd., 843-805-6888.

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