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  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback
  • Publication: 13 April 2018
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782214526
  • Stock: 50+
  • Size: 216x280 mm
  • Illustrations: 300
  • Pages: 128
  • RRP: £15.99
  • Series: Stitched Textiles
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Stitched Textiles: Nature


by Stephanie Redfern

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Book Description

Stitched Textiles: Nature is the fourth title in this successful theme-based series. It contains an extensive section on techniques, featuring step-by-step guides to machine- and hand-stitching, attaching embellishments and found objects to your work; painting and printing on fabrics including cotton, silk and Khadi paper; and using objects found in nature, such as leaves, to make unique and iconic prints.
The book includes three beautiful, inspirational projects based on different facets of the natural world: Ocean, Rainforest, Botany, Birds and Animals. Stitched Textiles: Nature also features examples of the author, Stephanie Redfern's own intricate and detailed works based on nature, exploring the means by which the pieces have been created, and the wonderful stories behind Stephanie's journey as an artist.
The wealth of information and visual stimuli in Stitched Textiles: Nature is intended to inspire the reader to create their own works inspired by nature. Stephanie begins by exploring the use of sketchbooks and study pages; progressing to picking out iconic elements from sketches and photographs; and eventually assembling a stunning, personal piece of stitched textile work on fabric or on cotton-blend Khadi paper; applying handstitch in metallic threads; machine stitch in whimsical and beautiful patterns; embellishing with natural beads or found objects.

Table of Contents


Design and inspiration

Seahorses and Starfish: step-by-step project

Artists’ books
Butterfly Scroll Book: step-by-step project


A Book of Birds: step-by-step project




Extra Information

Click Here to view the Errata slip for this title.

About the Author

About Stephanie Redfern

A ceramist for twenty years, Stephanie began working in textiles and mixed media in 2003. She now concentrates entirely upon these media, enjoying the immediate sensations of colour, design, line and shape using drawing, print, textiles and text.

Her work consists of artists' books, large wall hangings, and smaller pieces of textile work, which may be free hanging, framed or on canvas. It has been extensively exhibited and purchased and resides in many parts of the world.

Stephanie taught children, adults and special needs students for thirty years, and has been artist-in-residence at many schools, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, and several times at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists. She has also curated a number of exhibitions, both in textiles and ceramics.

She has written a wide variety of magazine articles, and has been lucky to win a number of prizes for her textile work.

Stephanie has published four books, Into the Cacao Grove, The Stone Bird, and Shadow and Light, which are facsimiles of her mixed media artists' books, and Thoughts, an illustrated collection of her writing.

Stephanie Redfern is a member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, and Art Textiles: Made in Britain.



'Stephanies work is notable for her use of paper, painted and marked, fabric, stitch and poetry that can be found in her wall hung pieces and art books. These meet to create uniquely beautiful, complex surfaces with a minimalist aesthetic. The book captures the essence of her approach to mixed-media through an exploration of her art practice and process.'

'Steph has a unique way of presenting her work and the way she cuts her collage elements make flowers, leaves and trees pop out of the page.  My favourite element of design in the book is the sun featured in Light and Shade II.  It is a small part of a stunning piece featuring a bird based on a Lady Amhersts pheasant that has been composed in such a beautiful way (cut, stitched and embellished), that despite not being the focal point of the piece, it catches the eye and nestles in the brain.  That is what you get with so much of Stephs work the little details that could stand alone as piece of art but sit quietly, waiting to be discovered.'

'I love Stephs work and am thrilled that I now have something else to pore over when Im needing some inspiration.'

Read the full review here.

Embroidery, The Textile Art Magazine (Sep/Oct 2018)

The natural world has provided Stephanie Redfern with myriad inspiration throughout her practice and in this, the fourth title in this successful theme-based series, she offers a guide to creating contemporary mixed media textile artworks inspired by nature. Her style is richly detailed, with multiple layers of materials and papers embellished with a range of techniques however she breaks down the process so all can have a go. The introduction covers tools, materials and techniques - from machine and hand stitch to silk painting, printing and incorporating found objects. A helpful section follows on developing original designs and there are four projects (with templates) based on Ocean, Rainforest, Botany, Birds and Animals. Each page is packed with detailed photography and instructions for every step of the way, with multiple examples of work by Redfern and others for inspiration. There's no doubt that Stitched Textiles: Nature will inspire beginners but experienced makers will find plenty of new things here to try too.  


Another book in the Stitched Textiles series. Step-by-step techniques for textiles interpreting the natural world. Sources include the ocean, rainforest, flowers, birds and other animals. Textile techniques include hand and machine stitching, painting, printing and embellishment. There are three original projects to follow to practice the techniques. See how Stephanie uses her photos to develop design ideas, how she uses a sketchbook, creates collage and design sheets. Her sample textiles often use paper. You'll discover how she goes from idea to design. Stephanie creates some fabulous cut-out shapes of animals and birds, but for me, some of her backgrounds are far too busy and detract from the focus of her work. Her simple Rainforest 1 works much better. She also shows her artist's books and scrolls. Well worth buying.

Sew Region Magazine

In the introduction to this colourful and attractive book the author states that 'there is something in nature to inspire everyone, from a forest to a single tree; from the ocean to an intimate study of a shell; the beauty of a single pebble, leaf, or a perfect butterfly.' She proceeds to offer practical advice on techniques and themes to encourage readers to embrace the variety of the natural world. 

The section on materials and equipment includes a wide range of items she uses in her work with numerous attractive illustrations and a realistic attitude to cost. It is reassuring to read that 'there are no rules; you can work in any way you like' rather than feel it is necessary to follow directions to the letter, particularly for less experiences stitches. The potentially scary process of designing is broken down into smaller sections and again helpfully illustrated. The science and language of colour is treated simply but accurately. Techniques mentioned include machine and hand-stitching, embellishment, colouring and printing and also trace the development of a design from sketch to stitch. 

The latter half of the book is devoted to a variety of nature-inspired themes; after an introduction each include a step-by-step project. These are far from prescriptive and include many suggestions for variations and the use of alternative materials.

The book is extremely colourful with very attractive illustrations; the contents are accurate and down to earth with a good mix of information and ideas for stitching. it is very much a 'dip-in' book and would be especially suitable for relatively inexperienced stitchers. However even the more experienced would find it a useful collection of information and techniques. 


The book covers the materials Stephanie uses in her work, which she describes as textile- and mixed-media-based, design and inspiration and process and practice. Having been drawn into her stand at the Fair by her wonderful appliqued art it has been great to read about how she goes about the process of creating a piece. I do not come from an art background and so I am always interested in how other people create especially with paints and printing.
The chapter Themes contains more inspiration ideas and design advice and step by step projects. I haven't had the time to get started on one of these yet but have decided that it will be a summer project with my daughter once the summer holidays have started.
In summary, I think this book has a great balance between detailed how to and more general design information which could lead you down your own path to creating truly unique textile art. I have been really inspired to seek out natural images from when we lived in New Zealand and to begin to use them in some art pieces. It may be some time before they appear so don't hold your breath!


I am a long-time admirer of Stephanie Redferns beautiful work and this book the latest in the Stitched Textiles series from Search Press does not disappoint.
The focus of Stephanies work is the natural world and is a source of inspiration we can all get access to, be it from the countryside, plants, the sea, birds or animals.
The first half of the book takes the reader through selecting appropriate equipment and materials for making your own textile pieces, including the selection of natural embellishments for your work such as shells, feathers, pebbles etc.
It then moves on to a detailed and comprehensive section about taking and using your own photographs for inspiration, making and keeping your own sketchbooks and collage techniques.
Stephanie then demonstrates her use of machine and hand stitching and how she uses the embellishments found to add in to your work, various methods of fabric painting and then how to develop your design ideas into a finished work. These topics are extremely well-illustrated and comprehensive if you are new to this kind of textile work and will give you the confidence to have a go.
The latter half of the book successfully talks the reader through various natural themes and how you might interpret them in your work. She covers Ocean, Rainforest, Botany, Birds and Animals. The final section looks at Collections of natural objects that you might gather and how to use these to inspire your work. There are three step-by-step projects in the different topic areas, including a lovely book of birds to get you started and give you confidence to make your own unique pieces.
All in all, a very comprehensive book that packs a lot into its 126 pages a great resource for stitchers who love the natural world and want to interpret it in a unique way.

East Kent Embroiderers Guild

Stephanie presents the latest title in this successful Stitched Textile series, with a collection of exciting mixed media designs reflecting her knowledge and love of the natural world.  She encourages the reader to be inspired by nature and to create work using combinations of fabrics and threads and papers with hand and machine stitching and embellishments.  Detailed chapters covering materials, design and process are followed by three confidence-building step-by-step projects a picture and two books.  The reader is encouraged to change and develop the ideas shown to create their own unique piece of work.  This is an inspiring book and perfect for anyone wanting to develop their work further.  Good value for money.

Workshop on the Web

Ive enjoyed almost all of the books in the Search Press Stitched Textiles series but Stephanie Redferns book, Nature, is the best yet. It is, of course, a design source with which she is thoroughly at home and much of her work is based and grounded in the world of plants and animals.

For this book, Stephanie focuses on materials, inspiration, design and technique and each of these sections contains good, solid advice. I like her no nonsense approach to the gathering of information and turning it into sketchbooks and design boards. (I had thought I was the only person left who still makes design boards.) These really help when it comes to translating an initial concept into stitch.

Theres a lovely section on colour theory, much of which is illustrated with stitched pieces, thus making it particularly interesting. Sections on machine stitching, hand stitching and incorporating embellishments, such as metal, driftwood, leaves, seed-heads and pebbles, are good. There are great ideas here on ways to fix the, sometimes bulky, item to your work. We then move in to colouring fabric, which includes printing with paint and digital prints. A particularly successful section is headed Developing a Design where we see Stephanies work in step-by-step photos as she progresses through pattern-making, colouring, placement and stitch. We are then treated to a double-page spread showing the finished piece. A solid section headed Themes varies from ocean to rainforest (especially loved the rainforest one), botany and birds.


Stephanie Redfern shows you how she takes nature as her inspiration and creates mixed media art.  Learn how to incorporate many techniques and materials, create inspirational resources and interpret nature in your own unique way.

This large format book also features plenty of lush good-sized photographs to inspire creativity, and three staged projects so you can put all you have learned to use.  All the photographs are a good size and accompanied by explanatory text in an easy to understand, descriptive style.  As this is a book on picture making rather than washable, wearable art many of the materials featured will already be owned by general crafters.  They include colored pencils, acrylic paints, papers, a sewing machine, threads, fabrics and more.  Discover how to look for inspiration in nature and make a record of it for reference, and choose a color scheme.  There are various techniques you can try out before putting together to make your picture.  These include machine and hand stitching, print making, painting and more with plenty of examples of finished work.  The author looks at different themes and how to go from inspiration through planning your project to the finished work.  Themes include rainforest, botany, ocean, birds and animals and the three projects are in this section, allowing you to put into practise some of the techniques and ideas explored earlier.  In my opinion this books most appealing feature is the way the author discusses her work from initial inspiration, through how she uses different techniques and combines them to make pictures.  Her style is mostly fairly abstract but even if this does not appeal it is the processes that get the creative juices flowing.  They show how accessible this type of collage making is whatever your own level of expertise or chosen craft.  An inspiring and enjoyable look at mixed media work.

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