99% of orders dispatched within 24hrs, delivery times may vary.

Please note our warehouse and customer service department will be closed from Monday 29th June until Monday 6th July 2020.

During this time we will not be able to process any orders. To ensure you receive your books before we close please send in your order no later than Thursday 25th June.

Adding item to the basket

× Item added

This item has been added to your basket.

Proceed to checkout
US Flag Australian Flag
Search the site...

Look inside Click here for extra content on Bookmarked Hub
  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback Flexibind
  • Publication: 28 March 2018
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782215257
  • Stock: Temporarily Out of Stock
  • Size: 193x260 mm
  • Illustrations: 480
  • Pages: 160
  • RRP: £15.99
Download jacket image

Crewel Creatures


Fresh ideas for Jacobean embroidery by Hazel Blomkamp

Out of Stock
Book Description

Following the success of Crewel Intentions and Crewel Twists, which introduced embroiderers to needle-lace and loom-weaving techniques in their designs, comes Crewel Creatures, the third title in this series by renowned embroiderer Hazel Blomkamp.

Animals and birds are popular subjects in crewel embroidery, and here Hazel introduces needleworkers to the beautiful, exotic creatures found in the African wild. Using the Jacobean embroidery style for which she is well known, and incorporating the subtle influence of the fractal designs found in zentangle art, Hazel also brings beads and other three-dimensional elements into her designs to capture the stunning and colourful art that is traditionally associated with Africa. Those new to Hazel’s work will find the essential crewel stitches, needle-lace and needle-weaving techniques needed in an easy-to-follow how-to section and stitch gallery inside the book, and all embroiderers will be impressed by the wealth of design ideas and inspiration Crewel Creatures has to offer. 

With every project, step-by-step instructions and gorgeous photographs are included, along with a template of the design. All the projects are stitched and embellished on natural coloured linen, making them not only perfect for framing for display but also wonderfully economical for embroiderers to work on.

For readers looking for something different and new to stitch, and for those keen to challenge themselves with more complex embroidery techniques, this latest addition to Hazel’s Crewel series is an absolute must-have. 

Table of Contents

Introduction 8
General tips before starting 10
Materials 14
Tools 17
Stitches and techniques 18
  • Embroidery stitches 18
  • Bead embroidery techniques 32
  • Three-dimensional beaded elements 32
  • Flowers 35
  • Buds, calyxes and other elements 54
  • Beaded embroidery worked directly onto the fabric 58
  • Needle-lace stitches 62
  • Needle-weaving techniques 68
Norman the tortoise 75
Audrey the ostrich 89
Maureen the owl 101
Janet the snake 123
Shirley the elephant 139
Roger the rhino 151
Templates 170
About the Author

About Hazel Blomkamp

Hazel Blomkamp has taught embroidery and beadwork in South Africa for over 20 years. She is the author of Crewel TwistsCrewel IntentionsCrewel CreaturesHand-Stitched Crazy Patchwork, two stitch guide books  Needle Lace Techniques and Needle Weaving Techniques  and has collaborated on Freestyle Embroidered Mandalas with Di van Niekerk and Monique Day-Wilde. She is a regular contributor to local and overseas publications. Hazel runs a busy website from home, providing embroidery kits and supplies to the four corners of the earth. Travelling extensively both around South Africa and abroad to teach and promote her work, she is regularly invited to teach at international conventions. Her teaching has taken her to Australia, New Zealand, Western and Eastern Europe, North America and Asia.


Embroiderers' Guild of America: Needle Arts Vol. 49, September 2018

While the title of Hazel Blomkamp's new book appears to focus on the fanciful designs of her beloved African animals, she achieves so much more. A goodly portion of the book is a guide to surface embroidery, providing welcome information on tools, materials, and the transfer process; a comprehensive stitch glossary with more than fifty stitches finely illustrated and comprehensively described; thirty-five pages of unparalleled and detailed instruction for bead embroidery and beading flowers, petals, and calyxes; and a section detailing a variety of needleweaving techniques. Blomkamp provides a full materials list and thorough, thoughtful step-by-step instructions and stepped-out photographs for six elegant projects - tortoise, ostrich, owl, cobra, elephant, and rhino. While crewel embroidery is a basis for her work, she takes crewel much, much further into a world all its own. 


Always a delight to see Hazel's work and the new slant on crewel embroidery in this book Hazel has transformed 6 animals into crewel creations. The book offers sound advice on embroidery basics including a stitch dictionary, needle stitching and needle weaving and beading techniques, illustrated with line drawings. For each project, you see an image of the design plus close-ups, the dimensions, description, materials needed, general and stitching instructions. These instructions are very detailed step-by-step; for example, Norman the Tortoise has 11 pages of instructions. The other projects are ostrich, owl, snake, elephant and finally my favourite project, shown on the front cover, the rhino. There are templates, but they are not given actual size. Surprisingly the book has no index, although it is fairly straightforward, an index would have been useful to locate stitches and techniques in the book.


If Jacobean embroidery conjures up images of wool worked stylized flowers on 17th century upholstery then think again; this book brings it into the 21st century.  The stitches are the same but instead of wool these projects are worked in cotton, silk, metallic and synthetic threads and adorned with glass and crystal beads.  The subjects are all creatures six gloriously decorated subjects from the authors native South Africa.

I was told for years that Jacobean embroidery had to be worked in wool.  Because of my allergy I was unable to do it but then I obtained copies of this authors Crewel Twists and Crewel Intentions and discovered that it had joined the modern era.  The rule book had been thrown away and I was free to use any thread I wanted and use the stitches for any subject I fancied great!  This third book shows how the stitches can adorn wildlife, with beautiful Jacobean flowers decorating an ostrich, owl, cobra, rhino, elephant and tortoise.  If you are unfamiliar with the stitches there are several pages of diagrams and descriptions; some of which are the same or similar to those used in freestyle embroidery.  There are useful tips about what to get, how to wash your work, what cloth, threads and beads to buy and a list of tools.  As well as the stitches there are pages of the detached 3D beaded elements and how to sew on stones, single beads and how to work needlelace and needleweaving.  As you can gather this is very much a book aimed at the intermediate and up skill level of embroiderer.  The clear diagrams and pages of detailed instructions that accompany each picture make it more doable and an absorbing project for anybody who wants a good sized ambitious piece to work on.  Each chapter features a picture of the finished work plus close-ups of various details, the finished size, lists of everything you need plus many pages of instructions.  The results are gorgeous and should impress just about anybody who sees them.  Turn to the back for the outline patterns which require resizing and a list of the authors other books from Search Press.  A beautiful, inspiring and imaginative set of projects for any embroider up for an enjoyable challenge.

Needle 'n Thread

Crewel Creatures is definitely for the adventurous stitcher who loves colour, texture, beads, bling, lots of stitches, and a fun challenge! The variety of stitches and techniques, colours and patterns within in each projects is so extensive that theres just no way you could get bored while working any of them!


If you like hand embroidery but havent had a bash at crewel work, this book is a great introduction. I think a little knowledge of basic hand stitching would be useful as tension is always key to this technique but practice also plays a part.

The book covers the basics of materials and threads and then launches into detailed instructions for a wide variety of stitch techniques, couching, beading, needle-lace and much more, all carefully explained in this section.

Out of Stock Printer friendly version

Customers who bought Crewel Creatures, also bought...

Crewel Embroidery

Crewel Embroidery

By Shelagh Amor

Hoop Art

Hoop Art

By Cristin Morgan

Half Yard Bags & Purses

Half Yard Bags & Purses

By Debbie Shore

Also by this author:

Crewel Animal Portraits

By Hazel Blomkamp

Crewel Birds

By Hazel Blomkamp

Crewel Twists

By Hazel Blomkamp

This site uses cookies, if you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies. Click here to learn how to change your cookie settings.