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  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback
  • Publication: 10 October 2019
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782217770
  • Stock: 19 in stock
  • Size: 193x260 mm
  • Illustrations: 300
  • Pages: 144
  • RRP: £14.99
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Crewel Twists


Fresh Ideas for Jacobean Embroidery by Hazel Blomkamp

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Book Description

"Crewel Twists is a beautiful book of beautiful stitchery! I thought it was fun to read, I think the projects are really interesting twists on Jacobean designs, I like the fresh look of the projects and the incorporation of beads and multiple types of stitching that help make the projects fun and challenging, without being daunting." - Mary Corbet, Needle 'n Thread

Whether you refer to it as crewel or Jacobean, this free form of surface embroidery has been around for centuries and is very popular among needle artists today. Because of the nature of the fanciful objects and the tradition of using a large variety of stitches in one project, it lends itself to endless creative expression. Renowned embroiderer Hazel Blomkamp uses a wide selection of materials to update techniques and inspire embroiderers to explore, while working loosely within the confines of crewel work styles. She shows needle artists how to be creative with fabric, threads, beads and alternative stitches, borrowing techniques from other forms of needlework, and still producing a product that is typical of the crewel or Jacobean style of embroidery.

A fresh take on Jacobean embroidery
Materials and techniques to inspire
Six beautiful, decorative embroidery projects for your home.

Table of Contents

Introduction 8
General tips 10
Materials 15
Tools 18
Stitch gallery 19

Beaded Jacobean embroidery 35
Spring trellis 37
Midnight meander 57

Borrowing techniques from needle-made lace 69
Autumn lace 71
Jacobean tangle 83

Creatively traditional 99
Just Jacobean 101
Bountiful season 115

Conversion chart for stranded thread 133
Patterns 137

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.



Issue March/April

Hazel Blomkamp packs two decades of experience as a designer and teacher of Jacobean embroidery into this book, which presents six crewel embroidery projects for the home. Blomkamp was the first to update her approach to crewel work by using beads, cotton, rayon and metallic embroidery threads, rather than crewel wool, and incorporates other forms of needlework and materials into her designs, which would suit a more experienced stitcher.


Jacobean embroidery designs with a twist. Fresh projects are the core of this interesting embroidery design book. Interesting stitch and beads contribute to these fascinating modern designs. Creative freeform crewel embroidery to entice anyone who loves stitch. Contents include: Introduction, Materials, Stitch Gallery and Beading Techniques, Thread conversion chart, template designs, needle-made lace and creative traditional work. Clear technique and stitch images accompany the stitch gallery. Each stitch project shows the materials needed including fabrics, needles, threads and beads. The designs look quite complicated but since instructions are given for all component parts, you could, for example, just work one flower. Beautiful designs from an accomplished embroiderer.

Firstly, this is a reprint of a book that originally appeared back in 2012 so if you have a book by the same title you already own this book.  I confess to being wowed all over again by it, and remember that this was the first book I ever saw that suggested you could do crewel/Jacobean embroidery without using wool.  I have been a keen embroiderer for years and despite loving the look of this type of work I had never attempted it because I am allergic to wool.  Several embroidery experts told me many times that you have to work this style in wool, but this always seemed a poor reason. Fortunately rules are made to be broken, and this book does just that and in grand style!

Cotton floss, shiny rayon threads, metal goldwork strands and beads; yep, got all that right here and used it for years. Feast your eyes on this sumptuous treat of a book and look at all that lovely Jacobean work made using these modern and wool-free materials. To begin the author goes through all the aspects of starting that often get forgotten. These include how to obtain the right glasses if you need them, how to keep the work free of grubby marks and other helpful tips. Choose your fabric, get the right threads and tools and then practise the stitches shown over the next few pages, including needle lace. Most of these are unique to Jacobean work and quite complex; they are explained with a single drawn diagram showing the stitch being done and with a few words on working. No, this is not a suitable book for total beginners but anybody who is au fait with embroidery and has made a few projects ought to be able to make something to be proud of. All the projects have been made into items other than pictures; there is a box, stool and several cushions and pillows instead. They are beautiful too, shining with vibrant colours in most cases or worked in monochromes or shades or ecru and featuring those lush florals admired in stately homes and museums. The instructions are detailed but aimed at intermediate and upwards stitchers on the whole, but nothing wrong with that as there are plenty of other books on this subject for beginners. This is a beautiful book that will make any embroiderer itch to start stitching but not because of any wool!  Great to see this classic back in print.


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By Hazel Blomkamp

Crewel Birds

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Crewel Creatures

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