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  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback
  • Publication: 17 February 2020
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782218340
  • Stock: 50+
  • Size: 193x260 mm
  • Illustrations: 300
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: £15.99
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Crewel Birds


Jacobean embroidery takes flight by Hazel Blomkamp

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Book Description

In this fourth title in Hazel Blomkamp’s series on crewel embroidery with a twist, the focus is on farm and game birds. The birds give a nod to current trends, most notably the Zentangle look with crewel-style filling-in stitches and techniques. Crewel Birds is a celebration of Hazel’s signature techniques: a wide variety of surface/crewel stitches, some of which are brand new and many with a different take or different ways of combining stitches to make them more interesting.

Also included are needle lace techniques used as embroidery stitches, loom weaving techniques modified for embroidery, and unique combinations of both of these. The incorporation of beads and crystals adds even more dazzle to the intricate designs. There are six projects, each explained with detailed step-by-step instructions and clear photographs, with design templates and a full stitch gallery providing everything readers need to recreate them with ease. The projects comprise a phoenix, rooster, common pheasant, mallard duck, flamingo and golden pheasant.

In addition to these sumptuous embroideries, Hazel explains how to hand quilt the backgrounds and finish the edges with binding to put them together in a ‘rag book’, as an alternative to framing. For embroiderers looking for something different and new to stitch, and for those keen to challenge themselves with more complex embroidery techniques, this book is a must-have.

Table of Contents


Embroidery Stitches  26
Bead-Embroidery Stitches   51
Needlelace Techniques   55
Needle-Weaving Techniques  62

Claude   73
Colin   85
Dave   105
Kevin  119
Dick   135
Nigel   155


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.



This book is amazing, the colours are wonderful. Instructions on how to do all the stitches are well thought out and very clear and you are taken through the patterns step-by-step. Now I need to get around to trying out the stitches.


The book is great. The pictures are very detailed and the use of colour makes it easy to differentiate between the stitches. All the instructions are clear and easy to follow. The list of colours at the start of each project is helpful too. A really good book. Would thoroughly recommend.


To look at a Crewel bird, you would think, wow, what intricate stitching, I would never be able to do this. Well the answer is you can. This book is extremely detailed, telling you all the techniques, teaching you what equipment you should use and then giving bird patterns in easy to follow steps.

I was lucky that the book arrived before 2 long power cuts in my area. It was the perfect time to pick up my sewing and I'm pleased to say that the patterns turn out exactly as they say they can. Worth purchasing to learn Jacobean embroidery, I will definitely be doing more.


A beautiful, comprehensive introduction to crewel work. This is simply a beautiful book as well as being a well thought out and easy to understand introduction to all the stitches needed to create these gorgeous projects. The diagrams are easily understood and there are step-by-step instructions for each project. Can't wait to have a go.


This book is lovely. Having never tried crewel embroidery I was looking forward to this book and hopeful that it wouldn't be beyond my capabilities as a beginner

It is beautifully set out and though probably aimed at someone who has done this technique before due to the complexity of the designs but the author takes you right through all the basics, helping to select lighting, tools, fabrics, threads and needles. There is a large detailed section about all the stitches that are used that even as a beginner I could follow.

The book contains 6 projects and while this doesn't seem a lot each is accompanied with exquisite instruction.

You are lead step-by-step through each project which details the thread colours to use and which stitch to use. It's pretty much stitch by numbers, without numbers but with detailed pictures at regular intervals throughout the instructions, it's really easy to follow and find where you are stitching next.


A stunningly beautiful book. Definitely projects to aspire to! A comprehensive how to stitch guide including how to do needle lace and needle weaving which I have never seen before. Beautiful intricate projects with detailed instructions on how to complete the projects and templates included.


Brilliant book with easy to understand instructions and printable patterns in the back of the book.


This book contains so many sections, from a detailed stitch guide to picture patterns. The stitch guide is easy to follow and can be transferred to any embroidery project you undertake. Very informative and inspirational. 


What a beautiful book for beginners like me or those who have been seeing this stunning craft for a while. I very much liked it because it gives step-by-step instructions on every different stitch and there are some really pretty patterns to use. I love it.


This is the fourth in this authors stunning Crewel series that updates crewel/Jacobean embroidery for the 21st century while losing none of its beauty and unique style. I love these books; not only because the projects in them are so gorgeous or the stitch diagrams so clear but because they use mostly cotton or silk threads rather than wool which I am allergic to. That was the main type of thread available back in the 17th century, but now we have many more choices and look at what you can do with them!

There are six beautiful bird embroideries to stitch in here, depicting a phoenix, mallard, two pheasants, flamingo and rooster. You get to use not only cotton floss, perle, cordonette, silk ribbon, metallic thread and seed beads but have the option of an unusual method of displaying your work. If you have walls filled with pictures like the author (or too many large windows like this reviewer) you might like to make a quilted rag book to house them and instructions for this are given. To begin the author goes through what you need to buy and how to do things like transfer patterns, wash embroidery if you need to and other useful tips. This is followed by a section of pale green pages containing all the stitch diagrams and instructions. There are quite a few, but all the stitch diagrams are easy to follow and mostly of a good size. Learn the basic freestyle and crewel stitches, various bead stitches, needle weaving techniques and needle lace. The latter tend to look quite involved but the written instructions are a help and if you go at it slowly it is surprising how easy it really is.

The rest of the book contains those glorious bird projects and in case you were wondering no, this is not a suitable book for total beginners. It is aimed squarely at experienced stitchers who can tackle quite large involved patterns with mostly text instructions with a few small inset photos showing what section is being done. There are many good books on the market for beginners so it is great to see something for those of us who are up for a challenge! One of my favourite things about the designs is their muted backgrounds of ecru leaves, grasses, chicken wire etc recalling the unpainted backdrops to the hand coloured natural history books of the 18th and 19th centuries. They perfectly frame and set off the lively colours of the birds providing just enough detail to place them in a setting but not vie with their beauty. At the back of the book are all the templates which need to be enlarged before use, or if you want to buy printed panels, just the materials you need to make a project or a full kit you can do so from the authors website. Even if you just want to learn the stitches and make up your own designs you can find out most of what you need to know in here. Another winner from this hugely talented author.

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