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  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback Flexi-binding with flaps
  • Publication: 23 September 2014
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781844488681
  • Stock: 50+
  • Hurt Stock: £9.00 (14 available)
  • Size: 216x280 mm
  • Illustrations: 0
  • Pages: 128
  • RRP: £17.99
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The Textile Artist: Appliqué Art


Freehand Machine-Embroidered Pictures by Abigail Mill

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Book Description

From fraying and layering to free machine embroidery and embellishment, this gorgeous book guides you step by step through renowned textile artist Abigail Mill’s characteristic, ethereal style. Create five beautiful projects featuring themes such as teatime treats, animals and the seaside, and be inspired by galleries of Abigail’s work.

This much anticipated guide to the work of textile artist Abigail Mill features five beautiful step-by-step projects as well as themed galleries of her contemporary, ethereal artworks. The book touches on Abigail’s inspirations and influences and looks in detail at the elements that bring her work to life: colour, texture, pattern and free machine embroidery techniques. From fraying and layering to free machine embroidery and embellishment, this gorgeous book teaches the reader how to recreate Abigail’s unique, contemporary style, and will inspire them to create wonderful pieces of their own.

Renowned textile artist Abigail Mill shares her unique techniques, ideas and inspiration
Five gorgeous projects to create along with galleries of Abigail’s quirky, contemporary work to enjoy
Offers original and exciting ideas, encouraging readers to explore, create and develop their own designs
Second title in the Textile Artist series

Table of Contents

Introduction 6
Materials and equipment 8
Inspiration 16
Colour 20
Texture and pattern 24
Techniques 28
Shop fronts 50
Teatime treats 64
Country garden 78
Animals 92
Seaside 106
Templates 122
Index 128

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About the Author

About Abigail Mill

Abigail Mill studied Embroidered Textiles at Cumbria College of Art and Design and graduated in 1990. After graduating, she set up her business with the help of The Prince’s Trust and has been working ever since. Over the years she has developed her own unique style and technique of free machine embroidery, and has been featured in several craft books and magazines. She has also taught in art schools and worked on private commissions, including artwork for the Buxton ward at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. As well as selling her pictures at art and craft fairs across the UK, Abigail runs a publishing business, printing greetings cards from her original artwork, which she sells through gift shops and galleries in the UK, France, America and Japan. She sells to major clients such as John Lewis and has been selected by the Crafts Council to exhibit regularly in New York and San Francisco. Abigail lives in Bristol, UK.

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This delightful book is full of the most joyous creations such as teatime treats, animals and the seaside. As well as the projects there are templates, detailed instructions and beautiful illustrations showing you how to stitch, dye and creature texture. 

Popular Patchwork

June 2015


Abigail Mill's distinctive applique style is based on free machine embroidery, layered organza backgrounds and over-dyed printed cotton fabric. This book sets out how you can learn from her time-tested techniques to create versions of a number of her own pieces, or apply her methods to you own compositions. There are sections on Colour Pattern, Texture, Stitching and Building a Scene, and in depth photographs illustrating Abigail's construction of a variety of whimsical English seaside, countryside and tea time appliqued scenes. There are plenty of inspirational photos or similar pieces accompanying each project. It would be easy to combine your favourite elements of those into your own variation on the theme of why not try her charming Hen House project featured on page 57 of the issue? The technique is wonderfully free, there isn't any piecing and very few straight lines, but there's a lot of ruffling, layering and free motion embroidery, all adding up to a fun technique to try.


June/July 2015

From flower-sprigged beach huts to a seal bobbing merrily in a floral sea, Abigail's decorative approach will brighten any home. It's simple to translate your own holiday snapshots using this charming folksy style. Southworld Green places a lighthouse artificially within the same image as the village green, encouraging readers to employ similar artistic licence. These pretty fabric sketches make superb use of pattern and texture. Stitched seagulls soar in a blue and white lacy voile sky above pink and white gingham 'brick' cottages. A strip of floral lawn forms the roof, unifying the terrace. Fishing boat scenes, fishing shacks and a tempting seaside sweet shop are just some of the other inspirational images. Appliqué is perfect for utilising precious scraps of haberdashery or cherished clothing remnants. Fully exploiting appliqués freedom, Abigail renders a bucket and spade in chirpy polka dots, and peps up a gaily striped seaside parasol with cotton lace. Techniques are clearly shown but the book's strength comes from Abigail's exuberant approach - mixing frayed edges with finished ones, applying fabrics in gathered and folded form as well as flat; this, truly, is reworked fabric made fabulous.

Young Embroiderers

February 2015

From the minute you open this book you are enthralled with the detail of these embroidered pictures. The attention to detail in the book is excellent. From gardens to seaside scenes there is a variety of themes. Full sized templates are at the back of the book allowing you to make something very personal to you. It could be for a family member reminding them of a holiday by the sea or a cottage garden. Full of delicate colours with snippets of lace and ribbon with free machine stitching. Fully illustrated step by step instruction will make this book a must have.

Workshop On The Web

March 2015

This book is the latest in the Textile Artist series from Search Press. Here, Abigail Mill

shows us a wonderfully detailed insight into her work and how it is achieved. The work is centred around views of places in the greatest seaside town traditions, from VW Campervans to pots of tea and cakes, all summing up the traditional perceptions of being British. But this book is very interesting, and turns on its head the notion that these pictures with simple shapes and lines are simplistic in their construction. The hand-cut fabric and frayed edges may convey a free-form approach, but a lot of consideration is given to colour, fabric choices, composition and finishing touches. Taking us through the component parts of how Abigail approaches her work, the projects that then follow reveal the complexity of these pieces. Attention is given to building up a picture and the different stages of how this is done is clearly explained. Over-dyeing of commercially printed fabrics is carried out to provide the correct colour graduations in the work and pictures show how sheer, coloured and over-dyed fabrics are collaged together to create the background and then the focal points cut out and built up. The attention to detail is also something to admire. Carrots, ferns, pumpkins and flowers are built up using fabric scraps, lace and torn fabric, and these add to the richness of the scene presented. Small details are added with machine-stitching. The collage appearance of the work, with overlapping edges, some roughly cut shapes and a flatness of

perspective, draw you in to look closer at the apparent simplicity. It is then that you start to

realise that everything has been carefully chosen and placed. The templates that are

provided for you to do the projects also reaffirm this. The shapes are simple, but there is a

place for shading, dimension and detail. Norfolk provides much inspiration here and it is uplifting to see the love of the villages and shops that have inspired Abigail Mill. The step-by-step instructions are clear and well illustrated which is necessary where there is so much detail in the pictures. Any of these projects would brighten up any room, or your mood, as they evoke happy thoughts of seaside towns and ice-creams by the beach.


March 2015

Textile artist Abigail Mill studied Embroidered Textiles at Cumbria College of Art and Design, graduated in 1990 and went on to set up her own business selling her unique appliqué artworks. Abigails passion for embroidery really begins to charm you in this book, as she talks you through what inspires and influences her and as she describes in detail the elements that bring her work to life: colour, texture, pattern and free machine embroidery techniques. The book features five beautiful step-by-step projects that you cant help but want to attempt! Abigail explains the materials and equipment you will need then effortlessly leads you through the making of each of the projects with concise text and helpful pictures, and at the rear of the book also provides templates to help you build your appliqué scenes. Whether you are a first time sewer hoping to

develop your experience or a skilful sewer looking for a new challenge, this book will nurture your talent and

take you on a colourful journey inspiring you to create wonderful pieces of your own.

East Kent Embroiderer's Guild

December 2014

Abigails gentle textile works are a delight, capturing nostalgic images of English coastlines, cottage gardens and villages. After chapters on materials and equipment, the techniques are thoroughly explained and the reader is encouraged to have a go at the five beautiful projects presented. Full colour, detailed instructions make this a truly inspirational book to appeal to every needlewoman.

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