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  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback
  • Publication: 20 July 2016
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781844489886
  • Stock: 50+
  • Size: 216x280 mm
  • Illustrations: 260
  • Pages: 128
  • RRP: £15.99
  • Series: Stitched Textiles
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Stitched Textiles: Birds


by Rachel Sumner

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Book Description

This title is the third in the successful theme-based Stitched Textiles series. It contains a comprehensive techniques section, six beautiful step-by-step projects and galleries of inspirational pieces that are vibrant, contemporary, and beautifully executed. Very much aimed at the contemporary textile artist, this beautiful book is designed to inspire and encourage and contains all the information a beginner needs.

Birds are an enduring theme in art and textile work and this book will appeal to any textile artist interested in exploring their design possibilities. It features a range of birds including much-loved garden blackbirds, characterful chickens, cute and curious puffins and cheeky seagulls. Fresh and innovative in its approach, it covers the design process itself, from inspiration to final design, and provides information on the materials used and step-by-step demonstrations of a whole range of techniques including dyeing, using dissolvable fabric, using found objects, piecing and stitching.

Table of Contents


Capturing Character44
Puffin 46
Gallery 60

Depicting a Scene68
Seagulls on a boat70
Gallery 90

Telling a Story98
Seagulls on a Beach100
Bird Ark108
Gallery 118

Templates 124

About the Author

About Rachel Sumner

Rachel Sumner has a BA Hons in Fine Art from Maidstone UCA, Kent. She studied Textiles as a subsidiary subject and this became a great influence on her work using felt-making, dyeing and weaving to express her ideas. Rachel's inspiration comes from the Devon countryside where she lives. She exhibits in galleries across the UK and participates in North Devon's Open Studios and Art in Action in Oxfordshire. She also undertakes private commissions. Her creations have ended up as far afield as South Korea, USA and Australia. Images of Rachel's work can be seen on her website: www.rachelsumner.org



May/June 2017

An inspiring and practical step-by-step guide to creating colourful, contemporary bird-themed stitched textiles. The title is the third in the successful theme-based Stitched Textiles series. It contains a comprehensive techniques section, six step-by-step projects and galleries of inspirational pieces that are vibrant, contemporary and beautiful executed. Birds are an enduring them in art and textile work and this book will appeal to any textile artist interested in exploring their design possibilities. The book is broken down into three chapters: Creating Character. Depicting a Scene and Telling a Story. Each chapter contains two step-by-step projects and a gallery of other inspiring vibrant pieces. The purpose of each chapter is to capture a different aspect of the characters of the birds we love to watch either in our gardens, as pets or in the wild.

Joanna Terry

This book is full of lovely designs to produce lovely designs as great presents for bird loving friends - like works of art!!


April 2017

The must-have third title from the hugely successful Stitched Textiles series inspires and encourages textile artists, containing all information a novice needs to bring majestic birds to life with needle and thread. Techniques range from dyeing and piecing to embroidery and working with dissovable fabrics which are accompanied by six step-by-step projects with expert advice, plus an inspirational gallery of vibrant and contemporary designs.

Claire Cleaver

An amazing book with clear descriptive photographs and instructions. Contains some beautiful projects and truly quite inspirational. I am currently attempting to reproduce "Blackbirds".


Library Journal, USA

Birds are the theme of the latest title in this series, functioning as a muse for textile artist Sumner in colorful artworks created with fabric and thread. An impressive variety of painterly pictorial effects can be achieved using cloth, thread, and sometimes found materials. The bulk of this book is divided into three sections on capturing the character, depicting a scene, and telling a story. Each section contains two step-by-step projects that detail technical processes such as dyeing, using dissolvable fabric, piecing, machine sewing, and embroidery. VERDICT Borrowing heavily from crafts and applied art techniques, this guide presents a fresh method for making fine art that can be enjoyed by readers of all skill levels.

Amanda Hayes

This is a beautifully illustrated book with thick glossy pages, the sort of book that makes a lovely gift for anyone into needlecraft. The book has six projects but its the inspiration from these projects that sets the book apart. Loads of gorgeous photos of the pictures/project that you could make and details of how to mount to a picture frame for instance or turn into a cushion. The book has five pages of templates of birds, boats and other related items to help bring your projects to life

Judith Clarke

What a glorious book this is. So many clear beautiful images. It is a feast for the eyes. Clearly written, so many useful hints and tips. Its a pleasure to read. Ideas and projects to follow, inspiration to keep you busy, and to keep dipping into. If birds and fabric and stitch are your thing, this is the book for you.


Issue 37

Rachel Sumner describes herself as an artist who uses textile techniques. She is also a self confessed hoarder of recycled materials. In this highly imaginative reference book she showcases the ways of capturing the essence of birds through the medium of stitch, using old pieces of fabric, recycled haberdashery items and found objects (nature-inspired postage stamps and tangled fishing thread). Incorporating techniques such as dyeing, working with disolvable fabric, applique and machine embroidery she explores designing, sketching, laying out, stitching scenes featuring puffins, seagulls, chickens, and blackbirds, in six different projects inspired by nature. Chapters focus on materials, equipment, designs, techniques, capturing character, depicting a scene and telling a story. Templates, photographs and simple instructions to help you along the way in this truly inspirational gallery of ideas.


Search Press Stitched Textiles series focuses on contemporary textile artists work and features staged projects and techniques using a wide range of materials. This latest title shows how to depict birds through the medium of fabric and thread.

This series is a good way of learning how to use a wide range of materials and methods including dyeing, appliqué, hand and machine embroidery, dissolvable fabrics and even found objects. If you have a stash of fabric scraps left over from other projects this book has many ways of using them up to make collage pictures. The bulk of this book is taken up with six projects but the first part focuses on what you need, an overview of techniques used and information about mounting, design and creating backgrounds. If you want to go into dyeing cloth and trying out shibori techniques the information here is not full enough for beginners but serves more to suggest another way of using fabrics. The projects themselves are a great way of learning to make pictures out of stitched cloth and you can choose from puffins, blackbirds, gulls (two projects depict these), chickens and an ark filled with birds. Each project features a series of captioned photographs including close ups of key areas. There are also galleries of other works by the author which briefly outline methods used and at the back all the templates are given at 50% size. I love the way you can make a whole picture out of scraps and most people who already use textiles in their crafts will have most if not all of the materials and tools already. A good addition to the series.

Crochet Addict UK

I really didn't know you could create such amazing pictures with textiles. If you have never used textiles in this way before don't worry this book is going to take you through everything you need to know. You learn all about the equipment you will need. How to create your design and sketch out your ideas. If you struggle to create designs it's okay as the book takes you through using artworks as inspiration. The book then takes you through how you will be using the fabric and how to use the colours. You are then taught how to use the fabrics
to build up a background, create a foreground, stitching, final touches and how to adapt your design. Types of fabric selection are discussed so that you can make the right decisions. The book even takes you through how to dye fabrics as well as using dissolvable fabric. The techniques you learn can be used to create any textile picture you want. You can either follow the designs in the book or create your own designs. You are then taken through a number of designs so that you can recreate them: Puffin, Chickens, Seagulls on a Boat, Blackbirds, Seagull on a Beach and Bird Ark. You also have galleries throughout of different designs that you can make. At the back of the book are the templates you will need to create the designs within the book. The book is inspiring and informative.


Sonia Hawes

This is a most inspirational book, beautifully illustrated and with clear instructions and interesting insights into how Rachel Sumner gets her ideas. I have long been an admirer of her work and have some of her cards but this book is just stunning. There are step by step guides on finding inspiration, building a background, using colour and everything you need to adapt your own ideas. There are techniques and stitches to use, even how to mount your work in different ways. The quality of the illustrations is excellent and the bird subjects beautifully represented. Not only is it a wonderful book to keep for yourself but also a brilliant present for anyone who likes textile work, I can't praise it enough, must get some fabric sorted now!

Gill Phipps

This book is just full of gorgeous inspiration and great basic starter tips for anyone who would love to begin this beautiful art form. It has plenty to attract both a beginner and a more experienced artist and is full of great photos to inspire you. I am definitely going to start today by building up a collection of suitable materials in line with my chosen colour scheme!

Sassie Clarke

This book is full of the most gorgeous birds to stitch backed up with useful tips and techniques to try. Six original step-by-step projects complete with templates and suggestions for fabrics to use with helpful advice on how to build up the backgrounds and foregrounds. The instructions on dyeing fabrics and use of dissolvable fabric were particularly valuable. I really adored the Puffin,Chickens and Seagull projects which just captured the attributes of these birds so well and can't wait to get started with creating my own stitched picture and cushion versions of these. You do need a sewing machine, preferably one equipped for embroidery but with even a very basic one it should be possible to produce some pleasing results.


I really can't see anyone not getting excited about this book. Everyone loves birds and Rachel's birds really are chirpy. You'll love the interpretations in stitch of blackbirds, chickens, puffins and seagulls. Find 6 step-by-step projects to create birds plus galleries of finished work. Create a lovely bird ark or tell a story with stitch. You'll discover all the techniques used to make the birds - dyeing, dissolvable fabric, piecing by machine and hand embroidery. Work up a background with fabric scraps then create foreground elements, discovering how to use plain and patterned fabrics and stitch to advantage. This is a very colourful book full of wondrous stitch. Templates are provided at the back of the book.

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