RSN: Raised Embroidery

RSN: Raised Embroidery : Techniques, Projects & Pure Inspiration

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This practical, contemporary guide to the exciting and varied world of raised embroidery is written by Kelley Aldridge, an expert teacher with the Royal School of Needlework. Part of a new series showcasing the RSN's traditional techniques, technical excellence and contemporary flair, it contains a complete grounding in raised embroidery stitches and techniques, three beautiful projects and galleries of inspiring work.

The book features an introduction to the RSN and its prestigious heritage. It reveals the history and context of raised embroidery and showcases galleries of inspiring raised embroidery work. This is primarily a practical, instructional guide that offers a complete grounding in the techniques you need for raised embroidery: it contains a comprehensive stitch guide and leads the reader through each technique using clear step-by-step photography and easy-to-follow expert guidance. The book contains three beautiful projects that put these techniques into practice and showcase additional advanced techniques.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 144 pages
  • 216 x 280 x 12mm | 668g
  • Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 350 Illustrations, color
  • 1782211896
  • 9781782211891
  • 44,001

Review quote

Time for a thorough review of an upcoming book - the newest in the Techniques, Projects, and Pure Inspiration series from the Royal School of Needlework and published by Search Press.

Ever since Applique: Techniques, Projects & Pure Inspiration - the first book of the series - came out last year, I've been looking forward to this one!

So, come along - let's explore the ins and outs of Raised Embroidery: Techniques, Projects and Pure Inspiration by Kelley Aldridge.

Raised Embroidery is a large format, paperback book. It opens up and lies flat, though, which is always nice with an instructional book.

While many folks like to have their instructional books rebound into spiral binding so that they can lie flat while working from them, I don't think this one really needs it. It's large, not too floppy, but opens up just fine.

I love what's going on on the inside title page of the book!

And here, you get a good sense of what the book is about. In case you're expecting another needlework book focusing solely on stumpwork, this book isn't really that kind of book.

In this book, raised embroidery is used as an umbrella term, including the wired embroidery elements often seen in stumpwork, but also including lots of textured and dimensional stitches and techniques.

The table of contents gives you a good idea of what the book is all about - lots of stitches and techniques, plus a section of projects on which to put them to use.

The book begins with the preliminaries: information on the Royal School of Needlework, on raised embroidery in general and on its history in particular, and an overview of materials used in raised embroidery techniques.

I'm always entranced by the materials sections of needlework books. It's fun to see what materials are recommended for different techniques, and I always learn about new things to try!

Found objects, silk flowers, ribbons, buttons, beads, jewelry findings - all are fair game for raised embroidery techniques!

So if you like to fiddle with embellishments and pretty things, raised embroidery may definitely be right up your alley!

There's a good section on designing raised embroidery projects, too. This is very helpful for those who want to do a project, but prefer to start with their own concept rather than copy someone else's design or execute a project from a kit.

Kelley also introduces a neat designer's idea, called a "mood board."

A mood board is essentially a place where you can pin up your ideas for a project, all collected in one place, so you get a sense of color, design, placement, and the whole "mood" of the project.

You can add to it, subtract from it, and get an overall idea of the feel of the project as it develops.

A lot of people use journaling for the same concept, but I like this idea of a completely visual mood board - it keeps the ideas right in front of you, available for manipulation the moment inspiration strikes.

The instruction in the book ranges from very basic, beginner instructions all the way through to more complex stitches and techniques, making Raised Embroidery suitable for very beginners and beyond - all the way up to advanced stitchers looking for ideas and new things to try.

The second part of the book is devoted to projects, and most of these are usable projects, rather than simply decorative.

I always love it when books include finishing ideas and instructions, to make embroidery projects that are not just beautiful, but useful, too.

Raised Embroidery: Techniques, Projects & Pure Inspiration is exactly what the title promises it to be. You'll find instruction, projects, and plenty of inspiration to get you stitching and keep you stitching!

I like it. It's pleasant to read, fun to explore, and it's full of great ideas!

Full Review: * Mary Corbet's Needle n Thread * This book, part of a RSN series on stitching provides a contemporary twist to traditional techniques. It offers technical expertise to all abilities beginning with basic techniques. Clear photographs and step-by-step instructions easily guide you through processes. A stitch guide is also included. Three projects highlight advanced techniques including wire shapes. Discover different techniques such as ways of creating a raised surface, couching, shisha and stitches such as knots. Create interesting projects like the felt bead necklace, brooch, needle case, phone case or an amazing biscornu piece and see a gallery of inspiring finished pieces. A fascinating book that will appeal to a broad range of embroiderers. * * Stumpwork, Brazilian embroidery and needlelace are all forms of raised embroidery, a 3D style which uses padding and wire as well as the stitches themselves to produce a raised effect. Particularly popular in the 17th century it was one of the more advanced and ornate styles but the right instructions can make it accessible to modern stitchers.

This book fortunately contains instructions, photographs and diagrams which do just that. It forms part of the RSN series and is of the same high standard as all of their books, debunking the mystique surrounding this more challenging style and making it accessible and fun. After a very brief look at its history there is a short section on what you need which is the usual kit for hand embroidery plus a few extras. Here the fun part starts to emerge as you can be a magpie and collect not only lots of different threads but beads, buttons, charms and found objects like feathers, shells and scrapbooking embellishments. Learn the stitches, discover how to prepare frames and pad your work and then tackle some projects. Everything in this book comes with good sized clear photographs and plenty of them so you can easily get some of the trickier stitches right. The three projects are a brooch, a phone sleeve and a biscornu pincushion, chosen surely because they have a direct link back to their 17th century equivalents. There are also lots of photographs of items decorated with raised embroidery and although I would have preferred more projects it is interesting to see what other uses you can put the style to. Armed with your new knowledge of raised work you can start to devise your own pieces making this a book suitable for beginners and those embroiderers who want to try something new. One for the keeper shelf. * * Issue 102 - September 2017

This guide is a great example as to why the Royal School of Needlework commands such respect. The combination of traditional techniques and contemporary designs guides beginners through the basics of 3D stitching - but even experienced embroiderers are guarenteed to learn something new and exciting, with three beautiful projects to show off your new skills! * Sew * It is the latest addition to the highly successful Search Press series of embroidery books from the Royal School of Needlework. And this one was written by Kelley Aldridge: my first tutor at the Royal School of Needlework. My embroidery life evolving thereafter is in a way all her fault :). Let's have an in depth look at this latest addition to my ever expanding embroidery book collection!

What I really like about this book, even before opening it, it has the new larger format. The first eight books in the series were rather small (c. A5). At around 100 pages they were perfect for beginners, but had little to offer for more experienced embroiderers. This book has 144 pages and is about A4 in size. And Kelley makes excellent use of this larger canvas!

As with all books in this series, the book starts with a short promotional story on the RSN. Then it carries on with an explanation of what raised embroidery is. It immediately clarifies that it is not only about 17th century stumpwork techniques modified for the 21st century stitcher. The book also looks at textured embroidery stitches known from for instance Brazilian embroidery. Having clarified the scope of the book, Kelley carries on with a short historical overview. As the aim of the book is to have you stitching, the part on choosing the right materials, from needles, to fabric, threads, frames and other tools, is much more elaborate. And explores some fun stuff you might not have thought to incorporate into your next masterpiece.

What I find absoluteley fantastic about this particular book: it has a whole section devoted to 'Inspiration and Design'. Here you can look Kelley over her shoulder to see how she comes up with her raised embroidery designs. It starts very basic with choosing the size and shape of your future piece, its function and selecting the materials you want to incorporate. However, Kelley also reveals that she is a great fan of using mood boards to come up with embroidery design ideas. This section is absolutely perfect for those stitchers who find it hard to find the confidence to create their own pieces. Kelley clearly demonstrates a quite structured way of creating and subsequently stitching your own design. This can, of course, be applied to all forms of needlework!

And, true to her training at the Royal School of Needlework, she strongly advocates that you think the piece over carefully before you start. Think about the order of work before you start. It greatly increases your stitching pleasure as you probably do not have to deal with 'road blocks' which often lead to another AMP (abandoned masterpiece). However, thinking it over does not mean that the process is now set in stone! Oh no, you can still tinker and tweak. It just reduces the risk of producing a roof without supporting walls :).

As already seen in the other books in this series, this one also contains a whole section on how to dress your hoop or slate frame, transfer your design onto fabric and starting and ending threads. Followed by sections on commonly used padding techniques, attaching stitches (think couching and Sisha), raised stitches, needle lace and creating wired shapes. This section provides a beginner to intermediate stitcher with enough tools to start stitching.

The 'second part' of the book is devoted to easy to follow step-by-step embroidery projects and pure inspiration from contemporary embroiderers. It kicks off with wearable raised embroidery and a project to make a lovely colourful brooch. I really love this piece as it shows you different ways of using common materials and stitches. It provided me with a real 'oh, I never thought of that (but from now on I will!)'. The following pages are filled with brooches, cuffs, necklaces and fascinators made by such talented people like: Lisa Bilby, Helen Richman & Jennifer Goodwin.

Next up are the 'useable raised embroideries' with a project to make a sleeve for your phone. You are walked through this project from the start of the design stage right up to finished product. This is what makes this book so good! And the project pages are again followed by pages full of pure eye-candy featuring outstanding embroidered boxes to store needlework supplies, an embroidered book cover and a stunning fully three-dimensional embroidered bird etui by Jenny Adin-Christie. So proud that my, simple in comparison, RSN-Diploma box 'Hansel & Gretel' is on the mirroring page!

And last but not least, are the 'collectible raised embroideries' with a funny biscornu as the step-by-step project. The last pages of the book are filled with stunning embroidered objects by such talented people as Angela Bishop, Kate Barlow, Victoria Laine, Holly Coleman, Hattie McGill, Elena Thornton, Laura Baverstock, Stella Davies and Kelley Aldridge herself.

This book is a real treat! And equally so for beginners right up to very experienced stitchers. The large number of embroidered pieces by artists trained to a very high standard at the Royal School of Needlework make this book to a must-have addition for your embroidery library. As always, please support your local bookstore if you can. Mine here in Germany was able to order the book for me within days for as little as EURO18,99. I consider this a bargain and am sure that I will treasure this gem for years to come. Thank you Kelley for writing such an inspiring embroidery book! -- Jessica Grimm * Weekly Embroidery News * this is a beautiful book it is very detailed right from the beginning starting with a bit of history and a lot of detail about the equipment you would need.the techniques are well explained and the photos are great giving step by step wording as well as pictures.The only down side to the book is some of the projects seemed a bit dated but overall a good book can't wait to start practising * Andrea Hood * That's book is ace. Loved it as soon as I opened it. The how to do each project is so clear. I'm going to try the broaches as the spider looks so cool. A great book to have and I think I'm going to spend many hours creating these projects. * Kim Daley * Beautiful book by a true professional who clearly has a passion for embroidery. Clear and precise photos and instructions on how to do stitches a stunning book highly recommended.. * Lorraine Mitchell * This book is brilliant for those new to raised embroidery, like me. The instructions with photos make it very clear how to carry out each stitch it the stages of the projects. There is a lot of inspiration in the book that is great but I felt a little frustrated that these examples did not have more detailed instructions as to how those projects were made. It does make it clear that the book does contain work just for inspiration though. Overall though it is a very good book for beginners. * Maria Ticehurst * I did wonder if this would be just another techniques book - I was happy to be proved wrong. Yes there are clear instructions with detailed photographs showing the many and varied techniques which go into making a raised embroidery but this book is so much more. The photography is superb throughout and it was a real pleasure to just go through the pictures before reading the book in more depth. The book provides inspiration not only for a beginner to start raised embroidery, but also to experienced embroiderers to push the boundaries of their work. The only negative was the binding - I really was not keen on the flexibound cover as I had to keep tucking the ends back in. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in embroidery. * Lesley Alice Belton * I wish this book had been written when I first attempted raised embroidery as the instructions are so clear & well illustrated. There is some brief information about the history of raised embroidery & how to start designing as well as three projects (brooch, phone sleeve & biscornu) all of which are broken down into easy-to-follow stages. The book is beautifully illustrated & lives up to its subtitle of 'techniques,projects & pure inspiration' & I would recommend this to anyone with an interest in embroidery. * Nicola Urmenyi * Enjoyed this book , l found it helpful and it has some good projects to make but some of them were not something I would waist my time with as they were really dated an had no use that I could see * Maggie Bacon * A very good book with lots of techniques that are easy to follow with lots of photos , I'm a new comer to embroidery and the book has given me lots of inspiration to start on new projects, well worth it * Karen Meakin * Beautifully set out and photographed with clear instructions for each project. * Pam Smith * I really enjoyed this book. As a newcomer to raised embroidery, it certainly has helped me to start creating some acceptable work. The layout makes it easy to find a particular piece of information and the step by step guides are very easy to follow. It takes the reader through everything, even how best to frame up. The photographs are clear and relevant to each technique, and the project section is very comprehensive. There is something for everyone here. I found the whole book both informative and inspirational. * Lilly Roskell * This fully illustrated book is packed full with details of the techniques that you need to create raised embroidery, which is a three-dimensional form of embroidery, Kelley gives a detailed description of what is involved, the stitches needed and the endless opportunities for creating beautiful examples. * Hot Brands, Cool Places Magazine *
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About Kelley Aldridge

Kelley graduated from the RSN in 2005, and has been growing a successful business in teaching, producing kits and working private commissions mainly in the Bristol area. Recent restoration work has included the Redcliffe Cope for St. Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol and several 18th century samplers.

Kelley has been teaching the RSN's Certificate and Diploma course in Bristol since 2010, and has extended the classes to include Saturdays, which has proven popular. She is also involved in the Future Tutor Programme, mentoring Deborah Wilding through her final year.
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Rating details

14 ratings
4.14 out of 5 stars
5 50% (7)
4 21% (3)
3 21% (3)
2 7% (1)
1 0% (0)
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