I recently bought one of Trish Burr’s books, Needle Painting Embroidery: Fresh Ideas for Beginners.
After a disastrous and frustrating attempt to needle paint on my own (no pictures – I tore it out straight away), I got the book to learn the “real” way to do it.
I’m sure there is no “one” way, but, Trish sure has HER way down pat. Just flipping through the first several pages, I found myself slapping my forehead and saying “DUH, of course yours didn’t work out, you were doing it the exact opposite way!” I don’t feel the spoilers are mine to reveal – you’ll have to buy the book (which you should! It’s great!), but suffice it to say I was doing literally everything backwards. Everything.
I love this book because she gives you detailed instructions for a number of practice motifs, as well as a bunch of bigger projects to tackle once you feel comfortable with the basics. I adore the birds (like the one on the cover) - my skill level is certainly not there yet, but I’m having fun working my way up to them.
Here’s a closer look at the three practice pieces I’ve done so far.
Nothing that’ll blow your mind, sure, but let me tell you that IT’S HARDER THAN IT LOOKS, OKAY?? Actually, I wouldn’t even say that it’s hard, per se, but it requires a lot of time and concentration. That orange flower took me almost five hours to stitch and it’s about the size of a half dollar.
If you like torturing yourself by stitching for many hours with a single strand of floss and ending up with a design the size of a grape, you’ll LOVE this book.
In all seriousness, though, if you enjoy doing detailed, meticulous work and if you want to improve your embroidery technique, this book is definitely for you. I don’t see myself converting to 100% needle painting, but it’s a fun new skill to learn.
But now I think I’m going to set it aside for a bit and go knit something in super bulky yarn. I’m sure you understand.