When I teach an embroidery class, I always bring my favorite embroidery books to share with students to help inspire them and see ways they can continue the learning process once they leave class. I have a new book to add to that group of favorites. Alicia Paulson’s Embroidery Companion is a beautifully done, practical guide to several kinds of needlework. Paulson is well known for her blog, Posie Gets Cozy, and brings her traditional-with-a-touch-of-modern aesthetic to her book, Embroidery Companion. She shares her story of rediscovering embroidery after being hit by a car and having to spend an entire summer in bed, recovering from surgeries needed to repair her badly damaged foot.

Embroidery was my best travel agent – and doctor. Through almost every moment of almost every day of my recovery, I stitched a wonderland of hearts and flowers.

I also love her description of how the process of embroidery affects her physical being.

What I love most about embroidering is the physical effect that doing it has on my body: blood pressure goes down, worries fade, breathing evens, mind stops racing with thoughts of all that needs doing. Practicing embroidery gives your body and brain a chance to slow down and stitch itself back together after a long day, or a long year… Embroidery is just good medicine for so much of what ails us in the modern world.

Indeed. What Alicia speaks of is at the core of why embroidery is my absolute craft of choice, and why I work hard to be able to stitch something – even if just for a few minutes – each and every day.
Embroidery Companion walks readers through technical information necessary for getting started in embroidery and then explores three kinds of needlework (decorative embroidery, counted cross-stitch and crewelwork) in three sections that each contain projects of varying skill levels. I love that her work holds true to traditional embroidery, but still has her own personal modern touch. The projects range from cute accessories to delicate housewares, baby gifts and family heirlooms. Paulson’s pup, Clover, makes appearances throughout the book (including in a project made for her) and is ridiculously adorable. Embroidery Companion is a great book to find a variety of inspiration and projects for your next embroidery endeavor.
Book Giveaway Time!
Three lucky CRAFT readers will win a copy of Embroidery Companion. Just tell us why you would like this book in the comments. All comments will be closed by Noon PST on Monday, October 4, 2010. The lucky winners will be chosen randomly and announced later on the site. Good luck!