CRAFT Holiday Gift Guide 2009: For The Hand Embroiderer

Here are gift ideas for the hand embroiderer in your life. Whether they are just starting out, or are experts, there is something for every stitcher on your list. It’s also a handy list to share with the gift givers in your life. I’ve divided the list into three categories: books, tools and fun stuff. There is so much more that can be included, but this will get you started!
I’m constantly adding to my embroidery library. I love embroidery books for instruction and inspiration, and love thumbing through them constantly. I find new things every time I read them. Here are a few books that I consider essential for the hand embroiderer’s library.
The Stitches of Creative Embroidery by Jacqueline Enthoven
This is one of my all-time favorite embroidery books. Enthoven’s charming writing style (her introduction to the book should be required reading for any embroiderer) and detailed stitch descriptions and varieties make this book invaluable. It’s a must-have for any hand embroidery enthusiast. You’ll often find this book at local second-hand book stores on online at auctions or Amazon’s used listings.
Embroidered Effects by Jenny Hart
Jenny’s new book is full of great information including stitch instructions, stitch combinations, and hugely useful lessons on all aspects of getting started with hand embroidery. Topping off the thorough instruction are dozens of cool projects and reusable transfers. Embroidered Effects is another must-have for any hand embroidery enthusiast.
Manga Cross-Stitch: Make Your Own Graphic Art Needlework by Helen McCarthy
For the cross-stitch enthusiast, be sure to check out the cool Manga Cross-Stitch book. It includes dozens of great Japanese-inspired graphics and a CD with tons of printable charts to use. The CD even includes a program that allows you design your own cross-stitch charts!

Here are a few of my favorite tools that make stitching easier and more efficient. Many of them would make great stocking stuffers for your favorite embroiderer.
Needle Case
One of my favorite tools is this Dritz magnetic needle case. I can fit tons of needles inside the plastic container, and can easily grab needles up with the magnetic strip on the outside. It’s very inexpensive and easy to find on line or in your local craft store.
DMC Floss Color Chart
Here’s an item that many stitchers covet, yet never seem to purchase for themselves, making it a perfect gift. The DMC Floss Color Chart is a large, fold-out chart that displays every one of the 454 colors of 6-stranded floss. It’s yummy to look at, and a great reference tool.
Pink Embroidery Scissors from Sublime Stitching
A good pair of small, sharp embroidery scissors are essential for any stitcher. This pink pair from Sublime Stitching adds a cool touch to a traditional tool.
Portable Floss Organizer and Tote
If you’re a stitcher on the go, these handy organizer cases and coordinating totes will be super useful.
Lite Brite
Are you thinking I’ve gotten this Gift Guide confused with a toy list? Nope! Here’s a brilliant tip from my friend, Melissa: a Lite Brite makes a great (and affordable) light box for tracing small scale embroidery designs!
Fun Stuff
Let’s face it, if your favorite stitcher has all the essential tools and books already, you may be left just wanting to get a fun embroidery-related gift for them. Here are a couple of my favorites.
Stitch Charms from Silent Stitches
I stumbled on these delightful stitch charms a couple of years ago and fell in love. I was lucky enough to get some for Mother’s Day, and they remain one of my very favorite things to wear (especially when I’m teaching embroidery!) The package came beautifully wrapped, and there are loads of different charms from which to choose.
This is a stitchy take on a classic board game, and is a fun way to spend some time with crafty pals.
Sea Sew from Lisa Hannigan
I first posted about Lisa Hannigan back in March when I first learned about her album for which she embroidered the cover and all the liner notes. Aside from the fantastically crafty CD cover, the album has become one of my favorite music purchases of the year. It’s soothing and sweet and a perfect backdrop for stitching.

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