We celebrate Christmas at home, just the 3 of us. One of my favorite parts of that tradition is that we take breaks along the way to revel in the moment. The highlight of my Christmas was curling up with my new copy of Rebecca Ringquist's Embroidery Workshops: A Bend-The-Rules Primer and reading it cover to cover.
I haven't embroidered in a decade, but I was so inspired by this book. The author, Rebecca, shows a mastery of the subject but lacks snobbery - it feels like she wrote this book to help me create what is in my hands and heart.
I loved how accessible she makes embroidery feel. I have had supplies languishing for ages because it seems hard (and yet another craft!), but after reading this book I feel so empowered to jump in and play. In the supplies section she gives the bare bones to get you started, but also details a more thorough notions basket for those that are interested. The stitches section details instructions for different types of stitches, including the type of thread she prefers to use for each. She covers how to do the stitches by hand and the approximations you can get from a machine. Then she shows a series of projects ranging from samplers to complex multimedia creations. She finishes with finishing, detailing how to display your work but encouraging you to create without worrying about an endpoint.
The book comes with a sampler, which I am looking forward to completing this year. And along the way I plan to do some experimenting with my little collection of embroideries to be.