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Creative Thread
  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback
  • Publication: 01 July 2018
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782216872
  • Stock: 33 in stock
  • Size: 189x246 mm
  • Illustrations: 300
  • Pages: 128
  • RRP: £12.99
More Information

Creative Thread

Sale Price: £11.04

20 people-inspired embroideries using modern hand-stitching techniques by Jo Dixey (Author)

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Book Description

Embroidery has been rediscovered and loved today for its beauty, its creativity and its therapeutic qualities. In this book, tap into your creative side and start your stitching journey through these 20 abstract projects by professional embroiderer Jo Dixey, inspired by the faces and forms we see around us: people. 

Jo Dixey has designed this book to inspire and challenge both those new to embroidery and those with some knowledge of stitch who want to take their ideas further. The projects range from small embroidered cards to more complex pictures to hang on your wall; simple appliqué for a scarf to an embroidered jacket all based on the theme of people. Each project introduces new embroidery stitches and technique, and as you work through the ideas you will expand your skills and gain confidence in using the stitches and ideas to inspire your own work.

Templates of the images to stitch are provided for photocopying and there is a photo gallery of all the stitches covered in the book, along with step-by-step photographs of key techniques, such as transferring patterns onto fabric or using batting to create 3D effects. 

Whether you choose to make one-off pieces of art, embellish clothing with images and symbols unique to you, or make beautiful gifts for your friends, there is an alluring breadth of designs to both inspire and lose yourself in.

Previously published as Stitch People.

Table of Contents

Foreword 7

Introduction 8

Equipment 10


- ‘Hands Off’ scarf — fusible web appliqué, couched edge 14
- ‘Cartwheel and Splits’ skirt — back stitch on ready-made skirt 18
- ‘Waiting for Life to Happen’ t-shirt — fusible web appliqué, buttonhole stitch edge on a ready-made t-shirt 22
- ‘Family Love’ child’s dress — simple dress making, chain stitch 26
- Shopping bag — bag construction, stitched appliqué, back stitch 32
- ‘Wireless’ needle case — working with layers of fabric, running stitch and back stitch 36
- ‘Street Style’ drawstring bag — bag construction, back stitch 40
- ‘Windows to the Soul’ stitched mini panel — simple long and short, no shading 62
- ‘Moving but Still’ metal thread picture — couching with metal thread 68
- Seeding face picture — transferring a design using tissue paper, seeding stitch 72
- ‘Watch your Back’ jacket — chain stitch, fusible web appliqué, buttonhole stitch on ready-made jacket 76

- ‘Shades of Green’ book cover — construction of a book cover, stem stitch, long and short stitch 80
-  ‘Talk Talk Talk’ phone case — satin stitch, long and short stitch, simple construction 86
- ‘Ouch’ pin cushion — 2 colour long and short stitch, couched lettering 90
- ‘Bus Queue’ stitch sampler — surface stitch sampler 96

- ‘Man in the Moon’ brooch — Or Nue couching 104
- ‘Stoney Faced’ long and short picture — shaded long and short stitch 110
- Stitch gallery 116



In this book you will discover twenty stitch projects with a wide range of embroidery skills. Stitches and techniques are accompanied by step-by-step photographs. The projects include small items to more complex wall art. Each project embraces the theme of people. Templates are given for photocopying - you need to enlarge them. There is also a photo gallery of stitches used. The best of these are perhaps the people silhouettes, some outlined in running stitch, others embroidered adding a splash of colour. Other motifs include hands, faces, eyes.

Customer review

Well lets start by saying I love this book. This book has bold and modern designs with the theme of people. It uses a variety of stitches and techniques and clear stages throughout so you cannot go wrong. I love the quality of the photos and the images in the stitch gallery which let you see exactly how the stitch should be done. The projects are for beginner and the more advanced and as a beginner I found it easy to follow the instructions and patterns.. I have already started a project and learnt so much. Would highly recommend.

Customer review

" about the different ways you can incorporate people into your hand-stitching. The front cover grabbed me especially, a line of people with different types of embroidery stitches. And in the case of 'never judge a book by its cover' I was completely right, it was a fantastic read.
The book gives you an insight into her work and has projects ranging from beginner to advanced +. On each project you are given a list of equipment, stitches they used and different techniques. You are encouraged to really make the projects your own. At the back there is a stitch gallery, perfect for showing you different stitches you will need and can easily reference back to. I was thrilled to see it had patterns in it, yay! But not so thrilled when I saw that some of them need photocopied at a larger size. If they cannot be full size then I think books should have an add in sheet at the back.
My favourite patterns are the 'Moment of Calm Cushion' and 'Bus Queue' stitch sampler. There are comprehensive photographs throughout. I would highly recommend this book if you are interested in embroidery and hand-stitching. Now my problem is - which project to start first?! "


Customer review

Creative thread by Jo Dicey. A very informative, detailed book, great photos of project ideas and how to recreate. The projects start of with easy and develop as you progress through the book. Great for beginner and more accomplished sewing crafter.


Customer review

so pleased with this book as really helpful with lots of instructions and illustrations so you know what you are doing great for ideas too .anyone who buys this book creative thread by Jo Dixey will not be disappointed and great value for money .


Customer review

This is a gorgeous contemporary book. Its easy to follow with clear instructions and images throughout if you have a basic understanding of the stitches, I am a complete beginner and have to refer to the stitch gallery at the back of the book to help me understand some of the more complicated stitches, although the stitches are suitable for advanced level. But what it does do is inspire contemporary styles and designs and given me lot of ideas that I am enjoying trying out. The only downside that you would need to have access to a photocopier to enlarge the pattern hence 4 stars. I highly recommend it.


Customer review

This is a very modern embroidery book. Full of interesting designs and the instructions for the projects are very clear - photographs, not drawings or diagrams - much easier to follow, I think. The only reason I have given it 3 stars, rather than a higher rating is that I'm not sure the designs will appeal to the mainstream, but if you are interested in more modern, possibly thought-provoking designs, then this book will not disappoint!


Customer review

This is an embroidery book for anyone wanting to learn the technique but has been put off by the more traditional or 'cutesy' designs usually featured. These designs are bold & modern all based around the theme of people. Jo's love of embroidery & desire to teach is clear from the start. The book is beautifully laid out, with the projects & techniques increasing in complexity throughout. Everything is broken down into very clear stages with plenty of photos & illustrations.
The book has dropped a star because of the patterns not all being full size. My heart sinks when I see 'photocopy at 141%' as it is notoriously difficult to get a paperback book to lie flat in a photocopier. Full size patterns or spiral binding to allow the book to open fully would make things a lot easier. Maybe a code in the book to access full size printable copies could be an option?

East Kent Embroiderer's Guild

Jo, a RSN trained professional embroiderer, presents twenty projects to stitch based on the human form. The fresh and contemporary designs are graded, beginning simply for those new to embroidery to more challenging projects for those with sewing experience. Design templates, comprehensive information on materials and a useful stitch gallery combine to make this an inspiring book for anyone looking to add a new dimension to their skills.

Popular Patchwork

Jo Dixey train as an embroiderer at the Royal School of Needlework and has been passing on her skills through workshops over the past 20 years. She is also much admired as an avant-garde textile artist and her wall hangings in particular are simply breathtaking in thier detail. In this book, she combines her love of embroidery with her interest in people, noticing not only how they look but also how they interact and how these things are constantly evolving. The projects are categorised into beginner, intermediate and advanced so, even if you've never had a go at embroidery before you can jump right in. I particularly like how you're encouraged to decorate clothing you already have, such as jazzing up a skirt with an outline design of bodies doing cartwheels and splits using simple backstitch. Many of the projects incorporate applique giving you the chance to use up your scraps using the templates included. Quilgint featured in one of the intermediate projects in the form of a Moment of Calm cushion, which uses a single shade of fabric and thread to create an outline of a crouched figure of relief.  The effect is simple and beautiful. A multitude of techniques are covered as you progress through the projects and stitching moves on from simple outlines to intricate compositions. Jo paints with thread, her use of different stitches creating shawo and texture gives her portraits of 3D quality. If you'd like to give an extra dimension to your work, this book is certainly worth a look.


Professional embroiderer, Jo Dixey, has designed this book to inspired and challenge both those new to embroidery, and with some knowledge of stitch who want to take their ideas further. Each project introduces new embroidery stitches and techniques. As you work through the ideas, you expand your skills and gain confidence in using stitches and ideas in your own work. The projects range from small embroidered cards, to more complex pictures to hang on your wall; simple applique for a scarf, to an embroidered jacket, all based on the theme of people. Templates of the images to stitch are provided for photocopying and there is a photo gallery of all the stitches covered in the book along with step-by-step photographs of key techniques such as transferring patterns onto fabric or using batting to create 3D effects.

Sew magazine

Learn the art of embroidery with the guidance of RSN-trained professional, starting with simple stitched line 'drawings' and applique, before working on your wat up to large creations such as a stitch sampler and embroidered jacket. Not only will you learn new skills - you'll also be able to relax and de-stress as you stitch the quirky human designs.

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