visual artist

Recommended Books


My book Freestyle Machine Embroidery: Techniques and Inspiration for Fiber Art has been released by Interweave Press. It contains detailed instructions and photos illustrating a wide variety of techniques for freestyle machine embroidery. There is also advice for problem solving, as well as sections for inspiration. Examples are shown of my work and the work of several other artists who use machine stitching.

Other books that I recommend are listed below. (The links are to

Bayles, David and Ted Orland. Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking Santa Cruz, California: The Image Continuum, 2002.
This is a fun and motivational book about getting past self doubt.

Beam, Mary Todd. Celebrate Your Creative Self Cincinnati, Ohio: North Light Books, 2001.
This book has lots of ideas and recipes for creating textured surfaces, many of which could be applied to fabric and stitched works.

Beaney, Jan. Vanishing Act Maidenhead, Berkshire, United Kingdom: Double Trouble Enterprises, 1997.
This book is only twenty-four pages, but packed with fabulous, inspiring close-up photos.

Beaney, Jan, and Jean Littlejohn. A Complete Guide to Creative Embroidery: Designs * Textures * Stitches London, United Kingdom: BT Batsford, 1997.
This book documents the creative process from designing through stitching, and has beautiful illustrations of textures and surfaces using both hand and machine embroidery.

Beaney, Jan, and Jean Littlejohn. Gardens and More Maidenhead, Berkshire, United Kingdom: Double Trouble Enterprises, 2000.
This inspirational book shows what can be done using the garden as a source for machine and hand embroidery designs.

Beaney, Jan, and Jean Littlejohn. New Dimensions Maidenhead, Berkshire, United Kingdom: Double Trouble Enterprises, 2002.
This book covers the combination of machine and hand stitching to create wonderful textural surfaces.

Beaney, Jan, and Jean Littlejohn.Trees as a Theme Maidenhead, Berkshire, United Kingdom: Double Trouble Enterprises, 2001.
This book shows how trees are used as a design source.

Box, Richard. Richard Box's Flowers for Embroidery: A Step-By-Step Approach London, United Kingdom: BT Batsford, 2002.
This book shows Richard’s techniques for collaging fabrics with machine and hand embroidery.

Dunnewold, Jane. Complex Cloth: A Comprehensive Guide to Surface Design Bothell, Washington: That Patchwork Place, Inc., 1996.
This is a great recipe book for many surface design techniques.

Finch, Karen and Greta Putnam. Care and Preservation of Textiles Berkeley, California: LACIS, 1991.
Along with information on making linings for large textiles, this volume contains information on hanging and lighting textiles and other interesting subjects.

Grey, Maggie. Raising The Surface With Machine Embroidery Chicago, Illinois: Quilters’ Resource Inc., 2004.
This book contains many ideas on surfaces and textures using machine embroidery with other processes.

Hedley, Gwen. Surfaces for Stitch: Plastics, Films & Fabric Chicago, Illinois: Quilters’ Resource Inc., 2004.
This book explores many techniques for collaging and stitching with interesting materials; it has excellent close-up photographs.

Holmes, Val. The Encyclopedia Of Machine Embroidery London, United Kingdom: BT Batsford Ltd. 2003/Chicago, Illinois: Quilter’s Resource Inc., 2004.
This resource provides an alphabetical description of machine-embroidery techniques.

Kettle, Alice and Jane McKeating. Machine Stitch: Perspectives London 2010.
This is a comprehensive overview of the creative possibilities with the sewing machine.

Lauer, David, and Stephen Pentak. Design Basics Fort Worth, Texas: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1999.
This is a good guide to basic two-dimensional design for artists.

Littlejohn, Jean. Voluptuous Velvet Maidenhead, Berkshire, United Kingdom: Double Trouble Enterprises, 1997.
This book has wonderful examples of hand and machine stitching on velvet, as well as information about printing on and discharging color from velvet.

Mech, Susan Delaney, M.D. Rx for Quilters: Stitcher-Friendly Advice for Every Body Lafayette, California: C&T Publishing, 2000.
This book has great advice for textile artists, including perspectives on posture, lighting, and avoiding carpal tunnel syndrome.

Smith, Barbara Lee. Celebrating the Stitch: Contemporary Embroidery of North America Newtown, Connecticut: Taunton Press, 1991.
This is a guide to North American embroidery with lots of work from many artists, along with their thoughts and insights into their techniques.

Textiles: A response to landscape (E-book by; contribution article by Carol Shinn)

Wong, Wucius. Principles of Form and Design Indianapolis, Indiana: Wiley Publishing, Inc., 1993.
This book combines other earlier books into one resource. Basic design principles are approached from the perspective of their most basic components and it includes great examples for all of the principles of design.