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  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback Flexi-binding
  • Publication: 23 June 2016
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782211884
  • Carton Qty:
  • Size: 216x280 mm
  • Illustrations: 540
  • Pages: 128
  • RRP: $35.00
  • Series: RSN series
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RSN: Appliqué


Techniques, projects and pure inspiration by Kate Cross

Edelweiss Buy Now
Book Description

The Royal School of Needlework’s practical guide to appliqué, combining traditional techniques with contemporary designs

New from the Royal School of Needlework (RSN), this contemporary guide to the art of appliqué is written by Kate Cross, one of their trained experts and teachers. It is the first in a new series designed to showcase the traditional techniques, technical excellence and contemporary flair of the RSN, and provide practical guidance and inspiration.

The book features an introduction to the RSN and its prestigious heritage. It reveals the history and context of appliqué and showcases galleries of inspiring appliqué work from around the world. But as well as featuring a rich selection of inspiring appliqué pieces, this is primarily a practical, instructional guide that offers a complete grounding in all essential appliqué techniques: it contains a comprehensive stitch guide and leads the reader through each technique using clear step-by-step photography and easy-to-follow expert guidance. It shows the reader how to knot thread and start stitching correctly, how to create a design, transfer it onto fabric, frame up a slate frame, build up, cut away, apply a variety of edges and apply fabric, as well as basic ribbonwork, goldwork, shadow work and silk shading. The book contains two beautiful projects that put these techniques into practice. 

The book is flexibound, so will lay flat when open, making it handy for use while sewing.

Table of Contents

The Royal School of Needlework 6
Introduction to appliqué 8
History of appliqué 10
Fabrics 14
Tools 17
Getting started 22
Design 30
Order of work 32
Transferring your design 34
Essential starting techniques 38
Principles of building up 40
Padding: layering up 42
Applying fabrics 48
Adding texture and interest 53
Using adhesives 56
Edging 60
Silk shading 70
72 Fern
Fern: in detail 78
Appliqué inspiration 80
Ribbonwork 86
Using metal threads 88
Beading 92
Cutting away 93
94 Poppy
Poppy: in detail 100
Appliqué inspiration 103
Using sheer fabric for appliqué and shadow-work 108
Reference 112
Embroidery stitches 112
Needles 126
Suppliers and further reading 127
Glossary and Index 128

About the Author

About Kate Cross

After completing a degree in Art, Kate Cross achieved a distinction on the three-year Graduate Apprentice Scheme at the Royal School of Needlework (RSN). Whilst at the RSN, she was trained to the highest level of technical excellence in hand embroidery. After completing her apprenticeship, she achieved a PGCE; she now teaches on the RSN’s Certificate and Diploma courses and also teaches hand embroidery to both groups and individuals.

Kate has worked on some prestigious projects, including working as part of the RSN team on the Duchess of Cambridge’s Wedding dress. Her company, Bespoke Embroidery, a customer-focused business, allows her to continue what she does best - creating and teaching technical hand embroidery. 


Library Journal USA

Appliqué is most closely associated with quilting, but the technique of applying fabrics on top of one another is also used in fashion sewing and embroidery. In this guide to artistic appliqué, Cross, an instructor at the UKs Royal School of Needlework, presents tutorials on the basic layering of fabric, and delves in to embellishing and adding dimension to decorative embroidery. Three guided projects allow embroiderers to practice their appliqué skills; the lessons throughout the book also lend themselves to the creation of original works. VERDICT Art quilters and embroiderers interested in exploring appliqué techniques will benefit from the detailed information found in this guide

Workshop on the Web

This new book in the RSN (Royal School of Needlework) series looks at appliqué techniques. It is approached from a traditional stitching point of view but combines illustrated techniques with a series of projects so that you are able to take a hands-on approach.
There has been an increased interest in traditional embroidery techniques, particularly with the work of Michele Carragher (our Celebrity Interview in September 2015) having been brought to the fore with her work on 'Game of Thrones'. The process of applying fabric pieces to a surface in a variety of ways is covered in the book. Starting with transferred designs and looking at how three-dimensional effects, texture and edging can be achieved, this book focuses on the nutsand- bolts of appliqué techniques. Full step-by-steps are included, with illustrations, to guide you throughout.
You do not just see traditional techniques and finished pieces. There are several galleries throughout and some of the pictures featured are very modern; a 'Fishing Spiderman' by Mimi Chan is one and 'The Full English' (a delicious looking breakfast, above) by Annalee Levin is another. The book has some great tips on how to apply and finish the appliqué neatly with stitch, different stitching to use for embellishment and how to couch cord and metal thread effectively. If you are looking for a good grounding in the basic, traditional techniques, this book
is a useful addition.

East Kent Embroiderers Guild

Kate is a RSN graduate and teacher and presents this, her first book, as a complete guide to the subject.  She explores the history of applique then details the materials and tools required, continuing with a comprehensive explanation to the basic techniques.  Kate has included two projects giving both the beginner and the more experienced sewer an opportunity to experiment with the methods and techniques and to take their ideas forward to create a unique piece of work.  An excellent book for all embroiderers.

Sandra Hooson

What more can you ask for; a book to inspire you whether a beginner of applique or someone who's done a bit but wants to gain more confidence, skills and inspiration! Techniques explained not just in 'pictures' so you can see what your 'go' should look like but simple and clear written instructions step by step of each skill/stitch or technique. The Inspiration chapter will certainly inspire you to recreate your version or just have the confidence and ability to design your own applique projects. To top it all off you get a brief insight into the history and Introduction into the art of Applique plus a brief resume of The Royal School of Needlework. Having had a brief encounter with my own version of applique which wasn't brilliant! I'm now looking forward to creating a piece of applique using techniques gained from this book and knowing when completed it hopefully will be stunning and admired by family and friends!

Brenda Amberge

I was so pleased to see this latest book from the RSN series larger than previous ones.  This is an amazing book extremely well written and easy to follow.  It contains a wealth of information covering the RSN, the History of Applique, embroidery stitches and a page illustrating different types of needles and their uses.  The quality of photography is excellent and much enhanced by the larger book size.  I would have no hesitation in recommending this book to an absolute beginner or someone who wishes to brush up on skills because it is so inspirational. 

Mary Corbett's Needle 'n Thread

Appliqué is a needlework technique that involves adding smaller fabric shapes onto a larger piece of fabric, usually in some kind of ornamental way.

While we often hear the term appliqué in association with quilting, its also a technique thats closely associated with embroidery. Some embroidery books out there address the very basics of appliqué, but finally, theres a new book on the market that delves very (and I mean very) thoroughly into appliqué as it pertains to hand embroidery.

The book is called Appliqué: Techniques, Projects & Pure Inspiration, a Royal School of Needlework book by Kate Cross and published by Search Press.

If I had to pick one word to describe this book, it would be thorough. It is a Gem of a Book, full of precise, clear instruction, plenty of inspiration, and some nice projects to get you started in pursuing the wonders of appliqué with embroidery.

Unlike the previous books in the RSN Essential Stitch Guide series, Appliqué is a larger book, and it covers more than just the basics to get you started in the technique.

Its a book thats suitable for beginners who have never tried appliqué in embroidery, as well as for advanced embroiderers who want to take their embroidery to another level.

In a Nutshell

Its been a long time since Ive been as impressed with an instructional book as I am with this book. Sure, Ive reviewed a lot of project books that are terrific but when it comes to really detailed, comprehensive instruction, this book tops the charts in recently published instructional needlework books.

After reading it cover to cover, I didnt find anything that was vague. It covers everything you need to know about the subject, and then some. Its a really good book, and if you have any interest in adding the kind of dimension to your embroidery projects that appliqué affords, then this is definitely an instructional book you want on your shelf!

Especially for folks who are interested in ecclesiastical embroidery, embroidery from the 17th century and other historical periods, goldwork and other metal thread embroidery, the book is a must!

Full review:

Jo Udall

A great book for ideas and techniques.
Will keep me going for years.

Kaiserin Maggs

This book starts off with a simple introduction to the history of needlework and how people have used it through the ages. It has full colour, clear images through out with some fantastic ideas to inspire you. My favourite applique picture is on p9 - the underwater picture! The many, many photo tutorials are clear and concise with plenty of images in case you get stuck. There is a contents page, a glossary and an index. There are even fantastically useful pages where you can learn different types of stitches and knots to improve your work further. I liked their pages on different types of needle - I didn't know there were so many different types! It has lots of information available, even for the beginner applique sewer. The book has a list of books at the back in case you would like further information on the subject and even gives the web addresses of places where you can buy supplies. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have taken quite a few ideas on how I can improve my own sewing work further. Ten out of ten, well worth a read.

Naomi Clarke

This book begins with the history of the Royal School of Needlework before moving onto the history of appliqué itself which is fascinating. It then takes you through a process which invites you to consider the range of materials, threads, tools, fabrics, colours and designs that you may use. Whilst the title states the book is about appliqué it extends so much further and provides a really comprehensive guide to a range of appliqué techniques as well as other stitches and textile processes that can be used in and of themselves as well as in combination with appliqué. All in all this is a well written, clearly set out and easy to follow book which is both informative and inspirational so I would highly recommend it.

Natalie Morrison

This book is beautiful. It's photo's, clear descriptions and factual text really make you interested. This is a new craft for me to learn and this book has really helped. I'm looking forward to taking part in some of the workshops run by the Royal School of Needlework because if this book is anything to go by, then I'm going to learn SO much. A true treat

Nicci Elizabeth Jedrzejczak

An absolutely fantastic book, especially for leaners or those wanting to scrub up on their techniques.
Extremely well laid out and very clear to read with precise, detailed, clear and easy to follow instructions and photos for a variety of techniques.
It also includes a history of the Royal school of needlework, a guide to tools and some useful reference pages. The style and ease of the book and inclusion of wonderful techniques and images makes up for this and over all Id say this book is definitely worth a read and buy.

Tara Morris

This book has given me loads of inspiration and really handy tips for starting off and getting projects off the ground.
I found the section on the (RSN) The Royal School of Needlework and history of appliqué very interesting. I particularly like the fact you can keep going back to different sections to help your during your project.
It takes you through different fabrics and tools you may need to adding texture and making your project stand out.
A well set out easy to read book with step by step instructions and pictures.

It is good to see the RSN books get a larger format. Applique is a much bigger subject than many would imagine - if you think of it as animal and flower shapes sewn onto quilts or bags, take a look at this book. It explores the subject fully. Starting with the illustrated introduction and history, followed by materials and techniques, you'll learn all you need to know about applique. It includes unusual aspects of the craft such as working with sheer fabrics. The techniques and two projects have step by step instructions and photos. Discover inspirational galleries of completed works by different artists. There is also a stitch dictionary at the back of the book. Recommended.

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