I tried embroidery a few years ago. I bought a little book of stitches at Joann’s. I stashed a few skeins of dmc floss. I took a local class. I abandoned my efforts in less than three weeks with not one finished project. Something about the  projects I selected never held my attention.


Stitching Retreat promo card and newspaper clipping from Mom

Then I found a little card in a bag I brought home from QuiltCon. The post card advertised a retreat in Maine with Carolyn Friedlander, Chawne Kimber, and Rebecca Ringquist. Rebecca’s name popped up again when my mom sent me a newspaper clipping. I finally looked up Rebecca and her work, and I was hooked on her dense layers of thread and the magical way she weaves color. I begged to review her new book.

Rebecca’s book is a comprehensive resource for anyone wanting to sew thread on fabric. Rebecca shares tips on every aspect of stitching from project planning to project display, including all of the basic embroidery stitches. She has several Creative Bug videos, but I found that her instructions in the book are all that’s needed to successfully execute the stitches.

But here’s what’s important: Rebecca reminds me that success isn’t perfection. Success is making something that I think is beautiful.

Rebecca gives embroiderers permission to go for it.  That’s what makes her way of teaching perfect for me – her style welcomes me to the craft in a way that allows me to have fun while I make something that I genuinely think is beautiful. Her stitch instructions are clear, and the projects in her book are so varied that it was easy to flip through and find several I wanted to make.


Picture taken from Amazon.com

The book includes one of Rebecca’s famous Dropcloth Samplers in an envelop inside the back cover.  You can check out #rebeccaringquistbook on Instagram to see pictures of how other people are stitching it up. (Honestly, the book is worth buying just for the sampler.)

I’m saving book sampler for an upcoming plane trip/road trip, but I used some of the stitches from the book to work up one of Rebecca’s embroidery projects from her dropcloth samplers Color Burst Series.


My Dotted Doodle Artwork started out a little too big.


I’ve tucked that one away for later and doodled a smaller one to stitch.

Once I covered all of the pen marks, I wanted more stitches and just added them wherever I wanted without penning them in first. In my mind, Rebecca was telling me to just go for it! 

I stitched up these notecards while watching tv. They aren’t complicated, but they create such a sweet effect when you pull them out of an envelope. 


I considered sharing pictures from the book, but the best endorsement I can give is evidence of a few finished projects. There are so many to choose from, and Rebecca’s examples are gorgeous!

Rebecca’s publisher sent me my copy of the book, which I plan to hold on to… well, forever.  But, I’d like to share some of the awesomeness that Rebecca inspires, so I’ll buy one reader a copy of the book or one of Rebecca’s fabulous dropcloth samplers.  

To enter to win, leave me a comment telling me (and other readers), your favorite embroidery tip. If you’ve not tried embroidery yet, tell us why you’re inspired to give it a try now. Either way, be sure to say which sampler you’d like or if you’d like her book. Share this blogpost on Pinterest, Facebook, or your own blog and comment here telling me for an extra chance to win.  I’ll pick a winner next Tuesday when I’m home from my current travels.



  1. Michele @ Undiscovered Optimist

    Been missing you Daisy! Hope your travels are going well.  I just ordered this book from Amazon after watching you work through some of these.  I can’t wait for it to arrive.  I’m so intrigued by the samplers on Rebecca’s etsy site so I can’t wait to see what is in the book.  The ability to cart a small project around with the kids is definitely a plus.

    Safe travels home and I can’t wait to get together soon!

  2. Ella

    I’ve seen her work around.  (Got me an Amazon card that needs some using!)  I’d love to have a project to bring with while traveling that’s not EPP based.

  3. Cheryl

    Book! Big stitch hand quilting and sashiko have got me into hand stitching! Your doodle is awesome.

  4. Rose

    I have not tried embroidery, but I love the colors and textures of embroidered work!  And it provides a special touch to projects.

  5. wendy

    Your embroidery pieces are lovely! That first one is so colourful! If you’re stitching with 2 or 4 strands of floss, i recommend using a looped stsrt, it cuts down on bulk at the back and is so easy.  take 1 strand of floss, fold in half and thread the 2 ends through your needle.  Push the needle up from back to the front of your work and then take a stitch but don’t pull the floss through.  On the back, take your needle through the loop then pull.

  6. Sandra

    I love embroidery and here is my tip. It helps to recognize that not all stitching is performed the same way. Sometimes you push the needle into the fabric and sometimes you push the fabric onto the needle. Usually you determine which method to use after stitching for a while and you may not even be conscious of the difference. The book looks fabulous. I would love to win it. Thanks so much.

  7. Claudia

    I love embroidery but consider it a sideline to quilting but my teenage daughter has picked up embroidery recently and your work and the book look to be a great source of inspiration.

  8. Jessica

    I usually just use a back stitch so learning a few tricks would be great!  This looks like a beautiful creative book!

  9. Jamie B

    Book look amazing. Used to cross stitch like a fiend, but got bored and put it down. Started a Jen Kingswell quilt I want to hand quilt and that got me in this desire to do more handwork and embroidery. Our local quilt shop hop had a few embroidred blocks so that has been fun. 
    Would love some tips on thread storage. 

  10. jeanne e.

    i really dig this book…it is very inspirational and beautiful and so full of good information. and i enjoyed your review…i think you are right, the best endorsement is the fact you were confident and inspired enough to finish projects, and have plans for more! my tip would be to try out a few types of hoops to find the one that fits your hand well and comfortably and one that keeps the fabric taut. not all hoops are created equal…and un hoop your fabric when you are done for the day, helps keep the hoop impressions from becoming harder to iron out later. if i am picked as winner, i would love any of the sampler from her shop in the “subscription back issue” category. 🙂 thanks for the chance to win this generous giveaway!

  11. Diane W.

    I would love to have a copy of this book! I first saw Rebecca’s work last month and was amazed at her designs, because they were so different that any I had ever seen before.

  12. Leslie

    i tried embroidery years ago and gave up too. But I’ve watched Rebecca’s class on CreativeBug and am now inspired to do it again with freedom and just have fun. I would love to have her book. It’s on my wish list.

  13. Tamie

    I have done a bit of embroidery and love quiet handwork with few supplies. I’d love to add Rebecca’s book to my library. Her samplers are beautiful.

  14. Cheryl Belcher

    My favorite embroidery tip is to use quilt backing on the back of my projects. It gives them a weight-ery feel, they hold up longer, and you can’t see floss your through the fabric 🙂

  15. Brianne

    I started embroidering after a friend inspired me with her embroidery! I love it, and my only tip is to have fun with it!

  16. DeborahGun

    I have done some basic embroidery – my biggest tip is not to pull the stitches too tight! I would love to win Rebecca’s book to learn some more tips!

  17. Pingback: A Move and Winners | Ants to Sugar – Quilter. Fabric Collector. Paper Piecer.

  18. Brianne

    My favorite embroidery tip is the lazy daisy stitch, learn it and you’ll use it more than you think!! I’d love the book!

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