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Les Designs Delicious Embroidery



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Delicious Embroidery: About the Book

Delicious Embroidery is the coming together of mother and daughter and east meets west. The common denominator is a passion for the art of embroidery. Our new flavours (technique chapter) has evolved as a result of our worldwide embroidery tutorials and the generosity of our incredible needlework students.

Lesley (South Africa) and Nikki (Hong Kong) take you on a gastronomic feast. Enjoy delicious techniques and the menu of 18 projects. From simple to extravagant, the design application ranges from breakfast to lunch or supper.

The world of embroidery is your oyster; we hope this book whets your appetite…

Les Designs Delicious Embroidery


We always know when it is time to share our energy and inspiration for embroidery in a new book. The storehouse of ideas combining ancient and modern techniques creates an internal frenzy. We find ourselves sorting through drawings, pencil notes of inspiration, amazing photographs taken by wonderful friends and family of exquisite flowers, fruit and nature’s bounty. Of course the embroidery rendition by our fabulous students who respond to our sometimes “unusual stitch combinations” is paramount. The biggest decision when writing a technical book, which has inspirational pictures with a lot of exciting techniques is the theme. Decision made…DELICIOUS EMBROIDERY!

Adjectives bounce into the equation: scrumptious (silk) mouthwatering (design photos), sizzling (colour), aromatic (herb designs), earth tones (nuts and vegetables), seasonal (colour change), raw (art for embroidery –pigment, paint, crisp), natural (fibres – linen, wool , silk and organza), flavour (its all a piece of cake). The list is endless…

On analysis these adjectives all lead to the five senses: look/see, touch/feel, smell, taste and hear/listen to your instincts.

We hope to tantalize your senses by bringing a menu of embroidery techniques and projects to the table – a palette of colour, design ideas and how to tap into your senses – a visual feast.

Take an image then dream or imagine, look and see what it means to you and how you feel about it. Close your eyes and let your imagination flow. Visualize the threads, fabrics and colours coming together. Gather these stimuli and start creating…a recipe for stitching success. Work with passion, feel the symphony as the needle leads you through your ideas.

Lesley’s story – urchin stitch

The birth of the Perfect Specimen Design – Passiflora edulis

A special embroidery friend encouraged me to think about re-designing this antique grape stitch. I was taking an evening stroll in a botanical maze where a passion vine was flowering. Nature provided the gift and I picked a bloom. That evening I started gathering white taffeta ribbon, indigo organza, delicate threads, beads, cords and found objects. By 3am the centre of the passion flower was a re -invented urchin stitch. Draw from a storehouse of techniques (composite stitches, dimensional ideas, ribbon manipulation and found objects) now combine. This rebirth of urchin stitch, as I have named it, lead to the Oyster Crustacean design, the centre of Patty’s Plum, urchins and cacti, insects and beaded urchin stitch for grapes.

Nikki’s story – needle-shading and daisies

Embrace the Asian magic with needle painting and double-sided embroidery. Venturing into unknown territories and being totally in awe of the silkworm and all the wonders it holds for the embroidery world, I immersed myself in learning the ancient technique of needle shading, single and double sided embroidery.

On returning home we spoke about including layers of transparency with our passion for colour. We love working with different layers of transparent fabric and fine silk; creating different hues, luminosity and pastel shades.

Dainty daisies are something I really had fun with by re-inventing delicate daisies using an embroidery needle instead of a crochet hook.

Take a gastronomic journey with fibre and thread and enjoy the menu
bon appetite!

Purchase on Amazon now!






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