From Edition 1 to Edition 3
I have a copy of Mary Thomas’s original stitch book, the one with the blue cover. It is the 15th printing. I bought it more than 25 years ago, and have referenced it many times over the years.
The Mahone Bay Quilt Guild has a copy of the first revision by Jan Eaton and I’ve kept signing it out. As guild librarian, if it didn’t get taken out at a meeting, then it got signed out by me. I liked Revision 2 because it was updated with a more modern layout with coloured images and an improved organization.
In 2019, Jan Eaton published a Revision 2 of the book. It was reprinted in 2020 and 2022, and called Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches, New Edition. This newer revision hasn’t added or taken away any stitches, just updated the page layouts and brightened the colours a bit. If you are interested in a review of this book, check one out on Mary Corbet’s website.
I decided to bite the bullet and buy this edition.
Now that I have this version, I won’t need to borrow the guild version. It makes an awesome addition to my library.
If you don’t have access to either of the editions, there are other options
- Royal School of Needlework’s Stitch Bank. There are now 225 stitches. 25 new ones were added this spring. This link is a treasure trove for hand embroiderers.
- A Guide to Hand Embroidery: Tutorials, Patterns and More
- Sew Guide, updated on January 10, 2022, shows 60 + different types of Hand Embroidery Techniques.
- Free hand embroidery patterns can be found on