A Stitch In Time: Five Novels Inspired By Embroidery

Last Updated on June 1, 2024 by wajeeha khan

“A Stitch in Time”: Five novels inspired by embroidery, each weaving a tale of love, loss, and redemption.

I have dabbled with needlecraft over the years and grew up around a mother who was an expert at crewel, Cross-stitch and other crafts. As a child, one of my favorite things to do was to sort through her embroidery silks and organize them by color. I loved the way they slipped through my hands.

When I began Art in Fiction, it was exciting to find number novels that were inspired by Textile Arts, specifically the art of embroidering.

In The Gown, Jennifer Robson introduces two embroiderers that helped create Princess Elizabeth’s wedding dress in 1947. Kelli Estates’ the girl who wrote in silk is inspired by real events. A piece of intricately embroidered fabric reveals the dark history surrounding Washington State’s Orcas Island and the Chinese Exclusion Act.

A single thread is another historical novel that is inspired by embroidery. It is written by the legendary Tracy Chevalier. This is a moving, immersive story about a woman drawn into the borderer’s society at the dawning of World War II, the women who embroider the kneelers of worshippers in Winchester Cathedral.

Check out The Quick and the Thread, the first book in a new series of novels that will keep readers stitching and itching for more.

For something completely different, and a little bit chilling, but certainly compelling — read The Poison Thread. It’s a Victorian Gothic story about a young woman who believes that her needle and thread can kill.

A Stitch In Time: Five Novels Inspired By Embroidery

A Stitch in Time”: Five novels inspired by embroidery, offers readers a glimpse into the rich tapestry of human experience, as seen through the lens of five novels that celebrate the timeless art of embroidery.

The Gown By Jennifer Robson

London, 1947. The people of postwar Britain, despite the recent victory of their country, are living in quiet desperation. They’re being ravaged by the worst winter of all time, and they face onerous shortages. Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin are embroiderers for the renowned Mayfair fashion house Norman Hartnell. Together, they form an unlikely friendship. But their hopes for the future are put to the test when they receive a once in a lifetime honor: helping create Princess Elizabeth’s bridal gown.

Toronto, 2016. Heather Mackenzie is still trying to solve the mystery surrounding a set embroidered flower that was a gift from her grandmother. How did Heather Mackenzie’s Nan, who had never spoken of her life in Britain, end up with the priceless embroidery that resembles the motifs found on the gown worn by Queen Elizabeth II to her wedding nearly seventy-five years earlier? What was her Nan’s relationship to the celebrated textile designer and Holocaust survivor Miriam Dassin

Jennifer Robson, in The Gown takes us into the studios where one the most famous wedding dresses of all time was made. She balances behind-the scenes details with a sweeping picture of a society reeling from the costs of victory. She introduces the reader to three unforgettable heroes, whose points of view alternate and intersect throughout the pages. Their lives are woven by the pain and suffering of survival, friendship bonds, and love.

The Girl Who Wrote In Silk By Kelli Estés

Inara Erickson, while exploring the island estate of her aunt who has passed away, finds a piece of intricately stitched fabric hidden within. Inara Erickson’s life is entangled with Mei Lein’s as she peels away the layers of secrets. A Chinese girl who was mysteriously forced from her home 100 years ago, Inara shares a similar story. Inara learns the sad truth about her family through the stories Mei Lein tells in silk.

” The Girl Who Wrote In Silkis as beautiful and delicately woven a novel as its title suggests. Kelli Estes weaves a tale that reveals the brutality of the past, as well as the beauty and humanity that unites us all. – Susan Wiggs New York Timesbestselling Author of The Beekeeper’s Ball

A Single Thread By Tracy Chevalier

A single thread is a historical novel written by New York Times best-selling author Tracy Chevalier. Violet Speedwell, a “surplus women” who is doomed for spinsterhood in 1932 when the Great War has taken both her brother’s and her fiance’s lives, finds herself a “surplus person” after losing her brother as well as her fiance. Violet Speedwell, instead of accepting her fate and moving to Winchester to join a broderers’ society–women embroidering kneelers in the Winchester Cathedral–moves to Winchester.

A single thread tells a timeless tale of friendship, love and a woman who creates her own life.

The Quick And The Thread, Amanda Lee

The Quick and the Thread (2010) by Amanda Lee is the first novel in the Embroidery Mysteryy Series.

Marcy Singer, who opened an embroidery shop in the charming town of Tallulah Falls in Oregon, held a soiree as well as a “stitch-in”. Marcy Singer’s sign-up sheets for embroidery classes fill up quickly and the town is eager to show their support.

Marcy’s store becomes a crime-scene when a message is scrawled on the wall next to the deceased shop tenant with a tapestry neoprene. She’s the main suspect. She will have to find out who the killer is before anyone puts her in a final stain.

The Poison Thread, By Laura Purcell

Is Ruth Butterham a killer or is she a mad woman? Victim or villain

Dorothea & Ruth Prisoner and visitor.

Powerful but powerless Dorothea Truelove, a young woman who is wealthy and beautiful is young. Ruth Butterham, a young woman who is poor and waiting to be tried for murder, is awaiting her trial. Dorothea is thrilled when her charitable work takes her to Oakgate Prison. She gets to test her phrenology hypothesis and explore her fascination for phrenology. When she meets teenager Ruth, she’s faced with a new theory: it’s possible to kill using a needle and tassel. Ruth attributes the supernatural powers that she uses to commit her crimes to her stitches. Ruth’s story of betrayal and bitterness, death and dresses will make Dorothea doubt her rationality and power of redemption.

Can Ruth be relied upon? She’s either crazy or a killer.

A Stitch in Time”: Five novels inspired by embroidery- Make stories and stitches come together with an Austin trim.

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