This year craft wise I'm all about embroidery. Those tidy little stitches are such fun to work with and the results are so beautiful. It is my habit to look at books for guidance while I'm learning anything new.
I've been gathering books on embroidery to inspire and help me along.
The book that started my current embroidery enthusiasm is Little Stitches: 100+ Sweet Embroidery Designs by Aneela Hoey I love the whimsical little projects, which are very different from the samplers and other kits I was familiar with.
Another very inventive embroiderer is Delilah of What Delilah Did
Her book What Delilah Did Presents: Storyland Cross Stitch tells a story using a set of embroidered figures which she presents in various ways.
My favorite craft magazine right now is Mollie Makes. It features many crafts from aspiring and talented young artists. The two crafts that interest me most are crochet and embroidery. It is almost impossible to find magazines covering hand embroidery, which seems to be having a resurgence in Europe that hasn't reached our shores. Mollie Makes has compiled some of their articles in Mollie Makes Embroidery: Adorable Stitched Projects Plus Tips & Tricks.
I love the delicate little outlines of embroidery. Perhaps the bright colors and sweet subjects remind me of old coloring books. Floral Collection for Hand Embroidery: An Embroiderer's Garden by Maria Diaz presents the loveliest flowers imaginable, which could be added to many projects.
Aimee Ray's Doodle Stitching is filled with nature inspired embroidery applied to a wide variety of projects.
As a series, the Reader's Digest books on varying topics present wonderful clear how to illustrations. The Reader's Digest Complete Book of Embroidery (Includes Crewelwork, Goldwork, Ribbon Embroidery and Embellishments) by Melinda Coss shows how to stitch in embroidery, and is a great place to start.
Not strictly a book of embroidery, Sewn by Hand by Susan Wasinger presents small projects that carry on the "slow crafts movement" and let you create with needle and thread in new ways.
I have always wanted to make a patchwork quilt, the old variety stitched together from your old clothes or blankets or fabric bits. Unfortunately, most books, sites, and magazines use machine stitching for the quilt. I have found directions for a handmade quilt (for a someday post). Patchwork Loves Embroidery by Gail Pan isn't hand patchwork, but it does have many fun ideas for combining patchwork with embroidery.