Covers Got Me in Stitches: Embroidered Book Covers

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It’s no secret that I love good book covers. We all do. I love to notice new trends, what is unique, what stands out in the blanket world, and more. And one of my favorite trends that I’ve seen is also one of my favorite hobbies: embroidery.

Sewing has been a staple of society for literally thousands of years (The golden thread is a really interesting book that covers the history of fabric and yarn), from the need to make clothes to extraordinary pieces of art.

The fiber arts are absolutely amazing and they are becoming more visible than ever with online media (the fiber arts never died – they just existed quietly for a while). With the rise of sarcastic cross stitch and swearing craftsmanship, traditional embroidery has also exploded into the mainstream world and in doing so is visible in more places than on quilts and hoops hanging on my wall.

Like on the covers of books.

Trends for book covers come and go, and the second half of the twenties (that’s what we call them?) Saw several new design directions for book covers. But my favorite, by far, is the embroidered book cover.

I’ve rounded up some of the covers that stopped me in my tracks below.

Book covers like The lesson of illness and The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein using fabric and needlework to tell larger parts of their story, and it gives readers a taste of what’s inside. These book covers use the fabric backgrounds and blend in with modern typography and / or hand-sewn headlines to create stunningly beautiful art (which, TBH, I bought because of that alone).

Regina Flath, cover designer for The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, chose one more organic and unrefined look for that extremely terrifying cover. But what’s so special about using multiple mediums to create these covers are the physical artwork left behind – author Kiersten White even took the original fabric with the sewing on tour to show readers!

The artist who sewed and designed the above Black beauty is in fact none other than Jillian Tamaki, illustrator and author of books like This summer and SuperMutant Magic Academy. Tamaki created several embroidered book covers for the Penguin Threads line, releasing classics with a new twist. The complete cover of his interpretation of Emma worth enjoying on its own. I love that it features delicate needlework, reminiscent of Austen-era activities for women, while using fun colors and unexpected images (hey, pegs!) To play up some of the themes. the most rebellious of the book itself.

Emma Embroidered Book Cover by Jane Austen

Swiveling in artistic directions and in sarcastic cross stitch fashion, some covers use extremely traditional designs to invert it over the head for books about serial killers or devilishly handsome bearded men.

The fiber arts such as sewing, knitting and quilting, often considered “woman’s work”, have long been a method for women to express themselves in subtle and provocative ways. These cross stitch blankets for resolutely not the light reading of “women” (I can’t use enough aerial quotes for this) also pays homage to women who have used knitting to resist the nazis and use their work to transmit codes during WWII.

Cross stitch book covers

The delicate work of lace embroidery paired with more modern phrases (such as “Nobody Cares”) evokes a truly visceral reaction to what the story will contain. Using this traditional art form, women continue to use this work not only to create amazing works of art, but also to convey messages of resistance, rage and power in a subtle and breathtaking way.

Embroidered Book Covers

Embroidered cover of the book Les Disparitions

In the meantime, I’ll be here to embroider Lizzo quotes while I listen to my latest audiobook.


Interested in embroidering your own projects? Here are 70 literary cross stitch patterns to get started, or you can even embroider your own bookmarks!


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