Tools for Stumpwork Embroidery & Thread Painting

Tools for Stumpwork Embroidery & Thread Painting

Much of my Instagram feed revolves around beautiful stitch work, delicious food or adorable animals. I often turn to my feed for inspiration for everything from new family meal ideas to stitching projects or techniques I would like to try. Several years ago I came across Megan Zaniewski's account (@megembroiders) and I became an instant fan. I genuinely love Megan's content so much that even through all the algorithm ups and downs, her work has remained a constant in my feed over the years. So you can imagine my absolute delight when I was given the opportunity to preview Megan's new book, Stumpwork Embroidery & Thread Painting: Stitch 3D Nature Motifs, and participate in the blog tour to celebrate the book launch. 

Stumpwork Embroidery & Thread Painting Book

From the cover alone, it is easy to see why I have been a long time admirer of Megan's stitch work. While her embroidery talent and beautiful photos are always a source of inspiration, what I have always admired is Megan's willingness to share her knowledge and techniques. This natural ability to teach comes through clearly on the pages of Stumpwork Embroidery & Thread Painting. While most embroidery books devote the first couple of chapters to tools and embroidery basics, I was really impressed with Megan's in-depth coverage of not only basic embroidery know-how, but also of color theory and tools & materials.  This extra attention to detail makes these embroidery techniques that are often thought of as more "advanced" much more accessible to stitchers of all levels. 

I will admit that I have always found stumpwork intimidating in the past. It is a technique that produces such stunning hoop art, but is it something I could actually do? After reading through the various projects in Stumpwork Embroidery & Thread Painting, I am ready to give it a try. I found the written instructions to be very clear, but since I am more of a visual learner the extremely clear, step by step photos of every stage of the process for each project in the book is what really gave me the confidence to finally try my hand at stumpwork. 

I am a big believer in starting with the right tools for the job. Megan was kind enough to share some of her favorite tools and notions for this style of embroidery with us. 

Megan's Favorite Embroidery Supplies

• Karen Kay Buckley's Perfect Scissors

I love Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Scissors. These sharp pointed 4-inch scissors are perfect for stumpwork embroidery projects involving wireslips, where you need to cut around your embroidery with care and precision.

Tulip Hiroshima Embroidery Needles

These needles are super sharp and super precise. Sizes 9 and 10 are wonderful for stitching highly detailed thread painting and stumpwork designs.

Nurge Embroidery Hoops

• Nurge Embroidery Hoops

Nurge embroidery hoops are my favorite hoops to embroider in because they keep the fabric drum tight the entire time you are embroidering. The smooth, rounded beechwood is also easier on my hands. And, the Nurge wood grain flexi hoops are an easy way to display a finished embroidery.

Sticky Fabri-Solvy

I use Sticky Fabri Solvy with the majority of my projects because it is so easy to print, stitch, and wash away. Just remember to make sure you are embroidering with color-fast threads like Cosmo, DMC, or Anchor.

Hoop Frame

Modern Hoopla Hoop Frames

Kate at Modern Hoopla makes beautiful wood frames. You simply pop your finished embroidery hoop into the frame, secure with the inserts provided, and it’s ready to hang! This 3 inch hexagon hoop frame is perfect for the miniature embroidery projects in my book.

Ponderosa Thread Gloss

Ponderosa Thread Gloss is a must for any stumpwork embroidery project involving wireslips. It can be used to conditioner and strengthen your thread so you experience less tangles, fuzziness, and breakage. I keep one at my workspace and one in my project bag so it's always at hand.

FLATTY Project Bags

I decided to treat myself last year to this project bag (an upgrade from a large Ziploc bag) and it is by far one of my favorite embroidery accessories. The flat design allows it to easily slip into a totebag or larger purse for on-the-go stitching, and the hardback ensures that your project will not get squished in transit and lose its fabric tension. The large size fits all my essentials.

Kona Cotton Fabric

Kona is my all-around fabric fabric to stitch on and the majority of my book projects are embroidered on it. This beautiful shade Orchid is featured as the backdrop of my Broad-Billed Hummingbird pattern.

Cohana Mini Thread Snips

These adorable scissors are compact and cut thread incredibly smoothly. Cohana is well known for their high quality, beautifully designed stitching supplies, and their scissors are among my favorites. This mini pair is my favorite pair to keep in my to-go project bag.

Thank you to Megan and C&T Publishing for the opportunity to be a part of the blog tour. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for additional book reviews and tutorials from Megan's new book! 

  • Wednesday, January 24th - Kick-off post on the C&T Blog
  • Thursday, January 25th - Sara Barnes at Brown Paper Bag (Instagram & Blog)
  • Friday, January 26th - Brenna at Colonial Needle (Instagram & Blog)
  • Monday, January 29th - Albion Gould at Always Searching for Adventure & Thread (Instagram & Blog)
  • Tuesday, January 30th - Claudia at Snuggly Monkey (Instagam & Blog)
  • Wednesday, January 31st -  Bettina at Shoots and Stitches (Instagram & Blog)
  • Thursday, February 1st - Amanda Fox at Crewel Ghoul (Instagram & Blog)
  • Friday, February 2nd - Teri Lucas at TerifiCreations (Blog)


  • Anne-Marie

    Probably the frames, but the mini snips are also enticing.

  • Linda M. Hughes

    FLATTY Project Bag

  • Carla

    I love the Monarch, that would be my first make. I like the little Cohana Mini Thread Snips the little holster is fun!

  • Ana

    Megan’s book is a work of art! I think I’d make the monarch first, no, it would have to be the duck and water, oh, but I really like the hummingbird!!!! ❤️

  • Natalie

    Stitching beginner here! This list has already been helpful – I am excited to try the hoops.

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