I already have this book so whilst I wait for my course materials and other reading list books to arrive I thought I’d read this one. I had this on my Amazon wishlist for a while and it was bought for me for a present. As usual with these books I hungrily devour all the pictures and don’t read any of the writing.

I enjoy the photography in the book and found myself rushing through the reading just so that I could turn the page and study the next pages photos! After a while I did feel that many of the images are a little ‘samey’ – especially as the author has a lot of her own workbooks displayed. This makes sense of course but I felt like I wanted more variety, or perhaps to see more ‘messy’ or less ‘curated’ pages. I also thought that where other sketchbooks were analysed on the pages shown, the images from the author were described in too much detail – the final product of the project was described as well as the aims behind it (I think I was just put off by the feminist sentiments, which isn’t really my thing).

I think I thought that during reading this book I would think ‘thats it! – That is how I want to proceed with my sketchbooks’! Obviously that was not what the book was about. Neither was it about the technicalities of creating your own sketchbooks i.e. binding methods or anything like that.

The book was very good at motivation towards using your own sketchbooks and provided plenty of ‘nudges’ to get going. I have a feeling that some of the exercises are prescriptive and can be seen echoed throughout many art & design educational courses. I have however got plenty of ideas to get started, and I’m itching to imitate many of the authors ideas!

Now I’m wondering whether I need to keep a separate sketchbook and coursework book? Or a separate sketchbook and ‘workbook’ or are all the separate projects/assignments to be presented in separate books? Or can everything be thrown together in one workbook (as I would probably do if it were not for the requirement for assessment)!

A last thought about this book – the Publisher! Batsford are the publishers of the greatest sewing book of all time – the Batsford Encyclopaedia of Embroidery Stitches! I currently have this on loan (for almost 2 years now) from my future Mother-In-Law. She needs it back though and in searching for a picture of the cover to post I discovered that it wasn’t all that expensive to purchase my own copy – so I did! Incidentally, if you search ‘batsford encyclopedia embroidery stitches’ into google image search as I did to find a picture… the second image in, right after the ‘no image’ thumbnail of the first image is MY STITCHING!!


Kim Debling is a Hampshire, UK based designer and Director of her own company Kestrel Design Ltd. She is mum to Rose and Harvey and wife to her best friend Steve.  She’s fighting off Stage 4 Lymphoma and sharing her story along the way, mainly via YouTube. Kim is passionate about being happy, mental wellbeing and in particular art and creative pursuits as therapy during tough times. She teaches online at Udemy, has published books and has art and printables available for sale.

Book Thoughts – Creating Sketchbooks for Embroiderers and Textile Artists by Kay Greenlees was last modified: April 30th, 2015 by Kim Debling