The Art of Chinese Embroidery 2

17th April 2020

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing Margaret Lee’s work ‘in the flesh’, you will know the awe that these works inspire.


The absolute perfection of the image belies the fact that it is worked in individual stitches of silk – something that only becomes evident when you look at the work close up.

Lady – close up of the eye

Although most of us have found ourselves thinking, ‘I could never do that’, Margaret has made it her mission to teach everyone how to achieve this kind of finish, and her latest book The Art of Chinese Embroidery 2 | Intermediate Level published by Inspirations Studios, offers more remarkable insights into this, until now, secret world.

‘Wild Iris’

Building upon the fundamentals Margaret imparts in her first book of the series The Art Of Chinese Embroidery 1 | Foundation Level the projects in this new book are all worked in a traditional technique known as Random Stitch Embroidery – a term adopted by the West, although the direct translation of the Chinese is the delightful ‘chaotic stitch embroidery’. But chaos is the furthest thing from one’s mind when you look at Margaret’s Wild Iris, Eurasian Blue Tit or Lady the Persian Cat – just three of the nine projects included.

‘Eurasian Blue Tit’

The Art of Chinese Embroidery 2 isn’t just another book filled with embroidery projects. Rather, this is an entire art treatise on the technique itself. As well as the history of Chinese embroidery and, more specifically, of the Twentieth century art of Random Stitch Embroidery, Margaret guides you through how to understand light and shade, colour and tone, perspective and space.

There are very few books available like this one where the author talks to you as if you were a true artist rather than ‘just’ an embroiderer.

Although the stitch itself is explained in Margaret’s characteristic detail, the real purpose of this book is to educate the reader to enable you to look at any picture – whether painting, drawing or photograph – and interpret  it in embroidery.

‘Oiseau de Paradis’

To fully achieve the effect you wish, time is required to plan, dissect and develop a good understanding of your image. Only then should you thread your needle. Each stitch then needs to be carefully placed with individual consideration as to angle, length and layering.

Like Margaret’s previous books, she encourages you to see your embroidery as a form of meditation rather than a race to the end.

The Art of Chinese Embroidery 2 | Intermediate Level picks up where Margaret left off at the end of her first book and continues on to help you master a complete understanding of subjects as diverse as landscapes, flowers and the animal kingdom.

‘Into the Woodlands’

There is some reference to the first book within the second book, so depending on your familiarity with Chinese Embroidery, it may be worth having a copy of the Foundation Level handy to reference.


The projects within this new book are just a beginning. Margaret hopes that with the skills you acquire, you will be able to choose your own subjects which hold special meaning to you and then carefully immortalise them in silk.

The Art of Chinese Embroidery 2 is available now for purchase.

The Art of Chinese Embroidery 2

Margaret Lee
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