I really only discovered the love of reading as an adult. As a child I read for school but would rather be stitching at home. Now I have a very full notebook of books I need to read, overfull bookshelves and a coffee table that is often piled high with library books.

My family does not watch television so often all four of us will be reading in the lounge, the silence only interrupted when something interesting comes up in someone's book and it has to be read out to the others. Remotely Controlled by Dr Aric Sigman is a great book about how we are all affected by television. Our copy has been lent to many friends over the years.

My children's reading age is higher than their actual age. This meant that I spent some time reading teen fiction to access the content before they read it. This developed a love of John Green, an amazing writer. Will Grayson, Will Grayson and Looking for Alaska are now two of my favourite books. I still read teen fiction sometimes, but now my daughter is recommending them to me.

I love the design of book covers, I have multiple copies of Little Women and Lorna Doone with different covers. I have a feeling these collections will grow as I come across more versions in second-hand bookshops.


Of course there are many embroidery books on the studio bookshelf. Creative Needlecraft by Lynette de Denne was one of my first books on how to stitch, little did I know when I got this book that I would make a career from embroidery.

Another book that gets moved from house to house is Metal Thread Embroidery by Jane Lemon. I was lucky enough to have lessons from Jane when I was training to be an embroiderer and this copy, purchased second hand, once belonged to another amazing embroiderer, Beryl Dean. Not only does this book have great information it also sparks many memories.

Pauline Burbidge is a fantastic quiltmaker from the UK, her book Quilt Studio is one that spends more time off the shelf being looked at than on it. Her work is constantly changing but you can still recognise that it is hers.

I have a love for textiles from other countries, I have a small collection, with pieces hung on the wall and books on the bookshelf. Traditional Indian Textiles by John Gillow and Nicholas Barnard was the first one I purchased and I am now lucky to call John a friend.

One of the oldest books on the shelf is called The Golden Reciter, prose and verse for reading and recitation. It belonged to an elderly lady that lived next to my family when I was a child. It is dated 1919 and when I see it I clearly remember this lady and the house she lived in. Books have an amazing power to hold memories.

Professional embroiderer Jo Dixey's first book, Stitch People (Bateman, $35) is available now.