The origins of embroidery can be traced back to the Warring States period in China (500-300BC) and to Sweden's Migration period (300-700AD), and some would argue that it hasn't changed much over the centuries:
Hand Embroidery Stitches | ... embroidery, art, craft, sewing and embroidery workshops, supplies
textile poetry by Maria Wigley all rights reserved - embroidery , Textile Art
Love the vintage postcard/geometric embroidery mixed media work of Seattle based artist Shaun Kardinal.
Craft Blog UK: The stunning embroidery art of Andrea Farina - guaranteed to make you say WOW!
Fashion Illustrations with Embroidered Accents and Accessories by Izziyana Suhaimi
Anna Jane Searle. Embroidery Art.
Here's an idea for wall art or a bag: put a photo on fabric (using printable fabric or iron on transfer) then embroider over the photo in contrasting color
1 Year of Stitches project by Michelle Anais Beaulieu-Morgan