I got a wonderful crafty treat in the post recently from the lovely people at Cico Books - a free review copy of Scandinavian Needlecraft by Clare Youngs.
This book is gorgeous! I'm a huge fan of Scandinavian design; I love all those clean crisp white interiors, crockery patterns with a Scandinavian feel and the cheerful colours and folksy motifs of their traditional crafts... and this book includes projects inspired by all those things.
The book contains 35 projects divided into five sections - bags, gifts and decorations, kitchen, clothes and accessories and soft furnishings - and covers a wide range of embroidery and needlework techniques.
It's a bit of a shame that almost all the templates need enlarging before use (even for small projects like gift tags and brooches) but all the instructions are very clear and there's a guide to basic sewing and embroidery in the back of the book which means the projects are very accessible.
Flicking through the book I've already mentally bookmarked several projects I want to try, including that groovy yellow bird cushion and lots of the red and white Christmas designs.
Even the things I don't want to make involve embroidery patterns I'd love to adapt for other items. For example, I'm not sure I could be bothered to embroider a bath mat, or to track down the special felt required to make the bag pictured on the cover... but both designs would look gorgeous on other things like cushions or canvas bags.
If you want to add some Scandinavian style to your life, Scandinavian Needlecraft is available from Cico Books, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, The Book Depository and many other bookshops.
[Disclaimer - Cico Books sent me a free review copy of this book, and the Amazon & Book Depository links in this post are affiliate links]