Friday 10 May 2013

Book Review: Stitched Gifts

Stitched Gifts by Jessica Marquez (who sells her work on Etsy as Miniature Rhino) is a lovely embroidery book with a modern but retro-loving style - what I would describe as "very Anthropologie / Etsy-chic".

The book contains 25 embroidery projects divided into 5 chapters.

Home & Hearth, which includes a horseshoe (for good luck), a embroidered floor plan of a special home and a welcome banner:

Engagement, Wedding & Anniversary projects, including table numbers and a "bouquet" for a wedding, and embroideries involving a couples names and initials:

Projects for Babies & Little Ones, including a mobile, a embroidered frame for a transferred-on-to-fabric baby photo and a nursery alphabet:

Designs for Holidays, Birthdays and Special Occasions, including embroidered cards and tags, zodiac designs, and a monogram:

And Keepsakes & Forget-Me-Nots, including more projects based around family and loved ones, plus these sweet messages in bottles:

The introductory text for each piece is sweet and personal, each project helpfully includes an estimate of the time it takes to stitch and they are all beautifully and stylishly photographed.

The patterns at the back of the book are printed on very thin paper with perforations down one side, so you can tear out the pages... and with lots of pages squeezed into a small bit of space, it means that most of the patterns have been included at full size, which is great. You're also given a choice of seven different alphabets to use in personalising your projects. Sadly, the lovely twining leafy design from the front cover isn't included.

And as well as the instructions for the individual projects, there's a detailed chapter at the start of the book which explains how to transfer patterns and personalise the designs and how to construct all the stitches used in the book (with detailed step by step photos for each stitch)... and a chapter at the back with instructions for framing your finished pieces (in embroidery hoops, in frames or stretched over canvas). I know I will be using these chapters as a reference when working on embroidery projects in the future!

Overall, I think this is a charming book and one that would be especially useful to have on your bookshelves if you enjoy making sweet, personal gifts for your friends and family, or special pieces celebrating your family's milestones and history.

Stitched Gifts is published by Chronicle Books. RRP £12.99. It's available from Amazon UKAmazon USA, The Book Depository  and many other bookshops.

[Disclaimer: Chronicle Books sent me a free review copy of this book. I've had a couple of projects included in a book published by Chronicle Books, but you guys know I am always honest in my reviews! The Amazon & Book Depository links in this post are affiliate links]