When I heard that Carina Envoldsen-Harris (whose &Stitches zine I designed a pattern for last year) was writing a book I was so excited to see the finished product as I've long admired her pretty, colourful embroidery patterns.
The finished book - Stitched Blooms - is out next month and the lovely folks at Lark Crafts have sent me a review copy. Yay!
Isn't the embroidered cover great? Such happy colours!
Stitched Blooms is divided into three main sections: Getting Started, Projects and Motifs.
"Getting Started" covers all the usual "how to" topics you'd expect at the start of an embroidery book, with guides to transfering motifs, choosing your tools and mastering all the stitches required. The diagrams and photos in this section are very clear and Carina goes into lots of detail and provides lots of helpful tips.
There's also a really interesting section on colour theory and how to apply it to choosing colour schemes for tour embroidery projects. As a beginner when it comes to embroidery, I sometimes find it tricky choosing colours for my stitching that I know will look good together and Carina's tips on putting together colour combinations will probably come in useful for other craft projects too. I don't know about you but I often fall back on using my same favourite colours over and over in my sewing - I'll definitely be getting this book off my shelf next time I want to try something new!
"Projects" includes 20 things to make and/or embellish with embroidery. Some of them involve stitching on ready-made items (like a skirt, a duvet cover, a totebag or a pair of mittens)...
... and others include templates and instructions for making the items themselves (e.g. a needlebook, an obi belt and a glasses case).
There's a nice mix of different types of projects included - homewares, gifts, clothing and accessories - and a mix of sizes too, with some large projects that involve a lot of hand stitching (like an appliqued baby quilt) and some small projects that would be great for beginners (like little embroidery hoop ornaments).
One of my favourite designs is this fun felt Dala horse:
This embroidered shirt is also pretty gorgeous!
There are 33 motifs included in the "Projects" section, all clearly labelled so you can use them to recreate the designs as-stitched-by-Carina...
... then in the "Motifs" section there are 267 colourful motifs, divided into types like "minimalist blooms", "leafy blooms" (i.e. leaves!) and "borders and corners". Each page includes a sample motif from that page stitched up so you can get an example of how your finished stitching might look.
To be honest this is probably the section of the book that I will use most often - for me, the projects provide some great inspiration for things I could embroider but the pages of motifs are an absolute treasure trove of designs that I can see myself going back to again and again when I want a design to embellish something.
And - mega bonus! - all 300 motifs in the book are included on a CD at the back of the book so you can easily print the designs out at home at any size you want. Super practical.
Stitched Blooms is published by Lark Crafts, RRP $16.95 (USD). It's available for pre-order on Amazon UK and Amazon USA and many other bookshops.
The nice folks at Lark Crafts have got a
copy of the book and some embroidery thread (floss) for me to give away!
One lucky winner will win a copy of the book and a bundle of 7 skeins
of thread (floss) - in different colours to those pictured (the photo
shows some of Carina's favourite colours).
leave a comment on this blog post for your chance to win. Leave
your comment before 10pm on Friday 4th October, and I'll pick the
winners at random on Saturday 5th October. The publishers are happy to send the book + threads internationally, so anyone can
Please make sure you leave a name or pseudonym (no anonymous comments
please!) and leave a blog link, Twitter username, Etsy username or
email address so I can contact you.
If I'm unable to contact the winner within a week, I will pick
someone else. If you're leaving a comment with your Blogger profile,
please remember that you need to have your profile set to public for me
to be able to get in touch with you. If you have problems leaving a
comment here on my blog, you can enter via my shop's contact form instead.
[Disclaimer: Lark Crafts kindly sent me a free review copy of this book and the
Amazon links in this post are affiliate links. I have contributed projects to books published by Lark Crafts but I am always honest when reviewing books on my blog!]
Update: this giveaway is now closed.