Monday, 30 April 2018

Book Review & Giveaway: Mandalas to Embroider

As promised, this week is Book Week!

The first book I'm looking at is the very lovely Mandalas to Embroider: Kaleidoscope Stitching in a Hoop, by Carina Envoldsen-Harris of Polka & Bloom.


It can be a teeny bit awkward when a friend asks you to review their book - I mean, what if you don't like it? What if you think it's rubbish??? I didn't have to worry at all about reviewing this book, though, as I knew Carina was going to knock it out of the park.

Mandalas to Embroider contains 24 meditative, mandala-inspired embroidery designs. As well as being nice to look at, the idea is that you can lose yourself in the relaxing process of stitching the pretty, geometric designs.


There are 12 large designs (sized to fit perfectly in 6 inch embroidery hoops) and 12 small designs, which you can use as decorative motifs on other sewing projects or frame in mini Dandelyne hoops (if you've not heard of these, they're fab mini embroidery-hoop style frames perfect for making embroidered necklaces and other jewellery).


At the start of the book you'll find comprehensive guides to the tools and stitches you'll need to complete the designs in the book, as well as tips on working with embroidery hoops.

Each project is shown fully stitched in Carina's bright and cheerful colour palettes, with a full-colour version of the pattern and a list of suggested DMC embroidery thread colours so you can replicate the design exactly if you want.


Aren't they fabulous?

Finally at the back of the book you'll find the patterns themselves. This is one of the things that makes this book so great: these aren't patterns printed on book pages that you'll need to photocopy and tape to a window to trace (though you can do that, of course), they're actually embroidery transfer sheets! You just tear out the page along the perforation and follow the instructions to use an iron to transfer the design to your fabric.


Apparently the sheets can be used up to 10 times, then after that you can photocopy them. There's even a pocket built into the back cover of the book for you to tuck the transfers so you don't lose them, which is very helpful (I am forever forgetting what "safe place" I've put paper patterns in!).

I really love this book, and (gushing friendship moment) I'm really proud of Carina for designing it, she is so talented and her use of colour is always such a joy.

If I'm honest, I'm not sure I'd ever stitch the small designs (I don't wear a lot of jewellery, and I much prefer the intricacy of the larger designs), but the large ones are so nice and the iron-on transfer sheets so easy to use that I think this book would be a great value purchase even if you only wanted to stitch a few of them.

Mandalas to Embroider: Kaleidoscope Stitching in a Hoop, is published by Search Press. It's available from Amazon UK, Amazon USA, The Book Depository and many other websites and bookshops. You can also buy signed copies direct from Carina's website.

Please note that the Amazon and Book Depository links in this blog post are affiliate links, which means if you click through and make a purchase I get a tiny percentage for the referral. It doesn't cost you anything and it helps support my blog. 

Visit my book reviews archive for a look at lots more crafty books! 

The lovely people at Search Press sent me a free copy of this book to review (thanks, guys!) and have another copy for me to give away - hurrah! 

Just leave a comment on this blog post for your chance to win!

Leave your comment before 10pm (UK time) on Thursday 10th May. I'll then contact the winner and pass their info along so the book can be posted to them by the team at Search Press.

Please make sure you leave a blog link, Twitter/Instagram/Etsy username (no locked accounts, please, I need to be able to contact you), or email address in your comment so I can get in touch if you're the winner. This giveaway is open worldwide. Yay!

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 & to have a contact email visible for me to be able to get in touch with you.

UPDATE: this giveaway is now closed. 

29 comments:

Jenny said...

What a lovely book! Would love to try my hand at one of these one day.

@annabelscraftroom said...

A lovely collection of beautiful designs xxx

Talia Stevens said...

I've stitched a few mandalas for friends (cats, peacock feathers, and TARSIS') but I've never done any like this. Looks like such fun! (If you're interested, look through my Instagram for pics: taliadawn).

Kay said...

I love the fact that the patterns are included for easy transfer, it drive me nuts when I have to enlarge/print out/in any way prepare a pattern before I can use it. I would probably try a smaller design first to build up my skills. Thank you for a great giveaway. x

Mie Christensen said...

I would love to win this pretty book, written by a fellow dane.
Keeping my fingers crossed.

Jenni said...

This book looks wonderful, I'm adding embroidery to my crafty interests at the moment and mandalas seem like such a lovely thing to stitch.

Mad said...

Looks lovely!

Linda aka Crafty Gardener said...

This looks like a lively book. I love colouring mandalas and would certainly enjoy embroidering them too. I must check this book out 📚

Heidi Orndorff said...

This book looks fabulous. I haven't done needle work in a while but would love to win this book and give in a whirl. Thanks for the chance! jeohlolmo@aol.com

Avigail Oron said...

Mandalas & embroidery makes so much sense together! The designs look lovely

Avigail Oron said...

And of course I forgot to leave my Insta handle... it's _avig_

Rebecca said...

I would love to win this! It looks amazing. I'm on IG @sullen_hearts

Marrs Attax said...

What a lovely book. Would love to win a copy as I have put a hold on my craft purchases this year!!

Ariadne said...

This looks lovely and I am lately very into stitching embroidery in hoops.I'd love a chance thanks. ariadnesky(at) hotmail(dot)com AriadnefromGreece!

Helen said...

What a lovely book! I'm just getting into hoop embroidery so it would be fantastic to win a copy. Thank you helenvwebb@yahoo.co.uk

Teresa @ Aurea's Kitchen said...

I need to come back to embroidery just to relax a bit...

Marie said...

This is a beautiful book! Stitching is simply the best!

Kathy Haddock said...

Hi Laura! Just started at looking at mandalas to crochet. Love the intricacy that the embroidery allows on these beautiful designs!
Kathy
kthyhddck@yahoo.com

Aurelia Eglantine said...

I really LOVE the full-sized iron-on pattern idea, and the little pocket to put the used patterns in! I always struggle with trying to attach tear-away pattern sheets to a book or magazine after I've used them. Thanks so much for the giveaway, I love Carina's cheerful, bright sense of colour and would love to try stitching one of her pretty mandalas! My e-mail is on my blog, Eglantine Stitchery, or I'm @aureliaeglantine on Instagram :)

Rocelia said...

I’ve crocheted a few mandalas recently but would LOVE to embroider some! :)

Lee said...

Carina's designs are awesome! Thank you for the review and chance to win a copy!

Anonymous said...

Love Carina's colours. I'm soooo not a pink girly girly person but somehow her designs really appeal to me. I took a workshop with her when she was in Edinburgh a few years ago. I'd love to win this book. I'm on instagram @auburnstitches.

BeanMcQueen said...

What a lovely book! The patterns are so pretty, they make me want to pick up my needle and floss again.

✾Jamie Lee Cooley✾ said...

The book looks great! I enjoy embroidering and so do my daughters. @beacraftygirl lugar4tresgatos@hotmail.com

Nicola said...

Carina is in the LMQG with me, and I'm always amazed by her creativity!

Kay Gordon said...

What a beautiful book. I’ve just started doing some embroidery and would love to try these, they’d make lovely wall art. My contact on instagram is engleby4

Ros Bracken said...

Yes please, I'd love this! Mandala's and embroidery, two of my favourite things. 🙂

Susan Woodward Russell said...

Love hoop work and art. Nice that these are so look colorful.
Nasus35@hotmail.com

Jessica Johannesen said...

this book is exactly what I've been looking for. life is a bit crazy right now and was wondering if anyone connected mandalas and embroidery as a sort of stitching meditation session.