I was offered the opportunity to review some books from the fabulous craft book publisher GMC and of course I jumped at the chance. The first book I selected was 500 Simply Charming Designs for Embroidery (Design Originals). Before we go any further, the disclaimers. I was sent the book for free to review but I was not told what to say and all opinions are 100% my own. I didn't receive any monetary compensation. Links in this post, as with all my book posts, are affiliated. If you click over and buy something, I get a few pence towards an Amazon voucher. It doesn't cost you anything (unless you buy something of course! but only the price of the book and shipping, no extras).
I was drawn in by that image of a hedgehog on the cover, and the book did not disappoint. I was delighted to find 4 bunnies amongst the 500 motifs! The book starts with a quick introduction on how to use the book, then has a few pages of projects, showing you how the motifs can be used.
I'm not sure I'd take the time to embroider my socks! Then there is some basic embroidery information and stitch guides for the 15 stitches used in the book. This information means that anyone could pick up the book and start to stitch, even without any experience. Of course, for the more advanced embroidress, you can use the motifs however you like.
Each set of motifs is on a double spread. On the right is the motif embroidered which gives you a lovely idea of how they look. On the left is the traceable part with information such as which stitches were used, how many strands of embroidery floss and the Olympus colours (I assume this book is Japanese). I ignored the colours in my project as I wanted to stitch from stash. I did follow the recommended stitches, but you don't have to, you could embroider them as outlines if you prefer.
Categories of motif include home and hobby; nature's living things; special occasions; tasty things to eat; letters and numbers and borders and lines.
The motifs are all whimsical, but the alphabets and borders are just beautiful. Look how elegant some of them look in this photo. There are also a handful of cross stitch designs at the back and a conversion chart Olympus - DMC.
My mum loves pigs, so I knew straight away that I wanted to embroider the pig. I had to enlarge the pattern by 200% (luckily my home scanner/printer/copier does that - though I've only just realised it does!) to make it big enough for a stand alone motif on a card. I stitched in silk threads, my first time.
I made up the card very simply as I wanted that silk embroidery to shine. I machine stitched it to a card blank, unfortunately the linen I stitched on stretched at the corners! I should have used interfacing. I added eyelets in each corner. They broke as I applied them but as anyone who's used eyelets knows, once they're in, they're in forever!
This is the monogram I used for the first M. At first I traced MUM with these monograms, but realised after I'd finished the first M in the recommended stem stitch that it would be too wide and look silly. I took it out and retraced using the M from this page and the other letters from another, less ornate, alphabet. I do regret the U being wonky, but mum will love it anyway!
Overall, I really like this book and I'm glad it's come to live with me. I can see me making use of a lot of the motifs, especially as they are small so only take half an hour or an hour to stitch. The alphabets (of which this is only one) are lovely and very useful. If you fancy getting into embroidery, or have some experience, I'd recommend this book.
- Paperback: 88 pages
- Publisher: Design Originals (7 Mar 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1574215094
- ISBN-13: 978-1574215090
I was given a review copy of the book by GMC Publishing however this review and all opinions are 100% my own, I was not told what to say. Amazon links are affiliate links.
I'm also linking up to Fiona's Something New for 2014 as this is my first time stitching with silk and Chrissie's Stitching Sundays.