Monday, 25 August 2014

Craft book review - Stitched Blooms

The lovely folk at GMC sent me another book to review.

I was so lucky to get my hands on Stitched Blooms by Carina Envoldsen-Harris, a book which has been on my wish list since it was published.

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.  

This book is aimed at the embroiderer - any embroiderer as long as you like whimsical designs rather than realistic thread painted pictures. A beginner could pick up this book and stitch their first design, equally a seasoned embroiderer could flick through the motifs and find many they'd want to stitch.

The introduction includes a few pages on colour theory, information on fabrics, threads and equipment.  There is then some getting-started information and a dictionary of basic stitches.   

This is followed by 20 projects ranging from skirts to soft toys and including this rather original calendar frame.

I love this duvet cover and would love to make something like this, but white bedding is so impractical... or am I the only one that spills coffee and squash in bed pretty much every morning (it's hard to find your mouth at 6am...) ?

Projects are accompanied by a stitch diagram, showing which stitches are used where, though of course you can ignore this and do your own thing, even using a completely different motif or set of motifs if you wish.  Most of the projects involve stitching on pre-bought, or pre-made if you prefer, items, but the patterns are not included.  They are for some projects such as the stuffed horse and the glasses case.

At the back are 25 pages of stitchery motifs, including borders and corners, flowers and leaves.  These are all also included on the CD which is tucked in the back of the book.

I wanted to do something a bit different for my project, so I chose a design from the book and traced it onto a little wooden box.  I then pyrografied it (no idea what the actual verb for pyrography, or wood burning, actually is!  I usually call it pyrografication).

This is my first attempt.  I use a Dremel VersaTip for pyrography and, this being my first attempt with this tool, I didn't realise that the hole on the side pumps out heat and so managed to burn the side of the lid.  I tried sanding it off, but alas, the wood was such crap quality it just went dark brown.  I tried colouring over it.... I'll be decopaging this attempt!

So I tried again... another small accident with the hole, but I don't mind that so much, it adds authenticity (she tells herself).  The lines aren't great as the wood quality is so poor, but for 80p each, who's complaining?

It's coloured with brush markers, which are basically felt tips.  I thought I should probably try stitching a motif too, as this is an embroidery book.

I used Madeira silks and DMC Light Effects (metallics) to stitch this little flower.  It's about 4" long and took a matter of hours.

French knots in the centre, satin stitch for the purple, a line of twisted chain in metallics inside, leaves in stem stitch and lazy daisy with the central stems in metallics.

I used this scrap of purple dyed even(ish) weave that I had in my stash.  After stitching, I saw it also had minty-blue highlights in it too which you can just see to the left of the photo.  I have no idea what I'm going to turn it into - answers on a postcard.

So what do I think of this book?  I think it's a lovely addition to the bookshelf of anyone who likes this simple form of embroidery and it would be great for a beginner.  I love Carina's style and her use of colour.  There are a couple of projects from the book I may tackle at some point, but I can see me using the motifs over and over and my brain is whirling wondering what other craft I could apply them to.

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Lark; 1 Pap/Cdr edition (7 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145470425X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1454704256
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 20.3 x 25.4 cm

Linking up to:
Craft Book Sew Along at Live. Love. Create.


I was given a review copy of the book by GMC however this review and all opinions are 100% my own, I was not told what to say.  Amazon links are affiliate links.


Anna said...

Lovely embroidery ! Nice book !
Have a great week !

Rachel said...

Maybe a placemat? A traycloth? Even a brooch?

The advantage of those simple designs is that you aren't restricted to the stitches given. Or threads. You could even use heritage threads and 17thC stitches, and would get a completely different effect!

Pam @Threading My Way said...

I haven't used a wood burner for AGES. In fact, it's so long ago, I'd forgotten I ever did it till I read your post. The books sounds fabulous, just for the templates alone. There are so many applications they could be used for, applique for a start. Your embroidered flower is lovely, Wendy.

Sarah in Stitches said...

Looks like an amazing book! I love this kind of motifs. Thanks for the review! :D

margaret said...

another book to tempt me!

Re white bedding I have some and it is chocolate that is the downfall for me!

Anonymous said...

Your flower is lovely! That does look like a nice book- only just started embroidery and it's addictive.

Janice / Dancing with Sunflowers said...

Looks like a very useful book to have, and especially since you've identified alternative ways of using it.

Yes, I'm thinking along the same lines as Rachel - a tray cloth, place mat, napkin, cot cover.... Sometimes this whimsical, quite minimalist style is just what's needed, or just what you fancy doing.

Jane Galley said...

I love the way you've used the motifs, it's great how they cane be used in such different settings

Jo Ferguson said...

It looks like a lovely book. I've already bought a couple of books you reviewed so this one is definitely going on my wish list. Thanks for the review.

Sheryl S. said...

Just the sort of book I love.