Sunday, 30 March 2014

book review embroidery

Good morning ladies.  I hope you're having a lovely sunny weekend!  I can't believe the sun is out for a change!  Oh and happy Mother's Day if that applies to you.  Me and my wonderful mum had our Mother's Day yesterday, when the restaurants aren't so crowded and overpriced.  We had afternoon tea and a silversmithing workshop!  I'll tell you all about that soon, but today I want to share the card I made her.

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.

The pig is all done in satin stitch and I love the dimension he has. I did struggle with the silk though.  My stitches would be all nice and flat, laying smooth and even, I'd put a few more stitches in and find that an earlier one had raised and twisted itself!  I Googled stitching with silk threads for some advice but couldn't find any.  Anyone got any tips for me?

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.

Book details:

  • Paperback: 88 pages
  • Publisher: Design Originals (7 Mar 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574215094
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574215090
RRP: £9.99


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.

Celtic Thistle Stitches

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.

Chrissie Crafts


heart of charnwood said...

Looks like a handy little book to add to the collection, I'm looking for some pretty alphabets for a little project i'm about to start, thanks for the review! :o)

Sarah in Stitches said...

So cute! I love the homemade Mother's Day card idea :D

JoJo said...

The card came out really cute! I would like to do some more embroidery....I am going to attempt a map of the USA that I saw on Pinterest.

Chrissie said...

Oh dear, looks like I'm going to be adding another book to my shelf...thanks for sharing! Chrissie x

Sandra :) said...

Awwwwwwwwwww such a cutie card - I want to rub the little piggy - he looks so soft!

CeLynn said...

I think your little pig card turned out cute! Great book review.

Jane Galley said...

I'm sure your mum was thrilled with her pig. Will you be stitching the bunnies from the book?

margaret said...

there is lots to do in this book, I think it should be a good seller

Jo Ferguson said...

I enjoyed the book review almost as much as I adored the pig. What a lovely card to make. I'll have to add that book to my wish list.