book review

This Week at the Library :: Embroidery!

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I told you, oh, last week, that I would post the other set of books that I fell in love with at the library. It’s taken me longer than I thought – but only because I had other fun things to tell you about – but finally, as the last post of this week, I’ve dug up my pictures and fallen in love with these two books all over again.

I had actually forgotten which books I had picked up, dyeing yes, but what were the other ones? Ah, here they are, embroidery!

These two books have two distinct personalities and I value them both for different reasons.

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Colorful Stitchery by Kristin Nicholas is exactly what it states – colorful and full of stitches. It’s a great book for someone new to embroidery or someone wanting to be inspired to spice up their home. Especially if color is not something you are normally comfortable with, this book will stretch your boundaries quite a bit! She has many great ideas for pillows – using them as samplers to get all your stitches and designs worked out.

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She also, and I really liked this part, explains how she takes an image and refines it into a design – going through several stages of redrawing and abstraction. This is such a great way to take an image of something familiar to you (in this example a house) and make it into a great design all your own. Just think of all the things you could do for your design! Snap a photo of your favorite coffee mug and embroider it on a kitchen towel. Snap a photo of your bird (or in my case ferret), or even your studio chair. Anything in your line of site – make it into an embroidery design.

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And of course, the thing in the book I want to make for myself more than anything else – These super cute embroidered aprons!

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The second book is equally interesting, inspirational, and useful – just in a completely different way:

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The Embroiderer’s Floral by Janet Haigh has a great collection of stitches and techniques:

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all put together in wonderful floral designs:

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She shows how each stitch type can be combined and elaborated to create sensual elegant flowers:

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These flowers are so beautiful and the colors so rich that they look like paintings.

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And something that I have seen before, but had not realized it was what it was and that I liked it so much, is the use of fabrics with the embroidery. Not just in the petals, but as part as the overall design:

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I can’t wait to try out some of the stitches and designs in the book. I would say it’s good to get if you have some experience working with embroidery. The examples and stitch explanations are so well illustrated and written that really, if you are up to a challenge, it is a good book for an mid/advanced beginner.

And like I say every library post – if your library doesn’t have these books: ask about inter library loan availability or ask that they purchase it for the permanent collection.

And with that, I’m going to go renew these books and then pull out my embroidery floss and needle.

Best wishes and Happy Crafting!

Kristin Roach

ps – thank you for all the great comments on/about Thrift Kitchen! It really was a treat to read them all! It sounds like we are all in the same spot as far as limited budgets go for sure. I have a great homemade bread post planned for Sunday, so check back for it then.

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