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The Hand-Stitched Flower Garden
40 Beautiful Floral Designs to Embroider, Plus 20 Great Project Ideas
Yuki Sugashima

Search Press
29 January 2016 / ISBN 9781782213017
How-To Books/Embroidery

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


Take up freestyle hand embroidery and use your new skills to adorn twenty projects. There are some imaginative choices for items to decorate in here, ranging from the ubiquitous cushion, egg cozy and pin cushion, to a hair barrette, decorated coat hanger cover, oven mitt and sewing machine cover. The book is divided into four seasonal sections, starting with a few pages showing the featured embroidered flowers. Then follow the projects, although not all of the flowers are used -- some only appear at the back as patterns. Each project has staged photographic instructions that are easy to follow even for those fairly new to sewing projects, together with a picture of the finished item in situ, a list of what fabric and thread you need, plus a list of stitches. The color palette is shown as a key with actual photographs of stitches worked with the thread (DMC), a nice touch. Some patterns can be measured out directly; others appear as patterns in their projects or at the back, either full sized or requiring sizing. This does not need to be done on a computer or copier, but dimensions are listed so you can draw out the patterns yourself.

All the embroidery stitches are shown at the back and have been chosen to suit the subjects, so range from standard freestyle stitches, such as long and short, French knots, and chain to more exotic offerings like granitos stitch, ghiordes knot stitch, and double drizzle stitch. There are also projects involving beads, even a bit of ribbon embroidery, and stumpwork to add interest to the embroiderer and show what a bit of hand stitching can do. At the back are also all the drawn patterns for the flowers etc., with indications as to which stitch goes where, plus how to do the various types of fancier work. Under the heading of "Getting Started," you can find out about threads, transferring methods, resizing, and what you need to kit yourself out as a hand embroiderer. As for the patterns, choose from mimosa, plum blossom, yew berries, cosmos, safflower, wild strawberries and others, along with bees, butterflies, snowflakes and other accents (over 45 of them). This is a lovely book destined for many a keeper shelf that would be ideal for beginners upwards.

If you cannot find a good range of embroidery materials locally try for a list of suppliers.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in Sewing World, Sew Hip, Popular Crafts and other magazines.
Reviewed 2016