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Romantic Motifs
Transfer and Stitch Series
Carina Envoldsen-Harris

Search Press
23 June 2016/ ISBN 9781782212959
How-To Books/Embroidery

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


If you are looking for a comprehensive guide to taking up freestyle hand embroidery, then this is a good place to start. You can find out what you need to buy in order to start embroidering, learn from diagrams of the stitches you really need to know, look at samples of finished work, get ideas for projects and choose from over sixty different embroidery transfers.

This is a lot for one book to deliver but it does, helpfully debunking the myth that you need to know a lot of stitches or buy a lot of pricey supplies in order to do any embroidery. You don’t need to buy much or even learn many stitches in order to stitch all the transfers, and there are also useful guides to using a hoop and transferring the transfers, which you can use more than once. Every motif has a page showing the design worked with a key to stitches and DMC threads. These are described as samplers and are all worked on white cotton cloth for clarity. Following this section is a shorter one of projects, but these do not come with instructions and would be better described as inspiration. There are photographs of garments, pillows, an apron, tablecloth and table runner plus a page of advice about what you can stitch on and with apart from 6 stranded floss. The final section contains the transfers themselves, which all have a romantic theme. Choose from florals (lots of these), art nouveau, hearts, doves and more; these are mostly single motifs, but there are a few border, corner and frame designs. They have all been previously featured in the Design Library or Design Source books, and it is interesting to see what can be done with them using just thread, cloth and a needle. All transfers are printed in black and can be used up to ten times; a boon especially if using them for repeats. They are arranged on thirty-two numbered pages to correspond with the stitched samples and vary in size from under 3” to whole page motifs. This is the third entry in the series after flowers and borders and motifs, and I look forward to more titles.

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