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Boho Embroidery
Nichole Vogelsinger

Lucky Spool (distributed in the UK by Search Press)
11 January 2017/ ISBN 9781940655208
How-To Books/Embroidery

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


If you think that hand embroidery is old fashioned, complicated and not for you then this book might make you change your mind. As the subtitle says “Modern projects from traditional stitches” and this is what happens when patterned fabric meets embroidery and gets its style from a boho hippy trend.

I have been a keen hand embroiderer since the age of seven and am always on the lookout for new ways of doing it. This book taps into the current fashion for using embroidery hoops as frames, and for embellishing patterned fabric with stitches. The result is a fun, colorful piece of work that draws on appliqué and even coloring skills, mixes in some basic freestyle stitches and results in one of the most enjoyable ways I have yet seen to use up a lot of bits of fabric. Each of the eight chapters is called Let’s Talk About…and you can see what the author has to say about tools, stitches, fabric plus making accessories and looking for inspiration. Every page is filled with bright photographs of materials and finished work and it is easy to get carried along with the author’s enthusiasm; I couldn’t wait to get started! Discover what thread, materials and tools to buy, learn how to do sixteen simple stitches, choose your fabric and lay it all out. You can add paint and other embellishments, find out about composing your work and how to attach appliqué cutouts. The stitch diagrams could be larger and more colorful for easy use and tend to look rather lost on the page but fortunately they are all chosen for their simplicity. I love the way very basic stitches like the running stitch, straight stitch and backstitch really come into their own. All the work in here has a bright, 60s vibe about it but all the methods would work equally well whatever style you are into. If you don’t want to adorn your walls with hoops there is a chapter dedicated to applying the methods to making bags, jewellery, embellishing garments and more and if you live in the US you can find a list of stockists at the back. There is also a section of appliqué patterns (these mostly need to be enlarged) and a list of useful websites if you want more information about embroidery stitches, broderie perse and crazy quilting. This new trend taps into several hobbies and ties them all together in one fun package and the author is adept at showing how simple and enjoyable it all is, regardless of your skill level.

If you cannot find a good range of fabric and embroidery floss locally visit for a list of suppliers.

Some of the harder to find threads can be bought at

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in Sewing World, Sew Hip, Popular Crafts and other magazines.
Reviewed 2017