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Freestyle Embroidered Mandalas
More than 60 Stitches and Techniques in Inspiring Combinations
BY Hazel Blomkamp, Di van Niekerk and Monique Day-Wilde

Search Press
20 November 2018/ ISBN 9781782217053
How-To Books / Needlework

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde


Stitch twenty-seven beautiful mandalas using the gorgeous drawings of Monique Day-Wilde married to the sewing skills of Hazle Blomkamp and Di van Niekerk. Using a combination of freestyle stitches plus some other needlecrafts, you can bring these designs to life and use them to adorn your home and wardrobe.

Mandalas and embroidery – a wonderful combination! This book brings needlecrafts into the 21st century with an option of colored prints as well as line drawings plus all the materials you can find from floss to beads. Stitch on plain cloth or try the latest embroidery style by stitching on patterned fabric and augment your work with ribbon, trapunto and appliqué. The mandalas range from the abstract to those featuring “real” motifs such as shells, flowers, feathers, stars, snowflakes and more. Some are seasonal, and three are sea-inspired, which pleased me! The book states that it is ideal for “rank beginners” as well as experienced stitchers, not a claim I would make. I suggest improver level upwards as there is too much for a newbie to cope with. However, the stitch and technique diagrams are very easy to read so a beginner could certainly learn freestyle embroidery from this book. Each project has a list of what you need, a large photograph of the finished design and written instructions. The numbers correspond with numbers on one of more diagrams so you know what goes where. Projects are also graded from 1-3 for difficulty and a finished size is given in metric and imperial. The mandalas range from 5½” to 11” and some are shown worked using the plain line patterns while others show what you can do with a colored pattern. Instructions are given on how to do both methods; you will need a special type of iron-on paper or a copy shop for the colored variety, and all patterns need enlarging. As I said earlier, this is a book of modern embroidery so some technology is required alongside the needles and thread. A beautiful book for the keeper shelf.

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

Visit Di van Niekerk’s site at which includes a worldwide list of where you can buy her ribbons, kits and other items.

Reviews of other titles by these authors

Hazel Blomkamp
Crewel Creatures

Di van Niekerk
Dreamscapes in Ribbon Embroidery and Stumpwork by
Monograms and Words in Ribbon Embroidery - Di van Niekerk
A Perfect World in Ribbon Embroidery and Stumpwork - Di van Niekerk

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2018