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Hoop Art
Cristin Morgan

Search Press
10 January 2018/ ISBN 9781782216360
How-To Books/Embroidery

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde

If you think that freestyle embroidery is all about fussy rules and old-fashioned florals think again! This versatile way of making colorful marks on fabric can be as individual and modern as the stitcher, and this book shows you how to express yourself in stitches.

This is an ideal book for a beginner as not only does it tell you what you need and show you enough stitches to get you started it also contains plenty of simple projects and even some embroidery transfers. I love the way the author points out that a beginner does not need to own everything on the list and says in just a few words how little you need to start. The projects start with several fun but very basic pieces that can be hung up in their hoops, and continues through garments, accessories, soft furnishings and even jewelry. The stitches are all shown at the back in a beginner-friendly way together with instructions on starting and finishing off plus how to transfer with and without the iron-on method. There is a section containing the templates, a list of projects with the DMC threads used and a couple of useful alphabets to trace if you are monogramming. Each project has plenty of captioned photographs as well as a large photo of the finished piece, size and a list of materials. If I could choose I would have opted for a darker, slightly larger typeface and most of the projects also require a sewing machine plus some basic skills associated with it. Some pieces can be made without, and none of the items are difficult to make up. I think my favorite is the zippered makeup purse decorated with lipsticks worked in a mixture of fabric paint and embroidery. Stitch a botanical fern, cactus napkins, winking pillow, watermelon sunglasses case, pictures in hoops of a rainbow, bees, wildflowers and many other things. I was impressed with the pom-pom instructions that show a totally different method to the one I have always used that can be done with a maker or just some card scraps. If you want to learn freestyle embroidery without a lot of unnecessary fuss and prefer contemporary designs you will love this very beginner-friendly book.

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 The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2017