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Mandalas To Embroider
Kaleidoscope Stitching in a Hoop
Carina Envoldsen-Harris

Search Press
UK 13 November 2017 / US from 6 February 2018/ ISBN 9781782215448
How-To Books/Embroidery

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning “circle”, and these beautiful round motifs are a part of Buddhist and Hindu religion. Recently they have gained popularity for more secular reasons, but are still a meditative and calming practice which is why they feature in so many coloring books. Embroidery is also a soothing hobby, and so putting the two together makes sense. The result is a book of twenty-four gorgeous patterns.

I was sold just looking at the lovely image on the cover, and although the word “beginner” is not actually used I reckon this book is suitable for one. The mandalas are stitched using just ten simple stitches, and there are instructions on how to use a hoop and other basics. The stitches are explained with some very clear diagrams each with a caption complete with the sort of helpful hints you don’t usually see in books of stitches but which are very useful for beginners. You don’t need much either; just cotton fabric, floss, a hoop and off you go (although if you really are new to this I recommend practising on a scrap of cloth before tackling a pattern). There are twelve large (about 6”) mandalas and twelve small (about 2”) ones, each shown stitched and as a color diagram which gives the stitches used and DMC threads. At the back are the iron-on transfers complete with instructions on how to do this, including how to do this in other ways. The patterns themselves are so pretty, each one colorful and stitched in four to ten different colors. At the beginning is a page showing thumbnail images of all of them for easy selection, the designs featuring flowers, paisleys, abstracts and Christmas motifs. Not all are stitched on white which is good, and there are some ideas as to what to stitch them onto if you don’t just want to leave them in hoop frames. The smaller designs can be shown off in the new Dandelyne frames and worn as jewelry. A delightful book that makes me eager to start stitching, and one which will appeal to many levels of embroidery expertise.

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

A UK stockist of Dandelyne mini hoops is and even if you aren’t in the UK in the words of this supplier “We ship all over the lovely world”!

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2017