Book review by Beryl Snell
If you love hand embroidery this book is for you. It offers a range of small sewing projects embellished with beautiful hand embroidery using a wide selection of hand embroidery techniques. The book includes a stitch glossary at the back as well as chapters on cross stitch and decorative stitches and one on Japanese sashiko stitching. All include easy to-follow instructions and illustrations.
The projects range in difficulty, so there are patterns for beginners as well as the more experienced hand sewer. Each project includes patterns for the hand embroidery and instructions for making the item. The items are ideal as gifts for a special person or to keep for yourself.
You could adapt some of the projects if you wished. For example, the Hansel and Gretel storybook panels on page 56 could be hand stitched and sashed with fabric strips and borders. Use traditional quilting methods to finish the wall hanging, with batting and a backing fabric.
I really like the classy effect of sashiko stitching which is traditionally done on dark blue plain fabric. Although I am not a prolific hand embroiderer, I have done some sashiko work. I do like the Pond and scales sashiko place mats on page 70 and will have a go at this.
Gina Coetzer loves making small items as gifts. She was inspired by the cute little pincushion on page 87 to make a pin cushion for Janine. She used the pin cushion pattern and added her own embroidery embellishment, then topped it off with a small blue bird.