I have two new stitching books to share with you today. (And yes, I have completely discarded the New Year’s resolution to stop buying craft books. I lasted three months. Well, two. Okay, a few weeks. Say nothing.)
The first book is Stitched Blooms, by my blogging friend Carina Envoldsen-Harrison. Carina’s bright and beautiful blog, Carina's Craftblog, is a treasure trove of embroidery inspiration and tips, and her first book reflects her characteristic colourful style.
In fact, one of the things I love most about this book, besides the hundreds of lovely floral-themed motifs, is the segment on colour. A six-page ‘Color Stuff’ section explains basic theory, colour schemes, and even suggests some ‘colour exploration exercises’ for those of us stuck in colour ruts.
But for all this, I now share with you the first project I’ve completed from this book, using off-white candlewicking thread on off-white vintage French linen:
After completing my candlewicking snowflake kit, I had a good amount of the string-like cotton thread left over. I paired it with the vintage linen, which I cut into a small hand-towel size, and traced a little floral motif from the book onto the bottom corner.
I really love how easy and effective this simple pattern looks. I let the materials sing without colour – the linen is very tactile, a thick weave, and the cotton thread is very rustic. I’m pleased with the combination, especially with this folksy floral motif...perhaps a table runner next, with a lot more blossoms?
Stitched Blooms has a long list of fun and useful projects, all clearly explained and well photographed. Embroidered skirts, shirts and mittens, bags, decorated towels and blankets...the striking botanical art framed embroideries are next on my list. The Stitch Glossary is the best I’ve seen in an embroidery book – with, believe it or not, clear photographs demonstrating various stitches! How many times have I been left scratching my head trying to decipher unclear illustrations drawn without an actual needle or hand in mind...
Now, the title of this post is ‘One-and-a-half book reviews’. You’ve read one, so here’s the half review. May I introduce to you the exquisite Pansées et Violettes: au point de croix.
Half a review, because the book is in French - I don’t speak French, so I cannot possibly review the written content. But I do love pretty pictures, and this book has those in abundance!
You know a book is special when it has a ribbon binding it together...and inside are artistic, delicate cross-stitch designs all based on violets and pansies. Each photo is carefully staged with eccentric items, complementing the sketchy style of the cross stitching.
This is not your ordinary cross-stitch book. The images are haunting, half-completed designs meant to tease the imagination, conjure up memories of woodland spring...
There is something so magical about these patterns, so ethereal, I just sat in silence turning page after page of beautiful patterns. And because this is cross stitch, no language barriers will keep me from creating my own stitched keepsakes. These little blooms are close to my heart.
I have the first few violets starting to uncurl their petals in the garden, time to tend to those! Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and please link up any needle n’ thread projects below...