A few weeks ago I received an email asking if I might be interested in reviewing the new Nancy Nicholson book 'Modern Folk Embroidery'. I am a big fan of Nancy Nicholson's colourful embroidery kits and already have her beautiful cat sampler waiting to be stitched up so I jumped at the chance.
I was sent a copy of the ebook. I have never had a craft book as an ebook before but I really enjoyed using it. It printed well and easily and I could just print out what I needed.
the book is really beautiful, she has a fabulous way with colour and I immediately wanted to stitch at least five of the projects but I didn't have any felt so I had to wait!
The projects are relatively simple in terms of stitching together. They range from pin cushions to full size cushions, hanging decorations to tote bags and even a table runner and a little folk doll. There are quite a few embroidered pictures for framing and some useful hints and tips.
I particularly loved the stitch library which groups the stitches into 'families' such as running and herringbone. She begins with the basic stitch and then gives you lots of ways to embellish the stitch. The diagrams are nice and clear but I would recommend practicing any unfamiliar stitches before stitching them onto your final project.
There is also a practical guide to tools and materials. Nancy favours an air removable pen which may be wise for felt but I have a water removable pen so that's what I used. The pilot frixion pen that I use for the fine lines of my patterns on linen/cotton wouldn't really work.
There are lots of beautiful projects in the book. It was so difficult to choose just one to stitch. I am absolutely going to have those beautiful hanging decorations all over the house!
I already had a whistle fish square white frame so I decided to stitch the bird on the cover because it fits the frame beautifully and because I LOVE it!
Once my local buttons and bows had opened up the next morning I stocked up on gorgeous felts in beautiful colours. Once home I settled in with a coffee and Cerys on 6 playing on the i player radio to read through the instructions and start cutting pattern pieces and stitching.
The stitch instructions were easy to follow and I enjoyed feeling as though I was making it my own by choosing my felt and thread colours.
Nancy suggests tacking the pieces in place first and then removing the tacking afterwards which I did with the smaller pieces.
I normally stitch with a hoop (because I normally stitch on linen) but for this I decided to do without and it which was fine because the felt I used was quite stiff enough. I would recommend the good quality wool felt that she suggests (the white in my project isn't wool felt and was a little see through)
I drew lines and circles where I wanted my stitches using a water removable pen as I have a tendency to 'wander' when I am stitching
I loved the feather stitching on the tail. I did draw lines to follow so I didn't stray too far.
and, just like Wild Olive I loved the Eskimo laced feather stitch. The variations on running stitch are my favourite as they are so simple and yet so effective.
The eagle eyed among you may notice that the flower stalk is missing from the picture! I measured the bird and got so excited that it fit perfectly in my frame that I forgot about the flower! But I still love it, even without the flower.
I followed the stitching diagram quite closely but there are the most beautiful stitch pattern illustrations all the way through the book showing lots of combinations of stitches so you could use all kinds of other stitch combinations to create other birds.
There are diagrams for putting the projects together along with written instructions. I found it easiest to use both together.
I have already started on a second project from the book and have a list of Christmas presents and decorations to make from it too
This is the start of the cuff bracelet...
I love the fact that this book opens embroidery up, especially for the beginner. Once you've made all the beautiful projects that are in the book I think it will be difficult not to go on embellishing every textile surface in your home. Which is probably what I'm going to do
I'm hoping that if you click on this widget you will be able to look through the book but just in case my techy skills have failed me here is the link that should take you there. The book is available for pre order on both Sew and so and Amazon (where you can have a look inside).
I bought all my threads from Sew and So and my felt locally. There are a few suppliers of felt listed in the back of the book that I will be trying.
And now take a look at the other fab stops in the blog hop to see more pics from the book and what my fellow stitchers chose to make
Monday 17th October - Sew and So
Wednesday 19th October - Wild Olive
Thursday 20th October - Kate and Rose
Friday 21st October - Right here at LiliPopo
Monday 24th October - Anna Scott Embroidery
Wednesday 26th October - Carina Crafts