Book Review – A to Z of Embroidery Stitches

Book Review - A to Z of Embroidery Stitches from Hugs are Fun

I love the simplicity of cross stitch, you make a row of diagonal lines going one way and then you go back the other way. It’s easy to get into a rhythm because it’s all the same, over and over. But embroidery is a whole different ballgame, there are tons of stitches. Apparently, far more than I even realized because A-Z of Embroidery Stitches* is full of ones I’ve never even heard of!

Book Review - A to Z of Embroidery Stitches from Hugs are Fun

I had a hard time even getting a photo of the contents pages listing all the stitches, there are so many! I counted and there are 84 different stitches listed, and that doesn’t even count all the variations like the 8 types of blanket stitches.

Book Review - A to Z of Embroidery Stitches from Hugs are Fun

I tried my hand at a couple of the stitches in the book and I found the photos all really easy to follow and the directions to be clear. Besides a handful of basic stitches, I always need to reference either YouTube videos or an online guide when doing embroidery stitches.

Book Review - A to Z of Embroidery Stitches from Hugs are Fun

I really appreciated the little diagram that appears on the top showing all the different steps at once. It was really helpful for me to get an idea of the progression of the stitches.

Book Review - A to Z of Embroidery Stitches from Hugs are Fun

In addition to all the different stitches there is also a great general overview on getting started with embroidery – transferring designs, choosing needles, finishing your embroideries… There are also tips for left handed embroiderers and a lot of great information about thread painting and working with ribbon.

The cover of the book advertises it as “a complete manual for the beginner through to the advanced embroiderer” and I would definitely agree. This is a truly comprehensive stitch guide and I was really impressed with how easy to follow the photos and directions are.

I was also excited to see that there are a bunch of other “A to Z” embroidery books either out or that will be released this year – whitework, needlepoint, threadpainting, ribbon embroidery, stumpwork. I’m really excited to check out some of these, especially if they are as detailed as this one!

A-Z of Embroidery Stitches* is published by Search Press Classics.

Please Note: This post contains affiliate links that are indicated by an asterisk*. I received a review copy of this book from Search Press Classics.

Free Cross Stitch Pattern – Mario 1 Up Mushroom

Free Cross Stitch Pattern - Mario 1 Up Mushroom from Hugs are Fun

Normally I wouldn’t share a project from a swap before I’ve sent it out, but this month for CraftingCon the theme is Mario and I wanted to share this pattern with you!

I made this for the Nerds Craft It Better swap and I love how it turned out. I used a Dandelyne hoop necklace and stitched the mushroom using water soluble canvas. (If you’re interested in trying out water soluble canvas, I wrote up a tutorial over at &stitches!)

Free Cross Stitch Pattern - Mario 1 Up Mushroom from Hugs are Fun
The mushroom is tiny, it’s only about 1.25″ x 1.25″ when stitched on 14ct Aida. It makes a perfect little badge or embellishment.

Crafting Con

Download the PDF here – Mario 1up Mushroom

There are more free patterns to download here, and patterns to purchase here at my Etsy.

WIP Finish – Quilty Stitches Sampler

Quilty Stitches Sampler from Hugs are Fun
When I set the 2015 goal to finish some WIPs, I put together a list and set a loose goal to finish one project a month. These are separate from other projects I plan on starting in 2015, these are all ones I worked on and then abandoned before finishing them and have been sitting around for quite awhile.

Quilty Stitches Sampler from Hugs are Fun
Here we are in February and I’ve finished my 3rd project! (You can see the other two here) This one was the Quilty Stitches sampler that I first posted about over a year ago!

Quilty Stitches Sampler from Hugs are Fun
I had almost half of the blocks done and then I just kind of fizzled out. I found these patterns extremely challenging to work on and always ended up having to pick out stitches. There are a lot of half and quarter stitches which I have never done before, and that just kept tripping me up. I finally picked it back up and was determined to finish it and I was able to do it in a couple weeks.

Quilty Stitches Sampler from Hugs are Fun
I haven’t decided yet what I’m going to do with it so right now it’s in the pile with all my other cross stitches and projects that I’ve finished but haven’t hung up or framed. Maybe that should have been part of the goal…

Quilty Stitches Sampler from Hugs are Fun
As many issues as I ran into with this, I still am really pleased with it and love how it turned out. It is a great design, the patterns are available for free from Little Miss Shabby.

Creative Trends with Terrys Binds

(null)

Head over to Terry Blinds and read about what I think about creative trends and how my work fits in. Also, I want to start doing geometric cross stitches again, I forgot how much I love them!

What’s your favorite trend right now?

WIP Finish – Josephine Dolls

WIP Finish - Josephine Dolls from Hugs are Fun

I was able to check off two WIP projects off my list, these Josephine dolls I started making for the girls for Christmas and then abandoned. The pattern is a free pattern from Abby at While She Naps, and I had a ton of fun making these!

WIP Finish - Josephine Dolls from Hugs are Fun

Evie’s favorite color is pink, so her doll has a pink dress and I just couldn’t resist making it a hexagon dress. I absolutely love how it turned out. I embellished her doll with felt pom poms for the hair and buttons on the head and dress. I actually had made a bunch of wet felted balls awhile ago for garland and I happened to have two that were the perfect color!

WIP Finish - Josephine Dolls from Hugs are Fun

Originally I planned on embellishing Mira’s doll as well, but in the end I decided against it. I figured that right now she would probably just pull on them and try to get them off, so it was a safer bet to just leave her plain for now. I can always add buttons or other decorations later. I actually had been working on joining tiny hexies together but didn’t have a plan for them, and this seemed like the perfect use for them.

WIP Finish - Josephine Dolls from Hugs are Fun

At first I was feeling really critical of these and kept seeing all the little flaws. But now I really love them, I think they’re really sweet and I’m pretty proud of how they turned out!

The pattern is available free from whileshenaps.com

Stitch Love Blog Hop – Free Patterns

StitchLoveValentineBlogHop

Mollie Johanson from Wild Olive has a fantastic new book out, Stitch Love: Sweet Creatures Big & Small. I already reviewed it and absolutely love it, you can read my review here.

Because she’s so incredibly awesome, Mollie has organized a Valentine’s blog hop and made a series of free patterns for you all!

Stitch Love Blog Hop - Felt Heart Pouches from Hugs are Fun

I chose two designs to stitch up, Evie is getting the little rabbit with the flowers, and Mira is getting the ferret.

Stitch Love Blog Hop - Felt Heart Pouches from Hugs are Fun

This was my first time using Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy Stabilizer and I am officially smitten. I have always loved embroidering on felt but it is such a pain to transfer designs to it. The Sulky Fabri-Solvy is printable and then just sticks directly to your fabric. When you’re done you just soak it in warm water and it dissolves away. It’s incredible and I am going to be doing a lot more embroidery now that the transfer process (by far my least favorite part!) has been simplified!

Stitch Love Blog Hop - Felt Heart Pouches from Hugs are Fun

I used this Purl Bee tutorial for making the felt hearts, but I made my own template so my heart would be wider to accommodate the pattern a little better.

Stitch Love Blog Hop - Felt Heart Pouches from Hugs are Fun

Fill them with the candy of your choice (around here it’s dark chocolate) and you’ve got a sweet little gift for your Valentine!

Stitch Love Blog Hop - Felt Heart Pouches from Hugs are Fun

Download the heart template.

Download the ferret pattern and the bunny pattern

And make sure you stop by the other blogs to get some more adorable patterns!

Monday: Shiny Happy World & Wild Olive

Tuesday: Little Dear Tracks

Wednesday: Lark Crafts

Thursday: Hugs Are Fun (That’s here!)

Friday: Feeling Stitchy

Saturday: Pretty By Hand & Wild Olive

So tell me, which is your favorite of the Valentine’s patterns you’ve seen so far? I had such a hard time choosing which to stitch, they’re all so cute!