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The Hand-Stitched Flower Garden


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About the Author

Yuki Sugashima is a floral designer turned handcrafter with experience in knitting, spinning, natural dyeing and embroidery. Creating under the name Y * Handmade, she designs and sells her work at her online shops and at handcraft events in Japan. She shares her creative life on her blog at http://yhandmade.wordpress.com


Take up freestyle hand embroidery and use your new skills to adorn twenty projects. There are some imaginative choices for items to decorate in here, ranging from the ubiquitous cushion, egg cozy and pin cushion, to a hair barrette, decorated coat hanger cover, oven mitt and sewing machine cover. The book is divided into four seasonal sections, starting with a few pages showing the featured embroidered flowers. Then follow the projects, although not all of the flowers are used -- some only appear at the back as patterns. Each project has staged photographic instructions that are easy to follow even for those fairly new to sewing projects, together with a picture of the finished item in situ, a list of what fabric and thread you need, plus a list of stitches. The color palette is shown as a key with actual photographs of stitches worked with the thread (DMC), a nice touch. Some patterns can be measured out directly; others appear as patterns in their projects or at the back, either full sized or requiring sizing. This does not need to be done on a computer or copier, but dimensions are listed so you can draw out the patterns yourself.

All the embroidery stitches are shown at the back and have been chosen to suit the subjects, so range from standard freestyle stitches, such as long and short, French knots, and chain to more exotic offerings like granitos stitch, ghiordes knot stitch, and double drizzle stitch. There are also projects involving beads, even a bit of ribbon embroidery, and stumpwork to add interest to the embroiderer and show what a bit of hand stitching can do. At the back are also all the drawn patterns for the flowers etc., with indications as to which stitch goes where, plus how to do the various types of fancier work. Under the heading of "Getting Started," you can find out about threads, transferring methods, resizing, and what you need to kit yourself out as a hand embroiderer. As for the patterns, choose from mimosa, plum blossom, yew berries, cosmos, safflower, wild strawberries and others, along with bees, butterflies, snowflakes and other accents (over 45 of them). This is a lovely book destined for many a keeper shelf that would be ideal for beginners upward.

* Rachel Hyde - Myshelf.com *

Inspired by nature, Yuki presents over 45 exquisite embroidery designs and 20 projects in this beautiful book. The designs reflect the seasons and include something for everyone, from Acorns to Witch-hazel! Full-size templates are included together with step-by-step instructions, and detailed stitch techniques will ensure success for all abilities.

* East Kent Embroiderers Guild *

May 2016

This book provides over 45 beautiful floral designs to embroider, plus 20 projects to make, giving endless possibilites for you to mix and match motifs and create designs of your own too. Split into four chapters following the seaons, the flowers for each season are shown stitched on to a plain linen background, followed by a selection of stylish projects, incorporating the motifs, with full clear step-by-step instructions. Comprehensive tools, materials and stitch guide can be found at the back. This book will give you an endless source of inspiration.

* Love to Make *

'The Hand Stitched Flower Garden is a reflection of my passion for flowers and embroidery, designed to encourage others thinking about trying embroidery to get started and introduce techniques beyond the basics to those looking to advance their skills.
The book consists of two parts: a collection of motifs to stitch and project ideas for using those designs. The motifs section is arranged by season and features a variety of botanical motifs with insects here and there, for fun.
These motifs range in difficulty from simple ones using just a few easy stitches to ones that use materials like ribbons and beads or dimensional techniques. So there's a little bit of a variety of things to provide a taste of different avenues to explore and to show that knowing one extra method can really expand the possibilities.
The projects section features items for the home and fashion accessories, namely, things that can be used in everyday life. I tend to be a practical person and wanted to offer ideas that would be useful in some way, so an embroiderer can enjoy using the finished piece as much as the stitching process.
The projects are generally simple and straightforward to construct to make it easy to adapt them to different motifs and materials. They are intended as blank canvases on which an embroiderer can stitch her favorite motif.' - Yuki Sugishima
For the full article visit: http://www.needlenthread.com/2015/11/yuki-sugashima-on-the-hand-stitched-flower-garden.html

* Mary Corbett's Needle'n'Thread *

I love stitching and I love flowers, so this book combines two of the loves of my life. I know many stitching friends, who like me, will appreciate this book. There are 45 embroidery designs accompanied by 20 projects to make. You can mix and match flower motifs to make your own designs. This book will provide an endless source of inspiration. Apart from the introduction and tools and resources, the book is split into four chapters - following the four seasons of the year. The embroidered flowers are shown in colour, 3 to a page. They include beautiful flowers like tulip, lavender, magnolia and mimosa, but also ladybirds and butterflies. The projects are practical yet beautiful. I love the sewing machine cover, the butterfly pincushion, the oven mitt, all the projects are handsome. Step-by-step instructions are given for the projects. An elegant book of embroidered projects that will appeal to a wide range of stitchers. Highly recommended.

* Karen Platt- yarnsandfabrics.co.uk *

The cover of this book just gives you a small glimpse in to the beautiful and amazing designs held within this book. There are 45 beautiful floral designs to embroider and 20 projects ideas as well. The projects surprised me the most in this book. Not only are you getting the beautiful designs you also get full instructions, including pictures, to make the different projects. I love the fact that there are step-by-step instructions and the pictures are so clear that you will easily understand how to make everything. The book is split into to season's of the year. Each season provides you with the pattern for the beautiful floral designs and the projects to use them on. At the back of the book everything is covered from the tools, materials and techniques used. You are then also provided with a stitch directory. I cannot express enough how professional and sophisticated the designs in this book are. The book gives you the opportunity to create amazing and beautiful items. You can use the designs on the projects in the book or you can use them to embellish your own projects. This book is worth every penny and more besides.

* Crochet Addict UK *

Author, Yuki Sugashima remembers the time she rediscovered her old box of threads and that being the trigger of the interest in embroidery craft. Her previous experience as a floral designer meant she was soon creating floral motifs in thread.

Range of information
All the information required to make the items is condensed down to 4 pages each, or so, including photographic imagery, diagrams and the method to undertake the making. Each project has a brief introduction, a colour palette, 'you will need' information, diagrammatic instruction and photography. There is a tools, materials and technique guide, plus actual size templates at the back end of the book 9/10

Quality of information
The purpose of the short introductions are to share a few tips and to link the themes. There is opportunity to learn/use surface and dimensional stitching and bead embroidery, and though not hugely comprehensive the information does fully support the aim to do the best job at recreating Sugashima's embroidered range of items 9/10

Size and format is similar to a lifestyle/fashion magazine (not glossy). Paperback book is 23 cm Long x 18 cm Wide. Instructions are in fonts that are quite small and fine. One full paged image is included for each project and a lovely double paged feature spread appears in each section which showcases flora and fauna embroidery 8/10

Eye catching, full colour photography, images are of high quality 8/10
Contains 128 pages. Pages numbers are labeled on each of the double paged features I mentioned in Layout to direct you over to stitching information 8/10

I haven't put needle to fabric using this book as a guide as yet so am unable to feedback specifically about the accuracy and effectiveness of the projects. This is a nicely presented book however, with some inspirational designs to embroider. The project ideas are quite traditional i.e. egg cosy, oven gloves and apron, but items such as these, when completed, could get stained easily during food preparation so the time and energy in adding hand embroidery motifs could be regarded as bittersweet if they happen to get spoiled, and if shrinkage occurs, or if dyes from the threads were to bleed out in a warm wash. Personally, I admire the skill and the work involved and I think the outcomes are very pleasing, but delicate embroidery is better applied, I feel, to items such as covers, pouches and fashion accessories. Therefore, I may set up one of the projects as a workshop theme when my craft group next meets, or make an item or two and giveaway as keepsake gifts to the same sewing friends. First, however, I need to get to grips with embroidery techniques and the contents of this book may well send me on the right road.

* Debra Hall -Notcompulsory.blogspot.co.uk *

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