March 15, 2013

Books: Anna Maria's Needleworks Notebook

The wonderful people involved with Anna Maria's Needleworks Notebook were sweet enough to share a copy of this book to review on Feeling Stitchy.

And it's been awhile, but I am finally giving a brief tour through my favorite elements of this book and... if you read to the end... a giveaway! This post is a combination of my first dive into one of the book's projects and a brief overview of the book.



What I Made: One Night of Crafting 
I am so strapped for time these days, that before I begin a project I wonder if I'll be able to finish it. It's a count-the-cost mentality I've been forced to adapt, to be realistic with my time constraints. Do you ever do this, too?

In all my future reviews on FS, I want to include a quick-and-dirty snapshot of everything I was able to accomplish in one night of crafting, which for me equals 6PM - 11:30 PM on a weeknight. And, here you have it, the results of 5.5 hours, or one night of crafting:

one night of stitching


As you can see, this is a detailed, cross stitch project that could safely occupy at least 3-4 additional nights of crafting. But I love the gorgeous colors and lines!

Book Overview

If you're already a fan of Anna Maria Horner, you will have plenty of reasons to love this book. I was so taken with Anna Maria's color language that I made a list of all the floss colors from my favorite projects and lined them all up, to really take in a sense of her style:

lovely colors


Pretty gorgeous, huh? By the way, all of the floss colors are listed as Anchor in her book, so I used this Floss Conversion Calculator to convert to DMC, since Anchor is not readily available in my region.

Now, on to the book! The book is divided into two sections: Grid Works and Free Works. Each section is further subdivided into helpful Common Materials and Tools, and Stitch Know-How sections with illustrated color guides to many, many stitches.

Under Grid Works, you'll find projects for Cross Stitch and Needlepoint.
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The Needlepoint section is extensive, showing 11 different stitches that can be used (as a Needlepoint newbie - I had no idea there were so many!)
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Under Free Works, you'll find projects for Embroidery and Crewel. The Embroidery section also has a 4 page illustrated color guide that shows you 13 different stitches.
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The Crewel section has a 3 page color guide that shows you 5 stitches. Again, I loved the colors in these projects:
bk5


Lastly, the book closes with a section on Finishing your projects, and the Project graphs:
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I love the graphs for their color and creativity, but they are colored blocks, without a symbol, so it can be hard to decipher if you have two very similar colors next to each other. On the other hand, it's a good springboard for the more creative stitchers out there, if you're planning to use your own colors and ideas.

Here are my favorite projects, in no particular order:
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"home" crewelwork pillow

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"menagerie at midnight" cross stitch

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"star-crossed love" needlepoint purse

The Giveaway!
Overall, I think it's a wonderful book, both for inspiration and projects, and that's why I decided to give away 1 copy here! To win, all you have to do is leave a comment here - and tell us this: if you had to pick 1 favorite out of the following: Cross Stitch, Needlepoint, Freehand Embroidery, or Crewelwork - what would it be? Please include your email address so I can contact the winner!

I'll leave the comments open until 9 PM, CST on March 17, when I'll close the comments and announce the winner soon after. Want to win your own copy of Anna Maria's Needleworks Notebook? Tell us your favorite stitching category!

Hi, I'm floresita, editor of Feeling Stitchy. I'm an avid stitcher, knitter, and crafter. You can see more of my stitching on my blog, and find my vintage transfer collection at Vintage Transfer Finds.

Feel free to email me with any ideas for the blog!

111 comments:

  1. Definitely freehand embroidery! I'm not a terribly precise person, so this one works best for me! lisajean.mcneil@gmail.com

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  2. ooooh freehand embroidery for sure. I have had my eye on this book. Love AMHs work!

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  3. Hola! I will pick Freehand Embroidery. My email is serranoainhoa@gmail.com. Thanks a lot. Ainhoa.

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  4. I'm still very much an embroidery newbie, but so far most things that have appealed to me were crewel work. Closely followed be freehand embroidery.

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  5. Hello! Learning all the new stitches that I havent done! moonfairys13@yahoo.com Thanks!!

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  6. Freehand embroidery! I would love to have this book!! quiltyhabit(at)gmail(dot)com

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  7. Yay! I love Anna Maria Horner. My favourite embroidery is freehand too but I also love red work.

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  8. If I could have only one it would be freehand, but I do enjoy them all. The book looks stunning and I would love a copy.

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  9. Freehand embroidery! Love the look of this book. mysticflower@gmail.com

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  10. Cross stitch!

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  11. Everything in this book is just gorgeous! I'd pick freehand embroidery.

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  12. My choice is Freehand Embroidery. I would love to learn some new stitches, there are so many. This would be a wonderful book to have. My email is kogrady@cableone.net

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  13. I think I'd have to pick needlepoint but I love cross stitch as well.

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  14. My choice is cross-stitch, but that's because it's the only one I know how to do. But they are all on my "one day" list.

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  15. I would choose cross stitch as my favorite. : )

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  16. Freehand Embroidery. I love Anna Maria's work.

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  17. I would love to learn how to cross stitch!
    marykolb (at) charter (dot) net

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  18. disqus_QD3EdkHyoJMarch 15, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    Cross stitch is my favorite!


    ankhliquide132 *at* hotmail

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  19. I am currently a freehand embroiderer but I really want to learn needlepoint. Everything Anna Maria Horner makes is magic!

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  20. Beautiful book! Thanks for the chance!
    Love Free hand embroidery
    agulhaddameri(at)gmail(dot)com

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  21. I really enjoy cross stitch, but looking at the Love cushion picture above I am intrigued by and would love to try crewelwork. tmayo77@gmail.com

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  22. Hello from Minnesota! My favorite would have to be freehand embroidery but I appreciate a good cross-stitch pattern as they turn out so exact.

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  23. I love freehand embroidery!

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  24. I love cross stitch but would love to learn whatever the Love pillow is, gorgeous!

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  25. I really love freehand embroidery!

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  26. I like cross-stitch because I've been doing it since I was 10, but I really want to learn more crewel and freehand embroidery techniques.

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  27. Definitely freehand embroidery! But I'm new...so I'm still afraid to be daring!

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  28. disqus_ztRMgUBf3uMarch 15, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    Wish I knew how to do embroidery, I love it! The best I can do is a little cross stitch!

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  29. It's a tie between crewel and freehand - I can't decide. But I would love this book. kbmurray@gtcc.edu

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  30. It's a tie between crewel and freehand - I can't decide. But I would love to add this book to my library

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  31. I love the one you picked to start with for your review - gorgeous colors. I think for me embroidery, but I have also done some cross stitch. Looking forward to graduating so I can have some more time to craft!

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  32. I love embroidery but would love to try crewelwork and especially love to try the pillow you picked out. (craig.fraser6@bigpond.com)

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  33. I really want to try some crewel work. I have been hoarding thread for awhile now but haven't started a project yet.

    Ebbtraven(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  34. I want to try needlepoint. I already love the other three.

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  35. I would choose freehand embroidery. I just like that it's less restrictive than cross stitch (though sometimes I want nothing more to count squares and make tiny little x's, LOL). Thanks for the giveaway! I've been eyeing this book for a while.

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  36. Crewelwork definitely- I imagine beautiful old tapestries hung in stately homes... as I work on pillow covers for the IKEA sofa!

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  37. I pick freehand embroidery. But I am dying to learn how to do crewel! Rayjay0217@hotmail.com

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  38. I love the "Love" pillow so I would have to say that I would extremely excited to learn how to do crewelwork!
    Thanks for the chance to win this!
    jeacousin[at]gmail[dot]com

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  39. Looks like there are a lot of great projects in that book. If I had to choose a favourite it would be freehand embroidery because it allows me to be more creative with my work.

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  40. I love cross stitch...love the idea of freehand but always get a bit unnerved by all that freedom! Fantastic looking book, thanks for sharing with us all!

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  41. Crewelwork -- it was the first form of needlework I learned, and so my first love.

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  42. When I was in jr high I used to cross stitch. Now, I enjoy embroidery, but I'm interested in crewel work.
    aesprouse at gmail dot com

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  43. Currently cross stitch is my favorite.
    katherine.d.mclain@gmail.com

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  44. Oooh, a review AND a giveaway! This is on my list but I've been conflicted about if I should get it or not (budget reasons only) so thank you for all the information on it. I prefer freehand embroidery myself, though I really want to explore crewel which I haven't yet!

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  45. Definitely Free Hand Embroidery

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  46. strawberryshortcake5491March 15, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    Oh I love this book! Such inspiring photos! hmmm, I love the look of crewelwork, though I've never tried it (maybe I will start with one of Anna Maria's projects!). I just love hand stitched projects!

    strawberryshortcake5491@hotmail.com

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  47. Needle pt is my favorite. I can stitch and watch tv with my hubby!

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  48. I can't wait to try crewelwork! its beautiful.

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  49. Freehand embroidery is hands down my favorite. I have done cross stitch, bargello, and needlepoint but love the freehand the best.

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  50. Jeanne EnglebrechtMarch 16, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    i think overall, i find the most zen in cross stitching...and i love seeing more and more fun, modern, imaginative, creative patterns popping up for cross stitch. but i am pretty equal-opportunity to all forms of embroidery. :) thanks for the chance to win! this book looks so pretty.

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  51. If I can only pick one I guess I'd have to pick freehand embroidery, but it's such a tough choice! (I've already changed this comment twice because I can't choose just one!)

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  52. I enjoy freehand embroidery especially when I feel inspired!

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  53. Tatyana KishchinskayaMarch 16, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    This book looks wonderful! Thanks for the giveaway.
    I always preferred cross stitching :)

    Best wishes,
    Tatyana

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  54. Amanda Watson-WillMarch 16, 2013 at 2:37 AM

    Currently I'm in love with freehand embroidery, but I'm keen to try crewel and cross stitch too.
    potsrme at hotmail dot com

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  55. I would love the book. I really want to try crewel. My grandma taught me the basics of crochet, knitting and embroidering. It is buried somewhere in this 56 Year old brain. I started gardening two years ago and want to have something like embroidering or crewel to fill that void in the winter!! erin1956 {at} gmail.com

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  56. Freehand. No question about it. Probably because it's the most accessible out of the lot and you can put it on almost anything ;-)

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  57. All the patterns are so nice! have to go with free embroidery
    kristynpurintun at gmail

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  58. Pupil of Léa Stansal, I'm a freehand embroiderer! But I would try the crewel embroidery of Anna Maria Horner's book ;)

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  59. Oh Wow, what a beautiful book. I am currently a cross-stitcher however planning to move into Freehand embroidery this year as with the little I have done, I have really enjoyed it and the results.

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  60. Freehand embroidery!... but you should pick me so I can brush up on my needlepoint ;)


    mail at spikeworld dot co dot uk

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  61. Наталя ПавлишMarch 16, 2013 at 5:24 AM

    This book looks so lovely! My passion is cross stitch.
    pavlysh *at* gmail.com

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  62. My favorite is cross stitch, but I do enjoy all types of needle work.

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  63. I would have to go with Freehand embroidery as my favourite, you can include elements from everything else! lol

    bradleyvictor (at) yahoo (dot) ca

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  64. Typically cross stitch --but freehand offers so many new possibilities

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  65. Virginia Sattler-ReimerMarch 16, 2013 at 7:16 AM

    Cross stitch, so far, I am just stepping into the realm of embroidery!

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  66. I do some embroidery, and I'm planning on doing a little refresher course on cross stitch with a project I recently picked up. I've had this book on my amazon.com wishlist for a couple of months. Would love to win it! amber1726@gmail.com

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  67. I would choose crewel because I haven't done that in years and love Anna Maria's style. brownandco (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  68. I have done more cross stitch in my lifetime, but there is something freeing about freehand embroidery. It's like painting with threads and I just go with it. The designs in that book look lovely! jkaty27 gmail

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  69. I like Freehand Embroidery, but also Cross stich. Interisting book.
    Birgithl*at*gmail.com

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  70. This is a difficult decision for sure, but freehand embroidery leads the race in my current crafty endeavors! Thanks for offering such an extensive book!

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  71. Freehand embroidery is definitely my favorite! But cross stitching is a close second, when I need something formulaic. It's a different brain exercise. :)

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  72. embroidery is my top-although i'm currently working on a crewel project and falling in love. thanks for the great review and giveaway.

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  73. freehand embroidery is what I love to do. Luckily I do it almost everyday. Thanks for the chance to win this book. I really want to do some Crewelwork and this would help.

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  74. freehand embroidery is my favorite. I am learning how to do thread painting. It is exciting for me to watch a blank canvas turning into something beautiful. I also love to learn different kinds of stitches such as crazy quilting ..... I am an avid cross-stitcher.

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  75. Cross stitch all the way for me! This book looks really great, I hadn't heard of it before, so please include me in your giveaway - thank you!

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  76. My favorite is definitely cross stitch! My dad taught me how to cross stitch when I was young, so I've always had a fondness. I also love how it takes my full attention without taking all of my concentration! Perfect for a crafting activity. ♥ Thank you for the giveaway! This book seems like such a good resource. My email is: cookiefaerie at gmail.com

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  77. Freehand embroidery is my favorite by far (but I've been wanting to try needlepoint for a long time now).

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  78. Ooh, I've been wanting to try crewel for ages. I love the old Jacobean patterns, but I also like modern designs. Thanks for hosting a giveaway!

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  79. Corina van KriekenMarch 16, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    For me it would be crewelwork...

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  80. FreeHand Embroidery. I love learning new stitches and making my own designs. holland_lops@hotmail.com

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  81. Freehand Embroidery is fascinating me right now, but I like all of them.
    Thank you for the giveaway!
    ofelialamejor(at)yahoo(dot)es

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  82. freehand embroidery. so much fun. it's like doodling with thread. graphicalee @ gmail . com.

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  83. Freehand Embroidery, it hides all my mistakes.

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  84. Lovely bright bold colours in this book. I think my favourite is cross stitch. Have never tried crewelwork so winning the book would give me a great chance to try! :-) email is dibblejo@hotmail.com
    P.s- couldn't figure out how to post a comment other than 'anonymously'. I'm Jo!

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  85. I love freehand embroidery! You can do the traditional shapes and styles but you can also do crazy new things and weird combinations of traditional stitches to get totally new looks

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  86. Cross-stitch for sure, though some of those patterns make me question my choice! :)

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  87. I'm new to stitching craft in general but it was Freehand embroidery that got me interested. This book looks like it would be wonderful inspiration for all sorts of projects. Thanks cassjohn@gmail.com

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  88. The crewel section in the free hand part is right my favourite !! I am very looking for this soft but so poetical embroidery. I am very happy to read your review as I did not get to read any.

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  89. Freehand embroidery is my favorite, but I've had an obsession with all of them at one time or other. Thanks for the giveaway! tdarlingscheer@gmail.com

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  90. I recently picked up needlepoint, but I think cross stitch will always be my favorite!
    Maggiejaned@gmail.com

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  91. Cross stitch! Was the first I learned, taught by my grandmother, and I feel it like a classic that never grows old :)
    fiorella.tosti@gmail.com

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  92. I love them all, but freehand embroidery seems to have more possibilities, so that is probably my favourite. Thanks for the lovely giveaway!

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  93. Cross Stitch is my first love and what I always gravitate towards. I could sit and cross stitch for hours! Thanks!

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  94. freehand embroidery!

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  95. how about freehand crewel work?

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  96. That looks like a wonderful & inspiring book! I'd say my favorite is hand embroidery. I love all the different stitches!

    Simplydoveblog@gmail.com

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  97. I love every category, really!! But, crewelwork has a bit of a nostalgic warmth to it that makes it really special to my heart. I have all of my Mom's unfinished crewel kits from the 70's that I am slowly finishing off as a silent tribute to the amazing crafty talent that she had.

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  98. Hi! This is an amazing give away! My favorite is freehand embroidery, for sure, even I've been testing all of the others. My email: simone_1975@yahoo.com

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  99. Cross stitch is my favorite and what I do most, but I dabble in all the varieties of needlework! The colors in the book look beautiful!

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  100. Although I haven't done it much, I really enjoy needlepoint.

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  101. Depends on what I'm in the mood for, but I mostly do freehand embroidery. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  102. Freehand embroidery, though cross-stitch when I don't want to think about anything. Because I am lazy. The book looks gorgeous!

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  103. Of course it is embroidery for sure, it offers so much possibilites.

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  104. It is embroidery for sure it offers so much possibilities.

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  105. i'm not the most experienced, but i do have more experience with embroidery. so that is my favorite.
    neoisdc(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  106. I love the look of freehand work, but I need a pattern when I embroider. This looks like a great book. Thanks!

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  107. I started out as a cross-stitcher, but now my favorite is absolutely freehand embroidery. You can get a range of texture out of freehand embroidery that you just can't get from cross stitch.

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  108. If it involves a needle and thread it's my favorite -- I keep cross-stitch for evenings at home, and embroidery for long conference calls at work (I pay better attention with a needle in my hand)

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  109. The book looks great - so colourful! I'm a cross stitch girl, love those little x's. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  110. Free Hand embroidery - I started out with long stitch and cross stitch when I was younger but enjoy the creativity, freedom and challenge of freehand embroidery now days.

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