June 29, 2018
Winner of Mandalas to Embroider
We have our winner! Kristina - please email me at email@example.com, and we'll get your book sent out to you!
June 21, 2018
Book Review: Mandalas to Embroider
Hello all - here's a review I've been looking forward to doing for some time - Carina Envoldsen-Harris has created a lovely new title called Mandalas to Embroider: Kaleidoscope Stitching in a Hoop, with colorful, easy designs that can be adapted to any level of stitcher.
Just so you know, the book link above is an Amazon Affiliate link - clicking through the link and buying is one way to support our volunteer reviews.
This book is beautifully photographed, with lots of bright, compelling images of each project. Carina’s wonderful sense of color is evident throughout this book. It's a delightful book, and I recommend it to any stitcher! And stay tuned to the end of this post for a giveaway!
What's in the bookThere are 24 total patterns with iron on transfers, and materials, stitch, and color guides.There are 12 large patterns made to fit in a 6 or 7 inch embroidery hoop, and 12 mini patterns for tiny Dandelyne hoops.
I love that the Table of Contents includes a visual guide of every project in the book, to pique your curiosity, and give you a clue of where you might want to start:
Pattern pagesEach pattern page includes a color line diagram, with DMC floss suggestions, a stitch guide, and a large, lovely photo of the finished piece. One thing I love about the Winter Solstice pattern, is that it incorporates DMC Coloris floss, a bright variegated floss that looks quite nice stitched up as a mandala.
Each of the mini patterns have a common theme: The Explorers, The Gardeners, and The Artists, and I love that each of the mini hoops has a female name- it gives them a nice dash of personality.
The last section in the book contains the iron on transfer patterns, and a brief guide to using them. The book also has a handy large pocket in the back for storing your cut transfers.
What I made
Using the transfer patterns was a breeze - I used a hot iron with no steam, ironing the front and back of the fabric first, to heat it up, then pinning the transfer face down and ironing.
The transfer lines we nice and dark, no trouble at all! I wasn't happy with size of my fabric, so I tried again, and the second transfer was just as crisp and dark - I suspect each transfer is good for many ironings:
On to my stitching - Carina's color palette was lovely, but I love to strike off on my own, so I decided to choose my own colors and stitches.
I used a thick pale blue perle cotton, and couched it down with 2 strands of pale blue floss:
Next I chose a light taupe floss, and chain stitched all the little leaves. It took awhile, but I think it paid off well in texture and interest:
Next I chose 2 nice blues, and did a combination of split stitch and chain stitch for the centers:
Next, I followed up with a split stitch in a nice bright red:
I could have repeated this same pattern for all of the cute radish-like shapes, but instead I chose to rotate all 3 colors is different combinations. Not sure if that was successful, but it was quite fun:
I again used chain stitch on the petals in the center, and large lazy daisies in the thick perle cotton. I love the texture these different weights and stitches provided:
Overall, I'm quite happy with my stitching of this project - I love that the design is simple, but you can adapt it with any stitches you'd like to try out, as well as experimentation with color.
Here are all the threads I used:
Again, I highly recommend this book - the patterns are enjoyable, intricate, and very adaptable!
The Giveaway!Carina and her publisher kindly sent us this book for review (thank you!) and are offering 1 giveaway copy of Mandalas to Embroider to one lucky Feeling Stitchy reader! This applies to all our readers, no matter where you live!
To win, answer this question (from Carina herself): What's the stitch that you "fear" the most? I'll leave comments open through Wednesday evening (CST), June 27, when I'll close the comments and choose 1 random winner, and announce it here. Ready? Set? Go!
June 13, 2018
Wonderful Wednesday #59: In Bloom
Hi all! It's been awhile since I've posted, and I thought a Wonderful Wednesday post was in order - today I am featuring a free pattern called In Bloom by Jess Wariorka that is available on the DMC site. I'll be honest, I wasn't immediately a fan of this pattern, although it's been very popular and stitched in so many creative and lovely ways, but my perspective on it has changed significantly in the past month.
As you all may know, who have followed this embroidery blog throughout the years, I tend to be a very private person because I have never wanted this blog to be about "me" per se, and always preferred it to be about crafting and embroidery. Aside from the fact that I love to embroider, and that my hands have gotten less attractive over the years, you probably don't know much about me, and I am fine with that! The camaraderie we've shared with each other over a love of crafting has always been enough for me.
But today, I feel it is finally necessary to tell you why exactly I've been quiet lately - I have breast cancer, a few weeks ago I had a mastectomy surgery on the affected breast, and I will be starting on chemotherapy next month. My cancer is hormone positive, and I have a very good prognosis for survival and recovery. This is actually my second time around with breast cancer - my first diagnosis was in 2015.
I've struggled with whether or not to share this with all of you, who don't know me personally, but I feel that it's time. My prognosis is very good, so I am doing my best to stay hopeful - my faith in God has carried me through this far, and I know it will continue to do so. I just wanted you to know why I might be quiet from time to time - my goal is to keep up with this blog as much as possible, but as I always share with any of the bloggers who volunteer with us - "life comes first!"
This pattern has begun to mean so much more to me after my surgery - when I first saw it, I felt a negative connotation which has since disappeared. Now, when I look at this pattern, I see the beauty of my own body, both before and after surgery. I see positive growth, inside and and out. I was never very proud of my breasts, which were always quite small and unremarkable, and I never could relate to women who were proud of their breasts, or who found them to be a large part of their identity. But as you all know who have had breast cancer, your relationship to your breasts and body changes when you lose one. Now, I see the beauty of us all, as women, a beauty that should be celebrated in ourselves.
I want to tell any of you who are going through breast cancer, or cancer or illness of any kind, that you are not alone. I hope this pattern and my story brings you hope and inspires you to craft and appreciate everything that you are. I'll continue to share bits of my progress when I feel up to it. I just thought it was time to share this with you, and I wanted to offer encouragement to any of you undergoing a similar tough time. Love you all, my crafting friends!