Stitching Idyllic Spring Flowers by Ann Bernard a review

book coverStitching Idyllic is an 80 page ebook directed towards new hands to embroidery but experienced stitchers will find good information in it too.

Basically you imagine a beautiful garden and with the assistance of Ann Bernard then you set about making it come to life. As the aim is to produce a garden landscape of flowers I can see Crazy quilters easily adapting many of the ideas in the book.

Ann Bernard trained at the Royal School of Needlework and has oodles of tips to share. The book is presented with beginners in mind so it starts off with basic introductory information such as the preparation of fabric and stretching it on a frame.

The rest of the book provides instructions on how to work a large variety of garden flowers and how to combine threads to produce their impressionistic colours. To name a few flowers in the garden include the favourites such as Daffodils, Snowdrops, Crocuses, Grape Hyacinths, Bluebells, Tulips, Iris, Forget-me-nots, and Primulas.

The flowers are accurate, but use simple surface embroidery stitches. Although there are no step by step photographs in the book they are not required as the stitches are basic.

A definite point in its favour for anyone who wants to create her own designs is that Ann Bernard shows you how to plan and stitch your garden, provides a colour chart and sample Gardens to assist you in planning and stitching your own project.

As I have already said the ebook is written for beginners but it is more than that, as instead of trapping people into the dependency of following this line with that colour in that project pattern, Ann takes a beginners hand and takes them straight towards self expression using simple stitches. At $10 Stitching Idyllic is fair price.

Note: apart from receiving a free review copy of the ebook I do not make financial gain by writing this review.

Free Vintage Crazy Quilt Seam Decorations

Mary Haehnlen’s  A Book of Fancy Designs for Ornamenting Oriental Work (pdf file) was written in 1884. It’s a little gem that is a free ebook comes the Antique pattern Library. There are 20 pages of diagrams that illustrate stitch combinations for crazy quilting.  If you are new crazy quilting you may need instructions for the basic stitches which you can find in my stitch dictionary here, other than that, unlike many books of that period  most of it is self explanatory.
detail from book To modern readers the title is misleading as it would be easy to think it was a book on Chinese or Japanese embroidery but it is not. “Oriental work” in this case is what today we call crazy quilting.

detail from book Here are a few of the diagrams suggested for embellishing crazy quilted items. I love the way these diagrams are reversed and set against a black background to look make them look more dramatic.

This small book contains diagrams of 65 crazy quilting stitches so if you are interested in crazy quilting it is well worth downloading and reading.

When I first discovered it I had no hesitation on hitting print button on this valuable historical reference. I really think this little gem should not be missed.

The free ebook comes the Antique pattern Library. This and all their books are PDF files which means you will need Acrobat Reader to open these files. You can download a free reader on the Acrobat site.


Crazy quilt template set 2 Have you seen my Stitchers Templates?

As someone who loves crazy quilting and embroidery I designed these templates with other stitchers in mind. With my templates you can create hundreds of different patterns to apply to your stitching and crazy quilting projects. They are easy to use, totally clear so you can position them easily and they are compact in your sewing box.

Templates set 1 you will find here 
Templates set 2 you will find here 
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Friday Freebie Encyclopedia of Needlework free online

I have blogged about this site before but since it is a good few years ago I think many of my newer readers will appreciate me drawing attention to this site. The Encyclopedia of Needlework by Thérèse de Dillmont (1846-1890) is published online as a web site.

screenshot of website

The book hold 16 chapters that range across many areas of needlework. For anyone looking for pulled and drawn stitches there is a chapter on Single Cut Openwork and a chapter on Whitework which is useful. Under Miscellaneous fancy work there are some interesting techniques along side some canvas work stitches.

screenshot of website