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Little Stitches: 100+ Sweet Embroidery Designs 12 Projects
Little Stitches: 100+ Sweet Embroidery Designs 12 Projects
by Aneela Hoey
Edition: Paperback
Price: 17.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little Stitches Review, 26 April 2013
One of my crafty Christmas presents was this fab embroidery book by Aneela Hoey Despite reading it cover to cover, i'd yet to try any of the projects. So, using my free calico from issue 1 of Crafty Magazine, I decided to stitch Missy a beautiful door hanger.

Together we choose two, iron on patterns to appear on the hanger, a blonde girl on a bike and a little dog chasing a ball.

We chose a colour palette of reds, pinks and blues. I was slightly nervous of messing it up, apart from cross stitch I haven't tried embroidery for many years and certainly have never used anything other than a backstitch or running stitch. The finished piece looked so pretty on the page! Aneela's instructions and easy to read tips made this one of the simplest and most satisfying things I've made in ages

Freehand Machine Embroidery: Learning to draw with your machine
Freehand Machine Embroidery: Learning to draw with your machine
by Poppy Treffry
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.49

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction to machine embroidery, 26 April 2013

As I get more confident using my sewing machine, I've been tempted to give machine embroidery a go. I first saw it on an early series of Kirstie's Homemade Homes, where Kirstie Allsopp declared it was like craft crack cocaine! That's an endorsement! Aside from that, it looked fun and easy, no rules and not much to learn other than to let the machine do the work. Poppy Treffry's book is a great guide to getting started. With very clear instructions and some lovely beginners projects it's the perfect way to kick-start a love affair with machine embroidery.

The first thing I realised upon reading the intro to the book was a mistake I'd been making for years, particularly when working with particularly silky or stretchy fabrics. Pesky feed dogs. For those, like me, who have no idea what feed dogs are, they are the little lines of teeth under the needle and foot which grip onto fabric. Dropping the feed dogs or simply covering them over with masking tape is the first step to successful machine embroidery.

The book is very mindful of not rushing you in to creating a master piece to early on. In fact, Poppy encourages you to `have a play' and get a feel for your machine by making squiggles, lines and simple shapes like hearts and triangles. Top tips include using two different threads for your top thread and bottom bobbin when shading. What a great idea. I'd never thought of this. Poppy uses black and grey together to shade in darker areas and also mixes brighter colours like red and orange to create depth and add texture to her designs. Applique is tackled in the book too, again with very clever but simple tips like multiple outlines around your applique shapes for stand-out.

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