Secret Garden Embroidery- Craft Book Review
There is something wonderfully relaxing about cross stitch. Especially small little cross stitches that are cute and can be done relatively quickly. I also little crafts with a touch of whimsy which is why I was so drawn to the Secret Garden Embroidery by Sophie Simpson of What Delilah Did.
Perviously, I reviewed her book, Storyland Cross Stitch, which was equally adorable. The Secret Garden Embroidery focuses on things you find in a garden, from bees and ladybugs to birds and bunnies and a few floral motifs as well.
What I really like about Sophie's book is that the patterns range in size from very small that can be done quickly and use only a few colors to larger motifs that require a longer time commitment. If you are new to cross stitch you could use one of her books as a personal cross stitch course. Start with the smallest projects and work your way up.
Just like any good craft book there is an introductory section that discusses the necessary equipment for needle work such as the frame. Most of us are familiar with the traditional round hoops for cross stitch but you might not have tried one of these nifty square frames that doesn't bend the fabric like the rounds ones. All good tips are welcome!
The photo below shows a number of project from the book. Many of the projects are not just the pattern but actually an item to be made such as the glasses case in the upper left hand corner or the thistle book mark in the center. Others are purely decorative but of course could be turned into something useful.
Scroll though the gallery below to see the wide variety of projects in this book. The one that really grabbed my attention was the bee pin cushion but I haven't gotten around to making it just yet. I will warn you that there are so many designs to choose from that you might get a bit overwhelmed.
Another thing I love about all of Sophie Simpson's books is that she includes a little story about each pattern. I haven't read them all so I don't know if they make up one big story but the ones I have read are charming little things that more often than not make you smile. Her books encompass multiple forms of entertainment.
I ended up choosing the lady bug as my first design to try. She suggests making this into a magnet but instead I made a button with a button kit that I picked up at my local craft store. I made a video of how to use the button making kit which you can find here.
As you can see from the photo I did the stitching on standard cross stitch fabric and then cut it out and stitched it onto a light fabric. This is because the cross stitch fabric is very stiff and would not fold over the edges of the button properly. There are many different types of cross stitch and needle work fabrics but I generally just use the standard kind because it is easy to find and easy to work with.
If you are a cross stitch enthusiast and are looking for a book filled with whimsical garden designs then you can't go wrong with Secret Garden Embroidery.