Sunday, September 5, 2021

Beautiful Botanical Embroidery


Beautiful Botanical Embroidery is a tutorial guide with patterns for surface embroidery by Alice Makabe. Due out 15th Oct 2021 from Zakka Workshop, it's 112 pages and will be available in paperback format. 

It's nice to see embroidery and other fibrecrafts enjoying a renaissance of sorts. In times (long) past, people would learn these skills as a matter of necessity, handed down from generation to generation in the family. That's no longer true, so crafters must turn to other sources of instruction. The internet (youtube, ravelry, and other social media channels are good sources of instruction, but for not-strictly-visual learners like me, books are still vital. I learn better if I have a book sitting in front of me and if I don't feel like I constantly have to pause the video to figure out what I'm doing. 

This is a well written and formatted guide to botanical embroidery projects along with basic stitch instructions and templates which are suitable for beginning to advanced embroiderers. There's a thumbnail gallery table of contents arranged by primary project color (white, blue, pink, green, and yellow), followed by projects and motifs arranged into comprehensive photo collages. The actual project chapters are contained in the back of the book, and include line drawn templates with stitch keys and charts. Finishing directions are included, but many (most?) of the projects will lend themselves to a wide variety of projects.

The stitch diagrams which are provided include clear line drawn schematics for straight stitch, lazy daisy, satin, French knot, chain stitch (used in most of the projects), and other surface embroidery techniques. It would be possible to complete the projects in the book by just using the stitch tutorials, but obviously having a more experienced stitching buddy would help.

It should be noted that this book is about surface embroidery, not cross stitch.  It's lovely to see tutorials and and upswing in interest for the other fibrearts; it seems like only cross-stitch had any following for a long long time and it's nice to see surface embroidery enjoying a renaissance.

Beautiful projects. Four and a half stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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