Have you ever wanted to embroider your own little garden? If you have, but you’re not sure how to go about doing it, there’s a nifty e-book available out there to show you how. It’s called Stitching Idyllic: Spring Flowers by Ann Bernard. Ann’s little book focuses on creating your own unique embroidered garden out of recognizable flowers and trees, using very basic stitches worked in threads and combinations of threads that produce true-to-nature color schemes.
Stitching Idyllic is geared towards the beginning embroiderer, but seasoned stitchers can also find good information in the book, especially if you’ve ever been drawn towards creating a unique garden scape that is solely yours. You see, Ann takes an interesting approach to embroidered gardens. She plans them much as the gardener would plan a flower garden, and she shows you how to do this. You might be wondering how each garden can be unique – aren’t there patterns for gardens in the book? No, in fact, there aren’t. That’s what’s neat about this book! You are given the tools to scheme up your own garden, and to stitch it entirely free-style, with no lines on the ground fabric. Yes, really! She shows you how to plot out a garden scene and then stitch it on the fabric, without drawing anything on the fabric.
At the beginning of the book, you’ll find the essentials: selecting materials, setting up fabric, using a frame or hoop, and other basic introductory information. Throughout the rest of the book you’ll find instructions on how to stitch a whole variety of recognizable garden flowers, and detailed instructions on combining threads to produce the right colors needed for those flowers to be recognizable. The aim here is a realistic garden, but still “stylized” to a degree. The daffodils or snowdrops, for example, are not needlepainted to look exactly like a daffodil or a snowdrop. Instead, combining the right colors with simple stitches, you’ll learn how to create brilliant tulips, crocuses, daffodils, hydrangeas, irises, and other flowers that populate the spring flower garden. And they all look like what they’re supposed to be.
There are no sequential how-to photos throughout the book. In fact, the stitches used are so basic that the simple drawn diagrams are enough to show you what to do to create any given flower. Detached chain stitch (or daisy stitch), French knots, a little bit of buttonhole stitch, straight stitches – these are the types of stitches we’re talking about. Simple, with really charming results!
There are quite a few sample gardens stitched by Ann’s students displayed in the book, to give you some inspiration. This particular one isn’t in the book, but I think it’s a really nice example of what can be accomplished by following Ann’s pointers. I especially like the way the running stitch was used to create the ground, and I think the tree is lovely! And the little wispy birds are a nice touch.
And these bluebells? My favorite flower in the book!
I think this is a great little book! True, it is not, technologically-speaking, very sophisticated, but that’s ok! The needful information is there and it’s clear, and it’s fun. The e-book is the author’s way of creating an affordable, immediately-downloadable instructional manual for stitching up pretty little flower gardens. At just under $10, I think it’s a nice value.
Stitching Idyllic: Spring Flowers (2nd edition) is available on eBookIt, where it happens to be the only book under Design, Textile, and Costume. There’s no affiliation here – I just thought it worth letting other stitchers know it exists, if you haven’t seen it yet. If you’re keen to stitch a garden, you might check it out! (Hint: Mother’s Day is coming up!)
Enjoy your day!