Perhaps you’ve already seen the book, Botanica: The Three-Dimensional Embroidery of Julie Kniedl?
It’s actually in its second printing right now, after being released earlier this year. Yes, it’s so beautiful and so enchanting and so unique, that the first print run went fast!
Today, I’ll show you the book up close and tell you a little bit about what you can expect from it.
Hailing from Inspirations Studios, Botanica is another published masterpiece that combines beautiful embroidery with stunning photography and excellent instruction.
It’s an embroidery project book, but it’s also a delightful visual experience. Even if you have no interest in embroidery, it would make a lovely coffee table book and an interesting conversation starter.
But if you’re like me, you’re going to like it even more, because we’re all about the embroidery, right?
There are twelve projects in the book, each presenting a natural subject in three-dimensional embroidery. The subjects range from flowers, to greens, to fruits, to vegetables, to succulents.
Each project is a masterpiece of ingenuity, creativity, and engineering with needle, thread, wire, and fabric.
Like all good project books, at the beginning of the book you’ll find general information on materials and supplies for the techniques behind the projects.
From there, we move into the individual projects, where we find close up photos of both the stitched subject and its original counterpart in nature.
Sometimes, the embroidery is so realistic and the photography so fabulous, that you might find yourself craving the fruit, smelling the flowers, and reaching out to touch the pinecone!
For each project in the book, you’ll find a complete materials list…
…along with clear instructions accompanied by step-by-step diagrams to help you successfully recreate these embroidered “sculptures” from nature.
Even though the close-up photos are more likely for the artistic presentation of the subject, I appreciate them because they are great learning tools.
When you can see embroidery details this closely, you get a really good idea of what your needle and thread should be producing. And while the scale at first might throw you when you’re looking at the book, when you’re actually doing the stitching, it’s nice to be able to take a close look at the detail in the original sample.
Rarely do you see this kind of detail even in person when examining a piece of embroidery, because your eye can’t see the almost-microscopic detail the way a camera can!
The tactile and realistic qualities of all of Julie’s pieces are pretty incredible!
I think this is one of my favorite pieces in the book, which is unusual, as I’m more often drawn to colorful florals. But the realism in this piece is striking. It makes me want to touch it, to pick it up and examine it just as I would if coming across a pinecone while walking through the woods. (Please note: not a pinecone, but rather a banksia seed cone.)
This small sprig of golden wattle captures the brilliant color and simple beauty of Australia’s national flower. It almost captures its sweet scent!
Maybe this one is my favorite, actually? So hard to choose!
If you want to see all the projects in the book, you can check out the photo preview here on the Inspiration Studios website.
At the end of the book, you’ll find pull-out pattern sheets with line patterns for all the individual parts of the projects.
In a Nutshell
If you love beautiful books, if you love stumpwork, if you love realistic embroidery of natural subjects, if you love art – you’ll love this book!
Julie’s work is exquisite. It is so simple in its concept and presentation – what is more simple than a flower, a lemon, a bunch grapes or cherries, a little sampling of succulents? – yet so artistically rendered to seem complex and out of reach for the average stitcher. Thanks to the clear breakdown of materials and instructions, though, the book makes these three-dimensional embroidered sculptures accessible to all of us.
I can think of no cons. It’s a gorgeous book! I love to thumb through it at leisure. I love to show it to other people. I love seeing their reaction when they realize what they’re looking at!
Where to Find It
In the US, you’ll find Botanica available through Wooly Thread and through The French Needle. It’s a little less expensive through Wooly Thread. You can also find it through Needle in a Haystack. You might have to call the shop to order it.
In Australia, you’ll find it available here through Inspirations Studios. For those in the US ordering from Australia, the currency conversion is in your favor, but be aware of shipping costs.
Botanica sold out very quickly in its first print run, so if you’re keen to add it to your library, perhaps you might not wait for Christmas on this one?