July is finally here, and this month – in just over a week – a book that I’ve been waiting to see for quite a while will be available!
If you love floral garden embroidery, especially if you like stitching small motifs that have an exuberant garden feel to them, you’re just going to love this book – Embroidered Country Gardens by Lorna Bateman.
The book covers a wide variety of garden elements that are stitched into various garden scenes that adorn several finished projects. So it’s an instructional book, an idea book, and a project book all rolled into one.
Let’s take a look at it, shall we?
Embroidered Country Gardens is a lovely book – and it’s a hefty book, both in size and in scope.
The book packs in all kinds of instruction, stitching tips, helpful hints, finishing ideas (and instructions), and general good information that applies to all kinds of surface embroidery projects. Even if you’re not planning to work a project in the book, it serves as a great instructional springboard for any free-style, surface embroidery.
In the beginning of the book, you’ll find a vast section on materials and tools for embroidery.
I don’t use vast in an exaggerated sense here. There are many pages on the different types of tools and materials and miscellaneous supplies that help the embroiderer enjoy stitching!
I love good materials and supplies sections in books – the kind that are written with care and interest, rather than just the average “list” of stuff. When thoughtfully written, these sections are fun to browse, and they give me ideas for good and useful tools or gadgets that I may not have thought of before.
Lorna covers all kinds of foundational techniques in preparing for embroidery – everything you need to know to get started on any of the projects in the book, but pretty much on any similar type of embroidery project, too!
I love that she includes the suggestion of using a doodle cloth while working on a project. A doodle cloth is a little piece of fabric (it’s very helpful if it’s the same fabric you’re working a project on, so you get a real feel for how things will come together) where you stitch practice bits before applying them to your main project.
Doodle cloths are fun! They end up being a great little narrative of your embroidery progress. If you want to know more about them, check out my article on five reasons to make and keep a doodle cloth.
Then we get into instructions on basics – which includes a stitch dictionary with diagrams of all the embroidery stitches that you’ll run into on the projects in the book.
You’ll also find instructions on techniques – like adding padding underneath embroidered areas, stitching over card to add definition and dimension, covering washers or similar items with stitches and applying these to embroidery projects, making small slips. Lots of good information here!
My favorite section of the book are the numerous pages of garden flowers and vines and trees, shown in the drawing stage and the embroidery stage, with an explanation of stitches used to create the elements.
I’ve been working on a collection of florals and greenery over the past year (like this little sprig I shared with you a few weeks ago). If you’ve never stitched little flowers and clumps of flowers like this – even if just for the fun of it and for no other purpose – you’d be surprised how satisfying it is! And there’s a whole slew of simple, creative things you can do with motifs like this. They’re just fun – and sweet. And pretty!
Embroidered Country Gardens is a project book, so you’ll find many projects presented here for you to embroider and then finish into useful things.
I love the eyeglass case…
…and the magnifier cover. We recently talked about why you need a cover on your magnifier here on Needle ‘n Thread, and here in the book, you’ll find a pattern and finishing instructions for making your own cover.
And of course, there’s a scissor keep project, too. If you’re already familiar with Lorna Bateman’s work, you’ve probably seen her scissor keeps and her pin cushions.
There are finishing instructions for a pin cushion, for a tape measure cover, a thimble pip, pencil case, and more! Lots of things you can make from your embroidery, and they’re all beautiful and useful.
In a Nutshell
Embroidered Country Gardens is a beautiful book, and it’s a thorough book when it comes to instruction for this type of free-style surface embroidery. The projects in it are all attainable – they’re nothing complicated about any of them, and the instructions are clear and easy to follow.
There’s plenty of scope in the book for personalizing your embroidery projects and making them unique, since the elements in the embroidery can all be combined in myriad ways to create ever-new designs.
I’d say the book is suited to beginners and beyond. While the embroidery is definitely on a small scale, it is all very achievable, very accessible, and very well-explained – and same with all the finishing work on the projects.
I didn’t see any “cons” to the book. It’ll make a beautiful, fun, and attainable addition to your embroidery library, whether for reference or for further project development.
Where to Find It
Embroidered Country Gardens is available from Amazon. You can find it listed in my books section on my Amazon Recommendations page here.
You can also find it at French Needle.
My guess is that this is going to be a popular book – somewhat like the Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home book from several years ago, which was impossible to keep in stock for a while. If you’ve been looking forward to the book and you want it on this first print run, I’d consider pre-ordering it!
This article includes an affiliate link to my Amazon Recommendations page, which means that Needle ‘n Thread receives a small commission for any purchases made through the link, with no extra cost to you. Thanks!