Mary Corbet

writer and founder


I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

Contact Mary

Connect with Mary



2024 (40) 2023 (125) 2022 (136) 2021 (130) 2020 (132) 2019 (147) 2018 (146) 2017 (169) 2016 (147) 2015 (246) 2014 (294) 2013 (294) 2012 (305) 2011 (306) 2010 (316) 2009 (367) 2008 (352) 2007 (225) 2006 (139)

Embroidered Country Gardens – Book Review


Amazon Books

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 by Lorna Bateman

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.

Embroidered Country Gardens by Lorna Bateman

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.

Embroidered Country Gardens by Lorna Bateman

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.

Embroidered Country Gardens by Lorna Bateman

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.

Embroidered Country Gardens by Lorna Bateman

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!

Embroidered Country Gardens by Lorna Bateman

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 by Lorna Bateman

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.

Embroidered Country Gardens by Lorna Bateman

I love the eyeglass case…

Embroidered Country Gardens by Lorna Bateman

…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.

Embroidered Country Gardens by Lorna Bateman

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.

Worldwide with free shipping, you can find it here through Book Depository.

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.

This article includes affiliate links to book sources, which means that Needle ‘n Thread receives a small commission for any purchases made through the link, with no extra cost to you. Thanks!


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


(15) Comments

  1. Dear Mary

    Embroidered Country Gardens by Lorna Bateman looking at all the photos above and the lovely projects the book covers it looks really wonderful and full of lovely garden designs. I’m wondering what the wooden implement in the tools and materials is it looks interesting. My favourite is the eyeglass case full of lovely garden colour threads. Thanks for reviewing and sharing with us Lona’s book and the photos on embroidered country gardens it is lovely. Happy Wednesday.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  2. Thanks for reviewing this book Mary! Who doesn’t love hand-embroidered personal items? It looks like there are plenty of small projects for stitching accessories or handbag—all gift-able & Christmas is coming. Have you ever mentioned that Lorna Bateman teaches embroidery classes? She actually teaches in one of the most delightful places on earth—Les Carroz, France. Alpine Experience is a great little getaway about an hour south of Geneva in the French Alps with English speaking owners/staff. There are a few spots left for Lorna’s class in 2020. Hope this helps you & your readers.

  3. Hi Mary
    An enormous thank you to you for your lovely write up – it made me quite tearful! It also made me realise suddenly just how “real” it all is and also how terrifying, as you expose yourself totally when you write a book.
    It was an enormous amount of work which you have appreciated so your feedback was just wonderful to read!
    The book launched here last week with me doing a slot on The Sewing Quarter, a local craft channel. We launched a brand new website at the same time and have just been inundated with orders, so it all seems to be happening at once. Do have a look if you have time (??!!) – I had a great team help me including the photographer who did most of the work n the book.
    Again a special thank you – your work on your blog is always outstanding and I refer many a stitcher to it for advice.
    Warm wishes

  4. Mary, that looks like a lovely book. I wish there were fewer lovely books out there. I just bought the amazing “Botanica” on your recommendation and now here’s another one I “need.”

  5. Mary: You are always tempting us with irresistible embroidery books, and now my collection has grown so much that it overflows the current space I have! I love books like this because they’re so inspiring and informative while providing us with hours of pleasure enjoying the beauty of quality hand embroidery. It looks like there may be some projects in this book that would make perfect Christmas gifts for special loved ones. Your reviews are excellent and so helpful in deciding which books to buy. I really don’t need any more, but I can’t help myself!! Thank you for sharing!!

  6. Mary, thanks for the review today. I love to embroider and love to read about others embroidering. This looks like a gentle soft book with lots of ideas. We can all use ideas. I look forward to receiving it after release date. You do a great job with your website.

    I am going to need another bookcase before long.

  7. This book looks lovely! Quick question, Mary–do the projects require a sewing machine? I don’t have one, and so find myself unable to do many embroidery projects on the internet and in project books that require machine sewing!

    1. I think you’d want a sewing machine for the larger projects, like the magnifier cover or the pencil case, but technically, no, you don’t have to have a sewing machine. You could hand sew those larger pieces together. The smaller items don’t have to have a sewing machine. Maybe they would benefit from them, but it’s often easier to make small finished items like the ones in the book by hand sewing them together, because a machine doesn’t always get into those small fiddly spaces the same way.

  8. Oh wow, this looks & sounds like a must buy for me:) 1 question…does it or can you please tell me where I might find information/tips on transferring patterns onto delicate fabrics? I tried using the dissolving paper and to my horror the ink ran & stained my white fabric 🙁 any advice would be greatly appreciated

  9. I’ve had my eye on this for a while and your penultimate sentence decided it for me! I love the Home Sweet Home book and you were absolutely right about that. I think Lorna Bateman’s book will be coming on holiday with me!

  10. I am so excited to be taking a class with Lorna — especially after reading this wonderful review. Thank you, Mary, for providing such wonderful coverage of all things embroidery!

  11. What a beautiful book! I love the projects inside. Whoever wins this will be lucky! What a wonderful gift to one of us.

More Comments