Lorna Bateman has sold Surface stick kits for years, but this is her first book entitled “Embroidered Country Gardens” and it is really beautiful.
If you love surface embroidery then this book will itch your fingers to get stitching! I saw this last fall when it was first released and immediately put it on my wish list for Christmas!
The subtitle is “Make beautiful hand-sewn floral patterns inspired by nature” and that’s a really good description of what this book is about.
Lorna has adopted a kind of motif – that of an English country garden – and designed a whole set of embroidered bags, bags and holders for various types of embroidery tools. The designs form a coherent collection, but are different enough not to get boring if you sew them all together. There is a wide variety here, both in terms of the type of designs and in terms of difficulty.
Here is the content page:
There are twelve different projects and many explanations on how to combine the individual plant types. So if you want to make your own designs with this book, this is also very useful. One of the sections covered is about how to create your own. Lorna is obviously a very good gardener, and that is reflected in her letter.
This is my favorite project throughout the book – it’s a shopping bag with a crinoline design on one side and “In my country garden” on the other.
A cop-out that doesn’t only appear in this book (I’ve seen other designers in books and magazines lately) is that Lorna doesn’t specify the actual design for this lettering. She just says, “You could look up a nice font and make your own.” Hmm, don’t really think so. Most people who like a design they’ve seen enough to do want exactly what they saw. You therefore expect THIS font and THIS exact wording to be presented in the book as a design. It seems bizarre to me to have such a beautiful book with designs for almost everything and then save on that part.
Another idea in this book that I absolutely love is these randomly embroidered buttons. Aren’t they pretty? And the bigger the better! You can practice making small flowers on a small piece of fabric, and then use a metal cover button to make one of them, and use it as a brooch or fridge magnet, or use several for clothing.
The book has 160 pages and a pocket on the back with a pull-out template sheet for the different projects. Small line drawings are provided for each project, giving you an indication of what to sew where, but many decisions are up to you. The photography is beautiful and the explanations are clear. Sometimes I felt that Lorna had a bit of trouble writing enough text because he was repeating himself a bit, but I suspect it was because the editors said, “You have to write xx thousands of words !!” If really, a book like this only needs beautiful photos that this book has in buckets.
Lorna is a really good designer – if you want to try out some surface embroidery for a change, get a copy of this book and try it out. You can’t hope for a better teacher for this embroidery style.
Title: Embroidered country gardens
Author: Lorna Bateman
Publisher: Search Press
Price: £ 17.99 in 2020
ISBN: 978 1 78221 578 3
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