501 Enchanting Embroidery Designs

It's been a while since I've sat down with an actual craft book. I feel like I've been running since Christmas! Just to prove how much extra time I have on my hands, I wrote this entire review once already, but went ahead and deleted it, just for fun (for who, I don't know). But I'm too stubborn to walk away without showing you this cute book sent to me by Tuttle Publishing!

This book is filled with small designs, most of which are quick to stitch. I love a project you can make quickly, so that got my attention. The first section, Little Scandanavian Sketches, includes these coffee cups that are near the top of my list.

The designs are made by different authors, so there's tons of variety in the style and complexity. This coffee serving dog is another favorite of mine.

I like the fact that they show every single design stitched up, instead of just a pattern. It's helpful when you're stitching, and it also gives you the opportunity to figure out ways to make it your own. I can think of lots of ways to use this pretty dress form.

The last couple of pages in the regular embroidery section are white thread on a black background. It's beautiful, but there's no instruction on how you would transfer the pattern. I wish that had been included because I'd love to try it.

Cross stitch is covered here as well, including this page of cats and dogs.

They could have stopped there, but there are also a few sewing projects included that are perfect for adding embroidery to. There are also suggestions for how to add it to some store bought items, and it's a little confusing which is which. Flipping to the pattern page in the back of the book clears that up.

I like the Embroidery Techniques page. It's clear enough for beginners to figure out how to get started. However, I do wish the stitches page would have used photos instead of drawings to show how they're done. As it is, I'm afraid it may be difficult for some to figure out. The cross stitch instructions are better, although they left out outlining, which is used in some of the designs.

Each design is laid out in black and white, along with the thread color and stitches used. After the sewing projects' patterns and instructions, there's a conversion chart on the inside of the back page for those wanting to use DMC floss, rather than the Cosmo suggested.

As you might imagine, I couldn't just look at all that embroidery without giving it a try! I chose the cute girl and one of the cups from the coffee cup page, then selected my own colors and stitched the tabletop line rather than piecing two fabrics together. She's definitely going on a coffee cup sleeve!

I love this book, and I'm excited to try more of the designs inside - sewing thread and scissors on page 52, I'm looking at you!