Book Review - Elegant Embroidery

Another beautiful embroidery book from Reiko Mori.

Image courtesy of Martingale

Image courtesy of Martingale


Elegant Embroidery is full of elegant embroidery designs, as the name implies. These designs use simple embroidery stitches and include projects such as totes, boxes and more. While complete instructions are included for all of the projects in the book, I could certainly see other possibilities for these designs.

The embroidery designs in this book are exquisite, detailed, and oh so appealing!

Image courtesy of Martingale

Image courtesy of Martingale


The book is divided into different sections, grouping similar designs in each section, such as Black Collection, Marine, and Flower. Some of the designs in the book include ballet slippers, a gorgeous evening gown, and even a vintage sewing machine!

Image courtesy of Martingale

Image courtesy of Martingale


 Elegant Embroidery also includes a comprehensive section on embroidery stitches with tips for doing hand embroidery. Full instructions on how to make each of the projects in the book, with diagrams, are also included.

For a closer look at Elegant Embroidery, click on the image below.

 Get your own copy of Elegant Embroidery here.



P.S. I am an Amazon affiliate and, if you purchase items by clicking through the links in this post ,I will receive a small amount of commission. This helps me to continue creating free content for you. Thanks!

Book Review - Floral Motifs to Embroider

If you love floral embroidery designs, you will love this book by Reiko Mori. There are dozens of beautiful designs in this book that look complex – and will take a bit of time to complete – but they all use standard embroidery stitches.

Image courtesy of Martingale

Image courtesy of Martingale


The appeal of these designs is that they are created with a combination of small floral motifs, which, when all stitched close together, create the final, larger designs.

There are unusual designs in this book that I haven’t seen in other embroidery books, some that would be perfect for a bride and her attendants. Complete instructions and information about hand embroidery are included in Floral Motifs to Embroider.

Although I haven’t heard of heirloom embroidery (like heirloom quilts), I could certainly see how these designs could be used to create heirloom projects. In addition to the designs, complete instructions on projects using these embroidery motifs are included in Floral Motifs to Embroider.

Image courtesy of Martingale

Image courtesy of Martingale


 I found these designs appealing as they are more intricate than I’m used to seeing in embroidery books and I loved how various small floral motifs were used to create the larger designs. In addition, the designs in the book are ones that you don’t usually see, such as the Japanese traditions designs, the alphabet birds and the tea cups – my favourites!

Image courtesy of Martingale

Image courtesy of Martingale


 To get a closer look at Floral Motifs to Embroider, click on the image below to watch the video.

If you want to create unusual, intricate embroidery designs, you’ll need to check out those in Floral Motifs to Embroider.

Get your copy of Floral Motifs to Embroider here.



P.S. I am an Amazon affiliate and, if you purchase items by clicking through the links in this post, will receive a small commission. This helps me to continue providing free content for you. Thanks!

Book Review: Lunch-Hour Embroidery

I've discovered another hand embroidery book that I wanted to share with you.

Lunch-Hour Embroidery by Adrienne Smitke is an A to Z of delightful designs.

Image courtesy of Martingale

Image courtesy of Martingale


This book really is an A to Z as it has all of the letters of the alphabet in it along with whimsical designs.

Lunch-Hour Embroidery uses simple embroidery stitches to create the various designs in the book. This makes it easy for even those who are just starting out in hand embroidery to make any of the designs. The designs are perfect for both adults and children's projects and are simple enough to stitch up quickly - in a lunch hour perhaps ;)

The book is laid out with the designs shown stitched out on one side of the page and the template on the opposite page. I really like that the templates are at 100% (I really don't like having to enlarge a design to create it!). This gives you a very good idea of what the embroidery will look like once you stitch it out.

Image courtesy of Martingale

Image courtesy of Martingale


The letters in Lunch-Hour Embroidery are shown in both upper and lower case which allows you to use them to create words, if you want to do so. For example, you could stitch "Fox" and then embroider the fox design underneath it on a onesie or on a pillow or on... lots of fun project possibilities with Lunch-Hour Embroidery!

There are no projects in the book, however you could use these designs on just about anything from a small item embroidered on a child's t-shirt to an heirloom-worthy hand embroidered quilt. I actually like the fact that there aren't any projects in this book because it doesn't limit my ideas for what I can do with these embroideries. 

For a closer look at Lunch-Hour Embroidery, click on the image below to watch a video on my YouTube channel that give you more detail.

Feel like doing some lunch-hour embroidery yourself? Get your own copy of Lunch-Hour Embroidery by clicking here.


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P.S. This blogpost may contain affiliate links and I will receive a small amount of compensation if you purchase a product by clicking through links in this blogpost. This allows me to continue to provide you with FREE content each week. Thank you.

Hand Embroidery to Machine Embroidery with the Janome 500E

One of the things I enjoy doing with my Janome 500E is to convert some of my original hand embroidery designs into machine embroidery. I thought that one of my patterns, Snowflake Brrr! would be perfect to turn into a machine embroidered wall hanging and I knew that this would be so easy with my Janome 500E.

Snowflake Brrr close up.jpg

The original Snowflake Brrr! design was created using simple hand embroidery stitches (the FREE design can be found on my Craftsy store). I wanted to translate this look into machine embroidery and used the Creative Drawings software that came with my Janome Artistic Edge to translate my hand embroidery svg file into a .JEF format for the Janome 500E, choosing decorative stitches in the place of the hand embroidered ones. I had lots of fun playing around with all of the stitch choices available and could've spent hours (more than I already had!) doing this, but I eventually settled on the ones you see in the photo above for Snowflake Brrr! 2.0. I transferred the design to a USB stick and plugged it into the Janome 500E, so it would be ready for stitching.

Once I had chosen the stitches, it was time to decide on threads. I chose three different thread colours: a glittery light turquoise blue, a medium blue and a dark navy. Now it was time to prep my fabric and get stitching!

Snowflake Brrr threads.jpg

I used a tear away stabilizer underneath my fabric. I always do a test stitch out first and for this first stitching I used only one layer of stabilizer. My stitching results weren't bad, but there was some puckering around the "Brrr" in the design. For my "real" project, I added an additional layer of stabilizer and the results were perfect. I used a 10" square of white tone on tone fabric for my background.

2 Snowflake Brrr fabric in hoop.jpg

Once I had my two layers of stabilizer underneath my fabric, I hooped everything in to the SQ20b hoop that came with my Janome 500E. I was now set to start stitching.

5 Snowflake Brrr stitching.jpg

I was really pleased by the contrast between the different thread colours. Initially I had chosen a single running stitch for the "veins" on the snowflakes, but again, in my first stitch out, I didn't feel that they were thick enough. I chose a thicker running stitch and was glad I did as the snowflakes now appeared more balanced.

7 Snowflake Brrr in hoop.jpg

When my Janome 500E had finished its job, I removed the hoop from the machine and took a minute to admire the results. 

8 Snowflake Brrr cut loops.jpg

There were a few connecting stitches between parts of the snowflakes, so I trimmed these off before I removed the project from the hoop. I found it easier to do this as the fabric was taut and this made it easier to trim off these threads.

9 Snowflake Brrr out of hoop.jpg

Next step was to remove the embroidered Snowflake Brrr! 2.0 from the hoop. This is such an easy step ;)

11 Snowflake Brrr embroidery back.jpg

Just in case you were wondering what the back of the project looked like - here it is! Notice the bit of a thread nest on part of the "Brrr". While this can be seen on the back, there is no indication on the front that this occurred. I think that part of the thread might have separated and gotten pulled to the back, but as long as the front looks good, this isn't a problem.

10 Snowflake Brrr Trimming.jpg

After the embroidery sandwich (my new technical term for the fabric and stabilizer) was removed from the hoop, it was time to trim it up to the desired size. In the case of this project, I wanted a 9 1/2" square. I tore away the stabilizer and was now ready to add some borders.

12 Snowflake Brrr with first border.jpg

Time for some borders! I added this pop of red batik around the embroidered fabric for my first border. It was 1 1/2" wide, which gave me a 1" finished border.

13 Snowflake Brrr with second border.jpg

I just happened to have some snowflake fabric that I knew would be perfect for this project. This second border was 2 1/2" wide to start, giving a second border finished width of 2".

14 Snowflake Brrr with hanging tabs.jpg

I love to use hanging tabs for my smaller wall hangings, so next I created these to add to Snowflake Brrr! 2.0. I also like to avoid binding by using a pillowcase method for small projects, so I needed to insert the hanging tabs into the project  before I stitched it all around. I layered my hanging tabs, with the raw edges matching the raw edge of the quilt top, then my quilt top and batting. Once these were all together, I put the backing, right side down, on the top of the above layers. I stitched all around the quilt sandwich with a ¼" seam, leaving a 3" - 4" opening to turn the project right side out.

15 Snowflake Brrr Pillowcase.jpg

I clipped the corners to reduce bulk and turned the project right side out. It can be a bit of a slow process, but persistence pays off and once Snowflake Brrr! 2.0 was turned right side out, all I had to do was hand stitch the opening closed before the project was ready for quilting.

I always want to know how people quilt their projects and hate the term "quilt as desired", so I won't leave you wondering how I quilted Snowflake Brrr! 2.0. I stitched in the ditch between the background and first border and between borders one and two and then added some swirls and loops in the background around the snowflakes. Pretty simple, but I wanted to be sure that the quilting didn't detract from the beautiful machine embroidery.

16 Snowflake Brrr Final.jpg

While I really liked the original Snowflake Brrr!, version 2.0 was much quicker to create and now that I have created the .JEF file, I can always stitch it out if I want to create another project as a gift. And... if I'm feeling creative, I can always spend some time switching out decorative stitches for other ones to see how that would look. With the Janome 500E, the possibilities are endless!


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Telecast Thursday - Book Review: Stitches to Savor by Sue Spargo

Hi and welcome to this week's edition of Telecast Thursday. Today I'm sharing a book review of Stitches to Savor by Sue Spargo.

Photo courtesy of www.martingale-pub.com

Photo courtesy of www.martingale-pub.com


Some of the embroideries of Sue Spargo are shared in this book filled with beautiful photos of her amazing work. This isn't a book of embroidery techniques, but it is a book to inspire you to create your own embroidered masterpieces.

Photo courtesy of www.martingale-pub.com

Photo courtesy of www.martingale-pub.com


You can watch the video below or on my Youtube channel.

I loved browsing through the lovely works in this book and felt inspired to keep creating my own embroidery pieces. I hope that it inspires you to create some of your own embroidered projects too.

Photo courtesy of ww.martingale-pub.com

Photo courtesy of ww.martingale-pub.com


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