I am sure I have told this story before but I got into needlecraft through my mum, who used to be an avid cross-stitcher. However, I kind of stuck to cross-stitch, but progressed to more complicated designs, as cross-stitch kits were the main (or actually only) type of embroidery kits sold in the Netherlands. I never really saw any other types of embroidery until I visited the Knitting & Stitching show at Alexandra Palace for the first time in 2015.
I spotted Lorna Bateman‘s stand displaying some very beautiful floral embroidery kits. However, they seemed far too complicated for me to have a go at. I had never attempted any surface stitches except those needed for cross-stitch projects. However, those kits and designs really stayed in my mind and when I returned to the show for a 2nd visit later that week, I visited Lorna’s stand again and I looked at the kits and spoke to Lorna about my hesitations and she told me her kits were very self-explanatory and were actually meant to encourage people to have a go and stitch their own garden.
I bought the needlecase kit and got started during a holiday in France a months later. I loved it. It was so much fun trying all of these different stitches and choosing your own colours and flowers to really make the finished project your own.
When I returned the Knitting & Stitching show in 2016 I bought the scissor keeper and pincushion kits to match. When I explained to Lorna that I had refrained from using one particular stitch (drizzle stitch) because I am left handed and I just couldn’t get it right, she promptly gave me a left-handed demonstration and allowed me to video it on my phone so I could refer back to it when I got home.
Lorna mentioned then she was working on a book about her embroidered country gardens designs and it finally has been published this week!
Of course, I had to get myself a copy so I can make the full set of projects!
The book is very logically laid out with colour coded sections to easily find your way. The first section explains all about tools and materials. The second section gets you started with framing up, applying your design etc.
Next is a very detail stitch glossary with every possible stitch you would need if you want to try and stitch every type of flower there is. The fourth section explains how to use and sometimes even combine different stitches to create different types of flower. A garden, however, is not complete without baskets, birdhouses and bees and the fifth section explains how to stitch these and many more objects and animals.
The sixth section is all about your own creativity and explains how to use Lorna’s designs and adapt them to a design that you like to stitch, including for instance your favourite flowers in your favourite colours. The seventh section showcase the 12 items which make up Lorna’s Embroidered Country Garden collection, but which again can be totally adapted to suit your own style and design.
The final section of the book explains all about completing your project and finishing off.
The book includes full-size patterns for tracing. However, the project will also be available in kit form from Lorna’s website. You can purchase the kits either as a pdf pattern, a pattern and printed fabric, or a full kit.
If you are an experienced embroiderer you will love this book, as it inspires you to create your own designs and adapt Lorna’s projects. You will also be able to use the flowers on their own in some quicker projects or in your own designs.
However, if you have never tried embroidery or if you have just done cross-stitch kits before but you would like to try something different, this book is for you too! The book will help you create some lovely projects, or you could even start with just stitching single flowers. Have a go, and just try it. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I thought it would be too difficult for me, but I loved it, fell in love with embroidery and look where it has gotten me!
It is that I have a big project coming along that is my RSN certificate goldwork and the planning of my diploma embroidery pieces, but I really want to squeeze in some of these projects too. It is just a question, which one I should start with, the thread catcher, the tape measure cover, or the glasses case…..