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Review: Stitch Love
If you read Mollie Johanson's blog, Wild Olive, then you know she creates a whimsical world where anything can become a friendly character. Stitch Love is a perfect extension of the blog, adding that visual style to a series of sweet sewing-and-embroidery projects.
The 25 projects are all useful items and toys, with a few decorative pieces for fun. All involve some simple machine sewing that a beginner could tackle confidently, especially with the instructions being a nice combo of text and diagrams.
Each project also includes some stitchery to add a little zing or, more importantly, a sweet smiley face that gives the project personality.
...And speaking of beginners, I think Mollie's embroidered designs are very beginner-friendly, too. The book has a thorough Basics section covering several ways to transfer designs to fabric, plus some simple embroidery stitches that pair perfectly with these designs.
To me, one of the great strengths of Stitch Love is in the collection of over 100 embroidery motifs in the back. Mollie's grouped these by themes, such as Pets, Farm Animals, Prairie, Arctic, and Outback. You get to see what each design looks like when stitched, and then you get the line drawings that you can photocopy at any size you want. (Or, you can also download full-size templates from the publisher's website.) They're all absolutely adorable.
When I first saw these pages of cuties, my first thought was, "Oh, clearly they all want to be hanging out together!" And so I used my phone camera to photograph the motifs I liked. Then I imported those photos into a drawing program on my computer so I could resize them relative to each other.
...And then I printed those pictures and used them to trace the designs onto tea towels so I could stitch them.
I love how these turned out! I love how the critters all form a kind of story together. I could see these guys grouped around the hem of a little girl's skirt, or across a coverlet, or even as the basis for a soft fabric picture book.
...And with this one book, you could easily embroider up cute gifties for everyone you know - there's such a wide array of critters to choose from. Picture napkins, table runners, pillow cases, tote bags and backpacks. Just have fun!
If you'd like a taste of what this book has to offer, I highly recommend a visit to Mollie's blog, where she shares cute free patterns often. Along with a metric ton of charm.
(Disclosure Time: Lark Crafts sent me a review copy, and I'm a Wild Olive/Mollie fan. There! Now you know!)