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Book Review: Jane Austen Embroidery – Fascinating History, Beautiful Stitching

Jane Austen Embroidery

Regency Patterns Reimagined for Modern Stitchers

By Jennie Batchelor & Alison Larking

When you hear the name Jane Austen, of course you think of her as the famous author. But Jane Austen Embroidery will add a depth to Ms. Austen that most people are unfamiliar with. Per all accounts she was an accomplished embroiderer and truly took great joy and pride in the beautiful and utilitarian items she stitched. Items she created are currently housed at the Jane Austen’s House Museum, on display for all to see.

The main source for patterns back in Ms. Austen’s time was various women’s magazines. Included in this very book are 15 patterns that appeared in Lady’s Magazine from the 1770’s to 1810. Perhaps Jane herself stitched one of them and now you create them as well.

The authors have added a section on tools and resources for traditional embroidery. While it is different from most modern items embroidered, the basic stitches are the same. If you have embroidered before using the counted cross stitch method or a stamped image you should be able to jump right in and begin. Diagrams, pictures and step-by-step instructions will have you stitching in no time.

From start to finish this is a fascinating book about Ms. Austen and one of her favorite past times. It is a given that there are lovely items to create with easy to read tips and directions that will ensure your success. And on a history level, it is truly a fascinating read. I will look at Ms. Austen differently now. She is not just one of the most revered authors of all time, but a skilled embroiderer as well, taking as much pride in her stitches as she did with her words in Pride and Prejudice.  

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman


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Whimsical Cross-Stitch – Adorable Designs for All Skill Levels

Whimsical Cross-Stitch

By: Cari Buziah

 If you love to Cross-Stitch or want to learn how it is done, this is the perfect book for you. More than 130 designs are included to tempt you to pick up your needles and start creating. It only takes reading the two pages of simple instructions and a few inexpensive supplies to get started. Even if you have never made anything like this before, you will be whipping out beautiful designs in no time.

The patterns are separated into four different categories:

Animals Real and Fantasy: Honestly who doesn’t love unicorns? Among my favorites in this section are the adorable hedgehog designs.  They are simply charming.

Dashing Designs: Beautiful tradition designs such as Celtic Knots, florals and borders can be found here. There is also an alphabet in this section to personalize any design of your choosing.

Home and Hearth: As you might suspect, this section holds designs that could go in any room in your home to brighten it up. My personal favorite is the Stack of Books. I can just see it hanging on the wall next to my bookcase. Next to my other bookcase (yes, I have several because I am a crazy book lady) I would love to make the other book design in this section. It has books standing up in the center with “Feed The Mind” on top of the books and “Free The Soul” at the bottom of the finished work.

Nature in Bloom: Last but not least this selection of designs includes butterflies and beaches, honeybees and hopping bunnies. Holiday designs are included as well. I love the Christmas snow globe; it would make a charming gift.

To ensure your success, the author has included detailed instructions for each design. The charts are large enough to easily read and follow. There is a color chart with each DMC thread color listed that was used in the for the sample picture which is also included as a color thumbnail picture at the bottom of the page.

It is fun to create art with needle and thread but not always easy. Cari Buziah has given us beautiful designs and simple instructions to ensure success. Both newbies and seasoned cross stitchers will love Whimsical Cross-Stitch.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2019 Laura Hartman

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