An Itch to Stitch

Posted by Kathy Patterson on Feb 12th 2019

Looking at beautiful hand embroidery, you may find yourself thinking, “I wish I could do that. But it must take a lot of time and skill.” In fact, embroidery can be very labor-intensive. But contemporary embroidery can be a whole different story. In her new book 10 Easy Stitches, Alicia Burstein demonstrates the wide variety of swoon-worthy items that can be created using just The Big Ten: the ten most popular and achievable embroidery stitches. Each one of the more than thirty projects inside is a real time-saver, focusing on decoration of premade garments, some surprising household objects, and the creation of wall art. If you have an itch to stitch, this book is a must-have!

The instructional part of the book is full of stitching and supply tips that will make embroidery a simple pleasure. But the projects are the real stars! Alicia’s imagination apparently knows no bounds, and she has divided the widely varied projects into three sections: Wear It, Use It, and Hang It. Here are a few of my favorites:

The Constellation Mini Hoop Necklaces have to be some of the fastest, easiest projects ever, and they’d make awesome custom gifts.

The Emperor Penguin Pincushion features papa and adorable baby penguins and is created from wool felt. The design is by Angele Carter of the Fabric and Ink Shop, and Alicia’s instructions make the project achievable even for beginning stitchers.

And the Woodland Animals Nursery Art project is exactly what you need for a fast, fun way to make a memorable baby shower gift. Appliqué and embroidery combine for three very cute creatures.

That’s not to say that Alicia’s projects are all sweetness and light. If you’re looking for something edgier, how about a Skull Heating Pack? A realistic skull pattern is thread-sketched onto cotton fabric to make a rice-filled heating pack sure to provide comfort with a trendy twist. Other projects in the book feature illustrations from the classic Gray’s Anatomy textbook—unusual and dramatic.

Whether you’ve never tried embroidery before or you’re a seasoned hand, you’ll be pleasantly surprised and utterly inspired by Alicia’s work. Gather a few simple supplies and get ready to satisfy your itch to stitch with this new Stash Book! 

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