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The Cover Story

Posted by Aimee Ray on Aug 6th 2020

I’m so excited to share my newest Doodle Stitching embroidery book with you! Doodle Stitching: Embroidery Art is the ninth embroidery book I’ve written (!!) and it’s different than all the others, the idea for it has been percolating in my head for years. While it still includes basic hand embroidery instructions, patterns and stitch guides perfect for new embroiderers, this book is really all about taking what you learn and creating YOUR own unique art with embroidery.

The artwork on the cover of the book is one of my favorite pieces I’ve ever done, and it’s so fitting for this book because it was completely freestyle and unplanned. I think some of the most magical artwork is spontaneous, whimsical and from the heart (have you ever watched kids creating art?)

This piece started on a complete whim one January 1st when I joined a group of embroiderers online doing a “Stitch-a-Day” project together and, against all odds, I managed to stick with it for the entire year. It was so rewarding and fun to interact with the other stitchers! It’s easy to create your Stitch-a-Day Journal, just add a stitch (or several) to your fabric each day. This project can be as simple or as complex as you choose to make it. Make your own rules. Use it as a way to practice new stitches, try out some tiny motifs, or just freehand whatever comes to mind each day.

I chose a large piece of navy blue fabric because I don’t often embroider on dark colors. I started in the center of a 6 inch hoop, pulling threads from a pile of leftover floss bits I keep in my floss box.

Each day I grabbed a new color and added a few more stitches, snapping a photo when I was done. I really had no plan, I just stitched whatever came to mind. Once I filled up the 6 inch hoop, I just moved it to the side where there was empty fabric and filled it up again. Here you can see how I gradually filled up space day by day:

Eventually, I started playing with different color combinations, trying out new stitch techniques, adding little motifs and making lots of repeated shapes and mandala style designs. If you go back far enough on my Instagram feed (@aimee_littledear) you’ll see all of my daily stitch photos from this project and how it grew throughout the year!

Here are a few of my favorite sections, those little planets even inspired another project in this book.

The final embroidered area is around 9x9 inches. I would definitely consider doing this project again sometime, and I encourage you to try it too! Also, be sure to check out my new book, it’s full of all kinds of fun, customizable projects, and ideas to use for your own embroidery artwork.

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