Embroider Your Life

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Embroider Your Life makes it easy to add a personal touch to your projects and gifts. Follow the simple step-by-step instructions to learn how to add bold and geometric elements to different mediums like paper and fabric.

Title: Embroider Your Life
Author: Nathalie Mornu
Published By: Dorling Kindersley, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-46546-485-9

Embroider Your Life - DK Canada - Book Review - ODC

Embroider Your Life

Embroider Your Life includes inspiration and ideas from a number of talented Contributors (p 126-127).  You will be able to pick this book up and by following the helpful step-by-step instructions and photographs, learn how to embroider on different mediums. Each technique is explored in detail with diagrams and visuals.

Many options for floss and thread are presented. Some mediums may require a different weight of fiber to ensure the fabric you are working with does not pucker with the stitches you are making. The different options for fabrics are also explored and the pros and cons are discussed. Suggestions and recommendations for preparing your fabric are also provided. Other tools are also introduced, including lightweight fusible interfacing, water-soluble stabilizer, transfer paper, pencils, pens and needles.

The Getting Started section is very helpful so be sure you take the time to read it. Not only does it discuss how to place the hoop on the fabric properly, it also explains how stabilizing and basting your fabric are very important to the success of your embroidered stitches.

Step-by-step instructions are included for the following techniques:

  • Transferring Motifs
  • Working with Floss
  • Basic Stitches
  • Making Patches
  • Mounting Fabric on a Stretcher
  • Fabric Applique
  • Stitch on Paper

Stitch on Paper - Embroider Your Life - DK Canada - Book Review - ODC

  • Shadow Work
  • Stitch A House
  • Sashiko

Tips are included in round circles in a handwritten font throughout the pages. You will also find important notes included with an explanation point ( ! ) denoting “this is important”.

I was happy to see the tear-away stabilizer demonstrated on page 16. I’ve always wanted to try using this technique but I wasn’t sure how to go about it. By showing me how simple it is to effectively remove the stabilizer (and to use a pin to gently scratch away any excess stabilizer left behind) now I feel much more confident trying this technique on regular fabric.

I also appreciate the tips and important notes – for some techniques which I may have considered like the hot iron transfer pencil – I would not have known not to use this on fuzzy or dark fabrics. I’m also tempted to try the adhesive water-soluble stabilizer with a tight crochet fabric. Unlike the tear-away stabilizer – this water-soluble one will become easy to remove just with soaking. It may be something which allows me to add embellishments to crochet without risking damage to the underlying fabric.

The Working With Floss section introduces a product called Thread Conditioner which sounds like something I should have been using with my cross stitch projects too! It also explores basic techniques like how to start the thread, carry the thread and how to fasten off. Common questions are answered in this section and tips for success are shared too.

The Basic Stitches Section includes detailed written instructions and diagrams to make the following popular stitches:

  • Running Stitch
  • Back Stitch
  • Split Stitch
  • Chain Stitch
  • Stem Stitch
  • Whipped Back Stitch
  • Couching
  • Satin Stitch

Stitches - Embroider Your Life - DK Canada - Book Review - ODC

  • Seed Stitch
  • French Knot
  • Herringbone Stitch
  • Fly Stitch
  • Lazy Daisy
  • Blanket Stitch

It also provides a visual for the stitch being made in different fibers – so you can decide which one to use to achieve the look you want. The fibers it shows are sewing thread, cotton floss, cotton crochet thread, Perle floss, crewel wool and superfine yarn.

Something else I really want to try – is making patches. You can use an embroidered patch to cover up and mend but I think it would also be a fantastic way to embellish a crochet project or sewing project. By following the simple instructions on page 28 you can make your own embroidered patches.

Once you have completed your embroidery project you will want to know how to display your work. Different options are explored including using hoops, cabochons and even mounting fabric on a stretcher.

Also included are motifs and inspiration (+150) to use in our embroidery projects. There is no limit to what you can embroider – from flowery to bold and geometric, there are ideas for all tastes included.  You can even use some mediums like the water soluble stabilizer and print images directly from the internet to be used as templates for your embroidery. The motifs and inspiration included range from Ampersands, Woodland Creatures, Flowers, Geometric Designs to Complex Borders. Different techniques are demonstrated here including how to selectively fill areas (p 63), mixing different fiber weights to create depth, blanket stitching edges before stitching it to the finished items, using more than one color in a simple outline to create an ombre appearance, stitching same color on same color backgrounds, stitching yarn on yarn (p 71) and even how to frame small projects into jewelry.

Embroidery can be applied to many different mediums – from paper to fabric and even to your crochet projects. By following the simple step-by-step instructions included for the different stitches and techniques presented in Embroider Your Life, you will be able to apply this new skill to your own finished projects. You will be able to make each finished item you create a completely original piece by adding small embellishments and embroidered stitches. You can even make simple small gifts, like earrings and necklaces, easily! I am happy to add this book to my own personal library.


You can purchase your own copy of Embroider Your Life directly from Amazon.

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  1. I have tried embroidery a bit when I was younger. I think I only finished one project and it looked horrible. My mom, however, was wonderful at it. I still have many of her pillowcases and treasure them. I think if I tried again I might have more success so I just might.

  2. This looks incredibly easy to follow. Thanks for the review.