Embroidery is making a comeback in a big way, and the contemporary designs we’re seeing today are bolder, brighter, more beautiful, and true works of art. If you feel intimidated by modern and elaborate embroidery designs, you’ll appreciate Yumiko Higuchi’s Simply Stitched: Beautiful Embroidery Motifs and Projects with Wool and Cotton.
These simple-but-beautiful designs use cotton and wool thread, and they can be applied to just about any project.
In this book review, we’re going to look at what you’ll learn from this book and what other goodies it also includes.
What You’ll Learn in Simply Stitched
- 20 embroidery motifs
- Projects and instructions
- Classic designs with fresh colors and textures
- Pictures and diagrams to complete projects with ease
Cracking Open Simply Stitched by Yumiko Higuchi
Yumiko’s book Simply Stitched has beautiful motifs (20 to be exact) that use both cotton and wool thread. While each motif includes detailed instructions and photos, this book is not ideal for a beginner. Yes, the author covers some basic things, like how to start and finish your stitching, but these advanced designs are better suited for more experienced users.
One thing I do have to say here: The designs are simple, but don’t think executing the designs will be simple. That’s why this book is recommended for intermediate or advanced users.
And in case it wasn’t obvious already, I will point out that these motifs and projects use hand embroidery. You won’t be using a machine to complete these designs.
Projects and 20 Motifs
If you’re thinking Simply Stitched is just a book full of motifs, you’d be sadly mistaken. Yes, this book features 20 motifs, but Yumiko does more than just show you how to pull off the motif – she also gives you projects for each one.
The Tree Motif, for example, is featured on a teapot cozy project. For the Holy Night motif, she has a fun stocking project. And she includes instructions on how to complete each project to make things incredibly simple.
What I really love about these motifs and these projects is that they make for truly beautiful gifts. Hand embroidered items are always treasured by the recipient, but when the designs are beautiful, they’re loved even more. And the recipient will actually want to use your gift.
Beautiful Color Photos and Detailed instructions
Yukimo’s presentation of the projects and motifs is beautiful. The book starts with beautiful color photos of each project, and the templates and instructions are in the back for easy finding. Those gorgeous photos in the beginning of the book will leave you inspired and excited to get started.
With each project, Yukimo discusses all of the materials and tools you’ll need. She walks you through each technique to make each motif feel like a piece of cake to make. And each project includes a “how to start and finish stitches” section to help you get started and to help you finish your motif.
Wool and Cotton Combination
The cotton and wool combination of threads really breathes new life into these classic designs. Yumiko, who works as a handbag designer, includes projects in virtually every category, from home decor to accessories and clothing.
The combination may be simple, but its effects are truly impressive.
A Talented Author
It’s clear right from the start that Yumiko Higuchi is a talented woman. Her designs are gorgeous, and their simplicity makes them even more stunning.
Simply Stitched is not the only book from this author, although it was her first in English. She also has a book called Zakka Embroidery: Simple One- and Two-Color Embroidery Motifs and Small Crafts with equally gorgeous and simple designs.
Yukimo’s writing style is friendly and easy to read, and her tutorials for each project are easy to follow. With clear instructions for each, you won’t have any issues completing any of these projects.
The only complaint I and a few others have is that the designs aren’t easy to transfer, and it can get complicated when assembling a project onto a large object, like a pillow. Scaling is something you’ll need to figure out on your own.
While challenging, this minor complaint really isn’t that big of a deterrent.
If you love embroidery, but you want fresh inspiration and something new to work on, I highly recommend Simply Stitched. I’ve used the motifs in this book for countless projects, including the ones in the book. The designs aren’t overly complicated, and if you have experience, you’ll have no trouble executing these designs.
Even beginners, with a little work and patience, will get through these projects – and actually use them.
The book itself would also make an excellent gift for the embroider in your life, but gifting any of the projects from this book would be just as thoughtful. If you are looking for a perfect embroidery machine to pair with this wonderful book you can see my recommendations on this post.
If you haven’t done so already, get yourself a copy of Simply Stitched, and get started making beautiful designs.