Book Review – Stitched Blooms

Stitched BloomsWhen I was working on the Finished Stitches project, I contacted Lark Crafts about contributing a copy of Stitched Blooms – a fun new embroidery book by Carina Envoldsen-Harris of Polka & Bloom – as one of the prizes.

They offered to send an additional copy for me to review. Why thanks! I’d love to!

It always takes me a while to write a review because I like to live with the book for a while and, whenever possible, make one of the projects.

Want to see what I made?

This fun Dala Horse!

Dala Horse Ornament from Stitched Blooms

This isn’t exactly one of the projects from the book. That’s where my review comes in.

Stitched Blooms has a very nice introductory section with all the basics you’d expect – a thorough discussion of tools and materials, a nice stitch glossary, and information on how to transfer a pattern – though she doesn’t include my beloved Magic Embroidery Stuff. 🙂

It has a really comprehensive section on color theory with very specific information about how it relates to embroidery and some helpful suggested Color Exploration Exercises. Lots of great color information from an artist I always associate with skillful use of color? Awesome.

Stitched Blooms also has some really fun (and different) projects that use your stitching. I especially like these luminaries. . .

Embroidered Luminaries from the book Stitched Blooms. . . and these pretty tea towels.

Mehndi Tea Towels from the book Stitched BloomsI’m planning on stitching a few of these up for myself on my favorite colorful tea towels. 🙂

But here’s what really sets Stitched Blooms apart. It includes 300 motifs (that’s a lot!) you can use – all on a CD so you can easily resize and recombine them. Fun!

Dala Horse from the book Stitched BloomsI decided to make this Dala Horse – with a few variations, of course. 🙂 The one in the book is quite large – more like a stuffed animal. Mine is a Christmas tree ornament. Here’s what I did. . .

  1. Blow the dust bunnies out of my CD drive. I don’t think I’ve ever used the thing.
  2. Pop in the disk and find the Dala Horse. Easy.
  3. Open it in GIMP (my photo editing software – kind of a free Photoshop) and resize it. Easy.
  4. Duplicate the image and reverse it (so I’d have both sides of the horse) and then do the same thing with the saddle. Nice! It all fits easily on one page.
  5. Print it out on a sheet of The Magical Embroidery Stuff (aka Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy).
  6. Cut the pieces apart (leaving extra around the edges). Peel off the backing and stick the pattern down to some nice wool felt. Oooh. . . soft!
  7. Stitch all the designs in front of a nice crackling fire.
  8. Cut the pieces out around the edges and soak off the stabilizer. Let them dry flat overnight.
  9. Applique the saddle pieces to the horse pieces.
  10. Sew the horse pieces together and stuff them with a few pinches of stuffing.
  11. Get fancy with some DMC Memory Thread to make the reins.
  12. Add a hanging loop for the tree.
  13. Take pictures so I can show it to you! Here it is again. 🙂

Dala Horse Ornament from Stitched BloomsIt was so easy to pull the image off the disk and play with it! And so much fun!

I hope you enjoy Stitched Blooms too! You can get it here or wherever books are sold.

Happy stitching!





  1. Your dala horse is adorable! I have a copy of this book and absolutely love it. I’m at different stages of a couple of the projects from it — partway through the embroidery for the calendar, and just finished transferring the dala horse pattern to the magic embroidery stuff (you’ve totally sold me on this stuff, btw. I mainly use it for felt & t-shirts. I still trace the pattern onto it because I have a big roll of it & don’t like to put it in my slightly fussy printer, but I like the tracing part and find it sort of meditative.) Still deciding on floss colors for that one.