Monday, 26 September 2011

Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection – Aimee Ray

Words and Photos:  By Blogger Fran Swaine

‘Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection’ is Aimee Ray’s second book injecting new life back into the art of embroidery.  A ‘doodle stitch’ does exactly what it says on the tin; it turns everyday doodles into inspirational designs. Aimee takes a fresh approach to embroidery, making it a playful and fun craft accessible to all levels.
With a graphic design background in the comic book and greeting card industry, design has always been a big part of Aimee’s life. She quit her fulltime job in 2010 to work for herself and focus on her crafty side.
The Motif Collection expands on Aimee’s first book ‘Doodle Stitching: Fresh & Fun Embroidery for Beginners’, offering more than 400 embroidery motifs as well as 17 projects showcasing some of the best motifs from the book. It also includes an expanded and updated version of all of the embroidery basics found in the first book which is particularly useful if you are new to the craft. Unlike most craft related books, this one comes with a CD packed full of even more motifs for you to download and even edit.
One of the great things about The Motif Collection is it doesn’t assume any previous knowledge of embroidery. However, being a fairly straightforward craft it doesn’t need to spend pages and pages getting you up to speed and after just a few well explained instructions you are ready to get embroidering. 
The book is neatly divided into sections; perfect for dipping in and out. The stitch library at the front of the book allows you to become familiar with new stitches, but is presented in such a way that you could easily flip back to these pages as and when you come to an unfamiliar stitch. 
The project pages are well presented with clear instructions on what stitch to use as well as helpful annotations. More importantly these are well chosen projects that you would actually want to do! The Snow Day Hat and Mittens set turns an average looking hat and pair of mittens into  unique and eye catching accessories that would be perfect as a Winter gift!

The second half of the book focuses on the motif collection. It is divided into categories including Food, Under the Sea and Garden Time so readers can quickly find a motif that inspires them. What stands out about this section is that Aimee includes finished embroidered pieces rather than just illustrations. This is a small detail but makes all the difference seeing how a piece will actually turn out. 

The CD included with the book is packed full of additional motifs; the most useful being the alphabet category. Including a CD is a nice touch as it gives the reader more content, but in practice I’m not sure how much use it would actually have. When looking for new ideas, I’d much rather flip through a book of pretty pictures than root around in folders on my PC!
Overall this is a really well thought out book, perfect for gathering inspiration and new ideas. The author has truly thought about how this book will be used by her readers and designed it accordingly. This is the type of book that will have a place on your shelf for years; constantly being dipped in and out of when an inspirational doodle stitch is required!
Here's one I made earlier

We give this book a 4/5!
If you want to know more about Aimee you can read her blog Little Dear Tracks -

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