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Mandalas to Embroider


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Table of Contents

Introduction 6
Materials & equipment 8
Stitches used 10
Using embroidery hoops 14
The mandalas 16
Transferring the designs 48
Transfers 49

About the Author

Carina Envoldsen-Harris is a Danish designer, blogger and author living in the UK. She has a background in multimedia design as well as studies in art history and Italian language. Under the name Polka & Bloom, Carina has been designing and selling embroidery patterns since 2009. The patterns combine her life-long passion for art, design, history and nature, often including floral motifs and bright colours.

Carina's work has been published in these magazines: Cross Stitcher, Mollie Makes (three issues), Australian Homespun (twice), Hoop-La!, Homemade with Love. She has also contributed to the following books: Mend It Better, Mollie Makes Christmas, The Needlecraft Stitch Directory, Stitch Along, Doodle Stitching: The Holiday Motif Collection (upcoming), Mollie Makes: Embroidery (upcoming).

Carina has also written two books: Stitched Blooms, published by Lark in Feb 2014, and Romantic Motifs, published by Search Press in 2016. Mandalas to Embroider is her third book. Carina designs her own embroidery patterns which she sells successfully via her on-line store Polka and Bloom, and also sells items of clothing and accessories which she embellishes with her embroidery designs.

Carina lives in Grays, Essex.


This book is beautifully photographed, with lots of bright, compelling images of each project. Carina's wonderful sense of color is evident throughout this book. It's a delightful book, and I recommend it to any stitcher!

What's in the book

There are 24 total patterns with iron on transfers, and materials, stitch, and color guides.There are 12 large patterns made to fit in a 6 or 7 inch embroidery hoop, and 12 mini patterns for tiny Dandelyne hoops.

I love that the Table of Contents includes a visual guide of every project in the book, to pique your curiosity, and give you a clue of where you might want to start. Each pattern page includes a color line diagram, with DMC floss suggestions, a stitch guide, and a large, lovely photo of the finished piece. One thing I love about the Winter Solstice pattern, is that it incorporates DMC Coloris floss, a bright variegated floss that looks quite nice stitched up as a mandala. Each of the mini patterns have a common theme: The Explorers, The Gardeners, and The Artists, and I love that each of the mini hoops has a female name- it gives them a nice dash of personality.

Using the transfer patterns was a breeze - I used a hot iron with no steam, ironing the front and back of the fabric first, to heat it up, then pinning the transfer face down and ironing.

Again, I highly recommend this book - the patterns are enjoyable, intricate, and very adaptable!


* Feeling Stitchy *

Mandalas, meditative embroideries in circles, created with different sized hoops. 24 designs are included, but you can use this as pure inspiration for your own designs. Simple stitch diagrams and keys plus a transfer sheet provide everything you need to sew the designs. The designs are also adaptable to clothing and accessories. Information is given on working with hoops and there is a stitch directory too. Simple yet satisfying.

* Karen Platt *

Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning "circle", and these beautiful round motifs are a part of Buddhist and Hindu religion. Recently they have gained popularity for more secular reasons, but are still a meditative and calming practice which is why they feature in so many coloring books. Embroidery is also a soothing hobby, and so putting the two together makes sense. The result is a book of twenty-four gorgeous patterns.

I was sold just looking at the lovely image on the cover, and although the word "beginner" is not actually used I reckon this book is suitable for one. The mandalas are stitched using just ten simple stitches, and there are instructions on how to use a hoop and other basics. The stitches are explained with some very clear diagrams each with a caption complete with the sort of helpful hints you don't usually see in books of stitches but which are very useful for beginners. You don't need much either; just cotton fabric, floss, a hoop and off you go (although if you really are new to this I recommend practising on a scrap of cloth before tackling a pattern). There are twelve large (about 6") mandalas and twelve small (about 2") ones, each shown stitched and as a color diagram which gives the stitches used and DMC threads. At the back are the iron-on transfers complete with instructions on how to do this, including how to do this in other ways. The patterns themselves are so pretty, each one colorful and stitched in four to ten different colors. At the beginning is a page showing thumbnail images of all of them for easy selection, the designs featuring flowers, paisleys, abstracts and Christmas motifs. Not all are stitched on white which is good, and there are some ideas as to what to stitch them onto if you don't just want to leave them in hoop frames. The smaller designs can be shown off in the new Dandelyne frames and worn as jewelry. A delightful book that makes me eager to start stitching, and one which will appeal to many levels of embroidery expertise.

* Rachel A Hyde *

Contains all the information you need to embroider...small mandalas.

-- Linda Rumsey * Customer review *

As a new embroiderer this book has helped me understand the right tools to use and what to use and where. It even has some great patterns in the back that really helped me break that barrier from useless to "Hey, I actually can do this!". I would highly recommend this if you want to get creative but are not sure which route to take. Fab book with simple directions.

-- Kuli Lombardelli * Customer review *

I love this book, so easy to read and follow the patterns.

-- Lynne Strawbridge * Customer review *

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