myBearpaw Blog by Jo Avery
Mandalas to Embroider Book Review and GIVEAWAY!

Mandalas to Embroider Book Review and GIVEAWAY!

The lovely Carina Envoldsen-Harris came up to Edinburgh to teach at the Stitch Gathering last year and at the time she was launching her second embroidery book.

Well now she has published her third! Search Press sent me a copy to review and very kindly offered another copy for me to GIVEAWAY! More on this below…

But first just a quick word about my blog which has migrated to a new WordPress site as part of an ongoing updating of both blog and website. We hope to launch our new class prospectus on the new website this weekend with the rest of the website following next year.

I am feeling my way a little with this first post on the new blog so you may need to ‘bear with’ until I get used to it!

Meanwhile let’s chat about Embroidery Mandalas. I have always had a strong attraction for a kaleidoscopic design within a circle, in fact one of my first exhibition quilts, made over 20 years ago, was called Sun Wheel Mandala.  So I was delighted with this book and very keen to try some of the embroideries for myself.

Carina offers 12 large designs and 12 mini designs. Here are some of my favourites. The photos are beautifully styled and there are very comprehensive sections on Materials, Using a Hoop, and really clear instructions for all the stitches used.

She also includes a gallery of ideas for making lovely items with your embroideries.

This would be a great book for a beginner embroiderer as the stitches are quite simple and the designs are really manageable in a few hours, especially those cute little mini hoops.

I especially like the fact that all the designs are printed on transfer paper at the back of the book. You simply iron on to your fabric, grab your threads and start stitching!

There is even a handy flap at the back to store your used patterns as they can be used up to 10 times.

This really would make a lovely gift for a keen embroider. And for £9.99 I think it’s really good value. You can buy a copy here.

I chose this beautiful leafy design to try out (as I am clearly obsessed with leaves!).

But instead of a white background I went for a more muted look and used a Manchester Linen in Taupe.

It was holiday project on a recent trip to Lisbon and I really enjoyed working on this and playing around with the colour palette. I used gorgeous Aurifil 12wt thread throughout and I just love the sheen it gives. Plus there is no mucking around with strands which I really don’t have the patience for. I find that a Clover Straw Milliners needle number 5 works very well with this thread.

I think it would make a wonderful centre for a new Dresden Plate cushion. Or maybe you have a better idea…?

So how would you like to win a copy of this lovely book?

All you need to do is leave a comment below with your suggestion for my embroidery above. What do you think I should do with it?? If you can’t think of anything then why not tell me what you think of my new look blog??!!

Giveaway closes Saturday 9th December at midnight and is open to International entries. As this is now my new WordPress blog I don’t need to remind anyone about leaving an email address if you are a no-reply commenters as you will need to leave your email to comment!

Good luck everyone!


    1. This made me smile. WordPress is great – you’ll love it but new sites are a lot of work and so much to learn x
      It all looks fabulous already – fresh and bright and modern.

  1. Love the new blog. Embroidery looks fantastic using Aurifil 12 weight.
    I would make it into a pouch with the zip in the half circle at the top.

  2. The mini embroidery would be lovely as a lavender pillow.The larger designs I can visualize with sashing in betweenas a small blanket or wall hanging. I love mandalas. Looks like a great inspirational book.

  3. I think it would look great in the middle of a folded Japanese square, then hang it on your wall. It looks great whatever you choose to do with it.

  4. A new pouch, surely? With some embroidered tendrils on the reverse! Love the look of the new blog, lovely colour palette.

  5. I think it would make a great notebook cover! It would also work attached to a T shirt so you could wear it. Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. Love your embroidery, I would incorporate it into a project bag for my knitting. If I won a copy of the book I would give it to my daughter who’s just taken up embroidery.

  7. Wow I love these! I can’t wait to order a copy once it’s out if I don’t get lucky and win! A pouch would be great but I almost think it would be lovely as part of a summer top, vest, or dress.

  8. I think I would use it for a journal cover. Very pretty design. I’m new to embroidery so would love the chance to win the book.

  9. This looks like a fab book, I especially like that the designs come printed so you don’t have to trace them, and also that you can begin with smaller designs to build up your skills and confidence. I am a huge lover of cushions and would probably put your design in the centre of one. Thanks for a great giveaway. x

  10. Hi the new blog looks great! Also a really useful review of the book which sounds great for us newbie embroidery stitchers, with some lovely mandala patterns to stsrt with. What to use it for – hmm – a vippy pouch perhaps!

  11. I would use this one in a hoop hanging near your workspace to remind you of how beautiful they are. I am just starting to embroider and will definitely go for this book based on your comments about pattern transfer and that is would be good for a beginner. Now just have to wait until the weekend to find out if it is win or buy!!

    New blog is looking good

  12. I love the new blog! Tha colours are so fresh and clear. The whole thing looks bright and breezy. As for the mandala: because I find hand stitching so relaxing and meditative, I would hang it on my craft room wall to remind me to chill out!
    Teresa x

  13. You might not like this idea but instantly what came to mind was a garden cushion for my mum. She finds such solace being in her little garden, I’d love to spoil her with a really pretty cushion to kneel on. I reckon I’ll get the book and do just that, as the idea was so spontaneous- it was meant to be! The book does look cool too.

  14. Thanks for sharing your lovely stitching. I’d use that lovely mandela as part of a covered book. Would be a lovely gift for a friend.

  15. I love the look of the embroidery on the linen! I think I would go for a cushion cover. Great choice to go with wordpress – SO much easier to navigate and find what you’re looking for 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *