Anyone who knows me knows I’m bonkers about cats. My facebook feed is almost entirely devoted to cat pictures, which is so much more entertaining and uplifting than the news cycle. My friends also know that I love handcrafts like knitting sewing, beading and embroidery. Given these factors, it’s easy to understand why I jumped at the chance to review Cat Lady Embroidery: 380 Ways to Stitch a Cat by Applemints. It’s catnip for me.
Let’s start off with the cover. The kitty faces are adorable and are rendered in a nice looking satin stitch. This intrigued me. Most of the needlework books on the market in the past few years have featured cute designs, but limited the stitches to basics like the outline stitch and French knots. Beginner’s books are wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but after a certain point, we all want to be challenged. After flipping through the book, I was pleased to see that a good variety of techniques were used and there were projects that would be suitable for both an absolute novice and someone with intermediate skills.
Of the 380 designs, there is an interesting variety of styles. Some of the designs lean toward realism and others lean toward cartoonish. Some have a modern vibe and others evoke a vintage mood. Some cats wear clothes like sailor suits, chefs’ hats, dirndls and leg warmers. Some designs tell stories, while others serve as graphical elements: feline alphabets, kitty corners and borders. Based on the cover, I wasn’t expecting such variety. It was a nice surprise.
At the beginning of the book, you can flip through beautiful photos of the fully stitched motifs. Each one is numbered so you can flip to the back of the book where the line art and stitching suggestions are shown. I particularly liked how the number of strands of floss was indicated in the stitching guides and also how suggested colors were provided. If you can’t track down Olympus floss, which was used for the samples, there is a thread conversion chart for DMC, which is widely available in the US.
Toward the end of the book, you will find key information such as tools and materials, basic instructions, and an embroidery stitch guide. The information is well laid-out and clearly explained so even someone who has never picked up a needle and embroidery floss should be able to work their way through the process.
This is a charming book and would make a great gift for the crafty cat person in your life…or you could stitch up something lovely for your favorite ailurophile.
P.S. This shouldn’t be just for the ladies. Men can love cats and needlework too.
P.P.S. I received a courtesy copy of this book from Netgalley for an honest review.