August 28 ~ Hand Sewing Photo of the Day

on August 28 | in Sewing Inspiration | by | with 108 Comments

Book-inspired Stitches
By Mara, Kleio’s Belly

Mara writes that this is an “all-time favorite book” of her and her sister; “I made these as a birthday gift for her. I am sooo excited to give them to her this weekend because I know she’ll love them.” (This Lowly Worm is heading to the birthday bash for her nephew too!) We love how Mara used inspiration from a favorite book to create something unique and special for her sister.

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108 Responses to August 28 ~ Hand Sewing Photo of the Day

  1. amber says:

    what an awesome idea! i have just the thing- the illustrations in vintage Girl Scout handbooks. can’t wait to start. thanks for sharing!

  2. Krystina says:

    Adorable! Are the sachets?

  3. Casey says:

    What a great idea and what beautiful stitches! I wish mine looked like that!!

  4. Jessica says:

    Beautiful. What a great gift.

  5. Connie says:

    Why have I never thought of using a favorite book illustration in this way? Thank you for waking me up!

  6. Varenia says:

    These are amazing and so inspiring!

  7. Crystal says:


  8. Kate says:

    What a great idea!

  9. Ticia says:

    I love outline embroidery, it always turns out so adorable!

  10. Tina W says:

    I just love this idea! As a librarian I could see an entire quilt made from embroidered book illustrations. Wouldn’t that be fabulous?!

  11. Somer says:

    So beautiful.

  12. Amanda says:

    That is gorgeous. What an awesome idea. I really need to learn to embroider.

  13. Lisa says:

    This is SO beautiful and inspiring! I LOVE it! Thank you SMS and Mara for sharing this! What a great gift-idea for a bibliophile! I can’t wait to try something similar (I need to up my skills first, though!)

  14. Incredible work! You should be very proud of these. I know your sister will just love them.

  15. Emily says:

    These are gorgeous! What a great idea.

  16. What a wonderful gift you have made! My sister would love to get a gift like that. We should all do something that special for our sisters!

  17. Stacy says:

    Lovely! I am sure that they will be cherished!

  18. Peter Lynn says:

    That’s just brilliant!

  19. Stacey S. says:

    This is so inspired. I looked at her website and it is so creative and beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Cindy says:

    Great idea and so adorable, maybe I will find inspiration for my next project when I am reading to the kids!!

  21. sandyandcosmo says:

    What a sweet and easy idea! I also have to find this book, who doesn’t love “a delightful nonsense tale”?!

  22. Andi says:

    Love the idea of bringing a book to life in embroidery! And that lowly worm is just too cute!

  23. Antonia S-H says:

    What a fabulous idea and a beautiful present!

  24. mara says:

    Thanks so much to SMS for featuring my work and to everyone for their very kind responses!

    I will be blogging about these in the next day or so, after I give them to my sister later, so please look at my blog for answers to questions about transferring the design, the different stitches used, etc. You can see more pictures, with some close-ups, on flickr:

    Happy stitching!


  25. Baukje says:


  26. Megan says:

    Get out of town! Those are unbelievable.

  27. Kristin says:

    These are just awesome! I love the sea breeze! I’m currently working on reproducing something from Wonderful House, my favorite children’s book. Wish me luck!

  28. I have some old children’s books from my grandmother, never thought to make stitcheries from them. Thank you for the idea.


  29. isa says:

    Loveley, I think I am going to have to turn off the computer now and do my own sewing. Thanks for the inspiration.

  30. Kathleen says:

    Oh, this is such a cute idea. I have some great books for inspiration, too!

  31. Alissa says:

    Love this!

  32. Michelle says:

    Such great work, are they little pillows, or sachets, or wallhangings? Either way, they’re great pieces of art. And I’ve never heard of this book, now I’m intrigued!

  33. Lisa says:

    What a lovely idea… Another items to add to my list of things to make.

  34. Debbie says:

    Oh, how I love this idea!

  35. Mindy says:

    Whoa! I’m blown away! How brilliantly, lovely, and what an amazingly thoughtful sister!!!

  36. jennsquared says:

    That is a great idea! How beautiful and thoughtful!

  37. SMS, thank you so much for featuring so many gorgeous works during this month of hand stitching. Every day the features get better and better… with no exception to this one. The work done here is simply breathtaking, and what gorgeous colors.

    I am truly inspired by the selections and have been franticly stitching all month long. Thanks for being such a great source!!

  38. georgia says:

    Absolutely stunning!

  39. Betsy says:

    What a wonderful idea. I will definitely be trying it myself.

  40. Kelli says:

    And another idea just got added to my novel-length To-do list. I mean I love y’all, but geesh you’re just too good and finding things I want to try!

  41. Grace Wong says:

    I love the cat one!

  42. Penny Sue says:

    My girls and I just finished reading Heidi. This gives me some great ideas. Thanks

  43. Erica K says:

    That is just wonderful! What a great job and idea!

  44. Mary Beth says:

    These are just lovely. Are they beanbags? Eye pillows?

  45. kate says:

    This is quite possibly the coolest idea EVER. I love that these depict scenes from a shared favorite book, and the execution is just lovely. So sweet. Mara’s sister is going to looooooove this gift.

  46. Gina says:

    Utterly exquisite. I saw these in the flickr embroidery pool last week and was gob-smacked.

  47. qsogirl says:

    what a sweet idea!

  48. Mary says:

    Oh, those are so heartbreakingly lovely!

  49. Kelley says:

    wow, that is so neat…I am so not that creative…I am so glad other people are so I can take advantage of their great ideas! One more to add to the list 🙂

  50. Ms. Fine says:

    I’m not sure what it is about this picture that has me enthralled. The whole book cover idea is tremendous (as is the quality of those stitches). I think maybe it’s the lovely colors she’s got in here. Whatever it is, I’m completely inspired! Thanks.

  51. Elizabeth says:

    That’s so charming! What a beautiful idea 🙂 Now I have to look through my favorite childrens’ books for inspiration…

  52. Katie Mitchell says:

    What a creative way to commemerate something special.

  53. That is so sweet and such an incredible job of depicting the drawing on the book cover with embroidery! To be so talented!!

  54. Erin says:

    So cute and clever!! The wheels are turning now…

  55. GTM says:

    This a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing =)

  56. Julia M. in MI says:

    These little pillows(?) are great! I love the idea of taking patterns from your favorite children’s books.
    Thanks for letting us have a look.

  57. kim says:

    i LOVE these! what an inspiring idea……

  58. Helena says:

    Those are sweet, can you image doing this for anyone favorite book ,what a great gift.

  59. Mrs. Pear says:

    I love this idea! and it is so easy to trace and transfer a pattern!

  60. Leah says:

    beautiful work

  61. Paige says:

    I love the variegated colors in the floss – beautiful work!

  62. Samantha says:

    This is such a cool idea- I’m going to use it!

  63. Katie says:

    I love the hair on the girl! Beautiful handwork.

  64. Terri says:

    What a cool idea! I would love to make something like this for mom and my sister. I just need to find out their favorite books. I think my mom loves Beatrix Potter.

  65. Danielle says:

    As an avid reader and home school mom, this is perfect for my daughter. Maybe instead of writing about her favorite books I will have her embroider a passage instead. It is much easier to get an embroidery needle into her hand than a pencil any way. Gorgeous!

  66. Brooke says:

    What lovely details.

  67. BeckyS says:

    Oh My Gosh! Those are Amazing!! And what a great idea. I may have been inspired….

  68. Emily says:

    I LOVE this idea. My daughter’s name is Heidi and I just finished reading the book, “Heidi”. It was a wonderful read and now I know of my next project for her nursery. Thanks for sharing!!

  69. Alyssa says:

    What cute stiches.

  70. This is so sweet. I wonder which favorite book of mine I’d do?

  71. Jeannie says:

    What a wonderful way to memorialize a favorite book and create a wonderful gift. Thanks

  72. Donna says:

    How sweet, I should start looking through my old books for inspiration.

  73. Lisa says:

    these are wonderful!

  74. Beth says:

    Oh my goodness, the stories of my childhood are such a strong part of my psyche, what a great idea to celebrate them!

  75. Jane says:

    Another great idea!

  76. Rita says:

    What a lovely stitched homage to your all time favorite book!

  77. shelle says:

    Beautiful work and what a great idea for an heirloom keepsake! I hope your sister loves her gift.

  78. Sara S. says:

    Too much work for me! Very cute!

  79. Shannah says:

    I’m with everyone else…this makes me think of all the possibilities of my favorites. I’m thinking of making a pillow for my mother. 🙂 Great inspiration!

  80. Laurel says:

    Wow. This is terrific!

  81. Betsy says:

    This makes me want to embroider a whole quilt with book-inspired patches!

  82. becky says:

    These sure do remind me of my Dick and Jane and Sally and Spot years 🙂

  83. Jodieth says:

    This is so special. I have my baby books from 45 years ago. I am going to pull them out and try something for my grandchildren. Super idea and a sweet gift.

  84. andrea says:

    So neat and original-I’ve never seen anything like them : )

  85. Tonya says:

    What a sweet and thoughtful gift!

  86. Debbie O says:

    How wonderful is this and what a great personal gift !!!! One of a kind. Hmmm my daughter loves Alice in Wonderland maybe I can start there.Thank you for sharing

  87. Megan says:

    wow- so creative and thoughtful too!

  88. Elizabeth says:

    those are so, so sweet.

  89. wow, those are really well-done and unique!

  90. brandy says:

    How great is that?!!

  91. katherine says:

    what a nice idea – I am inspired!

  92. Amber W says:

    What a unique project. Gorgeous stitching.

  93. Susanna says:

    What a fabulous idea! I love it!!

  94. Kathy says:

    Great creativity in your work using a book you both enjoyed. Wonderful gift.

  95. Shawna says:

    These are so sweet!

  96. Christine says:

    This is a GREAT idea! I have an idea for my sister’s Christmas gift now!

  97. Maggie says:

    That is some serious embroidery talent! What a special gift.

  98. Celeste says:

    I love this idea. Are these sachets?

  99. Kathy says:

    I love the cat — I wonder if it is appliqued or embroidered…

  100. Kristin Beckwith says:

    Adorable. Mara has talent!

  101. Gwen says:

    Those are adorable and I love the inspiration that they came from.

  102. Sara says:

    That thick backstitch is the bomb! I wonder what the filling stitch is on the hair, the girl’s shirt, the cat, etc.? Anybody know?

  103. Kathy says:

    These are very well done. I just love them, especially the one with the orange kitty!

  104. erin says:

    So cute!! How did you get the design onto your fabric before stitiching? I can’t draw that well, lol.

  105. Rochelle says:

    What a terrific idea for a special keepsake. I think I’ll start with the book “A Little Princess” for my daughter and do a pillow for her reading corner.

  106. Cami says:

    This is so incredibly cute and carefree! How much fun to stitch something like this.

  107. Kathy says:

    What a lovely idea! I’ll be searching for inspiration in all my favorite children’s books now!

  108. renee says:

    These are adorable, I wish I had time for another craft…as i would totally pick up embroidery like this 🙂

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