Cover Image: Mystical Stitches

Mystical Stitches

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This wasn't quite what I was expecting but that's not necessarily a bad thing. As well as being packed full of embroidery patterns for mystical items/symbols, it also talks a lot about the ritual of embroidery stitching, the power of symbols and creating your own talisman. There is also discussion on the use of mediation, stretching and more to help you in your creative process.

The book also includes instructions for those who have never embroidered before including clear diagrams on how to form the various stitches. And then there are a good number of projects with ideas for where to use embroidery, for example clothes, homeware and, jewellry. The symbols vary from geometric, to botantical to astrological and much more,  definitely something for most people.

For me, I'm not really into the mystical acts side of things, but I still enjoyed this book due to it's wonderfully wide range of embroidery patterns, clear instructions and varied project ideas.

Thank you to NetGalley and Storey Publishing for this ARC copy in return for a nonbiased review.
Was this review helpful?
This is a stunning book with clear instructions and format it inspired me to dig out my needle and threads to try to recreate some of the embroideries. One to have on the bookcase and treasure.
Was this review helpful?
A beautiful and interesting book of patterns that is sure to please. The instructions are very clear, but written with a distinctive voice that sets it apart. The patterns have a clear point of view that will appeal to many crafters, and is very of the moment.
Was this review helpful?
This book wasn't quite what I was expecting, and that's what I love about it. I was expecting groovy embroidery patterns revolving around mysticism and symbolism and all that (and I absolutely got them, an abundance of gorgeous patterns that can be used singly or combined at the whims of the stitcher), instruction on various stitches (Johnson's instruction are clear and thorough, with advice on how and when to use the stitches, making this a great book for beginners, and a good reference for any stitcher's library), and a bit of mindfulness talk. This last part is where Johnson exceeded my expectations; there is lots of focus on the process of stitching, the intention behind the work, what your trying to achieve by creating a piece. She encourages us to slow down and yes, be mindful of what we're doing, and to let ourselves create what feels right to us, meaning play with the stitches, make mistakes and/or let our work be not perfect, to go with our flow and not someone else's. It's quite inspiring, and can be applied to any craft, not just embroidery. Johnson also gives instruction on how to create our own talisman, including choosing colors, composition, and lots of sample projects for inspiration, plus ideas on how to create a ritual to charge your talisman. The book concludes with the patterns and stitch guide, and a list of resources. 
Come for the groovy beautiful patterns, stay for the uplifting journey through the creative process.

#MysticalStitches #NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
This book is full of beautiful motifs that I immediately want to embroider onto everything. It's written in a clear and comprehensive manner and I think beginners could follow along. It also challenges the reader to expand their creativity.
Was this review helpful?
Mystical Stitches is a beautiful book full of great embroidery designs. It’s a book that will appeal to both the beginner and advanced stitcher.

There are a wide variety of colorful designs. You’ll discover wonderful planetary and zodiac motifs, animal talisman, plants, and mystical designs, unified by their magical meanings. Johnson writes a short paragraph on each, explaining its symbolism. And a color photo is available for each design. If you’ve never embroidered before, or are a bit rusty, there is a helpful section in the book explaining how to do each stitch. And she doesn’t forget to discuss the materials needed for for the projects.

Johnson does include some material that I’ve never seen in an embroidery book before, but considering the topic, they’re a good fit. Forms of meditation that can be used while stitching are discussed, as are importance of symbols in our lives. And she emphasizes creativity over technique. You can chose other colors or stitches in a pattern and make it your own. And it doesn’t need to be perfect except to you.

Mystical Stitches is a real winner. You don’t need to be a pagan to find a number of patterns that will appeal to you. Johnson states outright that she no religious motives behind this book. What I appreciated the most, besides the unique patterns, was that there was no emphasis on perfection, but rather letting loose and enjoying the creative process of making.
Was this review helpful?
A lovely idea, but lacking in clear patterns and instructions for replicating the author's magical designs. A craft book that is more pretty than practical.
Was this review helpful?
Fun and interesting design ideas, and visual explanations of the different embroidery stitches, made this a valuable resource. I do wish it included some instructions on pattern transfers and tracing.
Was this review helpful?
As a beginner to embroidery this book is probably not targeted at me. I found that there wasn’t enough detailed patterns and ‘how to’s’. I did enjoy the little tidbits about the different patterns and shapes.
Was this review helpful?
A quirky, fun, interesting and inspiring book - full of information regarding mystical signs that you may want to incorporate into your practice or just read about out of interest. A fantastic, innovative book that brings the realms of mystical and needlework together.
Was this review helpful?
Thoughtfully and beautifully put together. Information filled but enjoyable and easy to read. Will definitely be trying out some of the stitches in my practice.
Was this review helpful?
Mystical Stitches is a real gem! I am just getting started with embroidery and the instructions throughout are clear and full of tips, the images very straightforward. The book has an amazing look and is so full of encouragement and positivity that you can't wait to dive into it and learn all the different techniques. 

I also really loved how the author included a hopeful message about mindfulness and the importance of meditation and reconnecting with yourself and your work when crafting. It just gives so much added value to the book and to the stitches inspired by it.

Finally, thank you for the link to downloadable patterns added to the publisher's website, it makes all the difference, especially to a beginner.

I had so much fun looking at this ARC that I decided to buy a physical copy!
Was this review helpful?
As an avid embroiderer, I found this to be a refreshing new addition to embroidery book offerings. I look forward to getting my hands on a physical copy to see how it compares to the digital and to work through some of the offered projects!
Was this review helpful?
Exactly what I was looking for!

For a long time I've been drawn to embroidery and what I wanted to embroider was specifically this type of symbols with spiritual meaning. This book met me right at this point, providing a lot of valuable information on the embroidery basics, but also a lot of inspiration on what to make, I had some ideas but this book took them to a new level. I appreciated a lot the graphics between the pages, how wholesome and homey they were all and how they brought beautifully they brought embroidery to the pages. Loved it!

I received this in exchange for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
This book has inspiring and spiritual embroidery patterns. It has clear instructions and beautiful patterns
Was this review helpful?
Well, this was certainly a treat! It's certainly magical and fascinating. I think this is ideal for anyone who wants to try a new hobby. I've personally never tried embroidery but this book makes me want to try and join in on  the fun.
Was this review helpful?
I love a craft book where you can tell the author really put their heart and soul into it. There's plenty of Christi Johnson's style running through the book, but also lots of room for the reader to improvise and really take the ideas within and make them their own. The way she interweaves the spiritual with the act of creating beautiful things is really inspiring. Plenty of gorgeous photos along with very clear instructions and templates for her designs. I'll be coming back to this one for sure.
Was this review helpful?
Mystical Stitches is not what I was expecting. I assumed it would be a book full of embroidery designs, but it is more of a guide to spirituality and creativity and how you can express these things via embroidery. There are excellent embroidery instructions for beginners and these are accompanied by clear illustrations. There are plenty of photos and drawings of the embroideries and some instructions on how to create them yourself. The author does not give detailed instructions and there aren't a huge number of designs as the author clearly wants people to create their own. The designs in the book did not particularly resonate with me so I did not find them that inspiring. I am not too keen on her style, although if you love Folk Art you will probably love them, and I found a lot of the symbols did not resonate with me. If you are mainly interested in Celtic or Pagan imagery you may want to look elsewhere for more specific books and other resources. The chapters that deal with the links between spirituality and creativity were very interesting especially as they also make plenty of practical suggestions.
Was this review helpful?
I received a free ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have dabbled in cross stitching and embroidery before, but am only aware of the basics. This book serves a dual purpose; for the absolute beginner, it explains with very simple and easy-to-understand illustrations how to select your materials, plan your work, and execute the stitches. A wide array of stitches are covered in this text, and what I love about the instruction is that it includes both photographs of the completed stitch (so that you get a very clear idea of what it is supposed to look like), as well as simple drawings that illustrate how to do the stitch.

For more intermediate craftsfolk, the book serves as a repository of various patterns, symbols, colour combinations, and designs that you could use in order to create your own personal piece of magical embroidery. Christi Johnson takes inspiration from what I assume is her own culture as well as various worldwide practices, but always takes the time to explain the significance of the symbols she borrows from these cultures. She takes you step by step on how to use colour and layout to construct designs that look pleasing and coherent, and goes into great detail on how you can make stitchings and designs that are meaningful to you.

I found this book entertaining, inspiring, well-written, and respectful. I am admittedly a skeptic and do sometimes find myself questioning what I read in many "new age" type books, but this book felt genuine and warm all the way through. I feel very much inspired to create my own work, and because my digital ARC will expire very soon, I absolutely plan on buying my own physical copy of this book to keep!
Was this review helpful?
Mystical Stitches is a wonderfully written, excellently illustrated book. 
Suitable for beginners, it covers a range of topics such as various stitches, how to prepare your fabric and thread, etc. 
However, the one aspect of this book that I enjoyed the most was the metaphysical. Tapping into the rise of pagan beliefs, Mystical Stitches combines art with spirituality. Motifs are explored not only in terms of fashion, but of cultural and spiritual meaning, which is a refreshing find within a craft-related publication.
Was this review helpful?