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Retro Stitchery hand embroidery book

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vw bug hand embroidery pattern

How about a cheery VW beetle embroidery pattern to start off summer stitching! I had so much fun making this project; the design is by Beverly McCullough of Flamingo Toes fame and it is in her brand new book, Retro Stitchery ‘Oh-So-Cute Embroideries with a Wink to the Past’.  Martingale Publishing sent me a copy of the e-book so I could join in the blog tour, but all opinions are my own per usual!

I couldn’t resist picking this pattern because a 1978 VW Bug was actually my first car (which was vintage at the time, I got my license in the early 2000s). I’d always been drawn to their look and spent all of high school tooling around in a banana yellow bug, which ended up being part fun and part wrestling with an ancient stick shift in Midwest weather. At any rate, I love to see a fun blast from my past up on my sewing room wall now!

retro hand embroidery book

Here is a shot of the cover; the book is project-based and includes instructions for how to embroider each design but also how to make the zipper pouch, a patchwork pillow, the tea towel, etc. Bev has such a clear aesthetic, all these pieces look exactly like her style; connect with her other quilting & embroidery work on Instagram or in her  Facebook group.

If you are looking for more embroidery project ideas, check out these other posts:

This is a picture from the book of my other favorite project, isn’t it beautiful! You can order the book directly on her website, on Fat Quarter Shop, Bookshop, Amazon, or your local independent bookstore! Also remember your local library probably takes purchase requests/recommendations, if you’re more of a borrower.

volkswagon beetle hand embroidery

Here is the styled book shot of the design I stitched up; as you can see the book gives instructions for how to stitch it and then turn it into a zipper pouch! My life is too chaotic/messy/dirty to mix hand embroidery and storage items so I went in a different direction and hung it as hoop art in my sewing room!

add pom poms to embroidery hoop

I think my favorite part are the little flowers at the bottom! It’s wildflower season right now and I loved adding these details.

vintage hand embroidery pattern

To jazz up the hoop, I hot glued mini Simplicity pom-pom trim around the edges after I painted it with a Colorshot paint marker (they gifted a set to me a year or so ago, just FYI).



sulky cotton petite hand embroidery

I used single strand Sulky Cotton Petite thread for all of it, thanks to my handy dandy big box of colors, and my usual magic trick for transferring the design.

how to paint an embroidery hoop

Normally people include a close-up to show off their perfect stitches but I’m the opposite. Perfection is never my goal; I just really love the meditative nature of stitching and no one is going to be inspecting your finished project with a magnifying glass! If you love perfect, impeccable stitches, do what gives you joy. But don’t let a fear of failing at perfection stop you from trying a fun new hobby!

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Susan Crotto

Tuesday 25th of May 2021

Bought the book!!! Thank you for sharing. Some of these would look great on the back of a jean jacket!!!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Saturday 29th of May 2021

I hope you love it! She actually has a floral jean jacket design in there too! I'm sending you an email :)

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