Customer Reviews: Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection: 400+ Easy Embroidery Designs
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on January 1, 2011
Let's be honest, with all the embroidery instructional guides online and in print, the meat of this book is the 400-something motifs. There are some nice projects, but nothing new to what can't already be found for free online.

I have major issues with the motifs. The author and publisher really push that these motifs are meant to be combined together to make your own unique pieces, without any limits. They also make it sound like it's easy to arrange them in an image program and print.

Super de dooper wrong!

The images are all in tiff files at 300 dpi, without any transparency, so you have to use the magic wand to remove the white background to be able to overlay the motifs. Also, the lines are very very thin, if you scale them down at all, be ready to make them thicker because they're basically invisible! My method in photoshop is to select the lines with the magic wand, expand the selection by 4-10 pixels (depending on how it's already scaled by the author) and then filling the selection again with black. Then I would scale the motifs to my piece after removing the white background.

I'm a graphic designer, so I was able to work around the limitations and put together some nice pieces. However, I doubt that the average person will be able to do this without a lot of frustration. Even if you follow the alternative method suggested by the author and print out the motifs and paste everything together - nothing is scaled to the same proportions. For example, the tree design that signifies the seasonal changes is smaller in dimensions than the bird motifs. Of course, this is so that people doing larger pieces of the bird will be able to have it at the highest quality - but it makes it harder to do the intricate pieces the book totes. So, anyone planning on printing and putting their pieces together needs to still scale everything to size on the computer.

Overall, the motifs are nice and worth such a low cost with the amazon discount. I just wish there was more variation... like some embellishments that were rounded for framing with a hoop, instead of ALL straight border embellishments. I can get around that with photoshop, but people without those skills will not be able to. There's also some duplicates with just some small changes... like cakes on different types of stands. So in reality, you aren't getting 400-something unique motifs.
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on November 26, 2010
I love this book! I've embroidered for over 60 years and have some favorite patterns, but with more time on my hands now I needed more of a variety for quick projects to do up for our 5 grandchildren. When I saw the samples of the designs and 400 of them, I said that's the book. My 12 yr. old granddaughter has begun to embroider and needs easy projects so it's just right for her too. The CD that comes with it is perfect to print out and enlarge the designs. It's very unfortunate that so many young girls (and older ones) don't know how to do this beautiful, artistic and relaxing hobby in this modern age. With this book there's no excuse.....yes, I highly recommend the book Doodle Stitching.
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on April 2, 2011
This is my third book on contemporary embroidery. I really enjoy the format of the book, the simple tutorials on different stitches (with colored floss, which is much nicer than hand drawn diagrams), and the cute variety of doodles. The idea of including a disc with the templates for all the doodles is fantastic! They are organized into convenient categories such as Asian chic, flowers, woodland creatures, and more.

The only reason for the 4 star review is the ease of use for the digital templates. They are very large files with NO TRANSPARENCY!!! So even if you scale each layer down using a photo editing program, there is no way to overlap or combine templates without them blanking out the adjacent image. Luckily I am pretty handy with photo editing and have changed most of the templates I like to have transparency in PNG format so I can combine them and move them around as I like. Some images burn out or have very faint lines if they are reduced too small, so I work on a large background to try avoiding that.

SO if it weren't for the technical frustrations, this book would have gotten 5 plus stars from me! I hope the author reads some reviews and continues making changes with each excellent book she releases. I'm looking forward to the next collection of motifs!
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VINE VOICEon October 6, 2010
Love this book! I have been waiting for a book like this to come out for a while ... a book that has lots of little motifs in it that are perfect for embellishing projects. And that is exactly what this book is .. a book filled with 400+ different motifs that you can use to make your projects. Also included are 17 different projects using the motifs.

The motifs come on a CD-ROM --- I have not tried out the CD-ROM yet, but I am looking forward to trying it out, and hoping that it will allow me to resize the patterns any way I see fit. In addition to the projects, this book contains a how-to section that is an expanded version of the how-to section from her first book.

The rest of the book has lots of fun pictures and line colored drawings of each motif. Each motif is numbered (I am assuming for reference) -- there are 450 motifs altogether, but keep in mind that the first 52 are letters (an upper case, and a lower case alphabet). The motifs are divided up in the book by category. The categories included are: alphabet, asian chic, baby, celebrations, circus, embellishments, farm anials, flowers, food, fruits & veggies, garden time, space, sweet shoppe, trees & leaves, under the sea, weather, winged wonders, woodland animals, woodland fairytale.

I really love all of the motifs and Aimee's wonderfully whimsical style! The only thing that is "missing" from this book would be a holiday category .....I would love to see another book, just like this one (also done by Aimee) devoted solely to holiday motifs. Maybe it could be called "Doodle Stitching: The Holiday Motif Collection" ... just a little hint to the publishers/author ... :)

Very well done, a must for your embroidery library!
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on May 21, 2011
I wish I could review and grade the software and the book separately. I would give the book, and Ms. Ray's great motifs, five out of five stars. There are so many that are unlike anything else that is out there right now. I would say that the images have more of a gentler, hippie vibe (lots of Indian-inspired designs). so-hats off to Ms. Ray. However, the CD that came with the book was essentially useless for me, seeing as how I did not have a graphics program on my computer and couldn't justify buying one just for this purpose. a tech-minded friend pointed out that .tff files -which the motifs are stored as- are like the redheaded step children of image files. I so wish I could use this book but as of today it just sits on my shelf. Don't buy this if you don't have the proper software to access the motifs.
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on November 12, 2010
I loved the original Doodle Stitching book, but this one is even better. Aimee Ray's style is charming and fresh and there are tons of cute, simple designs. The illustrations are all in color and the instructions are clear. Best of all, there is a disk with all the designs on it so you can combine, resize and print them for your own custom patterns. My only complaint about the first book was that it was a bit difficult to transfer the designs, and this solution works beautifully.
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on March 22, 2012
I love this book. It is my first book of embroidery patterns. I just decided to teach myself embroidery. The patterns were super easy to follow and I was able to gain great confidence from the easier patterns and move on to the ones that seemed much more tricky. I highly recommend this book for a first stab at embroidery, it really did inspire me to move on to harder things. I can't say anything bad. I knew from reading the reviews that some were having trouble resizing and changing the patterns. I just copy and pasted the designs I liked into a word document and changed them there. Hope that helps.
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on February 26, 2011
I received this book for Christmas and have already used it to make a dozen projects. Her designs are whimsical, fun and adaptable. Some of the categories include woodland creatures, fairies, weather related, fruits/veggies, under the sea, trees, flowers and flourishes (there are no stereotypical "holiday" themed motifs - just celebration/party). Each design is included on the CD in the back, so they can be resized or rotated to adjust to your project. The easiest transfer method that I have found is to shade the back of the printed design VERY heavily with a pencil, then flip it over, place it on your fabric, and trace the lines with a knitting needle point (or some other small, relatively dull point). Basically, a poor man's graphite paper :) This also gives you more control over what parts of the design you want to transfer, if you're not using the entire thing. The project instructions included in the book are probably not things that I will make, but the motifs are well worth the price. I'm delighted to have this flexible, fun resource in my library.
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on November 9, 2010
I love this book and Sublime Stitching. I love to embroider. Unfortunately I can't draw. These books help me with that flaw.
I liked the first Doodle Stitching book which was more project based. (I wish she included another quilt though like the last book.) This book is more about the patterns. I especially like the Woodland Fairytale section. They are pretty whimsical.
I hope that Aimee Ray does another book but includes an Americana and a Holiday section.
I'm currently making a pillow out of a pattern in this book for my sister for Christmas.
I hope that more embroidery books come out. In my opinion there aren't enough on the market.
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on October 1, 2010
I am so pleased with this purchase. I loved her first book and found it inspirational. Such cute designs and ideas. This one is similar, but has more motifs and less projects. There are quite a few projects explained in detail, and she also teached the stitches she uses - same as in her first book but with a few more thrown in for good measure. But the book is really about the motifs and they are so adorable. You can either trace them from the book direct, or resize them as you like and print them out from the enclosed CD.

I love Aimee Ray's style...
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