Here at &Stitches we are big fans of Megan Eckman's (a.k.a Studio MME) designs. So it's really exciting to be reviewing her new ebook West Coast Love.
The book includes twenty patterns themed around California, Oregon and Washington. They mostly feature local landmarks, both built and natural, and there are a couple of really beautiful bird patterns in there too. The patterns showcase Megan's skill for simple, linear design. I feel that the designs will appeal to novice and experienced stitchers alike. They don't require fancy stitch techniques but instead use bold lines to build a stylised image.
I like Megan's little introductions to each pattern which explain why she has selected each subject- it's a nice personal touch.
I particularly like the way her patterns use a restricted palette. All of the designs use only two or three colours. One of my favourites is this scene of St.Johns Bridge:
I think the economy of line here is just beautiful and combined with the muted blue/grey palette it creates a really striking image. This is the strength of Megan's designs; they are beautifully drawn and avoid any fussy details. You could easily vary the colours for a different effect.
A really fun idea in the book is making embroidery pennants- a few of these would make a great display. Each section of the book includes two pennants- one fun flag-themed and one tree-themed. It would be great to stitch up a matching set to hang together.
I have to say I would happily hang these pennants anywhere in my home but they would look especially cool in a kids bedroom. In the book are full illustrated instructions for making up the pennant flags - although I haven't tried it yet it looks simple, so I will definitely be giving it a go!
Megan has also included really clear instructions on how to get started, what materials are needed, how to transfer images and how to frame work in a hoop. These instructions would be great for someone new to stitching and there are step-by-step diagrams to help you along the way. There are also reversed versions of the patterns to make it easier if you are using an iron on transfer method and because it's an ebook its super easy to get started - just pick your pattern, print it out and start straight away.
If you like the look of this ebook it is available in the Studio MME shop where you can also purchase the patterns individually (plus a whole range of other cool patterns and kits).
What are you stitching? Please share in the &Stitches Flickr group. We'd love to see it!