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Introducing Colourful Fun Embroidery!

Introducing Colourful Fun Embroidery | Hello! Hooray!

I am so excited to be sharing this post today. Introducing Colourful Fun Embroidery – my first book!  Colourful Fun Embroidery features 24 modern projects to bring joy and happiness to your life. I am hugely passionate about getting creative to improve mental health and well-being. My book focuses on how you can use hand embroidery to help you take time out to be creative in order to feel good. Mindfulness is something that many people are focussing on more now, especially in terms of how crafting can help you feel better. When I started writing my book back in 2018, I couldn’t have predicted how relevant this would be right now in 2020. But it feels like the right time for it to be released into the world!

My book will be released on 30th October 2020 by White Owl Books, and it’s the perfect book for complete beginners and more experienced embroiderers. So today I thought I’d write a post introducing Colourful Fun Embroidery to tell you a little bit more about it and share some photos of some projects from the book. You can pre-order your copy here, and there will be links to this at the end of the post too!

Introducing Colourful Fun Embroidery: book description 

Take time out to be creative and de-stress with these colourful, fun embroidery projects from Hello! Hooray! Ranging from things you could complete in an afternoon to others that you can take your time over, enjoy every step of the making process as you focus on feeling good through being creative. The finished makes will bring colour and joy to your home, workspace and wardrobe.

The projects in this book allow you to craft your creative time by selecting makes according to timescale. Choose one of the ‘crafternoon makes’ if you want that sense of joy at finishing something, a ‘medium makes’ project for the days where you have a little more time for crafting, or for something to really take your time over you could stitch one of the longer ‘pick me up’ projects.

Each project includes step-by-step instructions, beautiful photos and inspirational ideas for how to make each project your own. So take time to be creative with this colourful, feel-good craft book!

Take time out to be creative hoop | Hello! Hooray!

Take time out to be creative

If I had to sum up the main theme of the book very briefly, it would be that my book focusses on the idea of taking time out to be creative. Over the last few years, I really struggled with work-related mental health issues. One of the things that really helped me to get through the day at the day job was to do some hand embroidery on my lunch break. I would take whatever I was working on and sit with a cup of tea and stitch. Even if it was just for 10 minutes, it made a huge difference. It slowed me down, allowed me to focus on something that I loved and I could always see progress even during a short time. For that short period of time I felt less stressed and much happier. Lots of my colleagues said how much they enjoyed watching me stitch too!

Colourful embroidery thread | Hello! Hooray!

One of the main things that I love about hand embroidery is that you can fit it into little pockets of time here and there. I first got into it after our daughter (known as Little One here on my blog) was born in 2016. It was naturally a very busy time, but I felt a huge urge to do something creative. Hand embroidery was the perfect craft for me at this point. Being able to stop and start stitching without having to count stitches to work out where to continue was brilliant! Counting and measuring have never been my strongest skills anyway, and hand embroidery gave me much more freedom than other forms of stitching. I could pick it up for a little while when she napped, drop it mid stitch and then pick it up later. Even if later wasn’t for another couple of weeks!

When I started writing my book Little One was two, and whilst writing I fell pregnant with our second. They are now aged four and one and I feel more passionate about having creative time than ever before! Being creative makes my soul happy and I can’t imagine not doing something creative each day. It’s important to me individually but also to us as a family (see our creative family manifesto). Finding little pockets of time to be creative is super important for me. I’m not saying it’s always easy to do, because it isn’t! But by prioritising it, you can give yourself some time each day to focus on doing something that makes you feel good.

Snail Mail hoop from Colourful Fun Embroidery by Clare Albans

Introducing Colourful Fun Embroidery: the projects

I divided the sections of my book into three, based on the amount of time that it takes to complete each project. So there are ‘Crafternoons’, ‘Medium Makes’ and ‘Pick Me Up’ projects. This was really important to me, and was one of the first decisions I made when writing my book pitch back in 2018. I really wanted readers to feel like they could dip into my book, and pick the perfect project for them to start working on based on how much time they had. 

Sometimes you really just want to sit down and make something in an afternoon. You don’t want a project that’s going to take loads of prep before you can get started. Neither do you want it to drag on for ages! So the Crafternoon projects are perfect for this. You could get together with a friend for tea, cake and stitching (once we’re allowed to do that safely in person – or just do it virtually!).

Other times you want to spend a bit longer on a project. You might be going away for a few days, or just fancy doing some stitching at the end of each day. My Medium Makes projects are things that take a little more time to make than the projects in Crafternoons, but they can easily be finished in a few days. But the beauty of these projects is that you can take more time over them if you wish! There’s no rush, just enjoy the process – it is just as important as the thing you’re making.

My Pick Me Up projects take much longer, and that’s ok. Sometimes it’s nice to have something to keep working on, because you see it come together over time. You put so much love into it, and you’re really proud of it when it’s done. Some of these projects are heirloom pieces, and I hope that you love stitching them.

Quilting hoop clock from Colourful Fun Embroidery

Make it your own

Another big thing that I wanted to emphasise with the projects in Colourful Fun Embroidery is that you can take them, play around and adapt them to make something else if you wish. When it comes to creativity, the best thing we can do to encourage it is to play around with it. Play with colour, pattern, technique, style – whatever. Don’t worry about getting things ‘right’, just go for it! I really want my book to be a source of creative inspiration for you, and I hope that it encourages you to be creative in your approach! You might look at one of the projects and like the design, but not want to display it in a hoop, for example. That’s absolutely ok! Take what you like and adapt it to suit you (please remember that the projects are for personal use only though!).

To make this a little easier and give you a starting point, each project comes with suggestions for how to make it your own. It might be that you take an element of one design and turn it into a different project altogether. Or you might take a colour palette from one, and use that for another project. This is wonderful! I can’t wait to see the results, so please share with me on Instagram @hellohoorayblog or via Facebook or Twitter.

Stitching from Colourful Fun Embroidery by Clare Albans

Colourful Fun Embroidery: FAQs

I’ve had a few questions about my book already, and thought it would be good to end with a little FAQ section. I’ll be adding to these every now and again when I can.

Will I enjoy this book if I’m a beginner?

Yes! It doesn’t matter if you have never stitched before, so don’t worry if you’re a beginner. There are handy stitch guides as well as lots of information about getting started with hand embroidery. So don’t be afraid to give it a go! And don’t be afraid to make mistakes – it’s how we learn. My book will give you lots of ideas in terms of exploring your creativity and experimenting, and that’s all part of the fun! 

Does that mean it’s not a book for experienced stitchers?

Not at all! Lots of the people who have reviewed my book before release have said that they aren’t beginners but that they found it really inspiring. As I explained earlier in the post, I wanted to make the designs adaptable so you can use the project ideas as a starting point and customise it from there. I’m sure that experienced stitchers will feel inspired by my book too!

Is this book suitable for children?

Although several of the pre-release reviews have stated that the book is suitable for children (maybe because of the fun designs and bright colours?!), it wasn’t designed with children in mind. Of course, you can stitch the projects with children if you supervise your child, but some of the projects would be very tricky with children. Little One loves playing with thread and fabric, but I personally won’t be teaching her for a while! 

Will I need loads of different materials?

You can start hand embroidery with just a few basics. In my book I share a materials list, as well as a list of some of my favourite suppliers. I will also be stocking some of these things in the Haberdashery section on my website.

Will you be selling kits?

Yes! Some of the projects will be available as kits, and these will only be available through my website. Preorder book and kit bundles include the Good Vibes hoop, the Snail Mail hoop and the Long Player hoop – click here to order. Other projects will be available after release.

If you enjoyed reading this post, preorder your copy of Colourful Fun Embroidery today!

Preorders will be posted out once the book has been released – the release date is 30th October 2020. 

If you have any comments or questions, please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you!

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  1. Karen Heliker on May 18, 2022 at 1:15 am

    I’m looking for a hard copy of conversionsbetweenDMC andAnchor. I do not have a printer . I purchased a book on line not knowing it was Anchor numbers and I have DMC. I found you during my hunt. I love your site and your enthusiasm. I live in the USA and probably won’t be able to find your book here. I’m 85 years of age and learned to cross stitch when I was about 10

    • Clare Albans on August 8, 2022 at 2:19 pm

      Hello Karen! SO sorry for not seeing this sooner, thank you so much for your kind words 😊 My book is available in the USA – have a look on Amazon, or ask if your local bookstore can order it in. How wonderful that you’ve been stitching for so long, that’s fabulous! So lovely to meet you virtually 😊 Is there anyone who could print it for you? I am happy to email it to you if that’s helpful?

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