“To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower Hold infinity in the palms of your hand and eternity in an hour.” –William Blake

There is often great delicacy in beauty. Tiny stokes of paint, gossamer fabrics floating on the breeze. Tiny stitches on fine cloth.

“The Embroidered Garden” exhibits this sort of delicacy. Tiny, fine stitches, depicting flowers, butterflies and bees, fragile blooms which seem to float upon cloth, as if blowing in the breeze.

Embroidery is, literally, an ancient art form. From the ecclesiastical to the trim on luxurious smalls, embroidery has waxed and waned throughout history. Once a requirement for every young ladies training,  these days it is rarely seen outside quality couture shops and Victoria’s Secret.

It is nice to see such gorgeous handwork paid attention to once more. Aoki has brought back the beauty and elegance of a craft it would be ashamed to lose to the technical world we live in. I once did embroidery – the tiny stitches calming, repetition and the growth of beautiful handwork soothing to the soul.

Anyone with an interest in beauty and gorgeous hand work should find great pleasure in this book.

I received The Embroidered Garden from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.


Whimsical, beautiful embroidery motifs created by an avid gardener—stitch roses, bees, or whole garden scenes. Kazuko Aoki has a unique talent for translating the beauty of the garden with needle and thread. By offering forty motifs, Aoki invites us to explore her gardens through embroidery. The forty motifs explore the roses and wildflowers that appear season to season, as well as the bees and butterflies that enjoy their nectar. The designs here are exquisite, detailed, and artfully rendered. Beyond the motifs themselves, Aoki also presents projects that feature the embroidery: brooches, notebook covers, pin cushions, and pouches. For those new to embroidery, detailed how-to illustrations are included.