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Book Giveaway: “Secret Garden Embroidery” by Sophie Simpson

What Delilah Did presents Secret Garden Embroidery: 15 Projects For Your Stitching Pleasure by Sophie Simpson (Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 2015)

What Delilah Did creator Sophie Simpson’s Secret Garden Embroidery: 15 Projects For Your Stitching Pleasure (Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 2015), is an enchanting stitchery guide with projects inspired by the flora and fauna that fill the author’s secret garden. Using a range of techniques, Simpson demonstrates how to stitch birds, bees, blooming flowers, and other colorful, nature-inspired items.

What Delilah Did is the work of designer, stitcher, and writer Sophie Simpson, who started the company in 2010. After her success at the Best of British Open Call, she now sells her work through her website and blog, and in Liberty, London.

What aspect of nature are you most inspired by? Be sure to answer this question in the comment section below if you are interested in this fabulous giveaway. Comment submissions must be completed before midnight EST on August 7, 2015. The winner will be randomly chosen, contacted via email, and announced online shortly thereafter. Good Luck!


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  1. vermontsnuggery | | #1

    Vintage embroidery as well as gardens, flowers and birds.

  2. RushW | | #2

    I love the birds and squirrels which live in our backyard. We sit on the back deck and watch their antics almost every night.

  3. Janshomesewing | | #3

    Big open blue skies. Nature is beautiful subject in all its forms.

  4. Tamaraw | | #4

    It's amazing to see all the "impossible" things that nature makes possible from birds to bees, plants to trees and so on. Possibilities are endless.

  5. franden644 | | #5

    I live to flower, tree and shrub garden. I have a BBB garden. Birds, bees and butterfly garden. I am a millionaire while gardening and it is my main source of exercise.

  6. User avater
    shreya_l | | #6

    Book looks interesting, it'll be fun to create the flora and fauna of the garden around us.

  7. User avater
    shreya_l | | #7

    Book looks interesting, it'll be fun to create the flora and fauna of the garden around us.

  8. mgrant7209 | | #8

    I love to see how other people interpret what they see to how I see animals and plants.

  9. sewing60 | | #9

    I love roses and many other types of flowers. I am especially found of butterflies and dragon flies.

  10. SheilaAnn | | #10

    I am inspired by all of nature. Every season has something special to it. Trying to recreate something from nature is always a challange but worth the effort.

  11. User avater
    chelosunny | | #11

    Being a swimmer, I am mesmerized by water in all its forms such as ice, rain, snow, and steam.

  12. Tiggersmom378 | | #12

    I love flowers, birds and trees.

  13. user-5430734 | | #13

    I am most inspired by sunsets and sunrises.

  14. wolfkit | | #14

    I love the multitude of colours our [Australian] birds have and living in the 'bush capital' means I get to see many of them every day. I do miss the dragonflys I used to see though but have images of them around the house to remind me of their iridescent and inspirational wings.

  15. Rebecca2 | | #15

    This book 'Secret Garden Embroidery' looks like an interesting book. I would like to create one of my own with tiny flowers, insects and birds!

  16. dabogens | | #16

    I like the seasons. The browns and oranges of fall, the starkness of winter, followed by the profusion of color that is spring and summer.... The changing of the birds...

  17. toucan2k | | #17

    I have the coloring book and postcards. I love to embroider. The diversity of creatures and creations in nature inspire me to create beautiful replicas.

  18. classicsinger | | #18

    I am inslpired by the multitude of shades, for instance green, which appears in so many shades in nature. Capturing those subtleties in painting is one thing, accomplishing the same thing in needlework is truly fun.

  19. Leesy | | #19

    The contrasts in color and texture is what grabs me. I'm not a "form" person, I'm a texture person.

  20. TwoOverTwo | | #20

    I love flowers, butterflies, bees, birds, squirrels, i.e., whatever shows up in the backyard. I love to embroider, too.

  21. Lawana55 | | #21

    love the Secret Garden... love any nature setting but especially if its by the river or creek

  22. User avater
    LuvThreadsMagazine | | #22

    I am most enamored by how nature builds things.

    There is a simplicity/efficiency/beauty to everything (unlike women's separates at some national retailers - no names, no names).

  23. sewgramms | | #23

    I'm amazed at how my flowers manage to stay colorful through the heat and drought.

  24. designs | | #24

    I love embroidery and the secret garden. Just two ideas that are perfect together!

  25. meghano | | #25

    The endless variety and beauty.

  26. Katy_M | | #26

    I love leaves and all their varieties :)

  27. pyns | | #27

    i am most inspired by the song birds I hear and see from my deck. Love those cardinals!

  28. Dlimbo | | #28

    I love the way light causes such changes in the colors of flowers and leaves. Everything looks different at different times of day and different seasons. My favorite time is early morning on my patio with the sun dappling through the leaves.

  29. joanrob8 | | #29

    I used to embroider everything. Then I had children, then grandchildren came along. Now I'm making time for myself and want to start embroider but I've forgotten so much and don't know where to start.
    I love embroidering the vines and roses and daisies. I'll need a pattern book like this to inspire me until I start to remember how to embroider again. I could really use this for my sewing library. Hope I win.

  30. machinemaven | | #30

    I have been exploring adding embellishments like this to many things I make. This book sounds like a great resource.

  31. Lady_D | | #31

    I love all of nature. God had a purpose for creating every plant, every animal - and they fulfill their purpose beautifully if we let them. Flowers and birds are beautiful, some insects quite fascinating if you study their behavior without causing the critters to act out-of-character.

  32. user-5075109 | | #32

    Water in all forms, anywhere. Rain on the roof touches most senses.

  33. lcuria | | #33

    I love to watch the birds, butterflies, dragon flies, and fireflies in the summer. I also love the simple beauty of nature. Each season has its own beauty. I enjoy trying to capture that beauty in my work.

  34. waflady | | #34

    I have always been fascinated by insects! Where would the world be without them?

  35. joanrob8 | | #35

    I love the variation of colors in nature. The ombre of my red cannas and all the birds that sit on my fence every morning. From the black crows to the bright blue jays.

  36. Amywear | | #36

    I'm inspired by the sky nearly every day, the industry of squirrels and dragonflies alighting on a rock.

  37. slquaife | | #37

    The things in nature that impress me is the abundance of color and shapes! Geometric shapes are everywhere. The colors are new everyday!

  38. hojobj | | #38

    I love all of nature! From insects, plants (especially roses!) to all animals, they inspire me and make be feel at peace. Because I work swing shift, I come home at night and adore the moon in all its phases and the stars.

  39. User avater
    Patty88 | | #39

    My favorites are Dragonflies and Hummingbirds. The dragonflies eat the mosquitoes and the Hummingbirds are so amazing to watch!

  40. btchywmyn | | #40

    All of nature inspires me, but particularly trees, wildflowers, and insects.

  41. user-1045905 | | #41

    The colours & patterns in the sky, especially at sunrise & sunset : remember to look up!

  42. poufdone | | #42

    Inspired by the color combinations of animals and fauna in nature.

  43. user-2338276 | | #43

    What I love and find inspiring about nature, is that it's ever changing, always surprising, can never be outdone, it lifts my spirit and sparks my imagination.

  44. lyncharm | | #44

    I love vistas - skies, forests, fields, oceans - seeing the variations in colours and textures always get my creative juices running!

  45. LizK | | #45

    I am most inspired by animals in nature, especially the deer that pass through my backyard and that some evenings rest in the grass.

  46. corkpop | | #46

    My favorite thing about nature is variety....the variety of trees, if birds, of flowers...etc. You never get tired of observing.

  47. katie | | #47

    Birds inspire me the most but almost all aspects do also, wind, water, rocks, leaf shapes, invertebrates (even spiders), the colors, volcanoes, even natural disasters.

  48. user-4308218 | | #48

    I am most inspired by the interactions between colors and textures. I always notice how something feels not just that it looks a certain color. I am a very tactile learner. I want to touch everything. I love hand embroidery because it blends my need to work with my hands, create textures and combine beautiful colors.

  49. ItzMeSandraD | | #49

    I am inspired by just how everything fits together perfectly in nature. Everything has a time and place in nature. The chripping of birds soothe me as well as a gentle breeze on a crisp Autumn morning.

  50. MamaChamp | | #50

    Birds! I love birds and have started to incorporate them in my bead embroidery.

  51. User avater
    tracyf | | #51

    I am inspired by the colors in nature!

  52. midwifecg | | #52

    Growing plants: flowers, shrubs and trees never cease to amaze me. My grades are my therapy and refuge. Like the old adage, God is truly in my garden.

  53. ReikiRee | | #53

    THis summer, I've really been inspired by the interaction of all the 'bugs' in my garden. The bees, hornets and wasps share the birdbath, yet are mortal enemies elsewhere in the garden. Hundreds of tiny wasps, bumble bees and other insects swarm around the fennel, yet they aren't bothered when I pinch a flower or two to add to our salad. Not one of these tiny creatures seems the bit perturbed by my presence or actions. I jsut find it all fascinating, probably because I have slowed down over the years and am now more of an Observer in my garden, rather than a Do-er.

  54. kds54 | | #54

    I am amazed at the varied number and combinations of colors and textures in the natural world. I would enjoy the chance to use these different combinations in my work. I am hoping that the lessons and examples in this book will improve my work and give me a " jumping" off point.

  55. user-4906050 | | #55

    I am awed by the many different trees we are able to enjoy and use as inspiration for many crafts.

  56. Corrales | | #56

    Oh how I would love to win this book!! I belong to a hand stitch club and we're always looking for techniques for stiching. We are all avid gardeners and love to play in the dirt. Thanks for the opportunity.

  57. ckach | | #57

    This book not only has great technique but lots of ideas for using the designs. I would love to sneak a few of the squirrels and bugs onto my craft and clothing designs such a cute surprise for the wearer.

  58. sohaute | | #58

    I adore the surprising shades found on just one bloom of flowers. It always inspires me to sew that color combination.

  59. user-3100531 | | #59

    I'm inspired by the renewal of life in nature--it ebbs and flows: birth, life, death which nourishes more birth....

  60. TaniaHansen | | #60

    I love the symbol of working bees. The repetitive pattern of bees wax and all the flowers it takes to make a hive successful. These past years with hives failing I'm more and more anxious to see bees return to my garden and more careful to tend it to make sure they come back.

  61. lashtx | | #61

    I inspired by natures constant renewal. We see fire as a tragedy, nature sees it as an opportunity to renew and refresh. Even when we thought that the eruption of Mount Saint Helens was absolutely devasting to the environment we have had the opportunity to see nature in action, reclaiming the land. Nature is powerful, majestic, delicate, fragile and beautiful all rolled into one...what more could you ask for.

  62. rhodeanie | | #62

    I am most interested in the birds. They have amazing colors! So much fun to embroider!

  63. fitch | | #63

    color is definitely what inspires me most from nature. When I have a hard time choosing a palette I look at what nature has put together.

  64. betsysmom | | #64

    Fall leaves near rushing streams, water falls, and the moon all are things I love. Can't resist mushrooms either.

  65. Ruth63 | | #65

    I garden in New England and the MidAtlantic--often bringing plants from one place to the other. It is always amazing to me to see the variation in how the same things grow in the different places as well as from year to year. And what whilelife my garden attracts. So it's always a surprise and always interesting.

  66. user-974852 | | #66

    I LOVE the combination of flowers and birds or butterflies! They always fit in well with any decor. It would be great to have your book too!

  67. buttonlush | | #67

    Definitely flowers from the bud to full flower and the interesting form some have after the petals are gone.

  68. GolferJim | | #68

    Wild animals and exotic birds provide a vast array of shapes and colors.

  69. User avater
    duchick | | #69

    What I love most about nature is the changing seasons. I live in the Midwest and get a good dose of all 4! The trees change color, the weather warms and cools, birds come and go, storms are sometimes frightful, sunrise and sunset are glorious! It's all good.

  70. celkalee | | #70

    What a great gift this would be! I am in the process of coloring the Secret Garden coloring book. Love it!

  71. fozie | | #71

    Always always always fascinated by the bees...I can watch them for hours. Thanks for this giveaway...the book looks amazing.

  72. user-981341 | | #72

    I find inspiration in leaves of all shapes & sizes from The time there brgin to unfurl in the spring until the fall to the ground in the autumn. Also love the delicate insect chewed skeleton leaves.

  73. j47cats | | #73

    I love to do hand embroidery and am always inspired by birds and butterflies which of course flutter around te many flowers in our gardens. Sure would love to win the book.

  74. pkkreations | | #74

    I love all of nature as it shows the awesomeness of our Almighty Lord Jesus Christ Who created it all!

  75. user-4790291 | | #75

    The colors of nature inspire me-the changing leaves, the sunset, the colors of water--all are so beautiful

  76. user-2459797 | | #76

    It is too difficult to say what part of nature inspires me most. The Hudson River in the morning twinkling from early sunlight on the waves, or the bluest sky, greenest trees, whitest puffy clouds in summer. Maybe the fall color of leaves on Clausland Mountain, or the crocus popping up through the snow in late winter. Too much to say. Even if I don’t win, I am glad to think of all that I have to be grateful for.

  77. GottaStitch | | #77

    I am inspired by the waves in the ocean. Each one is different and has a character of its own just like the pieces we stitch. Each one is unique and special!

  78. Sewolsen | | #78

    Nature is the beginning of all art. I do both machine and hand embroidery, this is a book that I know I will love.

  79. idosew2 | | #79

    The play of light on landscapes inspires me

  80. User avater
    RV_Heidi | | #80

    I love wild flowers and bugs, well, just about everything in nature..

  81. LJM55 | | #81

    I am most inspired by the colors found in nature. Who needs a color wheel when nature shows us everyday what colors go together? The brilliance of the colors surrounding us is simply awe inspiring.

  82. User avater
    rosemaryschild | | #82

    I live in southern MS where wild flowers of all shapes & colors grow all year round. I collect pics of them as this is what inspires me.

  83. User avater
    skywater | | #83

    The ever-changing seasonal colours of nature all year round are what inspires me - from the shores of the Great Lakes to the forests of the Rocky Mountains.

  84. Vikichek | | #84

    My own garden, the gift of a man I've never met. There was an old house near where I live. It had been the residence of one of the first families to settle in the area; they were nurserymen and surveyors. Most of the family had moved elsewhere, and the two elderly sisters who were left finally sold the place to an engineering firm, which had planned to use the building for their office. But it was too far gone. So the house stood empty, and the garden around it went wild. I saw it as I rode to work every morning. I tracked down the name of the owner, and called him to ask if I could have some of the perennials. He said, "Take what you want." Peonies, irises, daffodils, daylilies, other bulbs--a whole garden! I've always shared these plants when it was time to divide them--I owe that generosity to the world.

  85. 3feathers | | #85

    The color book of nature inspires me. It's amazing how nothing in nature clashes! Flowers, birds, fur coats on animals all are clothed in eye pleasing coordinated colors and textures. How can it not inspire!

  86. Carmens | | #86

    Nature everytime, forests and flowers , shapes and colors.

  87. seemless | | #87

    Trees, birds, landscape, all of it.

  88. Carol47 | | #88

    Birds, bees, summer flowers. They all inspire me! Would love the book!

  89. Grandmaria5 | | #89

    This would be a great book as I love birds and it will give me an opportunity to embroider some.

  90. skiss | | #90

    bees and spiders and dragonflies! they all get a bad rap but are so vital to keeping the mosquito population down. I would like to embroider them on a friend's wedding quilt

  91. User avater
    andysmom | | #91

    I am always inspired by spring blooming bulbs like wild tulips intermixed with Glory of Snow, Grape Hyacinth and tiny daffodils. Then when lilacs and other spring blooming shrubs and trees kick in with more blooming bulbs, it is like the world is waking up. The colors, the fresh air and beautiful blue skies are all the inspiration I need to get me thinking.

  92. user-2022666 | | #92

    I love embroidering insects, particularly dragon flies.

  93. callyria | | #93

    I'm inspired by the never ending variety of shapes and colors of flowers in my garden and the hummingbirds who flit about the blooms.

  94. tbsnyder | | #94

    I love for my needle crafts to reflect my love of nature. Thank you for this giveaway opportunity!

  95. cupcake1028 | | #95

    Nothing inspires me more than watching my toddler chasing birds and squirrels to play with!

  96. TraceyR | | #96

    I love to work in my garden and use the colors to inspire me in my knitting and crocheting projects.

  97. User avater
    LisaBinSD | | #97

    Nature inspires color choices, stitched quilting patterns, or texture on fabric. A tangle of tree branches becomes shapes in thread. River rocks help shape applique. Nature is ever surprising the eye with its unexpected beauty.

  98. gr82trvl | | #98

    The inspiration in nature is endless.

  99. Insydd | | #99

    I am greatly inspired by the interplay between sky and water, whether it be ocean or lake, sunny or rainy skies, summer or winter.

  100. lorrainem | | #100

    I am most inspired by the colors of nature coupled withthe textures.

  101. User avater
    KraftyKatKid | | #101

    I take inspiration in flowers and butterflies. My favorite is when a beautiful yellow butterfly lands on my deep blue hydrangeas, the color combination is breathtaking.

  102. user-895259 | | #102

    Nature in its purest form knows exactly which color scheme is complimentary, and adds the perfect combination of textures to create interest.

  103. eclecktic1 | | #103

    I am inspired by the colors of the sky.

  104. MelKeiHen | | #104

    For me, it's leaves mainly, and birds, too. I love to draw and stitch leaves.

  105. Philastein | | #105

    I am inspired by flowers. In embroidery, flowers last a lot longer than in real life. I do not have a green thumb, but my embroidered flowers look pretty good, do not wither or shrivel up and do not need a lot of upkeep.

  106. valkata | | #106

    When I o to a place in nature, I am rejuvenated and refreshed. I love the peace and restfulness that comes to me in nature.

  107. tlz | | #107

    I am most inspired by the wheel of the year, the beauty of changing seasons in the garden: the bright air and emergence of blooms and creatures of spring; the exhilarating color and earthly abundance of summer; autumn’s crisp contrast with cozy warmth in anticipation of winter’s dreamy slumber.

  108. CAS48 | | #108

    I definitely love flowers.

  109. Inawillis | | #109

    I love nature the way every year the garden starts a fresh, I like to look up close to flowers see inside a fox glove, an orchid, any flower is worth a closer look. I also love the different moss and lichens, I find it all inspiring, nature is amazing, how plants die and come back to life, bigger and better.
    The birds bees and all the insects where would we be without them.
    Interpreting it all into Embroidery is a wonderful hobby to have.
    What Delilah did in the secret garden looks inspiring too.

  110. user-4217865 | | #110

    The purity of the embroidery takes my breath away. I am reminded of the woods I used to camp in in Virginia as a child. They were filled with nature and as the seasons flowed, they changed with them. The honey bee, a symbol of hard work creating beauty, is captured on a web of gold thread to bring delight to our eyes. What a wonderful book.

  111. user-4911958 | | #111

    I am most inspired by rain. I love the soothing sounds of gentle rain, and the excitement of thunderstorms. So much fun to cross stitch during those times.

  112. User avater
    island_girl | | #112

    Hmm, it's hard to pick just one. I love how all living things, plants and animals, can bring out ones creativeness. But if I had to pick, it's flowers for their beauty.

  113. susanna | | #113

    One of my favorite aspects of nature is wintry scenes. The bluish tinge of color to snow at twilight, red berries clinging to an icy black branch, the deep dark green of pine trees.

  114. AliCB | | #114

    Flowers and birds are my inspiration - along with beautiful sunsets!

  115. barthbears | | #115

    All the beautiful spring and summer flowers!

  116. heartycat | | #116

    I used to do a lot of embroidery and have lots of remaining floss. I haven't done it in ages, but I still keep the floss in hopes of starting again. This would be a great inspiration for me to get going!

  117. User avater
    mommer | | #117

    I am inspired by the subtle shades of colors found in nature.

  118. CrystalPgh | | #118

    I love birds. I have a thistle seed feeder in my back yard that the goldfinches love.

  119. Marie68 | | #119

    Bees inspire me. They are the so hardworking and productive and without them we would lose so much of the beauty in a lives.

  120. User avater
    sewold | | #120

    I like the birds because of all the colors - also flowers and butterflies. I've done more applique recently but I do like embroidery (when the light is right!) This book might inspire me to get back to that.

  121. User avater
    JKsews | | #121

    I am transfixed by the beautiful, fluttering butterflies.

  122. LnZ | | #122

    I have a "squirrel proof" bird feeder just outside my breakfast area. I also have two hummingbird feeders for those frenzied friends and love to watch the squirrel acrobatic antics as they try to get to the "squirrel proof" feeder!
    I enjoy my morning cuppa watching the yellow and purple finch, cardinals, downy woodpeckers and even nuthatch and wrens.

  123. heygirl | | #123

    All the intricacies of nature fascinate me but the perfection of flowers tops the list. All of my senses are stimulated. It amazes me that the form and design of a flower is replicated over and over again as if expressly for our enjoyment.

  124. AliceEliza | | #124

    I am most inspired by the many colors in nature - sky, plants, birds, insects, water, and animals.

  125. Sans6 | | #125

    I am inspired by flowers in particular, especially our Australian native plants.

  126. Ellida | | #126

    The layers of pattern fascinate and inspire me. Looking up through the green and brown of a tree to the blue of the sky above, and in wintertime all the intricate patterns made by bare twigs and branches. Colour combinations too, like the amazing red of berries on a red currant bush against the bright green of the leaves.

  127. User avater
    eviej | | #127

    Mountain vistas & phenomenal cloud formations

  128. jcanyon | | #128

    I have wanted to do some embroidery lately and this book would be just the thing to jump start my interest. I love the exotic flora and fauna too.

  129. RuthieQ | | #129

    Babbling brooks, wild flowers, birds, dragonflies, trees, and bees all inspire me.

  130. User avater
    EmilyBint | | #130

    Oh, this is so cute! Such a lovely vintage design. Too bad that I missed the giveaway...

  131. User avater
    Jenny_Wren | | #131

    Very beautiful! I really haven't done much embroidery since I was very young, but this could be used as a flourish for a collar or between buttons! I may have to give this a try sometime soon!

  132. seanbell3 | | #132

    Well done..Keep it up..

  133. Carly_Sue | | #133

    I love everything about nature...love to embroider flowers, animals, woods, trees, etc. I love the alphabet with flowers, vines, entangled around the fancy letters.
    I especially love birds..would love to embroider them on a fleece jacket. Wish you would display something like this on your internet sight.

  134. Carly_Sue | | #134

    I love everything about nature...love to embroider flowers, animals, woods, trees, etc. I love the alphabet with flowers, vines, entangled around the fancy letters.
    I especially love birds..would love to embroider them on a fleece jacket. Wish you would display something like this on your internet sight.

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