Seven months ago, I got an ad on Instagram promoting a 6-month subscription for Love Embroidery, a monthly magazine for embroidery enthusiasts. For the first time ever, I subscribed to a magazine because lockdown and also having a magazine subscription sounds very grown-up. I’m not even subscribed to Cosmopolitan, a magazine that I’ve been buying every month since I was fifteen.
There are always different offers for the Love Embroidery subscription, the first time I joined for six issues, for a price of £26 plus a free gift consisting of 100 Anchor threads. After that, I renewed my subscription for £9.99 for another six months when I got an offer via Craftpod.
Love Embroidery promises up to 20 projects per issue, with free templates, and they even have a small section for machine embroidery. They have a trends section with the latest in embroidery, a designer profile, and gift guides.
These all sound great, until I started flipping through the magazine and noticed that most projects are not something I’d be interested in. I’ve realised that most issues have around three projects for baby stuff, either cute clothes like baby bibs or embroidery hoops for a kid’s room. Other projects are more home-focused, I call them the housewife projects because they feel like tips and ideas you would find in a magazine like Good Housekeeping. And most of the other projects, are just not my style.
Which makes me wonder if I don’t connect with the magazine that much because I’m not in their target audience yet? I’m 26, renting a small flat with not much space for house decor, and with zero intention of having kids. Sometimes the projects seem more for women in their 30s and over. I say women because so far, every embroidery designer I’ve found are all women. Is embroidery too cute for men?
The free templates and projects
Local and famous embroidery designers create the projects included in the magazine every month, which usually means they are original, well-thought-out and fun to stitch. Each project has its own template, a material list with fabric type and thread colours, and a step-by-step guide with pictures.
March’s issue, number 12, came with an embroidery kit as a gift, and it’s the perfect example of the disconnect I sometimes feel with this magazine. I was excited at first because it looked like a design I would hang on my wall. But I soon realised I wasn’t a fan of the colours that came with the kit nor the hoop. The colours were too neon-pink and orange for my taste, and the printed design was too dark with wide lines, which didn’t leave much room for changes as I was forced to cover every inch of the template. I found that a bit annoying during the lazy daisy stitches, as I had to be careful to cover the lines that indicate where each petal goes.
In the end, I took some liberties as I usually do. I added more colours, switched the bright barbie pink for a soft millennial pink, and used a wooden hoop instead of a plastic one.
Overall, I like Love Embroidery, it’s nice to have a magazine dedicated to all things embroidery. I like looking at the projects and keeping up to date with designers and trends, but as someone who has been devouring magazines since my early teens, sometimes I feel disappointed with some of the projects, it feels like they’re missing something. Some of the designs feel rushed or just used as a filler because they have a minimum of pages they need to complete.
I still have five issues left from my second subscription, and I might renew it if I find another offer. Every so often, a template will come along that will make my subscription worth it, like the sloth from issue 10 or the Christmas scenery from issue 6 that I started last winter and I haven’t finished yet because I get distracted by new designs. Also, the bicycle design is cute once you get rid of the neon threads.