Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Wendy Week Day 3: An Excerpt from the Book (Plus another giveaway!)


Welcome to Day 3 of Wendy Week here at the Sew Beautiful blog! With the release of designer Wendy Schoen’s new book Mastering Shadow Work Embroidery, we’re honoring the renowned artist and teacher with a week of special promotions and giveaways. Join us on the blog every day this week for exclusive book previews, an interview with Wendy, and our awesome giveaway contests - a different one each day!

Today we are giving away an entire year of lessons from Wendy Schoen's Embroidery Club (2004), a current retail value of $105.00! Details follow the stitch instructions below.

Not quite sure what shadow work embroidery is or how it works? Today's post is for you. We are excited to share a short excerpt with you from the introductory portion of Mastering Shadow Work Embroidery, including a brief introduction to shadow work and a few of the "must-know" stitches you'll need to get started. Enjoy!

What is Shadowwork?
This lovely, delicate embroidery technique is most often found in white work and Broderie Anglaise embroideries dating back to the 18th Century. The technique is believed to be of Indian origin and until the 19th Century was worked exclusively in white on white fabric. Technically known as closed herringbone stitch and traditionally worked from the wrong side of the fabric, the stitch is worked over the finger in a sewing motion.

Herringbone stitch is worked along two parallel boundaries alternately, having one stitch placed on the first boundary, and the next on the second boundary. The stitches are always taken in back-stitch motion and worked from one boundary to the other alternately. They are aligned so each stitch shares the hole of the previous stitch on respective boundaries.

Once the work is completed, it is turned over to the right side to reveal a continuous row of backstitches along the outline of the design. Between the boundaries, a band of color shows through the semi-transparent fabric in a shadow-like effect, which results from the dragging of the threads from one boundary to the other. Because of this, the technique is most commonly referred to as shadow work and the stitch is called shadow stitch.


Used as a fill-in stitch, the work is brilliant for stitching flower petals, ribbons and bow shapes. Beautiful swirling shapes and long linear shapes look feminine and romantic, making the technique the perfect complement to baby wear and lingerie. Worked with broader shapes, such as those found in nature, shadow work leaves and flowers work up quickly and are quite attractive, especially for household linens.

Currently, it is more common to see shadow work with colored threads. The introduction of colored threads has changed the character of the technique immensely and the shapes have become more complicated to stitch, therefore working from the right side is the easiest method of stitching. This method of closed herringbone is most often referred to as shadow work.

Contrary to shadow stitch embroidery from yesteryear, the technique of shadow work is a bit different. Small motifs take shape and beautiful pastels are the norm in this new way of stitching the shadow designs. The technique has made enormous strides in the past several years and has evolved into a technique unique to itself. No longer worked from the wrong side of the fabric, the back-stitch is best when worked in an embroidery hoop.

As you will notice, almost without exception, the motifs in this book were designed for embellishing infants and children’s garments. This glorious technique is perfect for adding just a little embellishment to tiny garments, without fear of over-powering the delicate nature of its intended use.

For more information on shadow work embroidery and for many more detailed stitch instructions, designs, tips and patterns, get your hands on a copy of Mastering Shadow Work Embroidery (20% off all week!) and get stitching! For now, here is a short exerpt from the book showing a few of the must-know stitches for getting started with shadow work.

CLOSED HERRINGBONE STITCH
Shadow Work (Closed Herringbone), simply said, is basically a Backstitch. The backstitch is taken alternately from one boundary point to another. The stitches are lined up head to toe with every two stitches sharing a common hole. Usually the stitches are very short, less than 1/16” long, and it is important that they be stitched carefully so as not to “jump the track” of the stitching line. The stitches look pretty when they are placed exactly on the drawn line so take extra care to trace your design exactly.

BACKSTITCH
Working along the design line with one strand of floss, tie on with a split-backstitch directly on the design line. Take a short stitch from A to B and out at C, a stitch length away from B, covering the tie-on stitch. Each stitch should be placed head to toe, each sharing a hole with the previous stitch.

PIGGYBACKING
This term applies to the technique of stitching over an existing stitch. This is only done when two shapes share a common wall. The stitch is taken into the exact two A-B points as the previous section. If the two shapes are the same color, the stitches lay on top of each other. If they are different, they lay side by side, but are still sharing the same holes.

TODAY'S GIVEAWAY
Today we are giving away an entire year of lessons from Wendy Schoen's Embroidery Club (2004), a current retail value of $105.00! (Learn more about Wendy's Embroidery Club on her website.)

To enter the contest, simply leave a comment on this blog post below.
Be sure you include an email address or contact information so that we can contact you if you're a winner. Entries will remain open through the rest of Wendy Week and the winners will be drawn at random and announced next Monday, March 14, 2011.


If you are a Sew Beautiful fan, make sure you've "liked" our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter to keep up with Wendy Week events (and more). Don't forget that Martha Pullen Company is also on Facebook and Twitter – you definitely don't want to miss out on this week's special deals. While all Wendy Schoen merchandise is on sale in our online store for 20% off all week, MPC will be featuring additional, deeper daily discounts on certain Wendy Schoen products!

113 comments:

  1. I remember doing this for my daughters little dresses when they were small. Now I have a grand-daughter I can do this for. Great pics and how-too! Count me in!

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  2. It looks like a painted picture. Just lovely.

    tattingchris@gmail.com

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  3. Beautiful! Thanks for the intro...I believe I will have to try this at least once, perhaps get hooked!

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  4. What a nice prize today!
    niener987@comcast.net

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  5. great instructions

    Dianne
    dianneholmes@att.net

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  6. what a great prize!

    Karen

    sew mommy @windstream.net

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  7. I need to know this stuff!
    Diayoung@sbcglobal.net

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  8. What a wonderful giveaway! I would really enjoy this.
    joy8257@bellsouth.net

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  9. Love Wendy's work. I have done some hand embroidery for my granddaughters when they were little.
    sewgirl@elmore.rr.com

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  10. I have enjoyed the year or two that I had joined the embroidery club.

    bethsews@emerytelcom.net

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  11. I would love to learn!!
    Makemineelegante@hotmail.com
    Nana kristi

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  12. What a great giveaway! I'd love to be the lucky winner!!

    Jackie
    3young@bellsouth.net

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  13. I am so excited about these great giveaways! Pick me, pick me!

    Renae
    salsathebugs1@yahoo.com

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  14. jenny_prejean@bellsouth.netMarch 9, 2011 at 9:04 AM

    I love shadowwork embroidery. Odd shapes are difficult, but worth the effort.

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  15. I especially love the photo of the shadow work at the beginning of this blog post--it's truly exquisite! rcedson@embarqmail.com

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  16. Wow! Please choose me! Wendy's work has taken shadow work to a whole new level.

    Carol
    carol@pclnet.net

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  17. this could tempt me back to hand embroidery again, it is so beautiful.

    Mary
    maire48@att.net

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  18. How wonderful to be able to win this! I did a little bit of shadow work when my daughter was young. Tried to pick it up again and made a mess :( I need this giveaway!
    theresalensmyer@gmail.com

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  19. Yeah Wendy!
    imabsktldy@comcast.net

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  20. Wendy, you're instructions are the best! Would love to win these lessons!!
    grannysuesue@yahoo.com

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  21. Love Wendys work.
    thecabbageleaf@yahoo.com

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  22. I've never seen shadow work look like this from the back-Wendy is amazing!

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  23. love this type of hand stitching! I will have to unpack my 'stuff' and get 'stitchin' again!

    ruthheath10@comcast.net

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  24. The giveaways get better every day. Thank you.
    designsmck@gmail.com

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  25. I have always wanted to do shadow work, but have been a little scared to try. The lessons would be a blessing!

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  26. Wendy's work is always beautiful and I especially love doing shadow work embroidery.
    teelafalgoust@bellsouth.net

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  27. Another great day of information regarding shadow work embroidery. I have to learn this embroidery technique. bharms@centurytel.net

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  28. Oh! It is beautiful!!!! Wendy's work is inspirational! I would love to learn to stitch like her!
    blessedwith5@hot.rr.com

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  29. This is such a lovely giveaway!

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  30. Wendy is an inspiring teacher.
    lhyink at mac dot com

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  31. I can't get enough of Wendy's things!!
    alicat314@yahoo.com

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  32. What a wonderful giveaway! Can't get enough of Wendy!

    cyndimanson (at) gmail (dot) com

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  33. It would be great to enjoy Wendy Schöen's Embroidery Club at home.
    artesaniasherencia@gmail.com

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  34. I love shadow work and I would LOVE to win this giveaway!
    lynnpoulin@gmail.com

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  35. I attended the Wendy Schoen Baby School a few years ago and am hooked.
    linda12452@yahoo.com

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  36. I've always wanted one of the club collections. Please enter me in the contest.

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  37. I would love this!!!! I have heard great things about Wendy's Embroidery Club!!!

    sewblessed at mchsi dot com

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  38. Thanks for a wonderful week. Please enter me in the contest. jleona@frontiernet.net

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  39. What an artist. I took a class from her, and she was awesome.

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  40. I want to learn how to do this!
    Karen
    kclongogirl@bellsouth.net

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  41. This looks so beautiful...sebmcfarland@gmail.com

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  42. I am so getting excited to try this out soon.

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  43. I am so interested in this method of embroidery. I'd love to become a member of Wendy's club. Please enter me into the giveaway.
    thomisonc1@cox.net

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  44. I love shadow work and Wendy's instructions are fantastic!
    Marcy
    bloombunchmama at yahoo dot com

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  45. Ooh, this is the Best! I Love shadow work!
    Jennifer
    smith8two@msn.com

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  46. I'd love to win these lessons!!!

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  47. Thanks for the great tutorial & fantastic giveaway. I love this blog!

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  48. Beautiful! Thanks for reminding us of the basics!

    Myra
    chestnutstreetdesigns@verizon.net

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  49. Thank you for the wonderful giveaways and for giving us the history of Wendy's business! Shadow work is so delicately beautiful.

    Donna
    3dears at gmail dot com

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  50. Great article!

    cynypr-sews@yahoo.com

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  51. This would be great incentive for me!
    senavista@yahoo.com

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  52. Beautiful...would love to give it a try.

    patbassham@hotmail.com

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  53. Love, Love, Love this book and ALL Wendy's work!
    Karen Simons in Columbia, La.
    tksimons@bellsouth.net

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  54. i would loved to learn to do shadow work, wendy is one of the best. jo hume

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  55. I would love to have the year of embroidery lessons with Wendy. Her work is beautiful! I love her new book.
    Thanks.
    Denise Norris
    denisenorris@bellsouth.net

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  56. I would love to try this. I am a little bit intimidated by it. Would love to win this great gift so I can get started learning this beautiful technique.

    Janice
    jewagner01@yahoo.com

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  57. I am enjoying "Wendy Week!" Such beautiful work she does.
    acarp@swbell.net

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  58. What clear illustrations and directions! Wendy makes it all seem to easy. I would love to win this gift so I can start learning.
    kguillot@gmail.com

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  59. Love It! Want It! Nuff said! Kathy Scruggs kewscruggs@yahoo.com

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  60. What a special giveaway! Count me in! Bunnypep at wildblue dot net.

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  61. Shadow embroidery is my favorite heirloom technique! And Wendy has always been my hero! Wonderful giveaway! Thanks
    Vincie Walzl
    vinciew@gmail.com

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  62. WOW, what a prize! Sign me up! jean at roadq dot com

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  63. How beautiful! Thanks Wendy!

    Laurie
    l@jandle.com

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  64. Wendy's work is perfect!
    Nancy
    awyatt@twlakes.net

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  65. What a terrific idea for a give a way!

    daycdoo@bellsouth.net

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  66. I have wondered about that herringbone stitch for a long time. Thanks!

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  67. Thanks for this. Looks like this book has great lessons!
    gasew7@gmail.com

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  68. Wonderful work! Wonderful giveaway!

    dh_davis@bellsouth.net

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  69. Just love this! O how I need to win this!
    Sue Lavell

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  70. I love this. Man,, I need to win.
    Susan VH gmasuz1215 at yahoo.com

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  71. How exciting! I must have this!
    lindakholder@yahoo.com

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  72. This is a great prize!
    Hope I win!
    Wendy
    wendy@n7gtj.com

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  73. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  74. Sign me up! Forgot to let you know that I can be reached at firstpeter1v3@hotmail.com

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  75. These prizes are great! Hope to win one! Must get this book!
    bmckay3tee@cableone.net

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  76. Wendy , thank you so much for sharing your work with us. Sharon H. monie_57@yahoo.com

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  77. Oooh, I NEED to win this! It's one of the few years that I don't have.

    giftsandoccupations at yahoo dot com

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  78. A beautiful book! A must have for everyone who loves needle work.
    Debrm@hotmail.com

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  79. Kelly StockstillMarch 9, 2011 at 9:39 PM

    Wow, what an awesome giveaway! I love to learn new things, and shadow work is something I've wanted to try.
    thatkellygirl@yahoo.com

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  80. OMG!! This is incredible. I can't believe someone will get the opportunity to win an entire year of lessons!!! I sure hope it's me.... midnightsewin@yahoo.com
    Kelly

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  81. This would be a fun project!
    Thanks,
    Chelsea

    michal_c1984@hotmail.com

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  82. I just love Wendy's Embroidery Club and am so sad that she is discontinuing it. I've made many beautiful items from it and have so many backlog projects that it will keep me busy for several more years!

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  83. I would love to win a year of Wendy's Embroidery Club! Count me in!

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  84. Wendy's designs are exquisite! Thank you for focusing on her work this week!

    sewing@capreol.us

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  85. Wendy's work is beautiful. I have often admired shadow work but never knew how to do it. The stitches are intreguing.Gail Aucoin
    lenandgail@xplornet.com

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  86. Wendy does such beautiful work. I love the little shadow work strawberries.

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  87. I would love to learn more about shadow work. This is beautiful Laurie Guidry
    ljg923@msn.com

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  88. I wish I could learn to do what Wendy does!

    Sherri

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  89. I have three classes of girls that I am teaching right now. We are working on cross stitch, but I am always looking for other things that they might love doing. I have 5 young girls, 5 middle girls, and 5 teenagers. These projects would put smiles on their faces. Thanks for giving these lessons.
    (ginger.consford@gmail.com)

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  90. What a wonderfully helpful introduction. The description of the stitches are clear, and the illustrations further help.

    Laura C.
    hellokitten42@hotmail.com

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  91. WOW! such detail~lovely
    Soph
    tx93sparkl@yahoo.com

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  92. Drool over this club.... would LOVE to win. Thanks
    ilvtoys(at)aol(dot)com

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  93. Wendy Week! What a wonderful way to celebrate Wendy's exquisite work! Carol
    bobbygable@bellsouth.net

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  94. Oh wow Wendy!! I need this!! I really need help with my embroidery and these lessons would be just fabulous!! Thank you for the chance.

    Sivjegoose@sbcglobal.net

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  95. I would love to have this book and to win a year of Wendy's Embroidery Club! The details in the book are wonderful.

    susan.meyers@hotmail.com

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  96. Very delightful reading. And ahh that shadow embroidery is so pretty. I would love to be part of the embroidery club!!

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  97. my email is mrss.bryan@yahoo.com . Love to be in the embroidery club.

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  98. This is an awesome giveaway! I already have the book and I would love to have a year of Wendy's embroidery club! I can't wait for the new patterns that are from the book are released! Please hurry!
    cindy_sews@hotmail.com

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  99. Amazing post. Thank you for doing the giveaway! Hallie at letter.to.memphis at hotmail.com

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  100. Love Wendy's designs.
    garygore@intrstar.net

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  101. this give-away is an amazing opportunity to study with the best, a true passionate expert in hand embroidery. WOW!
    Sharon
    sjmailbox2009-disp@yahoo.com

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  102. I would love these lessons! jktait25@gmail.com

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  103. Yes, lessons would be great.
    rltejkl@msn.com

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  104. Wendy is truly the best!
    Kathryn
    kcashner@hotmail.com

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  105. wow!! I have done so many of Wendy's projects and have several of her books and CD's but have never joined her club.

    dkerbes@comcast.net

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  106. Beautiful!
    stevea3481 at aol dot com

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  107. Wow - what a great giveaway! Thank you.
    susan.byerly@comcast.net

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  108. The book looks wonderful
    carol-groebe@kc.rr.com

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  109. I love shadow work, the lesssons will help me prefect my technique. Sharon H. monie_57@yahoo.com

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  110. This is beautiful work. I have always wondered what shadow work was and with this book I will be able to master this exquisite stitch. mcraig@bellsouth.net

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