Diary in Stitches Blog Tour

We were thrilled when Minki Kim asked us to be a part of her Diary in Stitches Blog Tour. Have you been following along? There have been some wonderful posts featuring gorgeous projects, reviews, and more from a pretty impressive lineup of designers and industry partners.

We are such fans of Minki’s work! There is a sweetness to her designs that we simply adore and her ideas are all presented with beauty and grace. Her latest book, Diary in Stitches from C&T Publishing, serves as a stunning gallery of project ideas and stitching motifs along with some terrific tips for getting started with Minki’s style of sewing illustration. It left us feeling inspired… particularly Erin who just had to grab one of Minki’s motifs to create a sweet little wall hanging for her daughter’s room.

We hope that reading this post today leaves you feeling just as energized and inspired to create something of your own. We’ll even be giving away a free e-book to one lucky winner!

“Artist Minki Kim turns her own daily sketchbook challenge into 65 stitchable drawings to mix and match. Embroider and appliqué the whimsical, easy-going way with 6 useful projects to make and share, like a patchwork pouch, a statement pillow, and a sweet wallhanging. Minki’s uplifting designs, plus an extra gallery of small project ideas from coasters to wall art will appeal to anyone who wants to add personality to their home and personal accessories.” (from C&T Publishing book description)

It was nearly impossible to settle on just one motif from Diary in Stitches. I spent so much time thumbing through and finally settled on ‘Shine Your Light’.

As a someone who is still a bit of a novice at free motion machine work, I needed something that could easily be interpreted through hand-stitching. I also wanted to create something for my daughter’s room that would look fun and sweet, but carry a more meaningful message. My daughter is 5 and coming into herself in new ways every day. It’s a delight to see her personality take form and we encourage her to always be herself and speak her own truth. This motif felt just perfect for her!

I started out by enlarging the motif to a width of 8″. I then reversed it and printed it out. I first traced the applique pieces onto a sheet of Pellon’s EZ-Steam for my raw edge applique. I used a variety of shades of Indah Batiks from Me+You for Hoffman Fabrics for the fabric on the garland and Essex Linen Metallic from Robert Kaufman for the lights. Once all of those tiny little pieces were cut out and ready for placement, I traced the lines that needing stitching with a heat transfer pencil. I transfered the design to my background fabric (Essex Linen from Robert Kaufman) and started with applique placement. Once everything was placed and fused, I backed the fabric with Pellon Shape-Flex to help stabilize the fabric for my stitching.

I hooped the full design and started stitching the letters with one strand of Aurifil 12wt 4030. For the garland, I used two strands of the same color and finished with a bit of 12wt in 6728 to embellish. I used that same color to stitch around the applique of the garland. For the circular garland lights, I used Aurifil Wool 12wt in 8420.

To finish off the wall-handing, I added a border of Essex Linen Metallic on all 4 sides, finished the whole thing with a backing fabric, and secured it to an old knitting needle for hanging. My daughter loves it!

One of the best things about Minki’s book is that she empowers readers with the tools needed to take an idea and run with it. She helps with techniques and project ideas, but ultimately encourages experimentation and individuality. I can’t wait to work on another motif!


While I didn’t end up using Minki’s collection for this project, it would be a wonderful companion to her book. The collection includes a lovely range of both 50wt & 12wt threads, ideal for Minki’s style of sewing illustration. To learn more about Dear Diary, please head here.


To enter-to-win an e-copy of Diary in Stitches by Minki Kim for C&T Publishing + her Dear Diary thread collection, released last year with Aurifil, please leave us a comment below telling us what you love most about sewing illustration. Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, November 7! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Thursday, November 8. This giveaway is open to all of our international friends!

Just because the tour is almost over doesn’t mean the fun has to end! We would encourage you to visit all of the stops along the way to check out projects, tips, and more!

Aug 30: C&T, Publishing Blog, @ctpublishing
Sep 6: Elise Bae, Elise and Emelie@eliseandemelie
Sep 13: Sharon Burgess,Lilabelle Lane Creations@lilabellane
Sep 20: Lauren Wright, Molly and Mama@mollyandmama
Sep 27: Sedef Imer, Down Grapevine Lane @downgrapevinelane
Oct 1: Love Patchwork & Quilting, Love Patchwork & Quilting @lovequiltingmag
Oct 4: Kristyne Czepuryk, Pretty by Hand  @prettybyhand
Oct 11: Bev McCullogh, Flamingo Toes flamingotoes
Oct 18: Olivia, This Handmade Life@thishandmadelife
Oct 25: Erin Sampson, Aurifilaurifilthread (YOU ARE HERE)
Nov 1: Ayda Algin,   Cafenohut  @cafenohut
Nov 8: Bernina USA, WeAllSew@berninausa
Nov 15: Minki Kim, MinkiKim@zeriano 

Website — Instagram — Pinterest Pattern Shop

Minki Kim is a formally trained artist and self-taught sewist. She discovered sewing as a creative outlet when her children were small and she wanted to capture the beauty of ordinary moments, first with hand embroidery and later recreating them with her sewing machine and fabric—literally drawing with thread. Originally from Korea, Minki now calls Southern California home, where she lives with her husband and three young daughters. On any given day you can find her in her sewing room creating projects to share on her blog, in her pattern shop,  and on Instagram.



** Images Minki Kim, Aurifil, and C&T Publishing.


  1. This really looks like a lot of fun! I love the tiny designs and the clean lines! thanks for the chance to win 🙂

  2. I have been eyeing this book. Love your sewing illustrations. The book will inspire me to create projects of my own.. sure hope I win your giveaway.

  3. They are so cute, perfect for children, or for me to hang in my sewing room. I like the whimsical look of them.

  4. Sewing illustration is a very powerful medium. By seeing, I love to feel instanty inspired, and love the effect it has on my own creative mind by making me want to recreate what I am admiring.

  5. Mink has a way of doing raw edge appliqué that takes away the messy unfinished look that so much raw edge work has. These projects are charming, sophisticated, and polished, I’m inspired to try her process.

  6. I love that sewing illustration can be so whimsical and so easy to modify and make it “one’s own creation”.

  7. Illustrations are to me, wonderful ideas, simple & recognizable to so many – it conjures up memories & ideas for the future! A wonderfully pretty & happy giveaway! Thank you, Susan

  8. what I love most about sewing illustration, is the way it empowers me to embolden my own ideas when trying out new projects from projects such as Minki’s. Aurilfil threads are such an exciting way to discover how to create alongside these authors new to me, thank you all for brightening our worlds !

  9. I love how sewing illustration gives fabric some texture and a life of its own with thread! I’m getting better at this technique, but really want to perfect it like Minki’s. It makes every project unique and sweet!

  10. I love these whimsical designs that just take my mind off to happy La La Land. Beautiful designs and cheerful thread collection too! Makes me want to treat stitching projects like a daily diary.

  11. My daughter calls this a “grunge” look with machine stitching several times around a shape. We both love that it’s very forgiving! Eager to try some of these sweet designs!

  12. It takes me back to my days of teaching my daughter to stitch. Not always successful but she tried and we had fun.

  13. I just think this is a great way to take my stitching to another level! Love the idea of this book…can’t wait to see it!

  14. I love the designs because they reflect our modern life, and they feel personal to me ( although I guess they will also speak to countless other stitchers!)

  15. It is such a great style! And I love that you are able color with fabrics and thread! Like a magic drawing!

  16. I love Minki Kim’s projects. Her designs and illustrations are so pretty and delicate looking. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway.

  17. I love the pure freedom to create individual designs inspired by Minkis wonderful hints, tips & ideas. Thank you x

  18. I love them because they are so captivating! With each design, you just get pulled in to look at it in more detail, and it’s the stitching with the pops of color that do that! I love Minki’s work!

  19. Sewing illustrations have such a delicate look. I’ve visited some of the blogs in the hop and would love to try this technique. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  20. I like the simple illustrations defined by a bit of fabric and a few lines. In most pieces we would sew to be so precise to make the stitches end up perfect or as close as possible. Here, it’s ok that the line bends a bit as it adds character. It’s like they are meant to be that way.

  21. I think sewing illustration is so charming. I am a hand embroiderer, but I have not (yet) used this technique of embellishment. I need to jump in.

  22. I struggle with hearing my own voice when sewing, especially garments, so this book could help me be more creative.

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