If you are an “advanced beginner” and are looking
for “the intermediate, quick-ish modern project,”
then you have come to the right place. Learn these ten simple
stitches and you can make any of the thirty lovely items in
I applaud the beginning of this book, which
sets out simply who it is intended for. An “advanced
beginner” is what I call an improver, i.e., somebody
who is au fait with the basics and wants to learn some more
while having fun making some attractive and useful items.
In here you can learn first about all the things you require,
both physical and technique to make the projects. Stock your
workbox with the right tools, find out about fabrics and threads
and discover different options for your finished work. Your
embroidery could become a cushion, be framed by a hoop, hung
up on dowel rods or decorate a lap blanket or be used as a
quilt square. Instructions are given for all these, and there
are some very clear diagrams for the ten stitches, too.
Throughout the author chats to you as though
she was in the room, which is a great touch and one which
made the book very readable and user friendly. She stresses
that no project is too bogged down by detailed instructions,
so there are plenty of options on how to use it. There are
no actual thread lists or even colors given, just basic descriptions
of what you need and the sizes (in imperial) plus instructions
and a photograph of what it can look like. This might sound
a bit vague, but it works as long as you are not a total beginner,
as laid out in that list at the front.
The items are all either very simple to make
up or, in a few cases, things that already exist (such as
a top and skirt) but need revamping or a bit of decoration.
The projects are grouped into three categories, and there
are helpful thumbnail images at the front for easy selection.
Choose from Wear It, Use It or Hang It and decorate your home
(and yourself) with such diverse items as a jeans skirt adorned
with an embroidered peacock feather, a penguin pincushion,
dinosaur shaped pillow, stack of bracelets, your own or your
children’s drawings immortalized in simple stitches,
beaded Christmas ornaments or a baby mobile. At the back is
a pull-out section containing all the patterns to trace or
print onto printable fabric.
This really is a book you can have a lot of
fun with and use up your stash of not only fabric but embroidery
floss, beads, buttons, sequins, glitter and fabric paint.
One for the keeper shelf.
you cannot find a good range of embroidery and needlecraft
materials locally try www.searchpress.com for a list of suppliers.