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10 Easy Stitches
Embroider 30+ Unexpected Projects
BY Alicia Burnstein

Search Press
8 May 2019/ ISBN 9781782217695
How-To Books / Needlework

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde


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 this book.

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.

If you cannot find a good range of embroidery and needlecraft materials locally try for a list of suppliers.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2019