Kate Shoup Welsh, Wiley, 2008, ISBN 978-0-470-09516-4. $14.99
Don’t you just love this title? It’s lways bothered me that needlework, especially needlepoint, had such a stuffy reputatio. I kee[ thinking about Cosmo’s wife in the movie Topper.
So I am as happy as can be with the developments which are making stitching unstuffy.
And this book really delivers on its promise, starting from the very beginning and delivering instruction and great projects in an engaging style.
The book is divided into two sections. The first covers the basics including what to buy, a history of needlework, techniques, and stitches. It’s outstanding at showing the different types of materials, how techniques differ, and what supplies to buy. Something I rarely see in any beginner’s book are the charts which display coverage of different threads, different types of fabric & the techniques used on them, and what size needle to use. It’s one of the most useful parts of the book, With this you won’t end up with huge mismatches in materials.
In the chapter on techniques you will learn more useful stuff like how to tape and mount fabric, ways to start your thread, and finishing techniques. The stitch chapter has enough different stitches to get you started.
The second section of the book has 24 projects, including ones from well-known stitchers like Amy Holbrook of AMH Designs and Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching. Each project tells you up front the technique, the cost, and the skill level needed.
The instructions are clear and really complete. Diagrams, line drawings, and charts are large and easy to read.
Best of all each project has one variation. Sometimes this is an coordinating project, sometimes it’s another project using the same technique, and sometimes it’s a variation. But they all capitalize on the information presented with even more to spark your imgination.
Do you know someone who wants to learn to stitch but thinks it’s too hard? Are you looking for fun projects? Do you know someone who takes an unstuffy approach to needlework — Get them this book, they’ll love it and so will you!