The Needlepoint Ornament Finishing Book by Eleanore Macnish, PDF download, $12
Needlepointers love to make ornaments! But there are complications. First, while you might be thrifty in finding canvases and using your thread stash, the costs of finishing can add up. Second, in order to use professional finishers you need to think ahead. In years like 2020, you need to think way ahead because deadlines for finishing are well in advance of the holiday. Third, the fabric and trim options from finishers might not match your tastes. Finally, self-finishing items, while wonderful, may not match the size and shape of your stitched projects.
For many stitchers the answer to this problem is to finish your own ornaments. Doing this does away with the deadlines and the difficulties raised above. Unhappily for many of us, we have no access to in-depth classes or written instructions on this. It sounds easy but when you come to make the ornament, you get a mess of glue (hot or white), sticky fingers, and poor results.
That’s why I am so excited about this PDF book by Eleanore Macnish. It has illustrated step-by-step instructions that take you through the entire process. It’s full of close-up pictures and plenty of tips to make your finishing a success. I love that she has great ideas (use restaurant coasters as foundations) and uses materials that can be gotten easily from many sources.
The process is illustrated with the finishing of one of her own projects. Having tried to finish my own pieces in the past with bad results, I love that her ornament looked a bad as mine after the first step. In this case though, Macnish shows us what to do about the problem to get those perfect results!
The knowledge in this book clearly comes from someone with plenty of practical experience. She recommends for your first project to make a fabric-only ornament so you learn without ruining your stitching. She knows the problems with many glues and what’s best to use. She understands what can be ignored and what’s important for success.
All of this is fantastic and I can’t wait to try it. My favorite thing us something I have seen in no other book and don’t even see in professionally finished ornaaments. She has an ingenious way to begin and end trim and to make a pretty collar to make the loop and trim at the top of the ornament both pretty and neat — that is worth it alone.
I encourage stitchers who have been wanting to finish ornaments, to get the book, available on Etsy.