Needlepointing in your Nest, Carolyn Hedge Baird, self-published, 2010, spiral-bound.
Updated September 24, 2021.
This book is so delightful and so different from what I expected that I’m not sure where to begin my review. It’s one of my favorite of her books and I have used many stitches in it for some projects. More than a decade after publication, it continues to be very popular
I think I expected a book more specifically about stitching items for your home. Instead this is a more general book of needlepoint stitches and techniques combined with reflections by Baird and others on needlepointing and the places where they stitch.
The book begins with a chapter on needlepoint basics which is full of great tips, tricks, and advice.
The remaining chapters cover stitches. Some of these are all in a particular technique, such as laid stitches. Others group stitches by function, such as detail or background. Still others group them by type, such as 4-way or tiny. An index in the back lists all the stitches and where to find them.
The chapters all begin with reflections of real or fantasy needlepoint “nests.” Wishing my nest was different, as I do, I found these so inspiring. Interspersed throughout the chapters are ideas, tips, and quotes. Baird also includes stories about the stitches and needlepoint pieces where they have been used. There is also lots of space for notes and grids for making your own stitch variations. This is a welcome change from so many stitch books that only give you diagrams and nothing more. Reading it, I often feel as if a was in a needlepoint classroom.
Like all of Baird’s other books “nest” has lots of vintage clip art, many different fonts and simple (non-professional) drawings. I think the book would be greatly improved if Baird used better stitch diagrams and page layout. Simply putting the copyright notice at the beginning of the book would improve things. Sometimes the pages look as if they were hastily cobbled together from hand-outs for her classes, without even page numbers or copyright dates changed. I know it sounds like nitpicking but I’d find myself using this book even more if a little more care were taken here.
The book is available in many shops.