Sandy Higgins, self-published, ISBN 978-0-9663617-1-1, $25
Updated January 25, 2022.
I loved the earlier edition of this book and with the expanded, edition, there is even more to love.
Sandy is a great finisher and has often taught her techniques at national seminars. In this book she gives you step-by-step instructions for finishing pillows, ornaments, stockings, and lots of other commonly found pieces.
You won’t find explanations for really complex pieces, such as purses, but with this book, a sewing machine, some basic sewing knowledge, and some patience, you’ll be able to finish the vast majority of needlepoint you stitch. With finishing deadlines getting earlier and earlier and with increased interest in self-finishing, this book is especially helpful.
In her introduction Sandy says “Good finishing starts before you begin your project. Careful pre-planning, a good set of instructions, a little practice, and a lot of patience will save you frustration and tears.” Sandy supplies the detailed and wonderful instructions, you supply the rest.
The foundation of finishing is properly blocked needlepoint and the entire first chapter is devoted to this. It begins with a question & answer section, covering many common subjects, such as colorfastness, cleaning, and stains. This is followed with a list of supplies and then step-by-step blocking instructions.
Then come step-by-step instructions for finishing the items, organized into three categories: pillows, Christmas items, and other items. The table of contents divides each chapter into sections so you can go directly to the instructions for the item or technique you need.
In addition to the basic finishing instructions there are additional instructions on edge finishes (think ruffles or cording), inserting zippers into pillows, joining needlepoint pieces, and lots of other useful things to make your needlepoint work well.
I love the way Sandy uses simple, clear line drawings to illustrate the finishing process for each item. Today with so many instructions illustrated with photos, the clean abstraction of these little drawings is so helpful. I don’t fins myself distracted by the needlepoint or by not liking the fabric, or thinking the cording is too glitzy; I’m free to think about this finish in terms of my pieces waiting in boxes.
I love this book and it should be a part of any needlepointer’s library who wants to try finishing.
Please note: If you cannot find the book locally, you can email Sandy at: firstname.lastname@example.org.