Sunday, August 18, 2019

First Time Embroidery and Cross Stitch: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide - Learn By Doing * Step-by-Step Basics + Projects

First Time Embroidery and Cross Stitch is one of the First Time Guides. Due out 3rd Sept 2019 from Quarto on their Quarry imprint, it's 128 pages and will be available in paperback format.

It's nice to see embroidery and other fibrecrafts enjoying a renaissance of sorts. In times (long) past, people would learn these skills as a matter of necessity, handed down from generation to generation in the family. That's no longer true, so crafters must turn to other sources of instruction. The internet (youtube, ravelry, and social media are a good sources of instruction, but for not-strictly-visual learners like me, books are still vital. I learn better if I have a book sitting in front of me and if I don't feel like I constantly have to pause the video to figure out what I'm doing.

These first time learner guides are formatted attractively and logically. The photography is stellar across the series and this one is no exception. The concepts, tools and terminology are shown simply and understandably.

About 30% of the page content is used in the introductory and starting chapters. The author covers tools, supplies including fabric, scissors, needles, fibres and more, charts diagrams and patterns, transferring patterns, stabilizers, and a basic introduction to fabric preparation and surface embroidery.

The next three chapters cover surface embroidery, crewel, and cross stitch. All of the stitching chapters have project tutorials. The stitch diagrams are clear and well photographed. It would definitely be possible to learn to do the stitches with the instructions in the book. It's helpful to have a stitchy friend to consult, of course, but it's not absolutely necessary, and a total beginner could do the projects in these chapters without any other resources. The projects themselves are attractive. They include embroidery embellishments on clothing, soft furnishings (pillows), a cross stitched candle band and an embellished journal cover.

This is a basic beginning-level book. Advanced stitchers won't find a lot which is challenging. I was very happy to see surface embroidery getting some love; it seems like cross stitch dominates the embroidery crafts these days. The step by step stitch diagram tutorials are worth the price of the book for reference.

Five stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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