July 2022 MBR The Needlecraft Shelf

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Midwest Book Review

Aug 3, 2022, 1:22:27 AM8/3/22
The Needlecraft Shelf

100 Mini Cross Stitch Designs
Rosemary Drysdale
The GMC Group
9781784946272, $23.99, PB, 160pp


Synopsis: Cross-stitching is a form of sewing and a popular form of counted-thread embroidery in which X-shaped stitches in a tiled, raster-like pattern are used to form a picture. The stitcher counts the threads on a piece of evenweave fabric (such as linen) in each direction so that the stitches are of uniform size and appearance.

The cross stitch is making a big comeback with modern crafters. Providing the perfect introduction for beginners, "100 Mini Cross Stitch Designs" by Rosemary Drysdale will also appeal to intermediate and advanced cross stitchers looking for inspiration. This DIY manual provides a detailed section on tools and materials, instructions on getting started, reading cross stitch charts, essential stitches and finishing touches.

With so many wonderful designs to choose from, selecting a project is likely to be the most time-consuming part of the whole process! From bees to bicycles, caravans to cupcakes, and rockets to rainbows, there are contemporary subjects and styles to suit every taste. Display your stitches in an embroidery hoop, frame or greeting cards or choose a pattern that adorns clothing, home furnishings or other decorative items. Plus, there are useful tips on how to add your own personality to projects and ways to incorporate leftover thread or fabric.

Critique: Profusely illustrated and thoroughly 'user friendly' in approach, "100 Mini Cross Stitch Designs" is a complete and comprehensive course of instruction that is exceptionally well organized and presented, making it ideal and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and community library Needlecraft collections.

Editorial Note: Rosemary Drysdale grew up in the north of England near Newcastle, and learned to knit as a small child. She was at the forefront of the cross stitch craze in the 1990s, traveling the world teaching workshops and giving demonstrations. She is recognized as a global expert on black work embroidery, as well as a teacher of many other advanced stitching techniques. Drysdale joined Vogue Knitting in the late 1990s and has consulted to some of the top yarn brands in the industry. A prolific designer, she has had over 1000 designs published. she can be followed on Instagram @rosemary_drysdale -- Also there is a website dedicated to her at https://createwhimsy.com/projects/spotlight-rosemary-drysdale-embroidery-artist

Embroidery Made Easy: Beautiful Birds
Beth Hoyes
Walter Foster Publishing
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9780760375365, $22.99, 128pp


Synopsis: "Embroidery Made Easy: Beautiful Birds" by embroidery expert Beth Hoyes is a collection of 12 detailed, full-color patterns with which both aspiring and established embroidery artists will discover how to employ the art of thread painting to create a range of popular birds and waterfowl from around the world, including North America, the Amazon rain forest, and Europe.

Thread painting is the name for using single strands of embroidery floss to create lifelike images with beautifully blended gradients of color and detail. Fortunately, the process is not as hard as it sounds! After learning a bit about how to create gradients and blend colors, anyone can create incredible embroidered masterpieces.

"Embroidery Made Easy: Beautiful Birds" includes: A primer on embroidery materials, setup, and thread painting techniques; Patterns that indicate where each color should go and when the gradients should begin; For each project, step-by-step instructions and reference images of the finished piece.

Perfect for needlepoint artists of all skill levels, there is no better time to learn how to create beautiful birds in embroidery.

Critique: Impressively 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Embroidery Made Easy: Beautiful Birds" is an ideal tutorial featuring easy techniques for anyone wanting to learn how to embroider a variety of colorful birds, including a cardinal, a barn owl, and a puffin. Simply stated, "Embroidery Made Easy: Beautiful Birds" will prove to be a welcome and appreciated addition to personal, professional, and community library Needlecraft instructional reference collections.

Editorial Note: Beth Hoyes is an embroidery artist and art therapist who runs a small embroidery business @rabbithatdesigns


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