Monday, March 16, 2015

Book Review: Better Homes & Gardens Needlepoint

Title: Better Homes & Gardens Needlepoint
Author: Better Homes & Gardens magazine staff
Date: 1978
Publisher: Meredith Corporation
ISBN: 0-696-00475-5
Length: 96 pages, with many color photos and diagrams
Quote: “Crafting beautiful fabric is what needlepoint is all about.”
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some things this book shows readers how to stitch are a wreath of roses on canvas, a bargello bench, a weird geometric wall canvas that I wouldn’t have recognized as depicting apples (in different stages, including one apple that’s been eaten down to the core, which looks a bit like a dog’s bone), a welcome mat that might be too blue-and-white-clean to step on, a mirror framed in flower images, lots of pillows, a miniature rugs for a doll’s house, needlepoint flowers cut and shaped round wire, a plastic-canvas jewel box, a pair of pillow-shaped dolls, a big round hassock with a landscape on it,a string-embroidered canvas rug that looks like a knitted lace sampler, a chair seat, small baskets for holding bobbins or pencils, a wreath of fruit images, an impressionistic fishpond picture worked as an odd-shaped rug, a distinctly weird-looking Nativity scene with pillow-shaped people, and a pyramid-shaped psychedelic-colored figure that I had to be told was meant to be a lion rather than (perhaps) a member of the Muppet Show orchestra. I think some of these projects are indeed beautiful, and some are pretty silly, myself.
However, with the possible exception of the psychedelic “lion,” they’re not things that go out of style. They’re still things people can enjoy making today. If you have the more desirable kind of friends and relatives who will appreciate the honor of your doing handwork just for them, rather than the vulgar kind who prefer money, then you can still enjoy even the pleasure of giving them as presents. Even that psychedelic “lion” would look kind of cute on the shelf beside those Beatles LPs, if you are or know a person who still has Beatles LPs.
And, as usual with needlepoint books that present a great variety of simple patterns, some of the designs would look good in cross-stitch, intarsia knitting, maybe even filet crochet, too. (The sizes and proportions would change, of course, but the designs would still work.)

Better Homes & Gardens Needlepoint is not the work of an individual author and thus not part of the Fair Trade Books program. To buy it online, you'd still need to send salolianigodagewi @ $5 for the book + $5 for shipping. If you buy it along with a Fair Trade Book, you pay only one shipping charge and some deserving writer, or his or her charity, gets a dollar or more. So, this web site recommends that you buy a Fair Trade Book and throw this one into the package.