Thursday, July 2, 2015

Book Review: Stitching Pretty

A Fair Trade Book

Title: Stitching Pretty

Editor: Carol Field Dahlstrom

Editor's web page:

Publisher: Meredith

Illustrations: color photos and charts

Date: 2002

Length: 168 pages

Quote: “Whether you are looking for a floral wedding sampler, a heart-filled motif...or a sentimental are sure to find a new favorite here.”

Here are 41 charted patterns for cross-stitching. (When the front cover says “101 projects,” they're counting various small pieces worked from one chart and discussed as one project.) As shown, most are designed to be framed and hung on the wall; there are also patterns for decorating pillows and napkins, for a greeting card, for decorating little boxes, for a bookmark, and for adorable little tags to sew into handmade gifts. If you have ever wanted to identify a child's camp gear with professional-looking stitched-down silk tags, this book will show you how.

What is cross-stitched can also be knitted, although knitted stitches seldom form perfect squares and the shapes of pictorial designs may be distorted in un-lifelike ways. Cross-stitching charts can also be adapted to crocheting, weaving, drawing, painting, and many other crafts. However, most of these designs are large and complicated enough that they'll probably look their best in cross stitch.

This book is for the cross-stitch artist who's ready to move beyond kits, still willing to be guided by charts and color suggestions but also willing to start mixing colors, materials, and motifs on her or his own. The designs include a fruit basket surrounded by flowers, a pair of early-twentieth-century sisters, a large teddy bear reading a story to a small teddy bear, a rooster, a church, lovebirds, various combinations of hearts and flowers, mottos, a bride and a bridegroom, birdhouses, bouquets, a flower shop, a hatbox, houses, and a lighthouse. “Traditional” is a good word. You've not seen these exact designs in Gifte Shoppes in tourist towns, but that's the sort of market to which you could sell them at a charity bazaar.

Stitching Pretty is a good name for it; this is a pretty book. To buy it online here, send salolianigodagewi @ $10 per book + $5 per package (two copies would cost you $25), and we'll send Dahlstrom or a charity of her choice $1.50 per book (two copies would give her/them $3).