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The Embroiderer's Handbook
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This book is a must buy for anyone developing an interest in embroidery; with full colour illustrations, this beautiful book introduces over 150 stitches, as well as variations on stitches. There are also some beautiful examples of how the stitches can be used to further inspire your creativity, this book is an absolute joy! * Hot Brands, Cool Places Magazine * Learn freestyle embroidery from scratch, improve on your skills or try something new. Whatever your level of expertise there is something for you in this comprehensive guide to a large range of embroidery stitches. I reckon that even the family pet could learn embroidery from this book! I have yet to see as many stages for each stitch, making this a wonderful resource for anybody who thinks freestyle is too complicated for them. More advanced stitchers are bound to find many stitch variations they haven't yet tried as the stitches are arranged in families for ease of use. Starting with the basics the first few pages show you what to embroider on and with. Different fabrics, needles and threads are discussed so it is clear what each is for and also what else you need to get started. Not a lot of outlay is required and once you know how to bind a hoop, have your project planned and kit arranged it is time to learn some stitches. These are arranged alphabetically and at the front is a useful index of them all in order as well as an index of hints and a further index of everything at the back. Each stitch is shown a step at a time in captioned photographs, every movement is given rather than implied. Thus as I said anybody can easily build up even the most complex stitch and be pleased with their results. I wish I had had this to learn from when I started! All the old favorites are here from blanket stitch to French knots, back stitch to feather stitch etc plus many variations and other less well known additions. There are various stitches that use ribbon or beads as well as needlelace, shisha glass and sequins for 3D elements and not all the thread stitches are made using just the standard 6 strand floss. Perle, wool, rayon and metallic thread are all featured showing how enjoyable and versatile embroidery can be. It would have been nice to include a few projects to start the new embroiderer off or challenge the old hand but you will have to look for these elsewhere. Some samples are shown but rather small, however there are plenty of useful hints on topics as diverse as why wool shrinks, signing your work and aftercare. I have many books on embroidery stitches but this one will have to stay; user friendly and the best book for beginners I have seen yet. Very highly recommended. -- Rachel A Hyde

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