Sunday 18 January 2015

Craft book review: Two-Hour Cross-Stitch - 515 Fabulous designs

Craft book review: Two-Hour Cross-Stitch 515 Fabulous designs

Book title: Two-Hour Cross-Stitch 515 Fabulous designs
By: Patrice Boerens

ISBN: 0-8069-0952-8

What is this book about?

This book is full of small and not too difficult cross stitch designs. There are a wide variety of designs on a range of topics including Nature, celebrations, Victorian and Children's themed designs.

Who is this book for?

I would recommend this book for beginning cross stitchers. The small and simple designs allow a new stitcher the satisfaction of finishing a project without committing to a large and daunting project.
Though more experienced Cross stitch fans may also enjoy a quick stitch inbetween projects or something to whip up in a hurry for a last minute card or present.
In addition since there is a nice variety of designs its easy to find something suitable for any occasion.

How are the charts presented?

Each chart is presented in black and white with symbols. The size of each chart is not too small so I havn't had to get my maginifier out for this one. On each page is a quick reference chart for the thread symbols and colours. However only the numbers are shown for each symbol so if using alternative threads you may find yourself relying on the photographs to the side of each chart.
It is a lovely addition to the book that beside each chart there is also an example of the finished stitch to help in picking a design to sew and to help working out what colour to sew in.

Backstitch in this book tends to line up with the holes in the Aida making the charts easier to read. However since the charts are all in black and white I have been having difficulty making out what colour thread to use for the backstitch, particularly on pages where more than one backstitch colour is listed. On many designs it can be made out from the photographs but on a few I just guessed at what colour would look the best.

Are there any extras in this book?

No not really, unless you count a basic how to cross stitch instruction. However since there are so many charts in this book I do not fault it for having no additional content.
However this does mean that this book is not going to be a complete guide to the craft and you will need to supplement it with another book or two to have instructions on what to do with your stitching after you have sewn it.

Do the stitches really take two hours?

This question will be subjective depending on the stitcher's skill and concentration. However I have been cross stitching seriously for about 5 years (though learnt to do so much younger) and found that many of the designs I sewed took less than two hours though a couple with a large amount of backstitch took a little longer however this could be because I am terribly slow at backstitch. (that being my I design cross stitch with very little backstitch)
A few of the cards I sewed from this book took me less than two of my lunch breaks (each break giving me about half an hour sewing time) This meant all of my cards were easily done in time for Birthdays and Christmas.

I will be posting the pictures of the cards I made soon so watch this space for some examples of my favourite stitches from this book. :)

UPDATE: Here are  the Christmas designs I made from this book turned into my stash of this years Christmas cards:

For the Buzy Bobbins Index page Click here.

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