Today's book is The Gentle Art of Stitching: 40 Projects Inspired by Everyday Beauty by Jane Brocket.
It's a large hardback, with a canvas-wrapped cover that has a lovely texture.
Judged purely on the cover I would have guessed the projects in this book were colourful with a slightly vintage-y feel... and, guess what, they are!
There are a few introductory pages, explaining Jane's sewing philosophy and the chatting about the supplies you'll need for the projects in the book. I think "chatting" is definitely the right word, as Jane's style is lovely and personal, talking about what she likes to use, how she stores her supplies, etc.
Then the rest of the book is divided into short chapters that each include a few projects that use the same (or similar) techniques: Sashiko, Needlepoint, Seasonal Kantha (quilt projects), Fabric Flower Arrangements (stitched pictures), Stitching on Felt, Half-crazy Patchwork, Suffolk Puffs, Lessons in Stitching (samplers), On the Edge (decorative edgings), Busy Daisies (projects using lazy daisy stitch), Vintage Embroidery, Literary Cross Stitch, and Button Cards.
Each chapter has some introductory text, discussing the history of the technique used, how Jane has used it as inspiration for the projects, etc. Lots of the chapters also include recommendations for books and websites for you to check out if you're interested in learning more about a certain technique.
Most of the projects are quite beginner-friendly, with small projects like this felt pincushion...
... and these button cards:
And larger projects like this patchwork cushion...
... and this embroidered edging:
This quilt made from vintage embroidered linens is especially awesome - a simple idea, but very inspiring!
It's a bit of a shame that several of the project chapters are "variations on a theme" design-wise, for example the needlework chapter includes these two cushions...
... and these pincushions:
I do like the design of these, but a bit more variation would have been nice.
I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing that the book contains some simple projects and ideas (sometimes a simple project is exactly what you want!) but if you're a seasoned stitcher you might not find this book challenging enough to suit you. However, if you're new to sewing or looking to explore some new techniques this would be a great book to add to your collection.
The Gentle Art of Stitching is published by Collins & Brown. RRP £20.00. It's available from Amazon UK, Amazon USA, The Book Depository and many other bookshops.
[Disclaimer: Collins & Brown sent me a free review copy of this book. The Amazon & Book Depository links in this post are affiliate links]