Having just finished a cross-stitch project, when I went to pick a book to review for this week it just had to be a cross-stitchy one!
The book I picked? X-Stitch: cross-stitch projects to make a statement by Sarah Fordham.
Sarah is a lovely lady who makes great cross-stitched stuff (I've met her a couple of times at shows/fairs & have admired the fun designs in her shop for years), I was quite delighted when I heard she was working on a book... and the finished product is pretty darn awesome.
X-Stitch is divided into 5 chapters: Getting Started (lots of useful info about tools, materials, how to cross-stitch, etc), Cross-Stitch Charts (lots of cool motifs to stitch, from a mermaid, a wolf and a jackalope to a pocketwatch, a dinosaur and a row of bloodshot eyeballs... plus a choice of alphabets), Very Easy Projects (including hair bobbles, patches and a greetings card), Easy Projects (including coasters, a gadget case an eye mask) & Trickier Projects (including customised clothing and a watch strap).
The "how to" text at the start of the book is informative and also a fun read - e.g. when Sarah talks about needing a sewing box as part of your cross-stitching equipment she writes "For a long time I had all of my threads shoved into an old shoe box, but I am now the proud owner of a novelty house-shaped sewing box. I love it to bits and it is huge so I can fit everything in there. The downside is that I am still a messy pig."
Each project has clear step by step instructions, with step-by-step photos and lots of tips to help you along the way / suggest ways you could vary the project to give it your own twist.
I love the cross-stitch style lettering used in the book, and the kitschy presentation of the finished projects - photographed on backgrounds of retro flowers, kittens and puppies. I mean, how can you not love a craft book with a page like this in it??
There are lots of small motifs in here that would be great for making gifts for the girls and guys in your life - it's great to see a craft book that isn't just full of "girly" motifs.
The designs I'm most likely to stitch for myself are the butterfly and barn owl (I adore that owl) ...
... and I'm feeling inspired to try customising a pair of shoes or a jumper with a bit of cross-stitch.
As well as including lots of different motifs and project ideas, Sarah's helpfully written some tips on creating your own cross-stitch designs... and at the back of the book there are some pages which are printed with graph paper in sizes to match different sizes of aida so you can photocopy them and then design to the same scale as the finished piece. So useful!
I'd definitely recommend this book if you're a fan of modern cross-stitch designs and want some new things to stitch, or if you've never tried cross-stitch before and fancy giving it a try.
X-Stitch is published by GMC Publications Ltd. RRP £12.99. It's available from Amazon UK, Amazon USA, The Book Depository and many other bookshops.
[Disclaimer: GMC sent me a free review copy of this book. The Amazon & Book Depository links in this post are affiliate links]