An Embroidered Christmas: patterns and instructions for 24 festive holiday stockings, ornaments and more.

Fall, Cheryl
Mechanicsburg, PA, Stackpole Books, 2015ISBN: 978 0 8117 1436 5If, like me, you enjoy making special, embroidered gifts to give for Christmas, this is not too early in the year to look for inspiration, is it? There are some delightful things in this book which just may appeal.First up are two delightful stockings, both worked on wool felt with surface stitches. There is another stocking a little further into the book. It is cross stitched with a variegated DMC thread and has beads added; a delightful heirloom. The bands used for the stocking are repeated in three Christmas tree decorations and a sweet little candle mat, which I thought could double as a vase mat. There are three nativity figures, all created with surface embroidery. There are vari-ous ideas for ornaments – a star, a heart and a set of round ones, perfect for the Christmas tree. There are a couple of ‘samplers’ and some felt ‘peppermints’, which would look attractive displayed in a glass bowl. My personal favourite is a Noel banner. Each letter is made separately and hung togeth-er like bunting. None of the projects would be costly to make, which gives the book a big tick from me.Before the projects, there are small sections about basic materials needed and the techniques used. After the projects are a stitch guide, with basic but clear diagrams, followed with clear instructions on how to make up the various pro-jects. This too is illustrated with clear diagrams. The book finishes with a list of some places where the materials used can be bought, an index of terminology used, conversion charts and an index of stitches.

The book is attractive and nicely set out. The projects are suitable for beginners. I was saddened when I went to the author’s web site though, which is… and where I found the following message…

‘I can see with certainty that it will be my last published book. Much has changed in the publishing industry, and it’s just so disappointing to see pirate PDF copies of my titles springing up everywhere.’

What a pity.

Erica Marsden