Monday, 15 November 2010

Book Review :: Stitch! by Cath Kidston

For full disclosure I was given this book by the publishers to review, but I will review it as though I had spent money on it, and be as critical as I would be as a customer.

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Carrying on in the same vein as "Make!" and "Sew!", "Stitch!" sees Cath Kidston concentrating on only one particular type of craft, in this case needlepoint and cross stitch, presenting 'exclusive' designs and projects for the modern crafter.

Once again the book contains 'everything you need to make' the exclusive item on the front cover - which in this instance is a cotton zip-up purse (pouch) with cross stitch floral detail.

If you liked the other two books then there is a good chance you will like this too. Projects are quick and accessible and highly achievable featuring classic Cath Kidston motifs. The book is attractive in it's own right which would make an inspirational coffee table book for those who like their books with plenty of eye-candy. There is great visual pleasure flicking through the leaves.




I come to this book a novice. With Sew! I loved the projects, and found the visuals inspiring but as someone who is confident in sewing I found very little content that I could not have designed and made myself. And although beautiful it didn't really stretch me. With this book, however, I am virtually new to needlepoint and cross stitch, only ever really au fait with freehand embroidery, so this book appeals my sense of adventure in craft and gives me a chance to learn a new skill.

Having small projects, detailed instructions and clear illustrations it has given me a real desire to invest in the tapestry wool and canvas needed for some of these projects and to really get my teeth into needlepoint, and for a craft book that really is 'mission accomplished'; it has served it's purpose.

I love the vintage feel of a lot of these designs, especially the Bargello Hippy Bag. As you would expect with Cath Kidston there is the fair share of floral motifs, but that is not all that is on offer - she has included a variety of motifs which will appeal to a wide audience, bringing her fresh, contemporary twist to bear on a traditional craft. I particularly love the Union Jack offerings.




For projects one would be hard pushed to think of a large practical array of applications for needlepoint other than, perhaps, cushion covers and purses, and for sure this makes the bulk of the projects. In all, seven of the projects are cushion and pillows, four are bags, two are purses, three are cases, a couple are items stitched onto articles of pre-existing clothing (which really do look adorable), and then some rather interesting offerings of a rug, a door stop, candleshade, tea cosy, seat covers, pictures to put in frames and a rather lovely scalloped border to pin up across shelving.







So, do I recommend the book?

If, like me, you are new to needlepoint then this book is absolutely a great place to start. It is beautiful and inspirational, there is an array of projects to sink into and, if that wasn't enough, you get a free kit to start you off!

The kit itself is a satisfying project, easily completed in one day. As this is the first time I have ever done any cross stitch I was really pleased with the results, and I feel that the added bonus of including the kit is what sets this craft book apart from any other: most craft books inspire - but how often do you really make the effort to buy in new tools and materials to have a go at a craft that you aren't even sure you'll like? I certainly do not have the luxury of being able to do that - this project, however, has indeed fired up a desire for more needlepoint in my craft life, and I will purchase happy in the knowledge that I am confident in what I am doing, and that I will enjoy the process thanks to this book.




If you are a Cath Kidston fan then this surely deserves a place on your bookshelf.

On the other hand, if you are already an intermediate, practised cross stitcher then this book will hardly stretch you. You will, however, get the patterns for Cath Kidston exclusive motifs and plenty of eye candy, but it might not be anything you haven't already done before.

I would, however, recommend this as a perfect gift this Christmas for anyone you know who is, or has the potential to be, crafty. No one could be offended by such a pretty book, and having the free kit is such a lovely touch.

All in all, a book that deserves a place in your home.

The only thing left to say is that RRP is £15 but Amazon are currently selling it for £7.75! An absolute bargain, and with free shipping to your door there's not really a whole lot of excuses left for you not to buy!


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