This is a really beautiful book and for anyone who reads Posy Gets Cosy - Alicia Paulson's blog this is a must have treat for yourself. Even if you never make anything, it it such a gorgeous book to look at and keep nearby that you won't regret buying it. I had my doubts about purchasing this as often craft books are so very disappointing - even if you know the author's work and are looking forward to it. There are no such feelings here. All photography and styling are done by Alicia too and it all looks wonderful!
It covers three main areas. Surface or decorational embroidery using cotton threads utilises embroidery to make beautiful pillowcases, a child's quilt, decorated curtains and hairband, a table cloth and shelf-edging to name some of the projects. There are some very pretty designs which can easily be adapted to decorate whatever YOU want. There are some items not to my taste (I am not going to wear a kerchief on my head for instance, nor are aprons my thing) but the designs can be put on to something you will appreciate. The skirt on the cover is shown in full (including how to make the skirt). The cross stitch section has some lovely designs; my favourites are a lovely berry cushion and an eyelet sampler - this is a one colour pretty sampler done on a high count linen (the next step from using aida fabric); It is charming. The headband using cross stitch could also be used as a curtain tie-back. There is a simple but effective blackwork sampler design - a good place to start if you, as I am, are wanting to learn this technique. There is also a lovely traditional sampler - with house, alphabet, people and little animals. There is a lovely design for Karim curtains (cafe style curtains) with a deep cross stitch design border on which the rest of the curtain is attached - a really pretty bird design and a talking point in your house should you make them, I'm sure!
The crewel work section is lovely - crewel embroidery works with wool. Her tree of life is a beautiful folk art type design - if you google Alicia Paulson Tree of life you will find pictures of this and also a couple of other designs.There is also a traditional woodland scene which would be lovely to do. These are both larger designs. A smaller but equally lovely design is a cushion with a bird, flowers and leaves. There is a snowflakes/ fir tree hot water bottle cover as well as other smaller projects - the gingerbread heart mobile is rather pretty.
This is an excellent book - the designs are well set out and there are clear instructions. You will have to do some preparation work - some patterns need to be copied and enlarged. It's good value as there are bound to be several projects that will appeal to most people and it is encouraging to the beginner, while providing worthwhile projects for the beginner and more advanced.It is also an inspirational book - you might change some of the designs, do your own or make something different to Alicia but it is a lovely resource. There are certainly rather a lot of things I want to make. Stitch guides are all very well and necessary but it is invaluable to have such a lovely project book as this. It also reads as warmly and as well as the blog. Get this book quickly so you can make up some lovely Christmas presents - or put this book on your own list for Santa. I do recommend!