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4.0 out of 5 stars34
4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 7 January 2011
It is not obvious that this is a cross stitch book and I bought it assuming that it would be a book of little gift projects to make mostly with fabric, so from that I would give it one star. If you have a little experience with sewing (hand or machine) then there is nothing new in this book that you couldn't do yourself or work out how to do just by looking at a picture. However what is lovely about this book, and the reason I've given it 3 stars, is the cross stitch motifs. They are all very small (the kind you can do very quickly) and it's great to see cross stitched moved into practical and beautiful gifts. If you are a complete beginner don't be scared off by the projects you make to put these on. As the main emphasis is on the motifs, use the projects as inspiration and sew the cross stitch motifs either onto things you already have, or on items that you can sew. The final thing I would say is that about half these projects are small enough to hand sew however the rest are probably a lot easier done on a sewing machine. This however doesn't effect the cross stitch motifs of course.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 20 September 2010
This is a lovely book based on the idea of giving something special to someone special. Handmade gifts are all the rage and this book has a flavour of my favourite crafter Tone Finnanger, but it still has its own signature. Split into Home, Loved Ones and Festive ideas, this book will surely be a hit with anyone who likes making things, and the people who receive the gifts will surely be delighted. Effective motifs, good clean design and style make this book a treasure. If you are not too keen on embroidery, you could just use the templates to make the projects even simpler by just sewing the fabrics without using the motif charts. Recommended.
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With the price of things constantly going up, there are times when you wish that you could give your friends and relatives something a little different that is more personal than one of the mass consumer items out there. Within this offering there are a lot of idea's of things that you can make that will add a person touch to someone's special day.

Whilst these aren't the simplest of things (I'm speaking as an amateur here), they are practical and if you've got the time and patients, something that you can help your child make so that Grandparents have something special that the child will be proud of. With idea's for all the year round there's always going to be something that will please the recipient. A real gem of an offering and one that will have sewing machines humming and hand stitchers thimbling.
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on 22 November 2011
"Stitch 25 fast and easy gifts" ~ indeed, if you are an avid cross stitch artist. Yet even then... you will be struck by the boring nature of these gifts that will earn you at best a plastic smile when you proudly watch as your giftee opens the package: "gee, thanks! I think."

The reason for one star? A complete waste of money. Do not be fooled by the inviting cover art.

This book is advertised as a **simple** **sewn** gifts book. But the problem?

~ Terrible instructions. (Instruction book writers: pictures, folks. Pictures! Written instructions are useless.)

~ The gift projects within are designed specifically for cross stitch which,

~ The cross stitch motifs themselves are B.O.R.I.N.G., dull, uninspired, "no thanks" and,

~ Even if you enjoy cross stitch, No one will want any of these gifts anyway! Observe the delights offered within:

A cross stitched laundry bag? Oh yes, my friends and family are just *begging* for these! :-/
A cross stitched needle case?? I could have found that on YouTube! But... no one wants this either.
Ugly, flimsy bunting with boring cross stitch beach motif? Made from cross stitch material with unfinished edges so it looks tacky?
A cross stitched dog chew toy??? A **cross stitch** dog chew toy???? (No WAY am I going to spend hours stitching something for a dog to destroy in ten seconds!)
A... cross stitched scissor fob? Really? Again, YouTube? And... no one is really asking for these kinds of gifts in the first place??

I paid £14.99 for this sketchy "gift" stuff that I could have picked up off of YouTube or Google for free??? (But wouldn't have because no one would need or want these kinds of gifts?) Also:

~ Since when has counted cross stitch qualified as "simple... fast and easy" anyway??

I thought that I was going to find the kind of interesting sewn gifts that you discover in new-spin-on-retro-crafts magazines such as "Mollie Makes" and the like.


So, after filling my shelves with useless craft book after useless craft book, I give up with craft books purchased over the Internet. I continue to waste my money because I can't look inside and search every page. From now on I will check out free videos at YouTube, utilize my issues of "Mollie Makes", oggle blogs with all manner of free instructions, and ask for help from friends and family on Facebook/blogs ~ far more informative and way less expensive.

Save your ££ and pass up this book. It's not even worth passing along to a crafty friend!
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on 13 July 2011
Having never cross stitched before, I was a bit sceptical about how the projects would turn out- but the pictures looked great and I was inspired to attempt them. My book arrived from Amazon and within 3 days, I had already cross stitched a couple of beach huts as well as a boat. The patterns are colour coded and easy to follow. There is even a handy flap on both covers which makes finding your page when continuing the pattern easy. The projects in the book are charming and I have just bought the fabric to sew the hearts on the front cover. I will also be making some of the other cross stitches featured in the book. Perhaps, the only disadvantage that the book has is that the stitching projects are all small and will therefore not challenge the experienced cross stitcher and for this reason, I am rating the book as a 4. Also to be noted is that this in fact is a cross stitching book primarily- something which is not easily recognisable before buying the book. My decision to buy the book was however an informed one as one of the Amazon reviews had pointed this out. All in all, inspirational and great value for money.
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on 2 March 2013
What a great book! I've already done the cute egg cosies and cafetiere cover. The Christmas stocking was quite a challenge for me but it looked beautiful and was gratefully received as an early Christmas present by a friend. Can't wait to do more. Good instructions and most projects are quite straightforward
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on 8 January 2015
Like another reviewer, I bought this expecting nice items to sew as gifts and was disappointed to discover that it is basically a collection of fairly uninspiring stuff with bits of cross stitch attached. There are much better books out there.... My copy is on its (unused) way to the charity shop....
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With Christmas around the corner we are all starting to look for quick simple gifts to make so when this book came through the post it was perfect timing. The book is spilt into 3 sections, At home (mainly projects for the kitchen), Loved Ones (gifts for friends and family) and Get Festive (Christmas decorations & accessories).

Some of the gifts were a bit twee for me, things my friends and family would never use such as an egg cosy or a catetière cover. Others though were perfect such as the mix and match tote, the adorable rosy needlebook and the cute toy rabbit. All in all you should be able to find several gifts to make from the book, there are 25 to choose from.

There are step by step instructions and cute pencilled diagrams as well as photos to guide you through. Most the projects consist of a sewn item decorated with a cross stitch design. However, if cross stitch is not your thing you could easily embellish or use appliqué to achieve the same decorative effect. At the back of the book you will find a useful techniques guide, a stitch guide, templates and stitch charts.

This review originally appeared on The Sewing Directory.
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on 8 June 2014
I'm so glad that I borrowed this book from the library, before spending £14.99 on buying my own copy. There is nothing new and exciting here believe me, definitely not worth the money. Very disappointing I'm afraid to say.
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on 31 December 2012
Tis was one of the first books I bought as I became interested in craft, and I loved it, very straight forward to follow, with some great ideas, would recommend in fact I have recommended to a few crafty friends
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