Actually, I use the book for reference, but anyone who wanted to learn basic techniques in embroidery, smocking, quilting, needlepoint, knitting, crochet, tatting, or just about any other needlework technique, will find excellent "how-to" guides for beginners in this book.
Complete Guide to Needlework by Reader's Digest
Reader's Digest COMPLETE GUIDE TO NEEDLEWORKI know this book was published in 1979, but it is far from outdated. Basic needlework techniques don't change with time. As a matter of fact, we need these types of instructional books to ensure the techniques won't be lost in time.
Because I enjoy all of these crafts, I tend to set one aside for a while and pick up another. Eventually, I go back to the first one and I need to refresh my memory on certain stitches or even reading a pattern. I pull this book off the shelf, look it up and, voilà, I am ready to stitch again!
For example, I recently came across "featherstitch" in an embroidery pattern. I sat staring into space as if the vision of how to make that stitch would miraculously appear before my eyes. It only "miraculously appeared" when I pulled my Complete Guide to Needlework down and looked it up. On page 214, I found exactly what I needed. A verbal description as well as excellent illustrations.
I have also found that I tend to forget certain crochet pattern abbreviations if I have not used them in a while. For those of you who crochet, you will laugh when I tell you I recently had to look up what "dec" meant on a pattern. Yes, I was embarrassed when my trusty book gave me the answer, but amazingly, the pages didn't laugh at me. Another crocheter would have laughed with reckless abandon.
Patterns in Complete Guide to Needlework
There are also some wonderful patterns in the Complete Guide to Needlework by Reader's Digest. I tend to forget that those are there. While flipping through the book today, I came across this awesome pattern for a baby quilt appliqued with baby animals. The pattern includes the drawn animals and gives the instructions on how to enlarge the animals on a grid. I love the detail! It is so wonderful to have a step by step tutorial with the pattern.
This particular pattern uses several needlework techniques to complete the baby quilt as shown. Applique, quilting and embroidery are all a part of this fabulous piece, but you could make the quilt based on your own skill level. Leave off the quilting and the embroidery to simplify it. It would be an excellent way to learn how to enlarge the pattern with a grid and make a lovely applique baby quilt that would be forever treasured.
There are patterns for many of the needlework techniques. It truly is a "complete" guide to needlework!
Complete Guide to Needlework by Reader's Digest Book Review Written by:
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