Cheryl Fall has been designing needlecraft patterns professionally since 1986 and is the author of fourteen books, including Embroidery Basics, Simply Samplers, and three titles in the popular Dummies series. She has written more than 2,000 articles on how-to crafts and maintains her own Needleknowledge.com website. Fall was also the host of the nationally distributed PBS Plus series The Creative Life. She lives near Portland, Oregon.
Cheryl has just published a new book called Embroidery Basics - and as you may expect from the title, this book can serve as a great introduction to embroidery -inside you'll find a nice assortment of projects to tempt an embroiderer of just about any skill level - Her Supplies and Tools chapter features a mouthwatering assortment of DMC Embroidery Threads, and introduces newbies to important considerations like stitch gauge (yes, that's not just for knitting!) Cheryl's book also features a 30 page guide to Embroidery stitches - her clear illustrations will likely inspire you to try your hand at something new. And there are plenty of projects - 17 in all, a mixture of "surface thread" (or freehand embroidery) and "counted thread" projects. Each project indicates the skill level required, contains clear directions, materials list with color guides, and real-size patterns (so no running back and forth to the copier!) The patterns are a fun assortment of different styles that can suit a variety of tastes. My faves are the Chain Stitch Blossom Pillow, Alphabet Sampler, Freestyle Embroidered Purse, Owl Pincushion, Owl Tablet Cover, and the rather gorgeous Italian Cross Stitch Sampler. I can see myself using the letters and borders for a nice monogram or a silly, snarky cross stitch project. I was so excited about the Chain Stitch pillow project that I couldn't resist giving it a try. I loved how easily you could stitch this up with just 5 shades of DMC Embroidery Floss.dmc-threads.com This large paperback is divided into simple sections to help the real newcomer to this absorbing hobby; the first describes and explains the tools used, threads, canvas etc. This is followed by techniques, especially the important one - How to Start! 30 pages showing very clear diagrams of how to make a wide variety of stitches, in large colour print. This section should encourage any reluctant stitcher to achieve success. The remaining half of the book is devoted to projects using the stitches with gentle encouraging text. Although the author is American I had no difficulty with her English except "hip" cocktail mats! The Owl pincushion seemed charming and quick to make. There are cross stitch designs, a useful alphabet, book covers, Assisi design and drawn thread work The latter seems almost a lost skill these days. Also included is a section on finishing, a comparison colour chart of the various threads on the market, a simple glossary and internet addresses. This book makes a pleasant read and is very encouraging to the new stitchers. The author shows her years of teaching in her methods and approach. My only quibble is that I feel the spine will not take repeated pressings back in order to follow instructions.-Megonline.co.uk