I have been poring over this book, Embroidery Companion: Classic Designs for Modern Living, by the talented Alicia Paulson, for a while now. I was sent an early review copy because we share the same publisher. I am also friends with Alicia, and remember when she first described (at our favorite Thai Food joint we always go to) what the book would be about, how she wanted it to be, what she wanted it to be. It's incredible. No other words to describe it. Here are just a few of my favorite projects in this lovely book—
The crewelwork pattern, Woodland in Wool.
The Blackwork Sampler, which is so close to my heart. I have such strong feelings about blackwork and Alicia's design is so wonderful.
And look at these illustrations—so pretty.
And this Gingerbread Heart Moblie is so sweet and clever and woodsy-wonderful, I am dying.
This book has many more projects that are just as incredible, but it also has a ton of very well written, clear, and extremely useful basic advice on starting and finishing a needlework project. It's perfect for beginners, or any one else. You don't need to reference another book to get though the projects, she provides the complete info in the book to get you from beginning to end, which makes this book even more special and impressive.
I didn't make it to her booksigning, we were out of town, but I hope you all did who were in Portland.
Okay, here's what I have to finish first (from 2 years ago) before I can start a project from Alicia's book. This lovely pattern is by Handwork Samplers, and this is from Sampler Ornaments 8 pattern. I better get busy.