Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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A Stitcher’s Christmas, 2018: Themed Needlework Book Bundles!


Amazon Books

I’m a needlework book fiend. I love good needlework books, both old and new!

One thing I love about today’s needlework books is that we can really enjoy the details of embroidery, up close and personal, in glorious color, in lovely formatting, and accompanied by clear and extensive instructional diagrams or photos. These days, excellent instructional books are accessible and affordable, bringing greater possibilities of needlework knowledge straight into the hands of anyone who wants to learn.

Search Press is a big mover and shaker in the craft book industry, and they publish a fantastic line-up of all kinds of needlework books, as well as books for other crafts, too. Their website is worth exploring for anyone who loves craft and hobby books. It’s organized by topic and sports a terrific search function, so you can find books that interest you or the crafty people on your Christmas list.

Working with the folks of Search Press North America, we’ve put together a fun and interesting line-up of four themed book bundles, each for a different winner of today’s give-away.

Themed Needlework Book Bundles from Search Press

Here’s the line up of needlework book bundles for today’s give-away. In this array, there’s certainly something for everyone!

Bundle #1: Explore the World in Embroidery

In this four-book bundle, you’ll find these lovely books:

Just Stitch by Lesley Turpin-Delport and Nikki Delport-Wepener (hailing from South Africa)
Smoyg by Yvette Stanton (hailing from Australia, and writing about Norwegian embroidery – my review here)
Mini Hoop Embroideries by Sonia Lyne (hailing from Australia, contemporary embroidery)
A-Z of Embroidery Stitches (first published in Australia, a world-wide stitching favorite – my overview of the A-Z series here)

Bundle #2: Collections that are Special

In this bundle, you’ll find three beautiful books that represent collections. The first is a collection of RSN instructional books, all in one book, and the other two focus on special embroidery collections:

The Royal School of Needlework Book of Embroidery (my review here)
Embroidered Treasures: Flowers (I reviewed it here)
Embroidered Treasures: Birds (and this one is reviewed here)

Bunde #3: A Hazel Holiday Special

This bundle includes four needlework books (two instructional, two project books) by (or featuring) Hazel Blomkamp:

Needle Lace Techniques for Hand Embroidery
Needle Weaving Techniques for Hand Embroidery
(You can find my review of both of the above books here.)
Crewel Creatures (my review here)
Freestyle Embroidered Mandalas

Bundle #4: A Di Holiday Special

For those who love silk ribbon embroidery – and sumptuous embroidery in general – this bundle features two of Di Van Niekerk’s gorgeous books:

The Textile Artist: The Art of Felting and Silk Ribbon Embroidery (I reviewed it here)
Monograms and Words (This one’s on my wish list! I don’t have it yet, but it looks wonderful!)

Give Away Guidelines

This give-away is now ended. Thanks for participating!

To join in today’s giveaway, please follow these guidelines:

1. Leave a comment below, in the comment form following this article. You can follow this link directly to the comment form, if you are unsure of where to go. Please do not comment as a reply to someone else’s comment.

2. On the comment form, please fill out the name line with a recognizable name (no anonymous comments) and the email address line (which is not published). Please make certain your email address is entered correctly. Leave the website line on the form blank, unless you own your own website.

In the comment box, answer the question posed below. Please do not leave your email address, mailing address, or phone number in the actual comment box. The comment box is also not the place to advertise your own needlework business, so please do not leave links to other websites in the comment box.

3. In the comment box, answer the following:

What features do you like best in a needlework book and why?

4. Please leave your comment by Friday, December 14th, 5:00 am central time (Kansas, USA). I’ll randomly draw the winners that morning and notify them by email. I will draw in order of the bundles 1-4, so the first draw will receive bundle #1, the second will receive bundle #2, etc.

5. Please leave only one comment on the give-away. Multiple comments will be deleted. You can enter all the give-aways in the series, but please enter them only once each.

That’s it! Go forth and comment!

Coming Up!

On Wednesday, get ready for more thread! This time, exquisite wools, hand-dyed in a gorgeous Elizabethan color range.

Friday, we’ll take a break from a Stitcher’s Christmas and I’ll share some finished (easy) projects with you.

I’ve also been collecting a bunch of needlework news bits and scraps from around the traps, so I just might have to share some gems I’ve come across lately!

Hope your week is kicking off just swell!

If you do not see your comment appear immediately, please don’t fret! Comments are queued for individual moderation in order to prevent spam. Your comment will show up eventually.


(998) Comments

  1. I like books with lots of photos or diagrams and clearly written instruction. I’m very visual, so that really helps me with trying to learn new stitches or techniques.

  2. Hi Mary,

    I like a needlework book with clear instructions with plenty of well drawn pictures and/or photographs. A big plus is to be able to have the book open flat.

    I took a class at the Brooklyn Expo Center this weekend in Sashiko embroidery and the teacher and I were highly recommending your website to the class.


  3. I like clear easy to follow instructions so I can ‘grow as a needlewoman and increase my knowledge by professional needlework development’. And lots of wonderful pictures.

  4. I like embroidery books that have inspiring pictures and concise explanations. In my experience (which mostly consists of library books), the ones that mention all the key information without going off on detours are the ones that I like best. And these are most often written for adults (I quickly learned to avoid most kids’ books both because of lower picture quality and having to spend too much time reading them to get the idea).
    Additionally, I really like Hazel Blomkamp’s writing style. It is everything that I would look for in a nonfiction book or novel (amusing, witty, and full of character), but in an embroidery book. I have never done any projects from her books, but I enjoy reading them. “Yes, a knot.” (Crewel Intentions)
    One of my favorites right now is a book on French embroidery during the 18th century — a birthday present from my sister. It’s written in English and French, and gives remarkable historical background without including anything extraneous. I read it once, quickly, for inspiration and to get a feel for the book: I should read it again, carefully, to properly extract any information that I might need in the future. The pictures were extremely inspiring, using metal threads and flat silk to create unbelievably intricate patterns of flowers and such.
    That’s what I love in embroidery books!

    (Question: The French embroidery book mentioned splitting flat silk. How does that work — wouldn’t it snag? Were they working with a different variety of flat silk?)

    1. what is the name of the French embroidery book, please? it sounds very interesting to me. thank you.

    2. If the flat silk you are referring to is like that of Japanese flat or untwisted silk, you most certainly can split it. However, I only ever split it to twist it back into one thread or add to another bundle so that it contained 1 1/2 the number of fibers and again twisting it. I never split and then attempted to use it as a flat thread. It might work depending on the ground fabric you were using.

    3. Thank you, Marilyn!!
      Bobbi, the French embroidery book is called the Art of the Embroiderer by the King’s Designer (1770, Charles Germain de Saint-Aubin)

  5. May I ask for a definition of “recognizable name” and also for “anonymous” while I’m asking?
    I can’t help but think that I don’t comply with the first and that I and quite some others are all wasting time and resources by entering the contests while not being eligible due to (at least for me) privacy concerns.
    I counted 32 “non-names” in the first 101 posts of the Sajou contest. Names along the lines of Jane, Jane from London, Jane D, Jane100 and Bobbin. Names that also, I fear, don’t qualify as recognizable names.
    Could you please enlighten me (and other posters if they’re interested) about what qualifies as a recognisable name and what qualifies as anonymous?
    Thanking you in advance for your reply.

  6. One thing I like in a needlework book is flexibility—both literal (spiral binding) and figurative (projects that can be adapted). I love books that have basic concepts imagined in various ways and finishes.

  7. The features I look for in an embroidery book are excellent pictures and detailed instructions. I like to have step by step instructions, especially of complicated stitches. Close-up pictures are essential also. I think with the quality of books coming out now that they have really improved over the last several years. If it weren’t for the detailed stitch diagrams and pictures along with the instructions, I wouldn’t be abke to do the stitching that I am able to.

  8. As a lefty, clear diagrams for stitch instructions are make or break for me in a needlework book. Inspiring photographs of finished projects are a close second.

  9. I like the close-up photographs as well as the step-by-step instructions that help me to stitch my own versions of the beautiful projects depicted in a needlework book. I hope to win Bundle #3 or Bundle #4 because I already have some of the books from Bundle #1 and Bundle #2.

  10. My personal preference is to have as many projects as possible, including instructions and patterns. I think this adds to the value of the book overall and does wonders in the inspiration department! I couldn’t resist adding the following; books that lay FLAT!

  11. A great needlework book for me will include VERY clear written instructions and VERY clear step-out photographs. I tend to learn visually and usually learn a new stitch faster watching it than reading how it’s done. If the written instructions and photos are really good, I don’t need the video.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win Mary!

  12. I like good pictures in a needlework book. In particular, close up photos can give a good idea of how stitches were made. I also enjoy some nuggets of history of the stitch or techniques in books as this is always interesting.

  13. I love needlework books that show embroidery, and give its history and context. And a bit about how it is worked. Those are my favorite!
    Love looking at and reading about lovely embroidery. That is why I love your blog too

  14. I like being able to see clear guides on different stitch techniques. Pictures included. Sometimes I want to try the techniques and the guides read confusing to me. I also enjoy seeing different ways certain techniques can be used for on a variety of projects.

  15. Silly answer but I like my needlework books to lie flat when opened so I can easily see the pages.

  16. I’ve never picked up an needlework book before… so I have no idea what delights I would find inside. 🙂

  17. I love the quiet reflecting time that I get when I stitch. It reminds me of the hours spent with my mother as she taught me what she knew. I know how proud she would be that I’ve taken what she showed me and branched out into different areas of stitching.

  18. I love love love really up-close pictures of needlework, where you can really see the detail and texture of the stitches! I’m also a total sucker for any instructional book that goes into history/stories about the craft it teaches. Love trivia and anecdotes.

  19. I love close up color detail photos of various stitches, it really helps me see it more clearly.

  20. I love to see a variety of difficulty in needlework books! This is because I’m rarely as good as I think I am at needlework, so it’s easier on my pride to have a book with gorgeous, elaborate pieces alongside more achievable ones. Also I can watch my progress!

  21. It is hard to pick just one. I like clear diagrams and detailed instructions for projects or techniques.
    A good glossary or index to find things easily and a book that stays open while working.

  22. I really find illustration very helpful. It is especially good when you are working on more intricate pieces.

  23. Hi Mary,
    Thanks so much for your great giveaways! I also LOVE needlework books! What I love best is many, many pictures – and clear diagrams for stitching. Fewer words and more pictures.

  24. In a needlework book I love it when the directions are very easy to follow with large images of the stitch being used. COLOR in the illustrations is so very important too I think! And in general just fun, new ways to incorporate embroidery in our lives…on clothes, in our homes and special ideas to stitch for gifts for others.

  25. I really like the Search Press books for their clear diagrams and lovely color pictures. It is this quality that I like best in a needlework book.

  26. You can never have too many embroidery books – I love being inspired by new designs and I like books that combine beautiful designs with good instructions. thanks for the chance to win

  27. Clear illustrations are the best feature of an embroidery book. Sometimes the word directions are difficult to follow, therefore the illustrations need to be very clear.

  28. Hi

    I really like clear instructions and photos to follow. Nice patterns to try are great. I like when a range of ability in the patterns is given. Thanks for this.

  29. Ideas! With minimal experience, ideas embolden me to try new techniques. Usually the ideas are conveyed through photos, but sometimes through lined diagrams or templates.

  30. I really like it when a needlework book has good close up photos of a stitch or section of a project in addition to a chart or diagram. I guess I’m a visual learner when it comes to needlework, and seeing the photos can really help.
    Mary in MN

  31. I love a book with excellent photo instructions (and written ones) of stitches- even ones I should know by heart- because then I can carry that book with the pattern I am working on with me and not need additional resources. Makes life so much simpler!

  32. The thing that I like best in needlework books is well written instructions and very plain illustrations,photos and diagrams. I am a visual learner.

  33. I love large, detailed color photos, some historical context and photos of the homes or villages where the work originated or is/was displayed. A few project ideas are great as well!

  34. As a novice needle person I really appreciate clear directions and most of all a lot of photos! I also appreciate being inspired to try a new stitch or design.

  35. Taking classes at RSN or San Francisco School or Beating around the Bush are on my Bucket List, but probably will never happen.
    Books are so accessible and so affordable. I’ve learned so much that way.
    Looking forward to the new monogram book

  36. Hi Mary,

    I love examples, but most of all, I like a book to include patterns that I can work, and perhaps a list of suppliers if the materials are a little difficult to find.

    Best wishes,

  37. My favorite part of needlework books? The little tips you get. Lots of older books have stitch directions but they don’t usually have the hints that make a stitch easier, or sipuggestions on innovative ways to use a stitch. I read the books looking more for ideas than for how tos. Once I have an idea, then I figure out the how to.

  38. I like a book that is about techniques and or stitches. It gives me the creative opportunity to turn them into projects of my own design.

  39. I love the colored photographs of finished items. They are such a source of inspiration in colorways as well as techniques.

  40. What features do I like best in a needlework books? Pictures, yup, detailed pictures. If I don’t understand what the author is trying to say in the text, the photos/pictures/drawings usually make everything clear.
    I love your videos! I teach my granddaughter long distance and your videos have helped a lot!

    Barbara Downey

  41. I like needlework books to have clear, easy to find information about the materials used in the examples and clear instructions. The stitch diagrams should be large enough to read without magnification, there should be enough numbers provided to figure out the path of stitching or to figure out layered stitches, and the different threads and colors should be clear. Photographs should be clear and sharp, and colors should provide for a clear picture of the stitches and piece.

    Sample projects should provide at least an introduction into the technique presented. I don’t mind a book that provides simple or small projects to try out the technique and then provides examples of larger projects without instructions, as long as the smaller projects enable me to learn something.

    Historic background, art lessons, information on colors, and thread substitution information are also helpful, but not essential.

  42. I like a needlework book to be comfortably portable to keep by my side while stitching and loaded with pictures because I am a mostly visual learner!

  43. I love features that show photos of what is being taught and instructions that guide one in the specific details of the stitches or process of completing/finishing the stitching of the project as I am a “self-taught” novice embroiderer.

  44. In a needlework book, I particularly like instructions on how a piece was stitched. Even if the piece cannot be completely reproduced, the individual stitches are useful in reproducing individual elements of the piece.

  45. Beautiful books offered today. Thanks to one and all. I especially love clear close pictures of the stitches in various stages of completion. It is important to have good instructions also. The books these days are very good about both. Some people don’t live where they can take classes so the books have to tell it all. You do a wonderful job with instructions Mary. Thanks for that.

  46. I love any needlework book shows me a new technique that I can use in multiple projects. There is so many different ways to embroider and I love trying them all!

  47. I like descriptions of how to complete the project plus pictures that are clear with the steps. The pictures of the completed projects can inspire me as well! Thank you!

  48. Wow! What a treasure trove of books. Some I have just acquired but how nice would it be to have repeats to gift to dear friends and embroidery pals? I love books that show how to do things, especially stitches but I really love to see what those stitches look like in a finished piece as I can’t always conceptualize what that stitch would look like in amongst others or how to make use of it.

  49. Your book giveaway collections (and all your wonderful writings as well) have inspired me to return to embroidery after a much-too-long hiatus. Thank you for all your stitching inspirations. Enjoy your holidays!

    ~Cathy Gronewold

  50. history. I love history. history of the stitches, how they have been used in different ways, how they have evolved to today’s stitches, etc.

  51. A good and useful needlework book requires good photos and, where included, good instructions. I especially like the instructions to be short statements, not long essays! I am a visual person, and I find that the pictures are most helpful. If I am struggling on a new technique/stitch, I will copy the page from the book and orient it on the table where I am working.


  52. Pictures! I love color photographs in needlework books. And closeup views. I like to see the stitches worked on linen or fabric, not canvas. Charts are good to show how to work a stitch but I like to see the stitch as it will look on my fabric.

  53. Hello, I think the most important features in a needlework book are good step-by-step instructions for the stitches, challenging, fun and manageable projects for practice, and really good photos. Once I’ve figured out what I’m doing, I find the photos are very important for reference.

  54. My favorite features in a needlework book are the diagrams. Nice clear diagrams of the stitch, the order of stitches, and what the finished stitch should look like. Extra wonderful is if the diagram shows what the back is supposed to look like.

    The stitch diagrams help me shape the stitch, know that I’ve created it properly, and feel more confident about tackling the tricky ones. As I stretch to become an ‘intermediate’ stitcher, I really appreciate excellent visual directions. As you may surmise, for me, written instructions are nice but I find I am a visual learner and stitcher.

    If there’s some history about the stitches, that’s an added bonus.

  55. I love a needlework book that has good, clear, pattern and diagrams that are large enough to see. I get older (and the eyes get older along with me) I want to be able to read something without having to reach for a stronger magnifier.

  56. When I’m looking through a needlework book I’m usually looking for good “how to” pictures and illustrations. Yes I can read how to do something, but looking closely at clear photos really helps me SEE what I’m trying to do. Sometimes I’m just not getting the word instructions so having clear pictures, helps me a lot!

  57. The features I like best in a needlework book are stitch diagrams and history. Stitch diagrams are essential and I find that I’ll visit more than one book when seeking help. I am fascinated by the history of needlework and enjoy learning of where it originated, its culture and symbolism.

  58. The pictures! They can be very inspiring. Also important are the step by step illustrations to correctly perform the stitches.

  59. Good morning Mary
    Of course I love the detailed instructions found in needlework books. However,
    the first thing I look for is the history of the technique and I will read all of that

  60. I like to see pictures of the finished piece as well as up close drawings/sketches of a difficult stitch that may be used. I’m visual and step by step is helpful.

  61. If the book is primarily oriented toward teaching skills, the most important features to me are excellent photos and clear diagrams and instructions. If it is an inspirational book, on the other hand, it should have an original and creative point of view as well as beautiful photos.

  62. As someone who ran out of shelf space long ago (but keeps acquiring MORE books of interest), I want a needlework book to entice my eye, enrich my brain, and inspire my creative impulses. Beautiful photos, clear diagrams, and well-edited text are minimal requirements. If it contains hints for lefties, a thorough index, and suggestions for further reading or exploration, then I’m a goner!

  63. I love books, the bigger the better, and what I want in a needlework book is EVERYTHING: beautiful pictures, interesting history, clear instructions, and a bibliography.

  64. What features do you like best in a needlework book and why?

    I love books that give me fun things to work on that I can actually complete with all the instructions necessary to finish the project.

  65. Oops! It’s Cathy Gronewold again. I got so caught up in celebrating my delight about your inspiring me to return to embroidery that I completely forgot to answer your question! What inspires me most in a book about embroidery and stitching is exquisite, clear and colorful, photography. I can lose myself in those images…

  66. I love my books to be heavy on pictures and instruction; not so much on history.
    Thanks for the giveaway, Mary. Happy holidays!

  67. Definitely detailed pictures aid in understanding description of steps! A picture is worth a thousand words!

  68. I love embroidery books! My favorites are the ones that have step by step instructions to complete a design.

  69. I first saw this feature in books by Japanese embroiderers. The front half of the book is beautiful pictures of the projects, the second half has the diagrams and instructions. On the front and back cover, there is a flap of the same heavy cover material. This allows you to mark the photo of the project you want to do with the front flap, and then mark the diagram and instructions with the back flap. No more flipping back and forth trying to find a particular aspect of your project. Ingenious! I wish all the project books would incorporate this feature.

  70. Hello,
    The feature I like best in a needlework book would have to be the pictures. The more details (close-up) the better! I especially like the step by step photo instructions of different stitches… makes everything simpler, possible !
    thank you,

  71. I like any craft book, including embroidery, to have LOTS of pictures! I’m a visual learner now, after years of being able to learn just fine from words. It’s frustrating to me to have to figure things out from verbal descriptions. They’re OK to augment photos or good drawings, but verbal shouldn’t be the only form of instruction presented. And I love photos of the finished projects, even if instructions aren’t actually included – they’re so inspirational. Besides, I love color 🙂

  72. I love books that have the stiches in picture form and written.
    I love books that have projects to try that give very clear directions.
    I like books with new and interesting ways to apply the stiches to clothes,
    Handbags, hats,socks.

  73. I like clear instructions and also suggestions of how to extend the idea to another project (i.e. consider these colors for a spring version of this project). I also like ideas about where to buy materials as it seems there are fewer options locally. Pretty pictures are a must.

  74. What I prefer most in Needlework books is large numerous pictures with specific instructions. Color pictures are more helpful as well.

  75. What I like in a needlework book? Well, practically everything! Good visuals, photography, illustrations, color are important. Confusing instructions lead me to toss a book into the trash pile. Patterns. techniques, historical information or other bits of information that are a little unusual lead me to keep a book forever, not just until I’ve made whatever I like from it. I like reasonable-ness — i.e., it’s important that the back of an embroidered tea towel look tidy; the back of something that’s going into a frame is probably not worth agonizing over. I like when there is a URL or email address for questions or problems, and an errata page, because we’re all human and make mistakes.

  76. Pictures – lots and lots of pictures. I’m a visual learned so I like to see diagrams on how to do a stitch rather than written instructions. And of course pretty inspiration pictures are always lovely!

  77. Hi, Mary! Thank you for dedicating your time to keep up this blog! I’ve become a subscriber (and admirer) since Arlene Cohen recommended it.

    Features in a needlework book, which I enjoy the most: 1. Well-written and detailed instructions (when it is a guide); 2. Good pictures – those really, really focus-sharp close-ups – these can sometimes be better than watching a video!

  78. Since I am more of a visual learner, I like colored pictures of the steps involved in making the stitch, along with drawn diagrams, in a needlework book.

  79. Firstly, I like the colour plates as they draw you into the book, then clear instructions for stitching. Lastly, it’s good to have a section showing how to complete and mount your embroidery so you can achieve a professional finish.

  80. Thank you very much for the opportunity.

    One of the things I like the most in embroidery books is a step by step picture that clearly shows you how to do your “Stitch”.

  81. I think the feature I like best in a needlework book is good stitch diagrams, especially for less commonly used stitches. Lots of photos are appreciated, as are good written instructions. Another thing I appreciate is where to get any specialty threads. Living near the Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri, half an hour from any town, I do a lot of online ordering. Also, just in comment, my husband and I have traveled to all seven continents and 160 countries over the last 30 years. Usually I bring home finished embroidered items. I seldom see needlework books. So, the first package of books from around the world REALLY appeals to me. Thank you for doing these give aways!

  82. It depends on the book. If it’s instructional, clear, detailed diagrams and explanations, because archive.org is awesome but boy howdy do they skip a lot of steps 🙂
    For history, art or coffee-table books, pictures that illustrate the point at hand, and a bit of social background is always lovely. Like, how did “spinster” stop being a respected profession, or what was the effect of standardised needle making machines? I’m fascinated by the social history of embroidery, and how / why its popularity rose & fell in waves over the last few centuries 🙂 thank you!

  83. My practical side says the best feature in an embroidery book is clear photos with step by step instructions, but let’s face it, lush photos of gorgeous projects make them irresistible.

  84. This may seem strange, but the feature I like best is a really good, detailed index so I can find things quickly. It’s too bad that these are so rare.

  85. I love needlework books with nice color photos and clear stitch diagrams. One of the books I recently bought was Hazel Blombkamp’s crewel creatures. I’m not a big crewel person but the photos and the diagrams were so wonderful I had to have it.

  86. I love to see beautiful photography of the projects in a book but most of all I appreciate clear, simple depictions of the stitches used, diagrams using step by step instruction.

  87. I’ve loved needlework books for a s long as I can remember. What I like best are clear, well-illustrated or photographed instructions. I also enjoy seeing a wide variety of designs, and projects which incorporate them in unexpected ways. It is also helpful to me when the book provides a list of resources, since there are few needlework shops in my area.

  88. I like my books with large visuals backed up with detailed written explanations. Many thanks for your nice giveaway.

  89. The feature I look for most in needlework books is the inclusion of photos of the work in progress so I can compare my stitches to the author’s. For complex designs it’s a real confidence builder. Hazel Blomkamp’s books are among my favorites for that reason.

  90. I love and require pictures galore!!!!!!!!!!! Just pretty pictures and well illustrated pictures for the skill at hand. Thank you Mary!!

  91. The features I like best in needlework books are detailed, color photographs that illustrate specific stitches or parts of an overall project. This helps me plan my approach and is useful in critiquing my product so I can continue to improve my craft.

  92. Books allow me to explore new/old techniques and to delve deeper into the process. Great bedtime reading, for sure….

  93. Hi,
    I like books with pictures of old french embroidered linens. They are my favorites.
    Thank you!

  94. I love the books that show detailed pictures of a project along with instructions about completing the project. I have had a few books that didn’t give one or the other and found the projects to be not what I expected or wanted.

  95. i like a book where the directions are very detailed with lots of diagrams. I really dont enjoy working from a book that sends you in all different places throughout the book to get information. i love close up colour photos that i can peruse over with a cup of tea. lol. thanks.

  96. Features I treasure: a binding that allows the book to lay flat, for ease of use while stitching; step-by-step technique photos, so readers can learn confidently; projects with explicitly defined options, to make it easy to understand how to personalize or adapt the author’s work; exercises that help readers take small, achievable steps toward mastering a technique; complete lists of supplies/materials used in featured work; resources such as bibliographies and supply sources.
    The Search Press books in my library contain most if not all of these features. They are wonderful.

  97. I really like the step by step features in all needlework books. Especially when it involves a new stitch that I have not tried before. Thanks Mary!

  98. I like really clear, close up pictures in a needlework book because I can use them as a guide when I stitch a project.

  99. I appreciate clear sketches of the stitches they are showing.
    Love the wonderful colors and texture of the photos.
    I also appreciate a book that is not too heavy to carry about on my travels
    Thank you

  100. I am really inspired by two things: examples of unusual, creative, intricate, beautiful needlework pieces – like those in the Royal School of Needlework book (amazing!). Maybe even more, I love Stitch Dictionaries, with how-to pictures, because looking at different stitches gives me lots of ideas! I just got the Royal School of Needlework Beading stitches book, and its many examples of variations on one stitch with different variations on types and placements of beads are awe-inspiring – but not intimidating.

  101. Oh, how I love books! My favorite aspects about needlework books are the history and artistic techniques.

  102. I,too, love embroidery books. The one thing that I especially like is easy to follow instructions since I am a self-taught embroiderer.

  103. I like a needlework book to show examples of the ways to use stitches in addition to how to actually form the stitches.

  104. I like the very detailed instructions and diagrams/photographs best. Living in a large suburban “bedroom community, I have to travel to access any formal embroidery training, so good instruction books are a must!

  105. Good morning, I especially like the visual pictures accompanying the text when demonstrating a stitch. Makes things clear to me. Also the index is very useful. Cheers to all!

  106. White space
    Before, during, after
    Lettering at least 12pt
    Where to purchase materials & tools
    Stitching directions that are clear (don’t miss any steph)
    Ability to contact the designer if you have questions
    Overall quality and presentation of the book

  107. A good needlework instructional book needs to have good illustrations and printed explanations of the project. Sources for materials are very welcome. I personally like to have projects that teach a process that is useful in other projects.

  108. Features I like in an embroidery book:
    – it should sit open nicely – it’s a pain having to fight to keep a book open when trying to follow instructions of follow an idea
    – it should have good pictures – I’m a visual person, and am better able to understand something if I can see it, rather than imagine it
    – an index is a most helpful item – trying to find an item without guidance can be very frustrating
    – orderly presentation of ideas is helpful – if a book is about different stitches, but they aren’t alphabetical or organized in an obvious way, it gets painful to use and is likely to fall out of favour
    So apparently, I’m very demanding of my books – lol

  109. I love needlebooks that show detailed step-by-step photos on various stitches. I also love the ones that just show the beautiful work. Okay…guess I just love all needle books. lol

  110. I love beautiful pictures! They are so inspiring. I have stared more than one project because of a beautiful picture in a book.

  111. Being a visual person, I prefer embroidery books with a reasonable number of photos showing actual embroidery steps, or other information. I also like to buy/receive embroidery books that are meant to be placed on my coffee table and enjoyed purely for their beauty!

  112. Good, clear pictures and writing if it is a reference book. Good, clearly written directions and good size and well thought-out pictures if it is a how-to book.
    A Table of Contents, an Index, and a Bibliography for both.

  113. Very clear photos of step by step on how to do the stitch with very good photos of the actual stitched piece

  114. Sometimes needlework books are just to look at, to keep going back to for inspirations (no pun intended) on color or texture. They are a great way to spend a few relaxing minutes. My favorite books are those that contain various levels of stitching expertise, present very clear instructions, including finishing instructions where necessary, and provide easy to understand illustrations of the more difficult stitches. Color photos are an added plus.

  115. My favorite features in a needlework book are the possibilities. The I could learn to do that! So the photos evolve into learning new techniques, seeing forms come together for a finished piece. It’s all the things, like the colors, the stitches, new tips on how to make stitching neater, the list is endless.

    Thanks to Search Press and all the other contributors.

  116. What I best like in a needlework book is that it combines a bit of information/history as well as good patterns and easy explanations.
    Merry Christmas

  117. I like good pictures and illustrations of the stitches and projects.
    This really helps in learning new techniques.

  118. The features I like best in a needlework book is the colour plates. The colours always inspire different moods for everyone, which in turn inspires little designs which are then translated into threads and or paint, another obsession.

  119. Good visual representation of the projects is essential. I am a visual learner and if the pictures and over all layout are not clear and inspiring I am not tempted to buy.

  120. I just recently finished my first piece of crewel, which I am delighted with. I had trouble with one of the filling stitches and wanted to do a different filling stitch. One of the most useful features to me of a crewel stitches book, was to have it organized by type of stitch (outline, filling, etc.) instead of alphabetically.

  121. I like clear, close-up photos or illustrations in needle work books. As a visual learner, I gain good information for the technique or project.

  122. Creative ideas and clear directions about how to finish a completed project. One can only frame so many pieces!

  123. I love embroidery books! Have since I was a child! And, reviews on embroidery books help me decide if the book is right for me

  124. The features I like most are good clear photos, plain english instructions and a font that is easy to read. Sometimes instructions can be misinterpreted so a clear picture/photo is really helpful. It is also helpful to have a spiral binding so that books can be opened flat. I also appreciate the feel of the book when it has been printed on good quality paper. There is just something special when opening an embroidery book even if it is just to browse through.

  125. I’m a visual learner, so I love needlework books with lots of juicy, full-colour pictures of both the projects and the techniques. I especially appreciate step-by-step-by-step photos when there is a complicated stitch to learn or an unusual technique to explain. A picture truly is “worth a thousand words” in my opinion!

  126. I love needlework books that showcase interesting and unusual techniques. I’m less of a project girl but if the projects show new applications or interesting finishes I’m all about it!

  127. Good stitch instructions, colour and patterns you can adapt to your own size preference are just a few things that make a good book.
    Would love to win any of these book bundles.

  128. Books spark my imagination and allow me to appreciate the beautiful works of art created by skilled artisans. The can be thumbed over and over. They provide inspiration. I love to imagine what colours or stitches I might use to make this or that project. They inspire me to pick up my own modest projects and to strive for perfection. I love all stitchers books.

  129. When I buy a book I like to see a couple of things….. I like a page that has a picture of how the artist finished the project because sometimes you can’t tell what a piece is unless you can see a good clear picture. I also like full sized line drawings because most of the time I like to mix a little appliqué in my stitching. I also want clear instructions with

  130. Instructional books with thorough instructions and pictures for inspiration. I love learning new techniques.

  131. I prefer books with lots of pictures. I’m a very visual learner. Many times I don’t read anything until I’m completely stuck.

  132. The comment I have and it is not just something recently thought of it is something that I have thought about for the many years I have been stitching. Regarding all of those beautiful “stitch dictionary’s”. They teach you meticulously how to use them in a straight line but what if you want to turn a corner ? Thank you, Pam, Michigan

  133. I enjoy looking at individual stitch tutorials due to the wide range of how individuals add to the basic stitch by (just examples) adding small loops in a different thread color or using the chain stitch with a small bead added into the middle section. These sections always inspire me to step outside of the “normal” and add that extra pizzazz!

  134. Nice step-by-steps of the stitches, especially the more complicated ones. I don’t stitch often enough to remember them all well.

  135. I really like the beautiful, close up pictures of the stitches and designs. The ‘ how to’ of stitching them is so much clearer and easier to understand that just a written description.

  136. My favorite books all have clear, accurate photos and charts. A picture is truly worth a thousand words.

  137. I love the photography/diagrams…..the sharpness and close ups are so helpful. Every detail shows clearly and the colours are sharp. The older books are helpful but not as well detailed.

  138. I love needlework books that have a lot of variety inside! While it’s good for books to follow an overarching theme, I find some books tend to not have much variety from pattern to pattern. A good variety while still fitting under the theme is essential to me!

  139. Features I look for in an embroidery book are clear step by step instructions with close-up pictures – diagrams as well. A bonus feature is spiral binding so the book stays open flat while in use.

  140. Hello Mary my soulmate of book love. I love needlework books and although some I enjoy for the education (women’s work in history) in most cases I enjoy books with projects. Although I may not do them, projects contribute to the dream factor. Oh and nice photography … but that’s a given, right?

  141. I love the beautiful pictures for inspiration and a good index to find what I’m looking for. Thanks for making these drawings possible!

  142. One of the features I really like in embroidery books is the coil spine. I like that the book can easily be opened to a page so that diagrams can be followed without damaging the spine of the book.

    My other favourite thing in an embroidery book are big clear photographs of the completed projects and sections of it.

    One more thing, good clear instructions that are factual without being overly wordy.

  143. Embroidery books with creative and beautiful projects always attract me the most. Those hard to resist projects have been keeping me lingering in the embroidery world for quite some time now.

  144. In a needlework book I like there to be mutiple close up pictures of how to make the stitches. A photo of the stitches could be used in a project is always a plus.

  145. Two things I appreciate in an embroidery book – detailed instructional diagrams and then a simple project that utilizes the stitches or techniques shown. Always good to have a smaller simple project to utilize the enthusiasm over learning something new.

  146. I like a book that you can lay flat,with clear instructions and diagram. Help hint and tips are a plus.

  147. I particularly like excellent close-ups of the work. This gives me the best view of the finished product and provides me with a goal.

  148. What features do you like best in a needlework book and why? I like needlework books with color illustrations of projects so I can get a good idea of what the finished project will look like. I also like needlework books that have a table of contents, an index and clearly written and illustrated instructions, i.e., what stitches are used where & for what purpose. I like a table of contents and an index so I can quickly peruse what stitches & projects are covered in the book. Finally, I like the print to be at least 14cpi because that’s easier to read, look away then look back again while working on a project.

  149. I’m most impressed when a needlework book reveals and teaches what it’s cover and title implies. I appreciate many close-up, color photos of creation steps, and the quality of the paper pages.

  150. Hi, what a great selection of book titles. Thank you Mary and Search Press!

    I appreciate good diagrams and photos of stitches and the expected results. But, the best part for me is when there are pointers, such as pull slowly, use the stab stitch method for best results, each stitch will be approximately 4mm, etc. Information of that type helps you catch problems early in the process!

  151. I consider myself a novice so I like a book with clear instructions and lots of pictures so I can really see how something is done. And make those illustrations color so you can see the little differences. It’s worth the extra money it costs.

  152. I like photos that focus on the piece of embroidery as opposed to the setting. For projects, clear instructions that have been road tested ie no assumptions made. I do not like books that spend half their content describing stitches …if common…and frames etc: if I want that info I will find a specific source and frankly, I have several versions already. I also like a range of projects not variations on a theme.
    Fussy, am I not!

  153. I like that I can learn to do different techniques at my own pace. I also have a picture reference I can refer to if I am not sure of what I am doing. Pluses moss books are fun to read even if I don’t plan on learning anything.

  154. My favorite features are pictures – in progress and complete- in color and I love and NEED careful directions.
    Thank you.

  155. When choosing to buy a needlework book (I read this wrong the first time and thought we were talking about needle books, another passion), I look for beautiful, clear pictures. I check to see if the Palestrina stitch is included in the guide and I see if there is at least one pattern I can see myself attempting.

  156. In a needlework book, I like clear diagrams with easy to follow directions and a photo showing how it is done and a finished photo- Often with the back shown, too.

  157. Needlework books! I love them. It’s hard to say what is best about them. The inspiration, the instruction, the ideas for associated projects are all good reasons.
    What I like best though, is the presentation of sheer beauty that is a fundamental element in the human soul. Browsing through is a wonderment of insight into the universal search for beauty in one’s life.

  158. I like the pictures the best, pictures that explain the procedure or show the details are the best. I especially love the close up photos.

  159. I like a bit of history of the needlework technique, good, clear instructions on how to actually stitch the technique, and illustrations that visualize the stitching process step-by-step; plus every good needlework book should have lovely, full-color pictures of finished projects, old and new.

  160. What features do you like best in a needlework book and why? For me it’s about inspiration — colors, designs, materials, uses. I rarely stitch a project exactly as depicted, but I love books for ideas.

  161. The favorite features I like in an embroidery book are close up, quality photographs, color suggestions and variations, suggested needles, and of course a stitch dictionary of the stitches suggested in the designs. This puts everything you need for designing at your fingertips. Then the fun begins outside of the book, gathering needles and threads and the stitching!

  162. I like a section on history that includes what the needlework was used for and if possible why. I like a techniques section that includes tips for when to use a stitch as well as how to make it.

  163. 1. A workbook needs clear instructions, good images, but most of all it must open flat!! Books with springy spines are awful.
    2. A history type needs to have as many colour images as economically possible and correct information about where the items can be seen if they are in public hands.

  164. I want a book with lots of detailed step-by-step pictures. I run into trouble if the author isn’t right there, holding my hand.

  165. Embroidery books with good quality pictures of stitches and projects are my favorites. Some of the older stitch dictionaries have good stitch reference but the pictures are fuzzy. Thank you Mary for teaching us so many things and keeping embroidery alive for future generations!

  166. I just love background information and history. Whether it’s an instructional or project book, there is always interesting information to be had, and I like to have it. I’m also a big fan of well executed Index and/or Glossary pages. Don’t get me wrong, pictures are fantastic and I do love them, but there needs to be more in a book for me to add to my collection. There are some great ones in this give-away, hope to add to my library.

  167. In a Needlework book, I want to see very clear diagrams of stitches, and equally important, an index showing the names of stitches and the pages where they are depicted. It is frustrating to have to otherwise scan through a book to find a stitch under a category.

  168. I’m a visual learner and admit to rarely reading the text in instructional books. Mostly I look for a book with well-taken photographs, whether of the finished project, close-ups of details or photographs/diagrams of the more advanced stitches. Rather than set projects to complete, I enjoy a book which provides inspiration, ideas and alternatives to the projects as photographed. Finally, while my ipad is my constant companion, I prefer paper for stitching books, particularly those with a lie-flat binding.

  169. Oooh! Book Bundles! What fun! Thanks, Mary!

    I like clear illustrations in a needlework book because a good picture is worth 1000 words, and my brain translates images easier than words, especially for new concepts or techniques.

  170. Clear instructions are my absolute #1.

    I am primarily self-taught with a lot of trial-and-error, using whatever instructions I can find.

    Since I retired, stitching is my joy! I love to learn new things.


  171. It is the pictures that draw me in. Then I look for the little details that make such a difference–what size needle, traits of different threads I will be using and alternatives I can use, all those subtle tricks that make such a difference.

  172. What I like the most about needlework books is a search for new and exciting patterns and techniques, particularly, if they are written in user friendly language. Also, visual illustrations, which is a bonus for me.
    Thank You
    Sue McQuade

  173. I like god clear photos and well explained techniques. Also some ideas and inspirations on how to make ovn designs.

  174. I find it very valuable to have clear, colored photos in needlework instruction books. I also make bobbin lace, and there are many times I figure out the rough bits using the pictures of the finished work.

  175. I love the A-Z series. In fact, I’m right now working on a Sue Spargo project, embellishing with all kinds of stitches (most of which I’m just learning — the chain stitch, outline stitch, and French knots are my main powerhouse stitches). The applique/embroidery is turning out fabulous and I’m enjoying the experience of learning new stitches tremendously! Last night, I did the Van Dyke stitch and the Spider Web stitches for the first time on some flowers. They look marvelous — and I learned them using Mary Corbet’s videos and the A-Z books. Fun stuff!

  176. The features I like best in a needlework book are clear diagrams and lovely designs in which to use them. 🙂

  177. I prefer books with clear, concise instructions, including step-by-step photos in color. I would love to win bundle #1.

  178. I don’t have many needlework books. The ones I purchase tend to be those that have a variety of projects that use as many stitches as possible. I love to stitch and am trying to finally 3xpand my personal repertoire.

  179. What I like bestin a needlework book is lots of pictures/diagrams that go along with step by step instruction to try to master a technique that I want to learn. In other books I like the historical perspective and research that is done to describe and enlighgten about the stitch or sampler being discussed.

  180. I like a book with lots of good photos so I can get a visual picture in my mind. Then diagrams with good detailed instructions is what helps me understand the steps and details of a project. A bit of history of a project broadens my learning process.

  181. I most enjoy the vast array of different ideas I get from these books. I love to pursue at leisure all the projects and usually choose at least one to try!

  182. I love close up color pictures and easy to follow instructions. I also like spiral bound books. I enjoy a good needlework book!

  183. In embroidery books, I love the good pictures, the eye candy that makes me happy. I also love good instructions with ilustrations; they are better than photographs when we need to understand a technique.

  184. I love needlework books that give practical examples of item on which I can embroider…e.g. a pillow, sampler wall hanging, bell pull…

    Mostly I love color photos —

  185. I think what I most look for in any craft book are really well written instructions and very clear pictures of the technique. I have to have both in order to learn a technique from a book.

  186. My criteria for a good book is good closeup photos of the stitching directions and lots of inspiration to use the ideas outside of the designated project. Thanks for this!

  187. I love a needlework book which shows large stitch diagrams and has full color pictures of it and a piece of needlework displaying the stitch.

  188. Lots and lots of step by step photographs, to show how to do the same technique. With descriptions to accompany the photo tutorials. When one live in parts of the world, where it is still dial up internet or no internet, it is wonderful to be able to use a book to learn something new.

  189. I like books with step-by-step stitch illustrations.
    As a visual learner, they’re the best way for me to learn a new stitch.

  190. For me the best embroidery books have color pictures of finished projects, diagrams of various stitches and threads used in the projects, and several patterns of completely different projects, with suggested stitches and threads. In addition, it’s also great to have comments about possible hazards and things to avoid.

  191. My favorite part is the photography. Having worked in the photography business I have a keen eye for detail. I love to study the pictures (with wonder and awe) and see how they use all of the different stitches to create a work of art. It never ceases to amaze me what one can do with a needle and thread!
    (Pun intended ).

  192. I like books with very clear close up photos of the stitching or embroidery. I find they help to get a much better idea of the required texture and tension of stitches. Thank you so much for offering these wonderful giveaways.

  193. Needlework books are best that include projects to exercise whatever techniques the book seeks to convey.

  194. In general I love to indulge in the visual exploration of needlework done by others. I always find something in their work that I can tweak and make my own.

    In specific what draws me back again and again to some authors or books is the clarity of their instructions. The number of photos or really well worded instructions to help me achieve a new stitch are priceless to me. I find joy in being able to learn new stitches.

  195. My favorite books have clear directions, diagrams of the stitch and eye candy!! Yes, I want it all!! doni @ Oregon coast

  196. My favorite books have lots of ideas for needlework such as alphabets, animals especially if they have great stitches with detailed stitch diagrams.

  197. If it’s a monogram book I enjoying the feature were you can iron or copy the pattern. I do a lot of hand monogramming. So it’s nice when a pattern can be copied or used as a transfer easily. Many thanks for this giveaway

  198. Presentation is everything: Nice color pictures of beautiful designs/projects and accurate instructions. Nothing is worse than cutting the materials and find out the sizing error. I also like that there are no calories in needlework!

  199. Detailed instructions are very important. I am a self taught long time stitcher and still learning more complex and newer techniques so I rely on detailed instructions.

  200. I most enjoy photos of clearly written instructions for the needlework pattern or technique.

    Thank you for the opportunity to win a book. MERRY CHRISTMAS.

  201. I like books with large, clear diagrams. Also, photos are really nice. Clear instructions, step by step are very helpful.

  202. I love the ideas that needlework books inspire me. I also like to see the various stitches and how they are done.

  203. Lovely detailed pictures, clear illustrations, a well thought out index…and easy to access patterns or line drawings.
    I do like the Inspirations contents page that has little pictures of all the projects, although that might not work for books.
    If it’s a project book, a spine that doesn’t break.
    If it’s a stitch book, it’s nice to have how to “finish” or join in a new thread, not just how to start.
    For historical and museum exhibit books, just keep ‘em coming.

  204. I like needlework books that inspire me to take on new challenges, that give me a real desire to achieve the same results as I find in the book. Clear instructions, diagrams and photos are most helpful. There is a part of me as well that likes to try and figure out just how something was done and how am I going to reproduce it?

  205. I like clear, concise instructions and lots of step by step pictures for each project in a book. I also like small, quick designs that I can use on my postcards. How to do each stitch is not so important as I can always go to, let me see, Needle n Thread for wonderful how-to videos of each stitch.

  206. I look for careful finishing instructions. If products are used, please be specific about what their trademarked names are, not just a category description such as “glue.” Oh, and photos please!

  207. Mary,
    My favorite needlework features in a book have to be the step-by-step stitch diagrams. I am a left handed person who needs the diagrams in order to figure out exactly how to place the needle and threads in order for it to come out the right way. Unless of course it is a book for the left handers! Then it’s a bit easier but I still like the diagrams!
    My next favorite would be the photos of the stitching being done. I like being able to see how the finished stitches are going to look when complete.
    Thanks for all the great Christmas gifts you give to all of us ‘Needlers’! Aileen

  208. Books! One can never have enough books! I love needlework that have history. I love needlework books that have technique (explained clearly and completely). And I love books for inspiration. After a while, I think it is all about inspiration. Once you have a basic working knowledge of what you are looking at, if it inspires, I want it! And it isn’t the BIG ideas, it is all the little ideas that spark inspiration. That could even come from an example in a technique book, not necessarily meant to be eye candy. But it is ALL eye candy!! I do love books!

  209. The feature I like best in embroidery books is close up pictures. This way I. An see the detail in each stitch and if there are instructions, it is easier to understand by being able to see detail.

  210. Features I like are : good illustrations and/or photos with the accompanying references to them throughout the narrative; a well researched bibliography; if project related then a list and a photo of all the items required for that project, a clear and magnified photo of the project and a line drawing of the design with arrows etc pointing to relevant stitches / colors/ thread type; if a project book then ideally something that can be laid flat but still has a spine covering the spirals is great – it is easier to find the book with a spine in the book shelf; some relevant historical context is always good but lately many chart booklets sometimes have too much miscellaneous/secondary information and the direct relevance to the design is lost.

  211. I like detailed pictures up close of both finished project, & each step. It helps me with color placement & allows me to most easily finish the pattern. I always try to get it as close to the original finished picture as possible, as that is usually what draws me to it in the first place.

  212. I too love needlework books and have quite a collection, but one always needs more. Clear pictures with step-by-step instructions are my favourite as I am a visual learner when it comes to needlework.

  213. I like instructional books with well marked pictorial instructions. A lot of words get me confused. Dream book .. I would love to have a 4×6 plastic book with stitches to carry in my embroidery bag as I am just learning and not always handy to the internet to watch your YouTube instructions.

  214. Thank you for the giveaway. I like organization in an embroidery book. Detailed instructions and beautiful photos are definitely a plus!

  215. I like a book that is both well illustrated and gives very clear step by step directions as to how to complete a project.

  216. The things that I like most about needlework books are seeing new (to me) techniques, creative ideas and the pictures! The books I love most might not have step-by-step projects but a detailed description of the embroidery technique and beautiful pictures are a hit with me. A cup of tea and a needlework book give me a little break from stress and to-do lists.

  217. I am inspired by books with lots of color and good clear instructions. I like a book that challenges me to try new stitches and new techniques. I want a book that lets me dream a little and widens my idea of what I can create with embroidery.

  218. I especially like very clear instructions for the stitches used in a project. I always have trouble chosing the correct stitches.

  219. Happy Holidays,

    I enjoy books on needlework immensely.

    I especially like books which include planned projects. I like to be able to begin a project (particularly if it is a new type of needlework) with all the necessary items clearly laid out for me.

    Gayle in Maine

  220. Photos for inspiration. Clear diagrams and instructions for technique. And projects and patterns for implementation.
    Affordablity is also a factor.

  221. I find easy to understand explanations and diagrams and tutorials a must. I may not always utilize every stitch and gentle reminders that help make a difference to the enjoyment of the project.

  222. Bundle #3 really appeals to me as I have been looking for more challenging projects (I’ve recently been exploring the world of needle lace and other more intricate stitching designs). I love Hazel’s use of the variety of patterns and colors. Gorgeous.

  223. Good stitch instructions and diagrams always complement background and historical material. The history gives grounding in the origin of stitches and techniques.

    This selection of books is intriguing. Any bundle would add new resources and inspiration to my library.

  224. What I like best in a needlework book (if it is a stitch guide) is a spiral bound book that lays flat. This makes it much easier to reference the stitch guides while trying the stitches. For other “coffee table” types of books, I like references to the images.

  225. The best feature of an embroidery book is the pictures and the colors and if they book has them, the step by step instructions in pictures. I’m left handed and sometimes that’s the easiest way for me to learn.

  226. My favorite type of needlework books are instruction books. I like to be able to see different stitches and how they are worked.

  227. My favorite features in books that have a lot of directions are a spiral or comb binding so it will lie flat while I’m stitching. Also showing a design worked in other color palette.

  228. There is a reason why I am an avid follower of the Trish Burr designs!! She is a professional and I enjoy her books. Each publication provides well-thought, easy to follow step-by-step written instructions from beginning to end. The instructions are accompanied by clear, large pictures showing the work. I also look for quality in proof reading before a design publication is made available for sale. Nothing worse than picking up a beautiful design book only to find it is filled with incomplete sentences or many typographical errors.

    Thank you so much for your book reviews. I purchased several books you reviewed and have never been disappointed with the quality.

  229. Thank you Mary and thank you to Search Press books. In embroidery books I value a spine that allows the book to lay flat. Clear instructions with diagrams or photos are essential. I like a variety of projects that allow you to progress from a beginner in the technique to a more experienced stitcher.

  230. The following items are important in a needlework book:
    1. Good, easy to follow diagrams or photographs, of the different stitches.
    2. Explanations of shortcuts, or stitches, that make embroidery easy, especially for beginners. Much like your shortcuts for transfering patterns, and starting and finishing stitches!!
    3. A good index.
    4. Helpful comments on different threads that can be ysed/swoped out. I am a vegan and therefore will not use silk or wool threads.
    5. Patterns that can be easily copied from the book, without destroying daid book.

  231. Hello Mary, another wonderful giveaway. I definitely need clear photos of each step if learning a new embroidery stitch or following a pattern. I hate vague explanations and instructions like one I found in a recent magazine which stated `apply the floss colours as seen in the photo´ (practically a thumbnail one)

  232. I enjoy crafting books with clear pictures of steps in the project and of course the inspiring finished project. Like this blog! Thank you!

  233. My favorite thing about stitching books is the detailed examples with figures or diagrams. This gives you a visual idea of what the stitching should look like.

  234. My favorite features are the photos because they give you instruction to help you improve, inspiration on color and types of yarn, and a wonderful look at the beautiful art of a finished project.

  235. I like books with clear descriptions of how to do the embroidery plus good color pictures of how to work the new stiches and beautiful colored pictures of the finished work.

  236. I often buy books just as eye candy, so lots of pictures and then of course clear instructions and complete list of supplies needed and last but not least precise finishing instructions if called for .Thankyou Mary

  237. Clear directions are necessary for any good needlework book. Then I like colored pictures or diagrams and a book that will lay flat when open.

  238. I find the quality of the photography in a needlework book the most important, and inspiring. Instructions & diagrams are important of course, but I always am drawn to the photography.

  239. Along with lovely clear photos and descriptions, I particularly enjoy a book with some projects to try the technique/subject out so I can then go on with some confidence to develop my own work.

  240. Needlework books – which I love to collect – are my inspiration.
    Clear instructions for individual stitches are good – but I really
    enjoy clear and good sized photos of finished projects which I
    want to use as a suggestion/idea of a project of my own.

  241. I love clear easy to follow diagrams in my needlework books. Nothing worse than needing to find a youtube video to clarify a stitch the book is trying to teach me!

  242. What i like best about books or explanations are good photos of de wrong side of the fabrics!! Sometimes the best way to know the right way of making a stich is watching the wrong and the right side of the fabric at the same time. This way, you know perfectly where the thread is ment to be.
    Thanks from Spain.

  243. wow it must be Christmas just a great collection of books, I like good photographs to explain the process with lists of materials that could be swapped if you can’t get the exact match.

  244. I am a former Reading teacher. I love hard copy books. I especially love color pictures. When I was a child, books with full color pictures were very expensive. Today a book with lovely pictures is not particularly treasured, rather it may seem common and the norm. They used to say that a picture was worth a thousand words! It still can be! There is so much to be learned from them. Thanks so much for all you do to promote needlework. I enjoy your emails immensely!!!

  245. I love a needlework book which will inspire me with new ideas. I like too very simple idiot proof instructions. A feature I like too is if it has a rating next to each project giving me an idea of how complex or simple a project might be. Sometimes a project when broken down is not as difficult as I might have imagined. The opposite is also true. A project which at first sight looks very simple might be to my untrained eye might end up being far more complex than I had imagined leading to a lot of frustration.

  246. The features I like best in a needlework book ~ lovely designs, with afterwards a materials list and then detailed instructions on how and the best sequence to complete the design. I also like to see some thoughts on the designers design process, the inspiration, the color and stitch choices.

    Thank you Mary and Search Press for this opportunity to add to my library.
    Brenda C

  247. I like books that give you a basic outline and then lots of different suggestions. Also I love to learn new stitches and methods so clear instructions are vital.

  248. I am a very visual person so the more pictures better! I also like books that are bound so they stay open to the page your viewing.

    Happy holidays!

  249. I love books that give very specific detailed written and pictures. I have always had to look at something to figure it out.

  250. Mary I look for instruction and when feasible sample motifs to learn techniques. I appreciate photos.
    I also enjoy background on the technique being shared or perspective of the designing when they were stitching the pattern.

  251. I just love books. But for something like this I would say color photos are a must for me. I have run across a few black/white books and no matter if the instructions are clear, I don’t even look frankly as they just do not “turn my crank” I guess. Always disappointed in black/white books. Same for art books- why would anyone print an art book in black and white? But they do! I’m a color girl! 🙂

  252. I like for a needlework book to show a diagram of the stitch and chart in sequence how it’s made. Also to show an actual photograph of the stitch on the top side and underneath as well. And, being a history buss as well, I love it when a book gives a historical tidbit and actual photos of historical examples of needlework.

  253. I look for detailed photographs of the individual stitch process. The process needs to be very clear on some of the more complicated stitches. It is also good to have a graph or drawing indicating where the needle enters the fabric first, second, etc.

  254. The best features of a needlework stitching book to me are……lots of photos, preferably in colour, showing closeups of stitches, showing part way done photos, and of course the finished projects. Written Commentary should be done so that a beginner or a Master can understand what is being written.

  255. As a brand new stitcher I love easy directions with lots of photos. I also love looking at beautiful photos of advanced embroidery projects because it makes me want to master each stitch so I can some day do stunning work like that!

  256. With needlework books I most appreciate pictures of the projects in color. This really inspires me to want to stitch the item.

  257. My favorite feature in needlework books are the pictures showing how the project featured is made. I find this extremely helpful when I’m trying to learn new stitches. I also love pictures of ideas as to what I can do with my completed project! Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

  258. What I like best in a needlework book are clear instructions and great photos. If I have spent the money on a book, I really want clear photos of the projects/ techniques and how to do them. Home Sweet Home does a great job of that, I think.

  259. I like books with accurate color photos, but even more important to me is very clear stitch instructions. I am left handed and have to reverse most directions and move my fabric around to get the stitch correct. Clear picture diagrams help me the most. I also love to see the work designers are doing, their creativity is astounding. I love your tutorials and videos teaching stitches. I have learned so many stitches beyond the basic stem stitch, which I find I wasn’t doing quite right. That had been my limit of embroidering. Thank you so much for your Web site. Blessings for your day!

  260. In a needlwork book I look for clear pictures with well-written instructions. A list of supplies needed and a source for those supplies is very helpful. Ease of having the book open flat is a big plus.

  261. I enjoy embroidery books that have clear and colorful illustrations of the work presented. Instructions must be precise and yet leave room for some creative stitching.

  262. I love to see pictures or diagrams of a stitch’s progression along with a description of the steps.

  263. I like detailed stitch instructions and finishing help. In place of a teacher in person, I need all the help I can get.

  264. Needlework books must have wonderful hoots of finished projects. The details of DI must have good written instructions and step by step instructions. All these books sound fascinating.

  265. I like when needlework books include photos of completed projects because it provides inspiration and ideas that I’m not great at coming up with on my own.

  266. A picture is worth a thousand words! I like lots of pictures showing the work from start to finish. It helps put the instructions in perspective and makes the wording more clearly understood.

  267. I too like the wire binding on the books so they will lay flat or may even be folded in half. I appreciate a good history when it is a subject I know nothing about. Good quality pictures are a necessity; either by photo or by diagram. Photos of rare forms of embroidery are greatly appreciated.

  268. I like the photos that show what the finished piece is supposed to look like. The step-by-step instructions are very helpful as well.

  269. I love needlework books that have a bit of culture which originated the technique and the history of the technique, because I love history and anthropology. More importantly, though, the book should include clear diagrams or photos of how to do the technique – I want to learn more techniques.

  270. An enjoyable needlework book is one with detailed color pictures of projects offered, how-to diagrams of stitches used, clear instructions for working projects (if offered), an artist’s gallery of pictures for inspiration and how to show the reader how to expand on the ideas presented to then create artwork of their own style.

  271. Lots and lots and lots of pictures and clear instructions. Diagrams are okay, but I prefer photos.

  272. best feature: clear, concise directions
    why? accelerates my enthusiasm when I don’t have to work hard to understand what to do..

  273. I love to have book resources when patterns call for a stitch I am unfamiliar with. Even stitches I have done in the past to refresh my memory. The pictures are invaluable for clear understanding.

  274. 1# would have to be comprehensive and well diagrammed instructions. I am drawn to the beautiful hand work done by so many in the past. Medieval embroidery especially draws my interests. Without well documented and easy to follow diagrams I am lost.

  275. The needlework books I like best contain detailed written instructions accompanied by detailed pictures of the process and completed technique or stitch. Being left handed I need both to understand the process & then reverse it to left-handed terms. I really treasure those few that contain specific left-handed instructions. Next I like them to contain small projects
    that can be used to practice the new technique and for inspiration. Lastly I enjoy a little history on the technique or stitch.

  276. Really detailed step by step directions with pictures of what something should look like when completed.

  277. Clear color photographs! Whether the book is a stitch how-to book, a book with projects, history of needlework, or collection catalog, clear color pictures make all the difference. For the how-to books, color photos allow the use of different colors for different thread movements. This really makes a difference for a beginner to the stitch. All the other books have pictures of the needlework. Without clear color photographs, you lose so much detail in examining the artistry and design. We are quite lucky due the advent of digital photography, which makes the photographic process so much easier AND less expensive.

  278. My favorite feature in embroidery books are the step-by-step instructions with close-up pictures. I am a beginner, so it’s not always helpful to read “do stitch X, Y or Z” because I am still figuring out how to do them. Close-up pictures are helpful aides in this learning process.

  279. The best books have clear diagrams, drawings and instructions, as well as tips garnered from experience. And color photos are icing on the cake. I also appreciate the mistakes, and how they were resolved.

  280. Greetings! I look for easy to view techniques and instructions if the book is a project book. If it is informational I like full color with lots of pictures for inspiration. Thank you for all you do!

  281. I love detailed instructions and step-by-step photos to accompany the intructions. I also like works that have a bit of novelty.

  282. The features I like best in a needlework book are clear and concise instructions together with step-by-step photographs. These features form the basis of an informative and effective tutorial needlework book.

  283. I most love beautiful full page photos, only because they make my heart sing, but other features I prefer are good quality close ups and detailed, step by step instructions. I really appreciate those as I’m still learning!

  284. I purchase books for information I need in order to learn something new or to improve on something I have been doing. I love Hazel
    Blomkamp books for this reason. Her pictures and directions are wonderful, clear and concise. I have found them to very useful tools.

  285. I really like colored photos. I can read the text, but sometimes one has to see it done for it to make sense.

  286. Without a doubt the most important feature of a great stitchery book is clear instructions and sequencing of step by step photographs. a close second would be the inclusion of applicable projects to immediately put new learning into practice!

  287. I love beautiful photography which includes close up shots of the subject.
    Sometimes they are just the inspiration I need to move on in a project.

  288. My favorite needlework book feature are step by step illustrations/photos. The written word may be misinterpreted but a good photo is invaluable. Thank you for the chance at winning these great gifts and thanks also to the vendors for providing them.

  289. For me, an instructional needlework book must have clear photos (preferably color) of each of the steps one must follow to complete the stitch. It is so much easier and fun for me to learn new stitches visually.

  290. What first catches my eye in a needlework book are the photos and the way it is presented. But well written, detailed instructions on how to proceed with a project is really important. My library is quite extensive. However, there are a few books that you always go back to for reference.

  291. My favorite part of needlework books is the full sized patterns. Tracing designs onto fabric is very difficult for me. I especially like the transfer patterns. Wish all books would feature those.

  292. I love needlework books with lots of color photos, multiple diagrams and instructions that reflect the designer’s understanding of where most stitchers have had difficulties with particular techniques or materials. There are no dumb explanations or tips!

    I also enjoy needlework books that provide historical background on techniques and materials. If they provide some sort of connection to social, economic and feminist history that’s a big plus.

  293. My favorite features are large, detailed, color photos for the obvious reasons and that project books have a binding that allows the pages of the book to lay open flat.

  294. I most enjoy the inspirational and motivational aspects of needlework books-and the gorgeous pictures!

  295. I love all needlework books, especially the ones that have beautiful pictures and lots of history. I also like the ones that give you ideas for making lots of beautiful things! Thanks for the giveaway!

  296. At the very least, a good needlework book must have great photographs. Not only are they inspirational but, even if the written instructions and drawn illustrations are not good, the photographs can be educational.

  297. First and foremost: the pictures to inspire me! Often I am in awe of what very talented people can do with a needle. It is like opening presents at Christmas.

  298. I love going thru needlework books. I love the variety of others stitchers ideas that they are sharing. And I’m always very dissappointed if there are no coloured pictures. The pictures make the book and the colours are always inspiring.

  299. these books would surely help with not only inspiration but help me continue learning the many stitches. Love your site!

  300. The feature i love most in an embroidery book are beautiful color pictures and great diagrams. That way, when i am not sure on the instructions,I can usually follow one or the other, or both.

  301. I love needlework books with good illustrations and beautiful pictures, but I especially love them with binders that allow them to lie flat. This makes it so much easier to follow the directions for a new stitch.

  302. Thanks to you and Search Press for this wonderful give-away, Mary!
    There are several things that I look for before buying a needlework instruction book. First I look for clear diagrams or good pictures of whatever technique is being taught. Then the text: are the directions easy to understand and do they follow the images? Then the number of projects in the book that interest me–although I have bought a few books that only had one project that called to me. I look for these things because I want to have a positive experience in my stitching endeavors and I think those three things really help me to reach that goal. The best of all worlds would also be a text that lays flat on a work surface to make it easy to use.
    However, if it is a stitch dictionary or general interest book, then the clarity of text and the diagrams/pictures would be the first thing I look at.

  303. I love books with projects and then specifics on just how the artist achieved their desired effect. Which stitches and how to make them…what materials were used…exactly how the project was finished. I love needlework books too much. Thank you.

  304. I like step by step ‘how-to’ illustrations, in a needlework book, but also pictures that illustrate how a simple stitch can have an exquisite design impact.

  305. I like a needlework book with clear instructions with plenty of photographs and projects. I like to learn new embroidery techniques by doing the projects that are in the book

  306. I love beautiful and clear photography of exquisite projects. I find a picture of something lovely so inspirational that I am quite often sent off on a learning curve to try and achieve the same.

  307. The features I like most about needlework books is you can look at up-close pictures and step by step instructions. Over and over again. Detail pictures can really help you figure out what a stitch is really supposed to look like. And having access to look at it again and again – after it has been some time since you looked at it last – so you don’t have to worry about remembering all the steps from memory!

  308. My favorite is the instructions on how to do stitches and ideas for stitches and color to use in a project. I a visual learner and do not have good memory, so I go to them often to remember how to do the stitch or for ideas.
    Thank you for all you to keep this art a life, I am greatful. Blessings

  309. I like clear, easy stitch descriptions & directions for stitching

    I like suggested ways to use the stitch with stitched examples

  310. A needle book that has explicit instructions and good drawings or photos of the way to execute stitches is what I prefer to buy. I like to see in person, the execution of a complex embroidery stitch that I have not done before. especially if the project requires fine materials. I like to practice it before I start on that beautiful project that so inclined me to purchase the book.

  311. I love lots of coloured pictures of the embroidery along with descriptive wording. Step by step pictures of some of the more involved ones is good too. Also more and more I am taking my reference books in to get spiral bound for ease of use. What a great selection of books Mary, thank you so much!

  312. I love books filled with pictures and clear instructions. And my favorite is when there are side stories about the artist or about the thread or variations of the pattern with different color schemes that show the breadth of the project.

  313. Hi Mary, I love the photos in a needlework book, as well as some history about the type of embroidery and techniques. Also a variety of skill levels. Thanks!

  314. The part I like best in needle work books is the part where you are shown how to do a technique. I am relatively new to embroidery and am still learning a lot.

  315. Needlework books should have clear, step-by-step diagrams or illustrations (pictures). There should be clear understandable directions for each step. The avoidance of some needlework lingo is a plus. In other words, the writer(s) need to look at what being shown through the eyes of a novice as well as an experienced stitcher,

  316. The features I like best in a needlework book are the close up pictures accompanied with step by step instructions.

  317. I’m fairly new to embrodery, with most of my experience being with counted cross stitch. I like to see books with a lot of detail in the instructions and very specific details for tools/resources.

  318. Thank you, Mary, for such an exciting collection of books. What I look for in a needlework book: 1. Index of all stiches in the book

    2. Clear pictures of stitch with no cluttered background

    3. Simple directions

    4. Maybe a YouTube reference 🙂

  319. I love the feel of a book in my hands as well as how it is organized and compiled into appropriate sections. I particularly love the beautiful color photos which encourage me to try new techniques which look so easy and beautiful once one has mastered them!
    Thank you

  320. I like nice clear directions and pictures in a needlework book. I learn well from good photos and illustrations so it really helps me pick up projects more readily.

  321. I love books too!!! I love embroidery, and threads, and stitches, and beads, and sequins, and fabrics, and books!!

  322. My favorite feature in any embroidery book would be lots of pictures! I like actual pictures much better than illustrated stitch diagrams, because most of the time they are easier to understand.

  323. What I like best in a needlework book is color close-up photos of the embroidery. As Librarian of my local EGA chapter, if I win a set of books, there will actually be over 50 winners! I’d love to share the books with my chapter members!

  324. Hi Mary,
    My only preferences are for a needlework book to have a spiral binding so that it can be laid flat and to be in English since that’s the only language in which I’m fluent. Good diagrams are helpful and up close color photography is fun, too. But I’m really pretty easy, especially if the subject is one with which I am not familiar (and there are so many ).

  325. As someone who is new to embroidery, I appreciate clear directions and pictures to go with it. I am so inspired by the luscious pictures of silks, beads and fabrics combined together!

  326. I love stitch diagrams. Different books, from different times or countries, sometimes have different ways of doing the same stitch. For that reason, I also love unusual stitches. I also love good photos – a feast for the eyes and inspiration for the fingers. And of course, clear, well written instructions. I seem to be perpetually stuck in beginner mode, so those are a must.

  327. I like beautiful photographs and am especially happy when there are projects you can use, not just things to hang on the wall. Clear instructions and diagrams probably goes without saying.

    Thank you Mary.

  328. Hi Mary,
    I love needlework books that have clear pictures of techniques and also have a section on finishing ideas for the project or techniques. Hope you are enjoying your new studio.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours. Cheers Anna

  329. I like detailed photographs in a needlework book. It’s so much fun to see the work and the how-tos. Thank you.

  330. What I most like about stitching books are the ideas they give me, and the info on techniques as well.
    I love books!

  331. An embroidery book that I would keep returning to would have clear instructions supported by photos or drawings, color photos to show different color threads, and ideas on how the stitches would best be used in a project. A hard back cover would add to its long life.

  332. The feature I love most in a needlework book is projects. I love this because it allows me a opportunity to practice and learn the techniques and concepts being taught or explored in the book under the guidance of the authors designs and techniques. Once I have learned/mastered the new techniques, I can branch out and put my own spin or design to what I have learned.

  333. The best feature in a needlework book is clear color photos, both of the completed pieces and showing how to execute the techniques.

  334. I like having clear photos of each step of a stitch.I am a beginner and find this so helpful when learning a new stitch.

  335. I absolutely love authors that give you a good techniques and stitches guide. Makes the project so much more of a good adventure when you don’t have to search for how to do it.

  336. I love a good needlework book that has good directions obviously, but I really love it when the projects are something I can put to good use. I have no wall space left for hanging things and I have plenty of finished things rolled up on paper towel rollers stuck in a cabinet out of the way. I enjoy learning new techniques, some are only used on that one pr0ject, but when something really comes together, I’d like to leave it out where others can see it – I’d like it to have a purpose.

  337. I like a needlework book that has a pattern section. Then you can print out a copy for a stitching project.

  338. My favorite part of a needlework book is the PHOTOS! Nice big photos so I can see the stitches. I look at them and wonder who would like this? Besides me of course. Or “where can I put this?” It doesn’t matter if they’re in a pretty setting or it’s just the photo.

  339. Pictures, I especially like a collection at the front so I can see all the techniques/stitches/projects offered in one place. It makes it easy and fast to choice what I want to work with.
    It’s great eye candy too.

  340. I love books, too! I love pictures. I can spend hours visually tracing beautiful needlework. Photos in color inspire me, how color is used. Seeing the work close up, showing the texture of the materials. I love when a book shows the back of the work as well as the front (one of my favorites shows both back and front of sections of the Bayeaux Tapestry.) I love books that I want to use to have a spiral back so that the book lies flat and the pages stay put. Our local Office Depot has sliced the binding and replaced with spiral backings on my favorite “use” books.

  341. I like samplers so I like to read about the history and place in time of the particular type of sampler. Good color pictures with some close ups is always a winner. Finally, I like a good detailed Bibliography so I can find other sources to search.

  342. Books are our most glorious companions, beautiful to look at, they do not make comments, they just give us serene moments of pleasure.

  343. Yes, I like a pretty picture, full color, of a finished stitch and I drool over pretty projects

    But, what I really insist on is numbered stitches and a clear stitch path.

  344. I especially love to see the designs up close and then in a setting where they are in use. I also like to see project directions for the designs – the more complete the better, but at least a drawing or a chart.

  345. To have a book in my hand gives me the serenity of my own company, the chance to choose future projects without comments from others.

  346. I like books that lay flat have color pictures, clear simple but detailed instructions. A tips and trouble shooting section would be terrific for the not so experienced like myself.

  347. I love needlework books with large beautiful photographs along with a clear, detailed description of what is in the photo and well written instructions on how to make it.

  348. The feature I like the most in a stitch book is how that stitch or idea can be transferred to another medium or art form. This is when you get that wonderful buzz and realization that ” I could use that idea/stitch in this project” Endless possibilities!!!!!

  349. I love to see the history behind the stitches or the work….the women’s lives….and their culture…. I am a history buff of these things….and, then, clear directions…. I like to read directions…..thank you for these give aways!..

  350. Well clear instructions and diagrams are a must, but also a clear font and diagrams adjacent to the instructions and not several pages on so I don’t have to go backwards and forwards. I also appreciate some history because I like to know the context of the work and I love photos – beautiful colored photos so I can really see things. Oh and projects too please so I can have a go myself.

    Obviously there isn’t anything not to like about needlework books and I like them all.

  351. I like an embroidery book to be spiral bound so that it will lie flat and for the instructions to include photos.

  352. Mary,
    I love if it shows a technique, good pictures and excellent dialogue. For those that learn visually and for those that can figure it out from just reading.

  353. Best feature of any embroidery book to me is, that it is a reference,a book that you can always go back to and either read or just flick through on days when you want to relax or on days when you need inspiration. It never gets tiresome

  354. I like it when the type of threads used in a sample are listed. If I want to recreate a design or do a similar design, and want the same look, it is helpful to know which threads were used. It is also nice to know what types of stitches were used.

  355. My favorite part are the pictures that demonstrates how the patterns are used. They set my imagination going.

  356. My favourite is the pictures of the fabulous projects! My first thing is to leaf through the book and Ooh and Aah over the photos of each project!

  357. Foremost, I like technique. Then I like projects, stitch diagrams, and history. I would also love if it covered how the artists designs.

  358. I love needlework books that are in color. Show a progression of how to do the stitch from beginning to end. Like walking me thru it. Guess I am a visual learner!!! Just a picture doesn”t do it for me, I like the steps!

  359. Hello Miss Corbet,
    My perfect needlework book would have lovely, clear drawings of the techniques involved, since I have trouble following even the best-written instructions. And even though I adore the look of hard-bound books, ring-bound books are best when you use them for reference. And if I’m allowed to be greedy: lots of lovely, beautifully photographed projects with loads of colour-combo options, since I’m pretty rubbish at that lol!

  360. I love books with diagrams or pictures of each step. I find pictures along with instructions so much easier to follow.

  361. The best feature of my favorite needlework books are photos. With crafting, I tend to learn visually, so the more photos (good ones; not little thumbnails), the better for me. Thankfully, there are many good ones on the market that have wonderful photography.

  362. The needlework books in my own library that get used most have very clear pictures or illustrations, well written text and lots of beautiful patterns to use as is or modify to my own liking. Since I seem to learn visually, I really appreciate step-by-step illustrations.

  363. I like a book with clear step by step instructions. A photo of the finished project and the steps along the way is so helpful. I love a finished picture of course with some enticing background isn’t bad either. Who doesn’t like being enticed by a beautiful photo.

  364. The features I like most in a needlework book are good photographs and detailed instructions. I am not terribly experienced with my needlework and therefore I like to have the book not only for wonderful pictures but also as an opportunity to learn.

  365. what i like best in a needle work book are colorful pictures that explain a project. seeing the finished project in color and then step by step instructions with color pictures are very helpful.

    marysue c

  366. I love the pictures most, even in ‘how to’ books. I seem to learn most from pictures, but I do also read the instructions to make sure I ‘have it right’. I love the pictures in history or collection books also, but could not do without the text as it is so educational. I guess I just LOVE BOOKS’.

  367. I love needlework books that tell me something about the stitches or technique, clear photos or pictures, and very clear instructions.

  368. What I like most in a needlework book is for the pictures and the text to be well-integrated. I want to see good DETAILED pictures of the techniques being described. Also, if there’s some extra-special technique or twist on a technique in the picture, I want to know how to achieve that, also. It’s frustrating to see a picture in a stitchery book, and no information on how that special effect can be achieved.

    If you think about a child’s story book, the pictures show exactly what is described in the story. I want my needlework books to be like that, too.


  369. Thanks for offering this wonderful giveaway! What do I look for in a needlepoint book? I love lots of color photos, of course, and a range of projects. It’s nice if the book includes some easy and some that will be a stretch for me to try.

  370. I like needlework books with a combination of techniques and actual projects, but I must admit I have also treasured gallery type books with beautiful finished pieces shown in detail.

  371. What I like best about embroidery books is a variety of projects from simple, quick to more elaborate time consuming. I like variety because I vary the complexity of projects and like to have choices.

  372. My favorite books have beautiful high quality inspirational photographs of embroidery, speak to the history of embroidery, and include ultra simple well drawn stitching diagrams with a discussion of various threads and applications.

  373. What I look for or like best in a needlework book is beautiful illustrations. I can usually figure things out unless they’re really complex, but I want beautiful, detailed illustrations that will inspire, spark my own creativity, and make me want to try something for myself.

  374. Any needlework book needs to have clear, precise pictures and drawings. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to see something the author is describing or pointing out and the picture is either too small, not clear, or is cropped off or in the binding gutter so the picture is not all there. Every picture is a learning experience, whether intended to be or not. And sometimes you just need that eye candy!

  375. The issustration, full directions and list of materials. This information will likely convince me whether to do the project or not.

  376. Lots of closeup pictures that detail the stitches being used. Also complete list of threads and backround fabrics with alternative options for both. It is sometimes difficult and expensive to obtain less available threads and fabrics.

  377. There are two things I particularly like. Step by step photos, especially if it is a new technique to me, and sumptuous photos of completed embroideries.

  378. I like a needlework book to have clear pictures.. This might be a finished project and the steps along the way or stitch diagrams. I also like a supply list that allows for adjustment/adaption if the thread originally used is no longer available, particulalry if it is hard to get or obscure!

  379. I like to see easy-to-follow pictures! Color pictures give me ideas on choosing colors and seeing what looks good together. I guess my favorite thing is I just love needlework books – any kind. They are just wonderful and inspirational to look at over and over.

  380. I can’t think of a needlework book I haven’t liked. But the ones I’ve loved have detailed, up-close photography. Most of the time, they’re not just project books, but inspirational or aspirational. They give me something to aim for!

  381. I appreciate clear photographs and diagrams and am overjoyed when any modifications for left handed stitchers are included.

  382. I like pictures best. I’m a visual person. I don’t read instructions well but I can look at a picture and see exactly how to replicate it.

  383. Most of all, I’m eager to learn about the history of needlework or the respective needlework technique. If it was up to me, there can’t be too much history in a book with as much details as possible!
    The rest depends on the kind of book. The books, however, I like best are clearly and logically structured, organized in a systematic way, without redundancy and dispensable repetitions, yet covering their respective subject completely. In this vein, I was a bit disappointed by Dillmont’s Encyclopedia, because there’s many basic embroidery techniques missing.
    Judging by your great reviews, I’d really love to own the RSN Needlework Book Series, for instance. Someday, when the bugdet allows, I will most certainly purchase them – unless I’ll win them now, that is. 😉

    Thank you and Search Press North America for the opportunity!

    Angela from the Ore Mountains

  384. My favorite needlework books are those with inspiring photos of projects that would look nice displayed in my home and that are made with supplies that are affordable and readily accessible so that I can actually do some of the projects myself. I like it when the projects have detailed step by step instructions with all the techniques explained but as long as the techniques are in other books I have, I will still buy the book for the designs and inspiration.

  385. In a needlework book: I look for variety, clear and distinct patterns for tracing ease, and historical information.

  386. I love when the instructions are well explained and they are accompanied by step by step photos or pictures
    I’m a very visual learner
    Thank you for this opportunity

  387. I like needlework books period.

    I like needlework books period. What do I like best about them? Love the beautiful inspirational pictures and clear instructions. If I am too weary to stitch, looking at a needlework book is always relaxing and calming for me.

  388. I prefer needlework books that not only have photographs to inspire, but more importantly have complete information on materials needed and very clear and detailed instructions on how to execute the stitches.

  389. I really love books about embroideries of the past, well illustrated and well researched. Wonderful for inspiration!

  390. Hi, Mary,

    In a needlework book, I love great pictures that show the progress of a stitch (or an area of stitching) from beginning, middle, to end.


  391. All of the books sound like they would be great additions to any craft library. They each have things I have not tried and until I found your blog. I just embroidered kitchen towels for gifts. Know you have me interested in ribbon embroidery, needle lace and needle weaving. Since my stroke in Oct. it is a little harder but I feel it is good therapy for my left hand. I have embroidered since I was a little girl but you have opened a new world for me!

  392. I love needlework books with crisp well-styled photographs and clear instructions (don’t we all). Modern interpretations of historic pieces are appealing, as are monograms and any stitching of text.

  393. The most important thing in a needlework book for me is projects I actually want to do, or want to adapt! That’s it.

  394. The features I like best in a needlework book are clear instructions and method of working a stitch including any hints that would help left handed embroiderers. Would also like clear coloured pictures of the finish article and even different method of finishing a piece.

  395. I love really clear, close-up color photos of details. I especially appreciate tips on which which materials work best for a given technique so I don’t waste time and effort trying to obtain a result for which a particular thread isn’t suited.

  396. I love pictures–I’m a visual person, and being able to see not only how to complete the stitch, but also what it looks like and how it’s used is invaluable to those of us learning on our own!

  397. I like stitching books that lay flat! have a spiral binding or some other way to lay flat. large enough print and diagrams that you can see without a magnifying light. love pictures and a project or two.

  398. The feature I like best in a needlework book is COLOR. If there is no color, I don’t tend to like the book or stick with it very long.

  399. I’m drawn to embroidery books that include 100% patterns (I’m not good at scaling up ).
    I also love trying new stitches as long as there are clear ‘how to’ instructions.
    Thanks for this opportunity, Merry Christmas Mary.

  400. I love needlework books that have clear pictures of the piece, not those artsy pictures that are beautiful but not very helpful for stitchers. Also, if instructions are given for finishing, I appreciate more diagrams of the steps. For my own reference, I’ve taken step by step photos as I complete a project. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words!!

  401. I love to see clear illustrations (preferably photos) so I can get an idea of what the project will look like. Also, just because I like to look through these gorgeous books and dream, even if I never get to all the projects I want to do!

  402. I prefer books with good designs because one can’t achieve success without a good design and clear instructions/diagrams/photo’s to assist a beginner.

  403. The features I look for in a needlework book, clear instructions and patterns. Step by step instructions with good clear photos. And patterns. Easy to use patterns.

  404. I love a needlework book with wonderful projects to stitch, beautifully photographed with lovely clear instructions. I love being able to sit and look through a book.

  405. I love books that give me something to read – about the history or the tools or the stitcher, then they need to give me some projects – a combination of simple/quick projects for when I just want to get something done & projects that might take a while but are very satisfying. And then the must be a stitch guide as well, especially for new or little used stitches.

    The book needs to give me lots of photos along the journey of the project as I follow a combination of words and pictures when embarking on the project or learning a new stitch or reacquainting myself with a little used stitch. The photos will also give me the necessary eye candy for when I’m just flicking through the book.

  406. The features I like best are the step by step directions with clear photos, tips for techniques, and the history of the medium being presented.

  407. I like a needlework book to have a complete list of supplies for the project as well as diagrams of stitches used in the piece.

  408. The features that I like best in a needlework book are projects that inspire you by simply opening the book!

  409. I think what I’m looking for in an embroidery book is inspiration first of all. Then the details need to be there so that you feel that you can tackle the projects and have all the information in order to do them well.

  410. A book should include clear diagrams, close-up coloured photos and, if it’s not an instruction book, lots of history and insight into the maker’s thought processes. Thanks for the opportunity!

  411. I love a spiral bound book as its.stays open perfectly when reading or following a pattern. I also like the patterns in actual size.as this saves.you having to.get.it enlarged.

  412. I love books of beautiful needlework in beautiful settings. I don’t necessarily need the instructions, the eye candy is enough!

  413. Books with lots of beautiful pictures are very inspiring but clear instructions and diagrams are very important to a sense of satisfaction when mastering a new technique. A ‘lay-flat’ binding is the icing on the cake!

  414. I like to have very clear pictures with good closeups. If it is an instructional book–clear directions/charts/diagrams are a must.

  415. Looks like I’m in agreement with lots of folks here – I like good clear photos showing the step by step progression of the stitch. And fun projects don’t hurt either!

  416. My favourite part in needlework books are the stitch instructions and diagrams. No matter how many times I’ve done blanket stitch, I still need the diagram to start!

  417. I can lose myself in almost any needlework book, but I really appreciate those that offer advice and photos for left-handed stitchers. Most of the time I can reverse direction and figure the stitch out, but some really need a little bit more instruction; bullion stitch comes immediately to mind.

  418. It depends on the book and the purpose behind it.
    For an instructional book I like clear photos of stitches and techniques because I am a visual learner.
    I also love to read about embroideries and embroiderers, both past and present and in these books I love to see photographs

  419. I’m very interested in the Embroidery around the world set: it is my goal, my vision statement, to travel around the world, learning different types of Embroidery. And then offer to teach them at needlework schools or EGA meetings.
    My very favorite feature in a needlework book is: PHOTOS!!!

  420. I love books that are not only have clear instructions and are lovely to look at, but also have interesting snippets about the project or technique.

  421. I like books with lots of step by step photos, I’m a visual learner and that is how I can follow a pattern. I also like to have a few patterns in the book to follow along, I’m fairly new to embroidery (mostly back stitch) so patterns and pictures gives me the encouragement to try something new. Thank you.

  422. I like books with clear instructions, showing the actual stitches and a diagram. Beautiful pictures of the stitching is always a bonus too.

  423. Of the books I have most are stitch encyclopedias. I also have some that include patterns. What I would like to see more designers do it provide DMC colors as not everyone can afford silk threads or use threads not available in the USA. Another thing I like is patterns with really good color photos of the finished piece. When I can’t find the threads it is helpful to at least have a good picture to match my threads to.
    I also find that books containing usable pieces, not just framed pictures or pillows, are my favorite books. One I have one I really like that is called “Heirloom Embroidery” by Caroline Arber. I love the beautiful things she makes for the home. The “Cottage Border Tea Cozy” is on my list of projects.

  424. Quality photos always make a big difference! But, even with the best pictures, I’d be lost without thourough instructions! A combination of written instructions and illustrations can really make a difference when you’re stumped on a step or a new technique. The internet is an amazing tool for learning, but nothing quite beats holding a craft book in your hands! <3

  425. I love needlework books to just sit and dream about projects. If there was only more time . . . I enjoy the older books with projects and stitch diagrams. I am left handed and over the years they have helped me understand the direction of the stitches and how, left handed, they will flow so I am able to get the stitching rythym. I am always in used bookstores looking for a new find.

  426. Thanks for another lovely Giveaway Mary I love needlework books, of all kinds – modern and vintage. I really appreciate large, clear photos and close-ups, concise but thorough instructions, and a good index. But what I love most is when authors show some variations on a theme: take a large project and make several smaller related projects, or show the same stitch in different materials. I find it really inspiring!

  427. Clear instructions, LOTS of photos showing the stitching process including the finished project and diagrams are most important to me when choosing a needlework book. A spiral binding is also a plus.
    Thank you for another exciting Stitcher’s Christmas give away!

  428. The instruction details. These are a lot clearer and easier to follow from what they used to be.

  429. I love books that show not only how the stitches are done but also ways to use the embroidery in finished projects.

  430. I love the history sections and lots of pictures, so I can discover not only what the stitch is about, but can see it in both practical and artistic use. Then of course, it must have great instructional diagrams so I can figure out how to do it, even if I don’t do it often. My husband’s family is Norwegian, so I am really intrigued by this. I’ve seen hardanger many times, but never patterns for Smorg. Thanks for sharing, my wish list just got bigger!

  431. I like lots of close up photos in needlework books. I’m more of a visual directions person and find it easier to master new techniques if I can see what the end product is supposed to look like.

  432. I love books! period, but in an embroidery book I want it to be visually enticing, filled with lots of how-to pictures, projects and any number of hints from the Author as in the RSN books. I have purchased a lot of Embroidery books over the years but this type have stayed on the shelf and have been used longer

  433. I prefer needlework books that have clearly numbered diagrams so that one can learn the stitches correctly

  434. I need clear and concise directions with detailed pictures when learning new techniques.
    My brain doesn’t function like it use to!!

  435. I like good how to’s for stitches, photos of stitches as they progress and a great photo of project as inspiration and motivation!

  436. What I like best are books that have both text and illustrations for instructions. Sometimes I don’t quite understand the author’s text because I cannot visualize it. When there are illustrations, I can see what the author has explained and it helps my understanding.

  437. I so love a great index! That is my go to when I first pick up a new book. It seems that the older books had much better indices. But, you certainly can’t beat the new illustrations for current books. The color pulls me into a project. Oh! Also the appendix for supplies, bibliography, …
    Well, I’m also a sucker for books. Any textile or art book. It certainly takes me into another part of my brain in inspires me and fills me with new knowledge.

  438. I like needlework books to come with clear instructions and good close up photos of the needlework. This inspires me to work on the projects in the book.

  439. I look to books for inspiration more than instruction (tho I need that too), so am fond of big fat books, jam packed with lots of examples that are printed large enough for me to see all the details!

  440. I like books that focus on technique and have really great photographs to document the process. Projects are nice, but I rarely see something that I want to make exactly as the author intended. I tend to not like more modern designs and colors- I am an unapologetic traditionalist! Books that give really detailed information about supplies and sources are also great.

  441. What I look for in an instructional book is close ups, front and back if possible, with very detailed step by steps….i look for one that assumes the reader knows NOTHING…lol….and is prepared to teach so that that the reader will know something when done following the instructions!

    In a “Special Collection” book, or series of books, i want an overview of the whole piece, and some close-ups of several special details…also of course, please provide all the relevant information that is available…..

  442. I absolutely love needlework books; old and new. The first thing that draws me in is the photos, then I go back to each page and read the information/history that is provided. Next I will look closely at the project directions and patterns. I love getting the overview first and then settling in to read the book through. I will many times pull out one of my books and go through it which brings me such joy and revitalizes my want to work on needlework. Thank you for this wonderful gift opportunity!

  443. I love the close up pictures. It really helps me to see how the thread lays. The colors are always so beautiful, it makes me want to also create something beautiful.

  444. I had to stop and think about this one for a minute. While written instruction are great, for me, the make or break for a book is enough pictures. Clear pictures of the steps needed for a new stitch or stitch placement in a project are what make a book a great resource.

  445. I want clear, concise, easy to follow instructions with great photos on how to recreate their featured beautiful needlework projects!

  446. I love looking at all the projects in the book. They are beautiful and inspiring. I also like clear instructions to make the projects. I enjoy taking my time to look at it all while drinking coffee. I would love to win one of these bundles.

  447. Since I do not like having pieces of embroidery just laying around, I really appreciate suggestions on how to use the design on something practical.

  448. Indexes,indexes, and more indexes . Indexes in every conceivable option . Indexes in even the most unlikely way of searching . Why? Because sometimes stitches , for instance , are referenced by different names .

  449. Clear photos, diagrams and instructions, as well as a good binding are basic to a good needlework book. An excellent book, for me, is more than an instructional manual. I love reading about the history of different forms of embroidery and seeing both historical and contemporary pieces using a particular technique or style. Where applicable, I like to see variations presented for inspiration.

  450. All the bundels are great but my choice goes out to the felting and Ribbon embroidery. I would love to see how to do both properly.

  451. What a lot of lovely books! I love good photography in needlework books, especially clear close-ups. While it’s nice to see the project artfully presented, I prefer close-ups, showing all the details.

    Thank you, Mary, for all the giveaways. I hope your Christmas is wonderful.

  452. I like a book with good quality paper, clear glossy photos of the finished project and close ups of some of the detail and clearly written and drawn or photographed instructions. I also like a book with a good strong binding that will lay flat and hold its place as I am using it.

  453. My number one is clearly written instructions. I would rather read through some extra basic information than have the author assume all is basic knowledge.
    I also enjoy good diagrams or photos which always help explain what is written.
    And a bonus feature is that the book is bound in a binder so that it will lay flat.

    I have found the challenge of books authored outside the US using different names of stitches, threads and ground fabrics. It is a delightful surprise when the puzzle is revealed to be a familiar stitch.

  454. With no needlework shop nearby, excellent diagrams and detailed instructions are a must for me. Beautiful projects would be next on my list.

  455. Quite simply I like good clear instructions and brightly coloured close detail photos of sections so I can see how they do it.

  456. Hi Mary –
    The features I most appreciate in a needlebook are close up photos of the work depicted. I am a visual learner and whether reading a historical needlebook, or a how-to book, being able to closely observe a technique or stitch pattern helps me to understand it better. And to make it an even better experience, have those photos in color! Thanks for your most informative blogs during the year. I read every one!
    Ronna DeLaVergne

  457. A good needlework book can be hard to find.
    ■The topic is something I long to know more about.
    ■The summary details enough to catch my interest.
    ■The title matches the focus of the book. Another book by a well-known author is not enough to make me want to buy, and read, another book.
    ■Content is uniquely different from every other book shelved nearby. Details of looped stitches needs to hold some secrets that are not already in various pages of my stitch library.
    ■The index is helpful and complete, especially with a stitch encyclopedia.
    ■The print has to be large enough to read without magnifiers.
    ■A few excellent photographs are contained to catch the interest of people who flip through a book before purchasing it.
    ■I appreciate proofreader(s) or editor(s) earning their paychecks. Typographical errors may be easy for some to overlook. Each error noticed has me wondering how many people truly did not know some basic things; how to spell a word, when to end a sentence, where punctuation goes, where capitslization is needed, when being redundant gets irritating, how to match images with book contents, to spell out anagrams the first time they are used, to be consistent using numbers or figures… To me, proofreaders are valuable in the thought of publishing anything.

  458. Plenty of good colour photographs and diagrams with clear instructions make it so much easier to follow instructions.

  459. Oh lush photos! Easy to follow instructions! Diagrams to supplement photos. Ideas on how/where/when to use the stitches!

  460. Full size patterns and clear color photos of all parts of the projects. I’ve had trouble enlarging patterns for embroidery. Even if I have the % needed to get the correct size the store personal don’t understand the picture needs to be enlarged not the whole page it is printed on. I’ve given up and now enlarge on my computer and tape the pages together. It not as easy to use as a complete pattern on one page.

  461. I love all manner of needlework books – for stunning photos of the finished pieces, for clear and easy to foĺlow instructions, including step by steps, for the historical information about styles and techniques that many books include – for the celebration of colour and design that is at the heart of my passion for needlework!!

  462. I enjoy books that give some history of the particular embroidery followed up with clear diagrams and pictures of stitches being worked.

  463. While I appreciate all kinds of embroidery books for their clear pictures, concise instructions and hopefully do-able projects my favourites feature a binding, such as coil, that allows the book to lay flat… partly so I don’t have to keep finding the correct page but also so I can photocopy instructions to keep my book in good condition. I also don’t like to travel with my good books 🙂

  464. Clear step by step instructions with lots of photographs but also with ideas to make the design your own.

  465. The features I like are:
    – good photos
    – detailed instructions
    – book will lay flat so it won’t flop closed as you are trying to follow the instructions and both hands are on the stitching piece

    I am pretty sure that these are the same thoughts from the majority of stitchers!!

  466. Beautiful, clear images , diagrams and instructions.
    As a life long embroider, I also appreciate a book that offers advanced tips and advise, as you can never stop learning and improving.

  467. I love needlework books with clear detailed pictures. It is always the visual that draws me in and makes me want to try my hand at something new. Just seeing what can be done makes me want to learn.

  468. With so many good needlework books out there, I am attracted to those books that have wonderful, colourful photographs of amazing embroidery pieces that inspire and stimulate me to improve my skills. Then I want the book to show me, step by step how to achieve those pieces myself.

  469. Clear and concise directions are a necessity in a needlework book. Along with the directions are clear pictures and well drawn illustrations. It is so very frustrating to have to give up on a project because I can’t figure out what I am being told to do, and the illustrations don’t help clarify it.

  470. I like smaller projects that you can get done in a week or so. I find that if they are to complicated I might not get it finished. I also like usefull projects as I am older and have a lot of doo dads.

  471. I prefer books that have clear stitch diagrams and lots of close-ups so you can see how the stitch should look when done correctly. Ideally, the book should also lie flat when opened so you can easily use it to learn new stitches, etc.
    Thanks for the giveaways!

  472. What I like best about a needlework book is to have very clear graphs and instructions on how to do the stitches.

  473. Though I love beautiful photos of others’ wonderful needlework, what I most appreciate in a book is detailed description and photos or drawings of specific details and/or stitches.
    Thank you, Mary, and your give-away partners for the great opportunity to win some lovely items. I wish you a merry Christmas!

  474. I love books. I found my love of handwork when I worked in a large public library and was responsible for the 600’s & 700’s.

    Like most people, I am looking for projects with clear pictures and detailed instructions. If the book is teaching a certain type of embroidery, it is nice to have an overview of a technique followed by projects that use it. I avoid books that skim over many techniques because it is hard to give enough depth on each one. I also much prefer that every picture in the book represents a project with instructions rather than showing some pictures for inspiration only and then having a simplified project on the same technique.

  475. Being a hobbyist, I like needlework books that offer stitching tips, unique ideas and designs. I learned to embroider from my grandmother starting about age 7. She past a few months before my 13th birthday. Since my stitching education ended when she died, I like books that offer me advice so I can continue her tradition. I use embroidery to connect with her and the memories of the good times we had together.

  476. In any kind of craft book, I like clear instructions with really good photos or drawings, and ideally, I’d like them separate from the projects.

  477. I always like the pictures and very detailed instructions in the book,as well as a description of the thread,fabric, and embellishments used in the project.

  478. Clear instructions and good photographs or diagrams are a must. Especially for such detailed tasks as embroidery, any type of embroidery. As always, Thank You for all you do.

  479. As a beginner, I like needlework books that give clear instructions & include pictures of details.

  480. I like books for the inspiration that they give me. I also like good diagrams for the how-to do a stitch section and good instructions. Good colour photos are a help as well.

  481. I like color photos of the finished projects and ideas for alternative uses. I also prefer a list of materials needed along with clear step by step instructions.

  482. I like clear instructions & colour photos. I love bundle 2, I’m collecting RSN books, so easy to follow.

  483. I prefer a book to be either a reference book or a project book. I like reference books (such as the A-Z series) where I can quickly find a stitch diagram for a stitch I need. I don’t need pretty pictures of finished projects in these books, just very clear, detailed stitch diagrams.

    In project books, I like pretty pictures of finished projects including closeups. I want a list of supplies, and clear instructions with a color key and stitch guides. I don’t need stitch diagrams in project books unless it is a very obscure stitch. I can look up the ones I don’t know in my reference books.

  484. Along with clear and precise directions, I look for large pictures that show details.

  485. I think I’ve mentioned to you before that I’m a needlework bookaholic so it’s a no-brainer that I have to throw my hat in the ring for this one! To answer the question – I love lots of color pictures with beautiful photography and lots of how to’s. If it’s a book that is mainly instructional I love it to lay flat so it stays open while I’m working on a project.

  486. I like to have clear simple instructions that don’t assume that something would be automatic. Then I like to have some background notes to the kind of work that the book is about and then I must have some projects that challenge me to extend my knowledge and skills.

  487. What features do you like best in a needlework book and why?

    I like to know about the background of the pattern, the designer’s influences, if it can be done in more than one color combos, then options. I like when the article provides other thread choices in case you can’t get the threads used in the sample.

  488. I really like learning about the designer, how they progressed to where they are today and some of the provenance of the individual pieces shown.

  489. I love books that have clear colour pictures of the finished design, with good instructions and close up of the more complex designs.
    I need to see the stitches but also read how to complete them and pages that stay open on the page I want.

  490. Clear photographs! Color images of tricky techniques, or just lots of photos of examples if the technique itself isn’t that hard (like blackwork, for example).

  491. My favorite feature in a needlework book is pictures. While a picture of the project is a definite necessity, I like step by step photos right along with the verbal descriptions of what to do. I find this helpful because I am a visual learner.

  492. I love books that have very clear colour photos of the project, plus the stitches used, as well as concise instructions. I really appreciate coil bound books that lie nice and flat.

  493. 1. Good illustrations
    2 Clear instructions
    3 Projects that are worth making
    4 Materials that are easy to get or a listing of suppliers who can provide needed materials.
    5 Actual size patterns

  494. I love a book that has instruction on technique and the history of how that technique evolved. This should include photos and diagrams! Something I can really delve into deeply on all levels. This satisfies my creative and intellectual curiosity!

  495. Directions and ideas for projects. I’m not very creative and having someone else work out the problems makes the price of most needlework books worthwhile

  496. I love embroidery books with lots of diagrams and clear instructions. It is also an advantage if the book can lay flat rather than constantly pushing it open.

  497. What I like best in needlework books is clear pictorial instructions. I also like Pictorial index or table of contents. Patterns are also nice.

  498. The features I like best are: tons of wonderful photographs for eye candy inspiration
    a book that opens flat and can stand up so I can view it on the table from my chair
    well-written, clear instructions with step-by-step photographs
    Thanks for another fabulous giveaway Mary! My fingers are crossed……

  499. Good how-to instructions and how to end or join a stitch; sometimes the ending or joining a new thread can be harder than the 1, 2, 3 of it. Love books, the eye-candy aspects and inspiration they offer. At times, just gotta do a try out so I remember.

  500. Needlework Books

    1. Photos of completed projects

    2. Photos of necessary/suggested supplies

    3. Photos of completed stitches with photos of the process

    4. Photos of similar projects

    5. Suggested skill levels of projects

  501. I look for good examples of how the stitch can be used and clear drawings of how to do the stitch. Love your videos of stitches and refer to them often.

  502. Bundle 3. The features I love in the books you have shown are the colours used and the detailed description that anyone could make or attempt to make.

  503. Needlework books need to have excellent photos of finished designs, clear well illustrated step by step instructions, and interesting unusual projects.

  504. I would say what draws me in first are the projects, especially if the projects are geared toward something I would like to try and the directions are clear to follow. I am more of a visual person so pictures of each step is also important. Sincerely, Dale

  505. I enjoy an embroidery book with clear step-by-step instructions with photos. I also like to have a small project to use as practice. As I age, I find I am returning to refesh my memory about a particular stitch & how it can best be used.
    Happy Holidays to all! Enjoy family & friends, but be safe!

  506. I like books with many pictures of each step and detailed instructions. This helps me understand what I’m suppose to do next.

  507. The features I like most in a needlework book are the easy to follow instructions accompanied by illustrations. Because I am a needlework newbie, I appreciate having something to guide me if I am attempting this on my own. I recently purchased Trish Burr’s Whitework with Colour book, and a friend gifted me the iron-on transfer and threads to do The Giraffe with Barbra Streisand’s eyes. I hope to start this project soon.

  508. What helps me the most is clear step by step pictures of a stitch or technique. I also like to see how combinations of stitches look in a project.

  509. I love eye candy in the photos as it is inspirational. I also love content that is new to me about process, technique, concept or history as I love to learn.

  510. I really love the pictures.. it motivates me to start something I might not usually do…especially if it looks difficult.

  511. I like needlework instruction books to have diagrams showing the path of the needle and thread in stages to complete the whole stitch (i.e. rice stitch). Also in embroidery books I like suggestions of threads and fabric that are best suited and a small project pattern with all the supply details. Some historical content if it is applicable and a contemporary approach to using the technique as well. I learn best from written instructions that I can follow step by step until after practice I grasp the understanding!

  512. A beautiful and inspiring line up of books!
    The attributes of a great embroidery book are;
    1. easy to understand instructions, both written and visual, broken down step by step,
    2. a reasonable amount of basic embroidery fundamentals applicable to the style of embroidery- never assume that the reader already knows something,
    3. some great projects to get started on or inspiring images of other embroiderers work,
    4. historical background and images – properly researched,
    5. tips and trouble shooting,
    6. pleasing to look at and stylish,
    7. bibliography, index, glossary, ideas for supplies.
    I don’t want much, do I!

  513. I like colored pictures, product sources and brief instructions… indexes also, very helpful! Love your posts and books. Winning one of these would be a wonderful Christmas surprise… thanks so much

  514. I like precise instruction and pictures of finished projects.. I could look at a needlework book for hours if it is written well. I am someone who usually needs to be shown how to do a particular method of embroidery on the spot, so if I can get the lesson by reading the book, that is a real plus and a book well done! Happy Holidays.

  515. Dear Mary,
    My answer to: What features do you like best in a needlework book and why? to enter the giveaway is:
    Firstly, the detailed pictures are what I like best because they show me what can be done and entice me to try it out. Secondly, clar detailed instructions accompanied by pictures because that helps me follow the directions better. Lastly, again, detailed pictures, because I enjoy just going through the books once in a while to see beautiful works of art in embroidery. I’m always amazed at what human beings can create if they set their minds to it. Next to our capacity for love, creativity is one of the most wonderful features of our being made in the image of God.
    Thank you for this opportunity.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family, Mary!

  516. Best feature of a needlework book are step by step diagrams of how to accomplish the stitch being taught.

  517. The more color photographs in a needlework book, the better. The second thing I like are photographs that are “this is the wrong way” or “don’t do it this way”. It comes as a big help when the written instructions interrupted by you may not be the way the writer intended. When you can see the color photo, you can compare your hand work with the author’s. That way you’ll know if that new technique you’ve never done before, is being done correctly.

  518. Hi,

    I like intermediate to advanced projects in needlework books because I like a challenge when stitching. I also like clear instructions and close up photos of the project so that I can see if my stitching is similar to the original project. I am also fond of needlework history so I enjoy a chapter or two on the origins of the technique I am using.

    Thanks, Mary

  519. The features I appreciate most in embroidery books are as follows:

    Good formatting, well set out print easy to read

    Accurate instructions with clear diagrams and photos

    Clear, close up colour photography

    Spiral book spine which allows book to open out flat

  520. Clarity. I like clear pictures (in color, of course), clear directions and clear patterns when appropriate. I love looking at the pictures and getting ideas. I really love learning a new technique or improving on something I’ve done before. I like authors who don’t assume we know what we are doing. Experienced stitchers can learn by reviewing a stitch or a method and the less experienced certainly learn more from clear directions. We always want to encourage new stitchers.

  521. I like needlework books that encourage you to create your own designs. They might have a few pages on where to find design sources, or how to go from ideas to actually working out the design, or they might just have step by step instructions that are clear enough you can easily use them for your own ideas.

  522. The features I like are both word and picture/drawing of what is being explained, pictures of finished project and references for supplies listed in project

  523. The most important element of an instruction book to me is good photos along with the instruction. It really helps to be able to see where the stitch starts and stops along the way. I also like when they number each step. (Down at A, up at B.). Thank you for the opportunity for the give away and Merry Christmas!

  524. The preferred features I look for in an embroidery book are clear instructions, diagrams and coloured pictures up close of what the particular stitch/project should look like. I too love reading embroidery books and not novels.

  525. I love reading and looking at embroidery books . They give me motivation to try something new.
    I want to learn to “paint” with my needles .

  526. I really like good, close-up photos/diagrams. Step by step photos are a must as I get a bit befuddled sometimes by the written instructions! If it is for counted work then really good diagrams showing where the threads/linen go, are very important to me.

  527. I love when embroidering books show you step by step instructions for the stitch with different size threads and needles

  528. I like to have diagrams and photos of specific steps in tutorials. I also like having photos of finished examples.

  529. I like detailed technical instructions: stitches, floss, fabric, texture, colors, a historical overview; and patterns for sure; and suggestions for further embroidering. Well, inspirational books. Embroidery books make me dream of designs, colors, stitches, and see the whole world like an artistic flow.

  530. I like a book with lots of photos and clear detailed instructions. The pictures entice me to try the projects and the instructions look detailed enough that I want to make the item. Thanks for your wonderful Christmas giveaways.

  531. I find that a good index is a must in any well written embroidery book. Perhaps not as necessary for a pamphlet, it is very important to me in a book. I often have found myself months or years later looking for a particular technique or project. Without a decent index, I have end up spending extra time looking for the information I need.

  532. I love the detailed photos of the embroidery stitches I’m going to uses in a piece I’m making, makes it easier to understand!

  533. I love needlework books that give you lots of projects plus a stitch gallery,it’s a very good way of learning new stitches and you get a finished project .If you finish it of course!

  534. Clarity in the written instructions is important to me – as I learn the techniques.
    Good detailed pictures are also brilliant as it shows me the directions which in turn makes what I am sewing “come alive” – as I adore birds of the world – I like to try my hand at embroidering them. It also makes flowers appear real – I’ve learned almost all I know from reading books.

  535. Thank you for these wonderful holiday giveaways! I love to look at books for inspiration. I love reading books and articles about the history of the art of embroidery and how styles differ in various parts of the world. And of course clear photos bring the pieces to life.

  536. A spiral binding so that it can open flat (and stay flat) so you can look at the images/directions/stitch diagrams as you are stitching (without having to take it to office supply store to have it done for you).

    Also space for making notes or helpful tips and tricks in the margin alongside the steps.

  537. I have a few favourite s with books ..first I like clear instructions and plenty of pictures if there is a project I like a clear list of items I need to buy and thread colors. I love it when they show you a list of the tools that help and tips on how to finish the project.

  538. My favourite feature in a needlework book is good colour photographs of antique work. Bonus points for closeups, and showing the wrong side!

  539. I love embroidery books that detail how to do old fashioned techniques. I like to collect vintage needlework and craft books.

  540. I am no where near a professional in the embroidery world. If I buy a book I want to be sure I can look up a stitch and execute it. Easy instructions and photos. Thank you

  541. I am intrigued by the A Di Holiday Special book as I have done a lot of hand embroidery, but little in the area of silk ribbon embroidery. I find it fascinating and want to learn more.

  542. I like color photos, zoomed in when necessary to show the technique. Diagrams detailing how to do the stitch are also helpful.

  543. I love books that are detailed and with lots of colorful photos. Also to have the book lay flat.

  544. I have loved Hazel Blomkamp for some time now; I adore books that open me to something I’ve never known before, and take me step by step with good illustrations and clear instructions to being able to create my own pieces.

  545. I love books. I started loving books before I could even read and when I started school at 5 it took me only four months before I was able to read everything I wanted. I love embroidery books. But in embroidery books, it is not what is written that matters the most, but mainly the photos and the diagrams that accompany the text. Because I like to see nice things with the photos, and then, I want, if I wish, to be able to reproduce it. Clear instructions need to have nicely done diagrams for me to understand. Then I can work independently.

  546. I like a lot of pictures in needlework books. Multiple pictures of the same project, including drawings that help me know what I am doing. I am a visual person.

  547. What features do you like best in a needlework book and why?

    Apart from uncluttered diagrams and clear instructions, the feature I most appreciate is when the book is ring binded. A comment from Mary refers to this as ‘half Canadian binding”. I hope this is the same thing.
    When you are working on a project it is unlikely you will be holding the book, so when you can open the book and the pages lie flat, it is so much easier to follow the information. And if you have need to use a line guide as I do, it stays put. So simple………
    Good luck to everyone – great giveaway. Thank you

  548. I like books with clear instructions and color drawings or photos. Also projects from basic to challenging.

  549. I like needlework books to have lots of clear “how-t0” photos–especially books that describe stitches and techniques.

  550. I appreciate detailed photos of what the particular Stitches look like when done correctly. Illustration can only go so far. A picture is worth more!

  551. The feature I like best are the beautiful color photos of the finished projects! Talk about getting hooked on trying them out! Thank you, Susan

  552. I like embroidery books with glorious photos and detailed instructions. I like them to inspire me.

  553. I like instructional books with clear step-by-step instructions. I don’t really need projects included, as I can always dream up my own. But the clear instructions, with good accompanying photographs, are what matter to me.

  554. I love gorgeous photos of the finished pieces, because most of the time I never get the chance to actually do the projects, but I can spend hours drooling over the items, and imagine working on them!

  555. Features preferred in a needlework book are an index of projects, a clear guide to color charts, and most importantly ideas for variations whether size or base material. I also like a little background info on the projects included. Lastly a cd or online code access to enable enlarging any designs via my computer.

    thank you

  556. The most useful features of a great needlework book full of pictures and instructions are, a spiral spine to enable the book to open flat or to fold in half to take to class and tabs or coloured sections for quick reference finding.

  557. My favorite features in needlework books would be good photos of the projects that include close-ups and far away, I love some historical information about the techniques, and multiple ideas about how to use the finished designs. The photos for obvious reasons, the history because I’m a big history nut and seeing how long something has been around is cool to me and ideas because I run out of them!

  558. I am a visual learner so I like books that show how to actually perform the stitch. I also like detailed descriptions about the stitch, too.

  559. In a needlework book, I like to see where the artist has stitched the pattern but also with the pattern left blank – just the diagram. This way I can get ideas on how to individualize it or use it as the artist represents the pattern. I also like to see diagrams on how to do the individual stitches.

  560. Good quality color photos. Clear understandable instructions. Some simple examples to practice with.

  561. Hi,
    I love great photography of the finished project, good up close, detailed images of special techniques and a spiral binding so the book lies flat. I also like it when materials are straightforward and easy to find. Thank you Mary for your useful and informative reviews.

  562. I like clear directions and photos in my needle craft book…lately I am drawn to the spiral bound style as an added bonus.
    Thanks for doing this Christmas Giveaway

  563. Thank you for another great give-away! I love it when an embroidery book has colorful photos of finished projects. I also like to see stitch instructions, I’m trying to raise my embroidery “game” and learn new stitches.

  564. I appreciate specific, detailed instructions with clear step-by-step pictures showing exactly how to do the stitches. For me, more is better. I also appreciate knowing the type of thread or threads that will work best for a specific pattern.

  565. Introduction to the type of embroidery (i.e. crewel, surface embroidery)
    History of the embroidery type
    Materials section with photos
    Stitch guide and examples
    Projects and examples.

  566. I like very clear, detailed, step by step instructions with lots of clear close-up photos to go along with each step. If it is a spiral book, that is another great plus as it can then lay flat and stay open on its own.

  567. What features do you like best in a needlework book and why?
    Well photographed and detailed explanations of stitches used in a project because you only need one book when you are stitching. I like to be organized and have everything at hand when working on a project therefore the least clutter the better it is. Thank you Mary for the opportunity of winning these beautiful prizes!

  568. Hi Mary

    My favourite features in a needlework book are clear photos, well spaced layout and good (well tested) instructions.

  569. I like books to lay flat. I like lots of pictures and detailed instructions. I also like ones that have projects to try out the stitch as opposed to ones which just give you the stitch with no project.

  570. I’ve cross-stitched for a while now, but am just starting to learn embroidery – mainly inspired by stumbling across this website! I think I agree with most people – the best things are clear instructions, accompanied by clear, informative photos: “a picture is worth a thousand words”, after all. Pretty photos are always nice, but I appreciate them much more if I can clearly understand how to get there!

  571. I like embroidery books to show the technique instructions along with the article being worked. I find it rather irritating to have a project and the instructions say ‘techniques – such & such see page #, so that you are flipping thru the book all the time.
    the best ones I find are the ones that have as a first project a ‘test piece’ that uses all the techniques that are being shown and they are with that project, in order with clear diagrams and unambiguous instructions. Then the other various projects can have directions to where the instructions for the techniques are. Theoretically you will have done the ‘test piece’ and have tried the techniques before then, so know what you are doing.
    However I suppose it is easier for the book layout to have it in discrete sections.
    Often though, you are just leafing through a book for the total enjoyment of seeing beautiful embroidery, garnering ideas and dreaming of what you could do one day….

  572. I love a book that is both beautiful and practical. Clear, color details for inspiration and understanding. Then step by step details of the project itself with easy to follow diagrams and descriptions.
    The best books make you yearn to recreate the project and then help you to achieve that and yet make it distinctly your own project.

  573. The features I love best in a needlework book are good clear photographs and diagrams, especially of new or different stitches. Unambiguous language is also helpful, but most of all I LOVE pretty pictures.

  574. What a lovely collection of collections! The thing I love most about a book is an inspiring project! It makes a new technique more accessible, and I love using book projects as a jumping off point for my own project designs!

    Merry Christmas!

  575. Love the details on which way to make each stitch with my needle. Some books only have the stitch completed so I’m not sure how the stitch is made.

  576. Pictures!!! I am a visual learner. I love good pictures of the technique. Pictures that reinforce the verbal instructions.
    I also love pictures that show me the artists vision on how to use the technique in a work.
    Oh and print that is large enough for the average person to read with a good pair of bifocals!

  577. Needlework books are my inspiration! I love the beautiful photographs, and they make me want to push myself to try new things. I love learning about all kinds of threads and tools. Clear and detailed instructions are important to those of us learning new techniques. These books must be good to have gotten good reviews from you!
    Thank you so much for all you do, too. You’ve been my main teacher!

  578. When I look for a needlework book, I look for one with clear instructions and pictures. I like books that have suggestions on how the stitch can be used. It is always good if the book also has good projects that put the techniques to use in a useful and practical project.

  579. I like clear, close-up pictures in all needlework books. Detailed and lucid, step-by-step instructions (though not for specific stitches) are also very important if the book has projects. I have a real interest in history and stories, and so description of the genesis of the item, as well as history of the type of needlework involved is fascinating to me.

  580. I find very explicit instructions with the drawings numbered as to which step the needle follows next!

  581. I’m a visual learner, so I love full-page color pictures of stitches with close-ups and descriptions of how to form stitches. I would really like to see a book on the history of certain stitches and where they probably originated and the meaning behind them.
    Thanks again for another great giveaway!

  582. What I like best in needlework books are clear stitch diagrams and photos. It’s very helpful to see the photo of how the final project should look and the stitch diagrams show the step by step to accomplish the stitch.

  583. Clear instructions are a must, though the illustrations don’t have to be photographic – a good line drawing is fine if clear. Also a range of projects that are of varying difficulty so that I don’t outgrow the book.

  584. Two things make an embroidery book perfect to me: pictures that are both clear and beautiful, and text that enlightens me. They can teach me history, technique, or how to make specific projects–all are treasured.

  585. All these books sound wonderful!

    What I like best in a needlework book is lots of pictures! That’s a must if you are trying to learn a new technique
    that no one local knows or can demonstrate.

  586. Clear instructions with photographs, especially for finishing. Sometimes I get stuck on a finish and never complete a project because it’s not clear what the intent is. Also, I’ve found that clearly photographed and explained stitches have often enlightened a stitch that I struggled with, but suddenly became easy.

  587. Beautiful projects that inspire. Close ups of the finished embroidery, so nice to be able to see the details of how it’s supposed to look. Also, good, clear instructions.

  588. The features I look for in a needlework book are an easy index leading to clear instructions with accompanying photos or drawings.

  589. I love your blog! I’ve been reading for a while now but never stopped to leave a comment. Thank you so much for sharing all of your expertise.

  590. I love stitching books with step by step illustrations. I’ve seen the, both drawn and photographed. Both work well for me. But, I also like lots of photos of the finished projects as well as supplies, etc.

  591. I love books. I like the ones in which they show pictures of how exactly do the stitch. Lots of pictures as well.

  592. In embroidery books I love clear written instructions that I understand how to follow – it’s so frustrating to buy a book on spectacular projects then not be able to complete them due to unclear directions!

  593. I look for lots of illustrations (color is a plus) to accompany texts. Techniques and histories draw me in.

  594. The features I like best in a needlework book are a detailed table of contents, lots of color pictures, detailed charts and diagrams, and a good index and bibliography. When I first get a book, I tend to study the table of contents to get the outline of the book and an idea of its scope. What is unique to this book that I haven’t seen before or had been hoping to learn more about? Then, I run through the index looking for anything I didn’t find in the contents that I had expected to see. Next, I look at the bibliography to see if I am familiar with the authors and titles listed there. Finally, I go through the book page by page looking at the projects, explanations and diagrams of techniques and decide how I will tackle this book. Are there one or more projects that I think I’d like to make? Is there a new or unfamilar technique I want to try out? Is there a history of a particular kind or period of needlework I want to know more about? A new needlework book is like a treasure chest that holds all kinds of goodies.

  595. The features I like best in a needlework book are the photographs of the lovely needlework. I love to take my time to slowly digest each photograph and imagine that I am creating the needlework contained within. Another feature I like in a needlework book is a detailed how-to section with accompanying photographs.

  596. I love books with step by step instructions that also have photos of the stepwise progression of the projects! It is an added plus if the book gives you multiple ideas on how/where to use the projects/techniques.

  597. I like pictures of vintage / antique embroideries but what I would love even more is patterns and stitch guides to replicate them.

  598. I love it when books contain step by step visuals for unusual stitches. I also really like when patterns/projects are cross-referenced using more than one index (by type of stitch, by type of fabris used, etc)

  599. Clear pictures, directly overhead shot and side shots when necessary
    Concise directions do not add frills when that doesn’t help you stitch!!! Stories and long descriptions are great in paragraphs but screw you’re u up when in the actual directions!!

  600. Clear photos and detailed written instructions.
    And I love it when several finishing options are given. I’m usually at a loss as to what to do with a beautiful piece other than hang it on the wall.
    Carrie PlaneNut

  601. Bundle #2 is the one that looks best to me, although they all look valuable.
    What I like best in a book is a varied description of stitches with accompanied pictures.
    When I say varied. I mean describing the stitch in more than one way. Sometimes the same thing said in 2 different ways is very helpful.

  602. My favorite thing about needlework books are clear detailed pictures. I remember the days of poor photography in books published in the 1970s. My, how digital photography & publishing has made for some beautiful books!

  603. Hi Mary
    I love clear diagrams and photos in embroidery books. Visual instructions that show the placement of thread, needle, hand when learning an unfamiliar stitch or technique are invaluable to me. The A-Z series along with your videos were my teachers as I ventured into embroidery.

  604. Ilove needlework books that explain the stitches clearly as well as a bit of the history of the stitches. Projects to then practice the stitches are great to give you extra stimulations.

  605. I like clear photos, especially on techniques. But what I REALLY prefer on all my craft books is a binding that will lay flat and stay open so I can keep my place!

  606. I love needlework books that have beautiful pictures with tiny details to spark the imagination
    and dream about how the design or motifs might be used in another project. I also enjoy a quick reference guide to stitches and clear directions. And really I just love most all embroidery books!

  607. I like books with lots of pictures and diagrams interspersed with the written instructions. This helps me to not only read the instructions but visually see if my stitching looks like it is supposed to at different stages. Also if it is a technique being shown rather then a project, I like seeing photos of different projects that are using that technique.