With only a few basic embroidery skills and this book in your lap you can dip your toes into several embroidery techniques without getting buried under heaps of information. Actually Embroidery Basics (like what materials you need and basic stitches) are covered in this book as well so a confident or enthusiastic beginner could definitely use this as a starting point to explore different types of embroidery.
All chapters (Cross Stitch & Decorative Stitches, Applique & Color, Redwork & Crewel, Sashiko & Sisha and Cutwork & Stumpwork) have short introductions to the techniques and many projects with instructions to try them out. It makes techniques that may seem a bit daunting, accessible and less 'scary' for beginners. With a book with such a wide scope it's inevitable that the introductions cover the basics but do not go beyond that. Having said that, I do think the 'cross stitch' section could have done with a little more explanation and illustrations!
Now if you are a fan of Aimee's patterns you will find some really good ones in this book. There are too many to mention but I especially love the Hansel and Gretel redwork (with a bit of pink) Storybook Panels. There is a neat project to make your own Embroidered Cuckoo Clock and a lovely interpretation of the Family Tree in Crewel. And I think the Crewel Peacock on a bag is a really fun way too add embroidery to an everyday object. Many of the patterns will have to be enlarged before you can use them. I know a lot of people find that a bother and would rather have full sized patterns included but I guess it's a way of keeping the price of a book reasonable.
Doodle Stitching. Embroidery & Beyond is a book which just could set you off in an direction of an exciting embroidery technique that you want to explore further through other books and patterns. The book also offers lots of patterns in Aimee's unique whimsical style that are fun to stitch for embroiderers of any skill level. If you are a more experienced stitcher and looking to explore new techniques, such as Sashiko or stumpwork, it is likely you would choose a more specialized book to begin with.
Doodle Stitching. Embroidery & Beyond by Aimee Ray is available in (online) bookstores, for example here.
Lark Crafts (also publisher of my pal Carina's book due to be released later this year!) kindly offered me to host a giveaway of the book I just reviewed: Doodle Stitching. Embroidery & Beyond and a set of yummy DMC floss (see the first picture) as well.
If you want a chance to win the book and floss, leave a comment on this post before March 19th, 12 AM (Central European Time) and tell me what your favourite embroidery technique is and which one you would like to try some day. I think I'd like to try my hand at Crewel Embroidery. :) You have to either leave your e-mail address in the comment or link to a profile with an e-mail address. If there is no way I can contact you, I will have to draw a new winner (sorry to be so strict but I have had quite a lot of trouble to find some of the winners of past giveaways!) Good luck everyone!
Lark Crafts kindly sent me a copy for review without obligations.