When I recently learned that Sophie of What Delilah Did was going to release a book I was well excited! I really admire her dreamy, nostalgic style and have bought quite a few of her patterns over the years. If you, like me, love cross stitching endearing woodland animals and magical beasts, and a bit of folklore as well, you will definitely feel at home in the world of Storyland Cross Stitch!
The book starts with a chapter about cross stitch supplies, advice on how many strands to use on which count of fabric and a cross stitch 'how to'. It is followed by chapters for beginners, more advanced cross stitchers and 'projects for the brave and determined'. Each project has an introduction in the form of a short story so that you know a bit about (for example) The Fantabulous Mr Fox before you commence your stitching. All the information you need to make the patterns is there: size and type of fabric needed, needles, thread etc etc. Even the estimated time to complete the project is mentioned. Some projects like the pincushion or lavender sachet, have additional sewing instructions.
The patterns are all fantastic: from Sophie's signature silhouette designs of birds, stags and knights to a huge Wise Owl pattern in different shades of brown. My favourite project is probably the Enchanted Forest selection (see photo above) which is quite an ambitious project: it would add up to 100 hours of stitching all together (or in my case probably a bit longer) But what a beautiful collection it is!
I'm not sure about you but when I'm cross stitching I like to keep track of where I am by colouring in the parts of the pattern I have already completed. Obviously I wouldn't do that directly in this lovely book, so the book advises to photocopy the patterns before starting. In an ideal world I would have loved the chance to go to the publishers website and download the charts (on a bigger scale) that I want to stitch instead of photocopying. Maybe an idea for a next book? As a bonus Storyland Cross Stitch also comes with a little kit (which includes fabric, floss, a chart and a needle) so you can start stitching right away, which I think is a fabulous extra to a fabulous book!
Storyland Cross Stitch is published by Anova books (Collins & Brown) and available now (RRP 14.99 GBP). For several of the projects, like the fox pincushion or the sampler, you can buy kits (or a book + kit combo) in the What Delilah Did Shop.
* Sophie let me know the wonderful illustrations are actually by Julianna Swaney.
Photos used in this review are from the book Storyland Cross Stitch (Anova books) and made by Rachel Whiting
This review, like any of my reviews, reflects my own opinion. Regardless whether publishers send me books or, like in this case, I have purchased the book myself.