Stitch-opedia by Helen Winthorpe Kendrick book review | Book Addicts

Stich-opedia by Helen Winthorpe Kendrick

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Stitch-opedia by Helen Winthorpe Kendrick is a stitch encyclopedia.  The subtitle is “The only embroidery reference you’ll ever need”.  Well, that’s not true at all.

0 out of 10 stars.  This is a sloppily put-together book.  The stitches are crammed onto a handful of pages with no pictures of where the needle goes in or comes out.  You can only see the front of the end stitch.  That’s it.

I am sewing some kids’ clothes for Christmas, gifts for my nieces and nephews.  They love my mixed-media pieces, so I thought I would give the clothes an added touch with embroidery.  I have four excellent embroidery books, but I was looking for something with some flair and instructions for new stitches.  This book had neither.  It failed on every level.


There are plenty of stitches in this book, but it is certainly not exhaustive.  My Reader’s Digest book has many more stitches.  There are a couple of new patterns, mostly fly stitches in groupings, but the rest is the same old stitches.


Any kind of instruction book with needlepoint stitches should show where the needle goes into the fabric and where it comes out.  The back of the piece should be as pretty as the front and there are ways to hide the end threads.  This book doesn’t do that.  It shows the front of the stitches only and only the end result.  You don’t even see the various steps.  So there’s really no instruction at all.


Stitch books also have samples of work with those stitches used.  There were only a few in this book and they weren’t particularly attractive.  There were no samples either.  A sampler is one piece of stitchery that uses all of the stitches described.  Sometimes it’s an alphabet.  Other times it’s a scene of some kind.  Most people buy stitching books and make the sampler inside to learn the new stitches.  This book is missing that.

Stretching and Framing

The stretching and framing section was entirely too small.  This is a major part of stitching because there are different ways to get your stitches onto fabric.  You can trace them, use waste canvas, use aida cloth, etc.  Each version requires a different type of stretching and framing.  I know how to do this already but any stitch encyclopedia should have a large section on this and this book has only four pages.  🙁


What was really annoying about this book was the self-promotion.  The photos of art exhibits in the book were all from the author.  They weren’t particularly talented or attractive or art-worthy.

0 out of 10 stars.  This was a really disappointing book.


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