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4.8 out of 5 stars52
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on September 11, 2006
After receiving Trish Burr's previous book, Redoute's Finest Flowers in Embroidery (see my review there), I hurried to purchase this one as well. I'm feeling a curious mix of satisfaction and disappointment with this one.

The instruction section on long-and-short stitch has been greatly expanded. I must say that the inclusion of much of the instructional text word-for-word from her previous book jarred a bit--especially the diagrams where pixellated computer graphics had not been cleaned up. (These things do slip through, but to have them slip through twice points to slipshod editing.) On the bright side, there is much, much more detail on exactly how the long-and-short stitch is executed, how to deal with different shapes, stitch directions, and so on. In that respect, this book far exceeds the original (which I'll call "RFF" henceforth).

The sampler in this book was unappealing, as were the first three "simple" projects. The sampler is four "flower-ish" shapes, not remotely identifiable as any real flower. If I'm going to take the time and trouble to embroider using a single strand of floss at a time, I want the result to be something good-looking, even if it's a tiny something! The stylized "simple" projects also didn't interest me at all--to be frank, they look and feel "dumbed down," and not at all true to the spirit of the book. There was a page showing a number of embroidered leaves of different shapes, and I decided to tackle one of those as my starter project instead. I thought the finished product was much lovelier than the samplers.

The flowers in this book were not drawn from a single source like RFF, and it shows in a certain unevenness of style. In my review of RFF, I wrote that the cover is a good example of what you get inside. Not so much so with this one--the flame lily and magnolia shown on the cover (along with a protea, not shown) are by far the most detailed and impressive. Some of the other projects were nice enough pictures, but were somehow missing that "botanical print" look that was so captivating in RFF.

Also, and I'm hugely disappointed with this!, they changed the format of the projects, omitting the diagram dedicated to color placement. Instead, you have to cross-reference between the coded list of floss colors and the written description. Nearly every project is prefixed with the brusque admonition that "it will be necessary to inspect the photo closely to reproduce the color changes" (freely misquoted from memory, but that's the gist). But subtle color shifts in floss are quite difficult to distinguish--that's why threadpainting can look so realistic, and that's why I thought RFF (which showed placement by a colored-pencil diagram, with exaggerated differences between the colors) was so great. Alas, they've thrown that good idea out.

Although I'm disappointed in these changes for the worse, I am still glad I purchased the book. The extremely detailed coverage of the logistics of long-and-short stitch alone made it worth the price. Several of the projects are stunning, and it's interesting to see how Ms. Burr's technique has changed over time (less padding, for one). So... 5 stars for instruction, 3.5 for projects. But if I were only buying one of her books, I'd buy Redoute's Finest Flowers in Embroidery rather than this one.
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on January 15, 2013
This is a clearly written book with detailed instructions to create beautiful flower embroidery. The projects include small (about 2"x2") flowers that would be cute decorations on greeting cards or sachet bags, somewhat larger (about 3"x4") flowers, and quite large (up to about 6"x10") for framed art. All flowers have tracing outlines, color suggestions and finished project photos. The magnolia is so beautiful I can't wait to start it as a project, but I will do an easier one first for practice. Also, with practice, I see no reason why one could not use these guidelines to create their own flower pattern using their own detailed photo of a favorite flower. Clearly that would be a much more difficult project, but chances are that anyone interested in creating one of these printed projects would have a favorite flower in their back yard that could be equally beautiful.
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on February 8, 2010
Having never done hand embroidery before I was delighted to find that this book was aimed at both beginner and more experienced user. The lessons progressed in an easy way as each skill was learned. Loads of information, help, illustrations to take you every step of the way. I am now addicted to this lovely art.
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on September 11, 2009
Love the book, easy instructions and love all the projects in the book. Excellent book.
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on May 4, 2012
I have been embroidering since childhood, but never knew anything about long and short stitching. I hated cross stitch and wanted to try something beyond the usual. Trish Burr is amazing, especially as she is self taught and has a unique perspective. This style is not easy to master, but Trish includes so many tips and projects, that I could take my time, learning a little more with each completed activity. What I really like about her book is that it is not cookie cutter, she provides the technique instructions, project patterns and the thread colors needed. At times I wasn't exactly sure, but I referred to her pictures for help. Do mine look exactly like hers - no! They look like mine -- she teaches you to learn for yourself. I just received another book by Trish 'Color with Confidence'so I can continue learning and begin making designs of my own, using my eyes, techniques, colors to create art. Thank you Trish!
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on January 7, 2015
What a great book! Let me preface this by saying I don't usually care for instructional books of this nature, most contain very little helpful instruction they are mostly fluff. Not so with this one. I found it immensely helpful in learning how to perform the fundamentals of the long and short stitch and needlepainting. In fact I am already L&Sing my fingers off and my work looks pretty darn good. I am new to the whole world of needlework, I've only been at it a few months now but thanks to Trish's book I look like a pro.
If you purchase the book you will not be disappointed. You will have a solid foundation in the L&S stitch, some beautiful examples to look at and she even provides patterns complete with thread colors as a jumping off point.
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on February 9, 2016
I really like this book..clear instructions and pictures to teach the technique to any experienced embroidery artist.

Easy to translate the tools one learn to other projects.

Took a while to get this book as it was out of stock and I wanted a new copy but well worth the wait.
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on May 6, 2015
I have another book of hers and the work is exquisite. If you never do a project, just looking at the pictures is magical. By reading it, I have also learned a lot. The author has so much knowledge and talent. It is a book worth owing.
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on June 11, 2014
I got this book about the same time that I received others from this author. She continues to have great color combinations and hints for making the flowers look totally real. I am totally impressed with her books.
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on May 6, 2013
This embroidery instruction book is wonderful. Trish Burr has clear and concise instructions with beautiful pictures of each project. I read through the book and have now started on the first project. If you want to learn the long and short stitch of embroidery, this book is a must for your library.
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