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The Best of Kooler Design Studio Cross Stitch Collections - Book Review

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The Best of Kooler Design Studio Cross Stitch Collections - Book Review
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The Best of Kooler Design Studio Cross Stitch Collection is packed with 208 pages featuring 38 main designs from four outstanding staff designers from Kooler Design Studio. This compilation includes 8 designs from Linda Gillum, well known for her florals, pets, and samplers, 9 designs from Barbara Baatz Hillman, including her feature florals; 13 of Sandy Orton's sampler and bookmark designs; and 8 designs from Nancy Rossi featuring her still lifes and landscape designs. The book was published in 2011 by Leisure Arts in large format paperback format, ISBN 9781609003555 Suggested price $24.95

Good Basic Information and Well Illustrated Patterns

As with all the other Kooler Design Studio books the first few pages have clearly illustrated information to present all the stitches used in the book, along with tips on preparing fabric, blending threads and finishing. The stitches used in the designs are the standards:

Some designs also need French knots, straight stitch and beading and the book gives instructions for these stitches as well as how to blend threads for the designs where those are featured. The designs are presented in easy to read black and white symbols, with backstitches and other featured stitches clearly marked by colored lines or symbols. Larger designs are broken up onto several pages, with clear overlaps to allow a stitcher an easy transition when reading the charts. All designs feature a full size photo of a completed and framed sample.

Wide Range of Designs For All Skill Levels

The book has designs of all sizes, from appealing bookmarks worked on 14 count Aida, to a wide range of samplers and full pictures. All stitchers will appreciate the variability in the designs, as many of the smaller designs featured in samplers can be used for other purposes, from stand alone pieces in small frames to dollhouse scale cushions if worked on the right fabric. The designs range from an intricate celtic angel, to a seashore landscape scene, to samplers, with the most detailed landscapes and full designs being just under 200 x 200 stitches and individual segments of samplers measuring around 35 stitches square. The designs included are shown for the main part worked on 14 count Aida, although some designs are worked over 28 count Monaco Evenweave, and others over 28 count Linen. The color charts are given for DMC threads.

Designs Included in the Compilation

Linda Gillum

  • A Tale of Three Fish - Coho Salmon, Bass, and Rainbow Trout
  • The Kiss of the Sun - Poem
  • Animals - Illustrated Alphabet Sampler
  • One Can Never Have Too Many Cats
  • Yankee Doodle Dandy - Carousel Horse Picture
  • The Animals Came Two by Two - Noah's Ark
  • Willow Ware Classic - Willow Ware with tulips and fruit
  • Summertime Sampler - Cute bears in a variety of sampler scenes.

Barbara Baatz Hillman

  • A Perfect Peony - Detailed Peony Flower
  • My Favorite Hat Collection - Hat sampler with a black and white checked stand.
  • Spring Fever - Sampler featuring spring flowers and birds
  • Celtic Angel
  • Crate Labels - Carrots, Lemons, and Tomato designs in slightly different styles.
  • Oriental Kimono - Chrysanthemum and butterfly design
  • Country Nasturtium - Detailed Nasturtium Flower and Leaf

Sandy Orton

  • Bless Our Family - Sampler
  • My Old-fashioned Paper Doll - paper doll with clothes
  • Nature's Wisdom - Floral blocks with saying
  • To Everything There is a Season - Autumn Sampler
  • The Lord is My Shepherd - Illustrated Prayer
  • Assorted Bookmarks - Hummingbirds, Mr. Atomic, A Lady and Her Books, Fish School, Monkey See - Monkey Do, Treasure Within
  • Give Us Lord a Bit o' Sun - Saying
  • Simple Blessings - Traditional Red Sampler

Nancy Rossi

  • Autumn's Harvest Wreath
  • Dreaming of Tuscany - Landscape
  • Bless Thee and Keep Thee - Blessing with a border of fruit and doves.
  • Birdhouse Neighborhood - Five birdhouses with birds on a shelf.
  • The Woods Behind My House - Page from a naturalist's notebook
  • Moonlit Cranes - Japanese style bordered banner with cranes
  • A Moment of Tranquility - Shells on a beach backdrop
  • Around the Pointe - Landscape with Lighthouse

Who Would Like This Book?

With its mainly contemporary designs and colors, the wide range of styles and themes in this book will be used by any level of cross stitcher who likes to work on designs and samplers for themselves and friends. The designs range widely, so there are items for children's rooms as well as light hearted samplers, traditional samplers, and mottos, as well as outstanding modern florals, landscapes, oriental designs. This is a great book for anyone who wants to try the best from four very talented designers who have made their mark in the world of cross stitch design.



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Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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