Book Review – Stitch The Halls by Sophie Simpson

Stitch The Halls by Sophie Simpson

Mr X Stitch Book Review

It’s no secret – I’m a big fan of Sophie Simpson, aka WhatDelilahDid. I thought her first book was great and I was pleased to see her coming back for a second round. This time, Stitch the Halls: 12 Decorations to Make for Christmas gives you a dozen simple, elegant festive designs to stitch up in time for Xmas!

Stitch The Halls by Sophie Simpson - Stocking

Sophie has a great eye for design and her book is filled with ideas that hit the right balance between nostalgic and modern. From geometric gems to animal silhouettes, Sophie’s simple style permeates throughout the book, making it a charming Christmas cross stitch compendium. As with her last book, the instructions are clear and the design of the book makes it easy to get going. The designs break down into individual elements that can be easily reconfigured in a multitude of ways – twelve designs is just the tip of the iceberg.

Stitch The Halls by Sophie Simpson - Gems

I asked Sophie to tell us a bit more about the book – here’s what she had to say:

The decorations in Stitch the Halls are some my favourite projects I have ever done – I had them all pinned up on my wall while I was making the book and felt totally bereft when it was time to take them all down and send them off to my publisher!

“Sometimes when I finish a big project I am sick of the sight of it for at least 6 months, but I just can’t get enough of this one. I think maybe because most of the designs are quite small I didn’t get the chance to overdose on them. And I got to indulge all of my multiple personalities in one place – the period drama throwback, the country bumpkin and the ultra-modern style geek all have a place in the book.

See Also

“I am already planning to make a bunch more of the mini Christmas jumpers this year (one of my favourite projects from the book) and can’t wait to fill up my advent tree come December!

Stitch The Halls by Sophie Simpson - Bunting

Stitch The Halls is a great addition to the cross stitch pattern book world, and if you’re thinking of stitching for Christmas then this is a great place to start.  Stitch the Halls: 12 Decorations to Make for Christmas is published by Pavilion Books and is available from all good retailers. Why not get yours from our Amazon store?

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  • Christmas is usually pretty quiet in our house but one year it was, er, livened up by our cat. My (then quite small) sister was cuddling the cat and showing him “all the pretty baubles on the tree”. He, of course, thought all these shiny things were very exciting and swiped at the nearest one with his paw. My sister panicked and stepped backwards, but the cat’s claws were stuck in the bauble and together they pulled the whole tree over! CRASH! MIAOW! WAAAAH! Luckily nothing (and no-one) was too badly hurt, and we all laughed and laughed while clearing up the scattered debris.

  • Hrm, well I still think the best Christmas Present I ever got was my Strider action figure from Lord of the Rings. It was our first, or maybe second, Christmas and I had forgotten to give my husband my list. So I got Nightmare Before Christmas on DVD, a B&N gift card and the action figure because it was the one that looked most like Viggo Mortensen. I know it probably took him two min to decide but, just imagining him in the toy isle of Walmart making the decision on which action figure looks most like the man your wife fantasizes about, is what makes me love my husband.

  • One year we celebrated Christmas before Thanksgiving complete with a real tree and decorations due to an upcoming big move. The look the paperboy gave us when collecting his bi-weekly pay was priceless. I’m sure he thought we were insane.
    This was way before people started putting up their decorations after Thanksgiving.

  • In the early 1980s, my mother had collected the pure white Nativity scene from Avon. Mary, Joseph & Baby Jesus in his cradle were displayed in the center of our coffee table. That Christmas, someone had given my grandmother a fancy wooden toilet seat. She was holding it up for all to see when she dropped it, right onto the table. Baby Jesus was broken away from his cradle, but luckily there was no other damage. We still laugh about the Year Grandma Broke Jesus 🙂

  • Growing up in the south suburbs or Chicago, my mother and I took an annual trip to downtown to see the windows on State Street and do a little shopping. We started a tradition of buying or making a new ornament each year. This started with a set of white doves from Marshall Fields. The doves had real feathers as tail feathers. The cats saw this a challenge, and stalked the birds, knocking over the tree and ‘killing’ one of the birds for several years. I’d come home from school to find the leftovers on the living room rug and the tree on its side. A few of them managed to survive and are now on my brothers tree. Those that did make it were placed in a box that my father marked with the words “Boids! Dunt Smesh!” I still have the box and all my homemade ornaments are safely stored in that box.

  • As a little boy, being Jewish, my husband’s family did not celebrate Christmas – except to gather their Chanukah presents under the TV set, as if it were a Christmas tree!

  • We go to midnight mass on Christmas Eve with my husbands family to sing carols which is always really festive. We normally start out in the pub and get collected by my mother-in-law and then off to church. One year we took my husbands brother to the pub with us, he was only about 18 and was I think showing off by drinking quite a lot. When we got to church there was a lot of incense swirling around. We sung our hearts out and as the first carol ended my young brother-in-law suddenly said (pretty loudly) ‘Move out the way, I’m going to be sick’- and ran out the church. We were all mortified as people turned round to look at us. He blamed the incense. Still does.

  • When my grandchildren were younger, single friends would always do a double take to see my decorated tree sat in a large playpen. My parent friends merely congratulated me on my redundancy guard (tying the top of the tree with picture-wire & attaching it a ceiling hook).

  • When I was about 7 I was terribly excited on Christmas morning, so excited that it was only later in the day I realised I wasn’t wearing any knickers. Thanks for a great giveaway.

  • This is my mom’s favorite story-
    I had a lot of cousins growing up and we all would get one toy and one pack of underpants. One year all the cousins unwrapped the toy, but my brother unwrapped the underpants. He looked around at everyone’s toy and just burst into tears.

  • Our church was putting on a nativity production for the community and I was drafted to play Mary–as a surly 15 year old I was not thrilled about appearing as the mother of the Son of God clothed in sheets and surrounded by shepherds in bathrobes, among whom was the bane of my existence, my 9 year old brother. My father, a deacon in the church and narrator for the play, was insistent that I participate. Since he was also the source of Santa Claus’ funding, I agreed the show must go on. We were in the home stretch…the audience was singing “Silent Night”…they had just belted out the line “round yon virgin, mother and child” when my brother leaned over to my father, who was holding the microphone, and asked, loudly enough for all to hear even without the mike, “How do they know Becki’s a virgin?”. I’m sure if there was a record for Loudest, Longest Laughter by Nativity Play Audience, it was set that night. I still cringe, and punch my brother in the arm if he’s around, when I hear “Silent Night,” almost 30 years later.

  • At my daughters first Christmas at home with my parents, we had decorated the tree, and, I admit it smells nice and looked very pretty.. and both tasty and delicious apparently, because every time I got her close to one of the branches she leaned forward and tried to eat it. needles and all. 🙂 Time to take it ind with all senses.

  • Apparently as a child, one of my favourite things to do would be to walk around in the christmas tree box when putting up the decks. Until that is I fell over… Unable to put my hands out, all I could see was the floor coming towards me through the eye holes I’d created. What everyone should see were my feet flapping around!

  • When my daughter was younger she found some chocolate buttons in her Christmas stocking and woke the whole house up by running downstairs to put them in the fridge as that is where mummy keeps her chocolate and she didn’t want it to go bad . She then found the presents under the tree and we all had to get up. This was 3am and we’d only been in bed 2 hours. Funnily enough, Father Christmas never left chocolate in her stocking again!

  • One of my funniest — and best! — Christmas memories involves the year we told our families that we were expecting our first child. We decided to reveal the big news by giving our dads “World’s Best Grandpa” shirts. My dad got it immediately; my husband’s father, however, was puzzled and thought he had opened the wrong gift. My mother-in-law was going crazy with excitement as soon as she saw it, but we still had to patiently explain it to him before he realized what it meant. We still chuckle at the memory!

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