Book Review – Judith Baker Montano’s Essential Stitch Guide

Confessions of a Cross Stitcher

Judith Baker Montano’s Essential Stitch Guide

by Judith Baker Montano
C&T Publishing

Judith Baker Montano's Essential Stitch Guide

 

Hey all you fabulous stitchers out there, what do you say we look at a book loaded with good stuff?! Let’s get started shall we?

I was a hand embroiderer way before I was a cross stitcher and it was easy to make the transition from one to the other because many of the stitches can be interchanged. With that being said, having embroidery stitch books for reference is across the board important no matter what kind of stitching you do but knowing which books are keepers for this purpose is sometimes not so easy. This one handy little tome is one I highly recommend for your reference shelf.

The Author

First of all, this author has a vast pool of experience and knowledge gleaned from years of being a creative stitcher. She started from childhood learning how to sew from family members and then progressed to quilting, crazy quilting, embroidery and fiber art. Her longevity in the needle arts proves to me that this is not a job but a passion for her and someone ideally positioned to show me the ropes.

The Book

Judith Baker Montano's Essential Stitch Guide - O Ring binding
O Ring binding is really helpful!

The physical attributes of this essential stitch guide make it a handy size to have close by when stitching and to carry with you when traveling. It is about 6.5″ wide and 9″ tall (16.51cm x 22.86cm). These are the measurements for the cover which is a bit larger than the actual pages. It has hidden O-wire binding which allows it to lay flat and when it is shelved you can see the title on the spine. The paper is a nice heavy stock that will last for years if not generations. At 192 pages it is substantial but not heavy to carry.

The Contents of The Essential Stitch Guide

This is Judith’s Best of “Elegant Stitches” and “Floral Stitches” books so you are getting two books in one.

The Table of Contents gives you a clue as to the information it holds…..

*Getting Started with the Basics
*Embroidery Stitches
*Silk Ribbon Stitches
*Other Ribbon Techniques
*Advice for Left-Handers
*Crazy-Quilt Combinations
*Free-Form Embroidery

How’s that for a great variety of topics!

Judith Baker Montano's Essential Stitch Guide - Algerian Eye Stitch
Algerian Eye Stitch

 

Judith Baker Montano's Essential Stitch Guide - Silk Ribbon Stitch
Silk Ribbon Stitch

 

See Also

Judith Baker Montano's Essential Stitch Guide - Buttonhole Stitch Variations
Buttonhole Stitch Variations

The book is filled with great stitching diagrams that are easy to follow. Beautiful illustrations and photos abound to add more information about the subject matter, along with helpful hints. It is great she thought to combine embroidery and silk-ribbon stitches in one volume since many stitchers combine the two, so how handy is that?! Then add a bit about crazy-quilting and you have a pretty comprehensive book of how-to goodness. A handy index of all the stitches is in the back for easy access.

Judith Baker Montano's Essential Stitch Guide - Free Form Collage Embroidery
Free Form Collage Embroidery

 

Judith Baker Montano's Essential Stitch Guide - Crazy Quilt Example
Crazy Quilt Example

The Takeaway

With over 180 stitches and 70 combinations, all packed into a convenient size and format, this is a valuable and essential stitch guide for any stitcher. It is not an A-Z compendium of all the stitches in the world but it isn’t meant to be. It is a quick reference for much loved and used stitches by an expert who definitely knows her stuff and is graciously sharing it. I don’t have a lot of extra space (anymore) and am not independently wealthy, so I am careful about spending my hard-earned cash. This book checks all the boxes as far as practicality, usability and quality and deserves a spot in any stitcher’s reference cadre.

What are you waiting for?  Go get your copy from the handy link below!

Judith Baker Montano’s Essential Stitch Guide

by Judith Baker Montano
C&T Publishing

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