Book review: “Cross Stitch Christmas: 20 Beautiful Designs for the Festive Season” = 3.5*

I always aim to be honest in my reviews and that means I will rave about a book when it is incredible, but I will also say where I found a book lacking. To give a “star rating” for this book was really hard because the cross stitch designs themselves are an absolute 5* but the book’s layout and presentation wasn’t cohesive. This meant that I gave ‘Cross Stitch Christmas’ an overall review of 3.5*.

As you can see from the contents page, there is a wide range of cross stitch designs from festive foliage to Christmas animals, and from advent to alphabets. Each design is so beautiful, classy and fabulously photographed.

Alongside each cross stitch design there is a page of writing and this is where I felt the book was not cohesive. The introduction doesn’t explain what these writing pieces are about and they seem to be tips and ideas for festive activities but as there is no information, it isn’t easy to follow or to understand.

The charts for each cross stitch are not located alongside the project. Instead, you have all the photos of the designs with the festive tips/ideas/activities alongside them and once that’s presented then you have 20 pages of cross stitch charts.

This then makes it difficult to navigate the book as you have to flick back and forth between the charts and the photo of the finished design (so for the ‘Those Little Extras’ project you are then flicking back and forth between page 64 for the chart and page 15 for the project). Having reviewed lots of Search Press books, they typically present the instructions alongside the photos of the project so it feels at odds with their usual, reader-friendly, layout.

Following the photos of the projects, and then the charts, there is a “techniques and making up” section. Again, the layout means that I didn’t find this book reader-friendly as it feels counterintuitive to include instructions at the end of the book on preparing your fabric, tips for whilst you are stitching and ‘how-to cross stitch’.

So, all in all, this book has some really and truly stunning cross stitch designs but, as it felt that it lacked cohesion, I averaged it out to a 3.5* review.