(starred review) Big is not always beautiful, but in the case of this stunning compendium, big is exactly beautiful. Every needle-wielder, whether novice or experienced, stands to learnand learn in a greatly enjoyable and remarkably clear waysomething new about any or all of the companion crafts that fall under the traditional heading of needlecraft. All the techniques and patterns that are featured in the textshown in exquisitely colorful and clear photographsare underscored with the sentiment that ages-old crafts can still result in contemporary-looking projects.... It would make little sense for any active crafts collection to not include this wondrous book.
Craft encyclopedias, where basic information about multiple crafts is provided in a single guide, seem to be big business, to judge from how many are being published these days. This one includes basics-and-beyond information about knitting, crochet, quilting (including patchwork and appliqué), embroidery, and sewing. The full-color illustrations are helpful, especially for more complex techniques, and the coverage has slightly more depth than in similar books. A variety of simple projects are also provided, but, oddly, they aren't at the end of each craft's section, but at the end of the book, so they're easy to miss. VERDICT This is a nice all-in-one guide, handy if shelf space (or money) is limited.