I bought this book mainly because it was on sale when our local Borders closed but also because I wanted a stitch dictionary. You can check it out on Amazon. The reviews there are positive and the one complaint I saw was that there weren’t any patterns for the finished projects shown. This book is a stitch guide and is not meant to show you how to do specific projects. It does show hand stitched pieces for examples and inspiration but its main strength is that it has photographs of all the stitch steps with written instructions for each step.
The first portion of the book is about getting started and it goes over fabrics, threads, needles, transferring designs, how to begin and end and hoops. Throughout the book there are tips about using the stitches and solving common problems. The book includes over 150 different stitches and variations of a variety of stitches. All of the stitches are in alphabetical order making it simple to look up one stitch easily.
The photographs of each stitch are very clear and the instructions are easy to follow. If you have difficulty following stitch diagrams, this book is for you. It shows many more steps with photos than a stitch diagram does and makes even complicated stitches easy to understand. I am not particularly interested in ribbon embroidery, but for those that are, there are quite a few examples of stitches used in ribbon embroidery.
I recommend this book if you are looking for a stitch dictionary that is reasonably priced and shows step by step photos. This book does not give you any embroidery patterns and is not experimental embroidery. It shows the basic stitches and how to do them. I refer to it when I’ve forgotten how to do a stitch (who me, forget something???) or when I want to learn a new stitch and I’ve found it very helpful.