In recent months I have been very impressed with Cross Stitch Collection Magazine (Future Publications) - I bought it on and off over the years but have recently "rediscovered" it as a very worthwhile craft magazine. The magazine will appeal to a certain type of stitcher (intermediate to advanced) or for certain projects (medium to large sized - although the charts are easy to adapt and I have made smaller motifs from the larger designs). If you are looking for quick makes, you would be better buying Cross Stitch Crazy, Q&E Cross Stitch, etc. Cross Stitch Collection focuses on botanical and animal studies, human portraits etc, but there are also some really lovely samplers (modern and traditional) and projects which show originality and imagination. "A Good Read" always features something really interesting to look at over a cup of coffee! This month it is all about textile designs from South America by Carol Cathcart. The crossword is also great for lunch hour at work - and there is a prize to be won if you can re-arrange the letters to make a stitching word - since last month they have even added a Sudoku!
The Apache Wedding Blessing by Joan Elliott is just wonderful! The Blessing is dear to my heart as DH and I chose it as one of the readings at our Wedding in 2003 - so its definitely on my to-do list. It is very attractive, mainly worked in blues and rose pinks on a rustic aida fabric, with sead beads around the border. My only hesitation is that Joan Elliott's detailed style requires her to use a lot of fractionals which I do not particularly enjoy, however now that I have discovered the delights of evenweave, it may be easier. There is no back-stitching on this one, so that should please some people, although I actually enjoy it as it brings a project to life.
Other designs are a simply stunning Geisha Girl by Amy Adams, Sheila Hudson's spring-time Golden Daffodils to remind us that colour will shortly be splashed around England with those most beautiful of bulbs, Maria Diaz' Panda with a very unusual border where she has super-imposed bamboo stalks around the end of the design (stunning!), Sue Cook's series of Traditional Nursery Rhymes this month is Jack and Jill (last month was Humpty Dumpty). Cathy Bussi brings us some additional projects to sew: apart from her main chart "Love is like a Butterfly", she also shows how to make a fabric heart with cross-stitching on and a sachet for adding pot-pourri - all very romantic for Valentine's Day but I think I would be stitching it for me rather than DH :-) ... or else for a dear friend.
A big reason I have enjoyed Cross Stitch Collection magazine is that the letters page is actually very interesting!! San and I have always laughed together at some of the "corny" letters and editor's responses published in many of the Cross Stitch Magazines available, but the letters are genuinely interesting and readers often share some useful tips and experiences of stitching which I enjoy reading about!
At £3.99, it is good value and the proportion of advertising is not too much (what is advertised is interesting!).