Beginning with the designs on the cover, we have a wonderful "Pride of Lions" which is another Joanne Aston masterpiece - she certainly does a mean wildlife picture. Its definitely not for the faint-hearted but worth a challenge as a long term project. I like the way she has used the lilac and violet half-stitches to full effect as a way of 'suggesting' the misty mountains in the background. You would be advised to use a threadsorter to label up the shades carefully - some of the shade numbers are very close to each other which can spell danger, if like me, you have a habit of stitching away then realising that you have been using a lighter shade!
The other cover photo is Jane Greenoff's Alphabet sampler which is stunning. It is taken from her latest book called "Antique Style Samplers" which I was lucky enough to get signed by the lady herself! I don't mind getting the chart in the magazine as it makes it easier to carry around in my craft bag -yes, I have it on my to-do list :-)
Sue Cooke's Nursery Rhyme set concludes this month with "Little Miss Muffet" (photo above) - her designs are very witty and charming - I love her use of colour and her wonderful charting skills are evident here as she makes Miss Muffet really look as if she is leaping in the air as the spider dangles down from its thread. Apparently the facial expression was the most difficult for Sue to capture, but she has done an amazing job of it.
Other charts in this issue include 4 Easter Parade cards by Lesley Teare (a duckling, a chick, a rabbit and a lamb) with each little animal surrounded by miniature traditional Spring-like flowers. If you like William Morris designs (he is a traditional English designer and artist), Maria Diaz has created some designs which fit onto wooden boxes (which you can buy via the magazine) - they would make an ideal Mother's Day present, if you can get stitching straight away! Christine Howes has put together a rather bright and stunning peacock using jewel colours (jade green, purples and oranges) and has added some sequins on its lower plummage which is effective.
Angela Poole presents the technical article this month - a 3 page special on how to create miniatures. It gives the history of Medieval and Royal miniatures, gives some useful tips about how to create them and also provides a buyer's guide of where you can source the materials on the Web.