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Linda Gillum, Barbara Baatz Hillman, Sandy Orton, and Nancy Rossi are all staff designers with Kooler Design Studio. The group has a web site at www.koolerdesign.com.
Don't let the cover (a dizzying close-up of a giant, man-eating, pink-toned peony blossom) dissuade you from diving into this impressive collection of 38 counted cross stitch designs by four needleworkers. Each has her own style and presents a candy store of patterns in varying degrees of difficulty for a range of talents. Gillum, a founding partner in Kooler Design Studio in California, offers fish, cats and a patriotic carousel horse. Hillman's designs include a kimono and a Celtic angel (green with pink and orange accents) along with ones of fruits and flowers, dotted with her signature dew drop. Orton's designs extend from time-consuming projects ("Nature's Wisdom") to bookmarks that can be stitched in a week. Rossi, with the studio since its founding in 1985, concentrates on still-lifes from nature; "Moonlit Cranes" is as compelling as traditional art. Brief instructions, not for the absolute newbie embroiderer, are general enough to help most cross stitchers, who will find finishing directions for the bookmarks especially helpful. Patterns are clear and color-coded. - Publisher's Weekly: 09/09/2011