In her Preface to this book, celebrated needlecraft authority Mary Thomas declares that, "embroidery, like every other art needs to be understood to be enjoyed. Once the rules of the game are known, there not only comes the urge to create with needle and thread, but a knowledge which enables the better appreciation of the old masterpieces, as well as those produced in our own day." With this ambition in mind, Miss Thomas takes the reader on an encyclopedic tour of the world of needle art. In an effort to develop a full appreciation of embroidery, she explores virtually every technique — indeed, she covers just about everything that can be done to fabric with a needle and thread, including Appliqué, Cutwork, Patchwork, Assisi cross stitch, Filet darning, Quilting, Blackwork, Hardanger embroidery, Smocking, Broderie Anglaise, Jacobean embroidery, and Tapestry. Over 30 different types of traditional needlework are introduced and explained in this book. Miss Thomas describes each technique, including historical background, then explains how each is worked. For further clarity, over 400 helpful illustrations are provided, including examples of "old masterpieces." The final chapter of the book offers technical hints and advice on materials and equipment. Experienced and novice needleworkers alike will appreciate Miss Thomas's treatment of the needlecraft arts both as an exploratory survey of their vast range and as a comprehensive reference work.