The Maker’s Atelier – TheEssential Collection | review

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I was eagerly awaiting the publishing of The Maker’s Atelier – Sewing with style.  I have been a fan of Francis’ patterns since I first met her at a Selvage fair just after the Maker’s Atelier launched.

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The book contains 8 essential patterns, 2 of which are available as stand alone patterns.  The ultimate pencil skirt and raw edge coat, I have made both and they are brilliant.  The instructions are well written and make very easy to wear clothes.  Included within every pattern chapter are full instructions on how to make each garment, finishing details, how to make more with the pattern, fabric choices and lots of styling options.

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The patterns are for a pencil skirt, drape front top, cigarette pants, tie neck blouse, book bag, raw edge coat, wrap skirt & over-size t-shirt, with a size range from 32 inch bust to 46 inch bust.  I particularly like the asymmetric hem on the wrap skirt.

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With this book you can make a complete stylish wardrobe easily and is the first book for dressmaking I’ve found that I really love.  Others have been ok, but disappointing in some aspects. This has not disappointed!

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I’ve been looking for fabrics and have samples on their way, ready for me to choose!

 

This is not a sponsored review and I purchased the book myself.

Quilt Lab by Alexandra Winston

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Quilt Lab is unlike any quilting book I have read. Alexandra Winston has written a brilliant book based on maths and made it fun!  Never has the words Geometry made me turn a pages, because I get quilting Geometry!

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Flying Geese, Court house steps, drunkard’s path and circles all mathematical in their own way but so not scary.  The 12 projects range from a book cover, large cushion to full size quilts, each with full size templates  – so important as the desire to make can come at any time and not just when there is a photocopier in sight.

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Each quilted project has a little written about what inspired Alexandra to make the item and the projects range from straight forward to more tricky – so a great book not just for beginners.

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The circles are made with an interesting method, not quite portholes – brilliantly explained and each step has good photographic reference.

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I really like this book, full of interesting designs and really well explained – a must for this years Christmas list if you can wait that long.  The Molecular would defiantly be my first make, think it’s the hexagons calling!  Below is a you tube flick though of the book.

all images are ©C&T Publishing

Little Quilts by Sarah Fielke & Amy Lobsiger

IMG_4631This lovely little book flew through my letter box yesterday, after signing up for a Little Quilt swap over on instergram.  I fell in love with the adorable mini quilts that could grow into much larger designs and being small are achievable!  Seven little quilts have been designed by Sarah, Amy also designed 7 and the final quilt is a collaboration.

IMG_4623The book is packed with 15 projects, some machine pieced, hand stitched English Paper Piecing and embroidered.  grandma's house quiltGrandma’s House

There is lots of information on the piecing process, from foundation piecing,needle turning, english paper piecing, so a great book for someone wanting to explore new techniques and as the quilts are small – the results are so achievable.  All the patterns at the back are full size, so no need to dash out to enlarge templates.

IMG_4632The Cuttings quilt was made by both Sarah & Amy, a fantastic whimsical flower.

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There are lots of tips and time saving short cuts, some little quilts are 1 block, some are made up of several blocks.  Its a great collaboration between 2 wonderful quilting ladies and they have st up a flickr group and pinterest board for the little quilts.  Now all I have to do is choose which design I am going to make for the swap!

Scrappy Bits applique | book review

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Every quilter, sewer has scraps left over from projects and what to do with the smaller pieces can be tricky. Shannon has been creating things with her hands since she was a very young girl, but fell madly in love with modern quilting in college. Shannon is a modern quilter and this is a very modern take on appliqué methods.

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The book starts with the basics of raw edge appliqué techniques, advice on colour theory, quilt design, collage techniques and various finishing methods.

There are 8 projects in the book with charts so one can make a baby quilt up to king with full fabric requirements for the different sizes. Various quilting methods are explained and shown, along with basting techniques and advice.

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The Little fox is very cute and far from the South London manky fox I see! The half triangle boarder is brilliantly explained with lots of tips and makes sewing the Geese blocks so less challenging.

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Windy Poplar is very effective with the low volume background. The Elephant with its pieced background, Around the World would be an amazing gift for a gap year student or wall hanging. The book comes with templates, but as I had a PDF review copy I cannot say what size patterns are.
The fallen leaves cushions are a brilliant starting point; there is a lot of topstitching with the designs. This anchors the edge of the scraps and also adds definition to the designs.

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At the back there are lots of ideas and other quilts Shannon has made to inspire your imagination. I love The Kraken and Shannon has featured this quilt on her blog.

Nordic Crafts

nordic craftsMy wonderful local library had this fabulous little book hot off the press.  Nordic Crafts by Mia Underwood is brimmed full of crafts of all types, 30 projects in all.  Mia is half Danish and half English and manages to combine the best of both in her work and even has an Etsy store.

IMG_2012There are many different projects to choose from, boxes, trays and very handy items for the home.  Well explained and at the front each technique used within each project is shown with useful diagrams.

IMG_2016The swan nuno felt scarf is my favorite item in the book, so beautiful and a perfect Christmas gift!

IMG_2020Fabric star bunting would be perfect all year round.

IMG_2014The viking ship is a great project to make with a child and uses recycling, scraps of fabric, felt & buttons.  A wonderful decoration and one project I am going to make this week – I have 3 nephews that would love this!  The Danish love of coziness and comfort – ‘hygge’ – is reflected in patterns for felted slippers, embroidered mittens, and snoods for both adults and children.  Finally, there are things to make for the celebrations that come round every year, including the all-important Christmas decorations, and ideas for decorating your home at Easter, in the Scandinavian way.

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If you enjoy felting, knitting and sewing this is a perfect book to have on your book shelf, the one and only criticism is that most of the templates at the back do need to be enlarged by some 200% and is my one bugbear with many publishers – one just can not be spontaneous unless blessed with a full photocopying machine at home.  But in all that is just a tiny side, a really lovely book for any time of the year.