Tuesday, 14 August 2012

On my Bookshelf

I thought that today I would list some of the books I have found useful in my crafting.

The first one is Ribbons and Bows: Step-by-step Instructions for Over 50 Projects by Christine Kingdom.  This is a book I need to spend some more time with as it shows so many techniques.  There is a chapter on weaving which has some lovely project in it including cushions, table mats and coasters.  In the Embroidery chapter there is a beautiful Picture Frame project and a card you would be proud to produce. 
There are also chapters on: Applique and Patchwork, Bow Making, Rose making, Cutting and Glueing
There are well over 40 projects from Christmas Garlands to a Log Cabin Quilt and from a Bridal Head-Dress to a Wall Organiser.  Lots to inspire here!

Next on my shelf comes Stitch with Love: 11 Simple Stitches and Over 20 Easy-to-Sew Projects by Mandy Shaw.  I am a recent convert to Mandy Shaw and she probably focuses more on embroidery than I do.  I find her projects very inspiring, however, and very tastefully done.  Under the chapter headings:
Hearts, Sewing, Cooking, Baby Bunny, Garden, Buttons, Travel

There are about 22 projects.

Both Sew and Patchwork by Cath Kidston are again useful project books and would be great for beginners.
Sew! comes with a kit to make a small bag which, if you are new to sewing, will give you an insight into the techniques involve or, if you have been sewing for some time, gives you and immediate project to make.

The book is divided into "Basics", including Essential Equipment, Sewing Machines, Making the Patterns, Hems and Edges, Seams, Fastenings, Ties & Handles, Applique & Quilting and Decorative Details.  There are also 41 projects and the templates needed to complete these.

Patch! works on very similar lines.  This time the kit included makes a bag with a Dresden Plate patchwork on the front.

Again the book is divided up in a very useable way.  In "Basics" this time there is Essential Equipment, Machine Know-how, Sewing Basics, Traditional Techniques, Hand Applique, Embroidery & Embellishments, Embroidery Stitches and Choosing Fabrics.  Add to this the 33 project and the templates required and this is such a good resource.

In this book, particularly, I feel Cath has shown that lovely combination of age old techniques and her beautiful fabrics.

Heirloom Embroidery: Inspired Designer Projects with Beautiful Stitching Techniques by Jan Constantine is, much as the title says, about embroidery.  However in this book, how the embroidery is used on the projects it the important bit for me.  A quick count gives me 26 separate projects with a little applique and some beautiful embroidery patterns.  Jan's books show an elegance which I would love to think I could reproduce.

I am nothing if not consistent and went for Love Stitching: Iconic appliqué and hand-embroidery designs by Jan too.  This time she majors on felt.  Working with felt can be addictive and the lovely applique and is a really good book to get you started with this.  In addition to felt bases project she has others and a lot of detailed instruction on the top stitching.  It is, again, a beautiful and inspiring book with 20 plus project and the templates required.

My copy of Country Quilts in a Day: Using Strip Quilting and Other Speed Techniques by Fran Roen was first published in 1991 and doesn't look as up to date as some of my others.  However, with the idea of "using strip quilting and other speed Techniques" it hit the nail right on the head for me.  I love the idea of old fashioned quilting but I don't think I have the patience to  produce the amazing works of art that I have seen some people make.  This book has instructions for 18 different quilts.

Simple Sewn Gifts: Stitch 25 Fast and Easy Gifts by Helen Phillips was a book I bought when I first thought about selling what I made.  However it goes much further than that.  To be honest I would have it just for "Bunny Cuddles", one of the 20 plus projects. 

It has good photographs - always helpful - and all the templates you need for the projects.

Sewing in No Time by Emma Hardy follows the theme of quick and fairly easy project.  There are the necessary chapters on Techniques and Templates but this book is a hit when it comes to projects.  They come under the headings:
Relaxation Spaces (9 projects)
Kitchen and Dining Rooms (8 projects)
Bedrooms (10 projects)
Work and Play Spaces (9 projects)
Laundry and Bathrooms (8 projects)
Outer Spaces (6 projects)
(The book has been republished with a different cover picture since I bought this one but both versions seem to be the same)

Country Cottage Quilting: 15 Quilt Projects Combining Stitchery with Patchwork by Lynette Anderson gives more information on combining applique, embroidery and patchwork with 15 projects from small to large.  I felt this showed some very clever designs under the headings:
Cottage Garden (3 projects)
Vintage flowers (2 projects)
Birdhouse Garden (2 projects)
Walnut Tree Cottage (2 projects)
Flowers for Bees (2 projects)
My Favorite Garden (2 projects)
Go Wild Garden (2 projects)

I will copy this blog to its own page eventually so, if anyone has a book they would like to share please email me at  mailboxblue26-katiechucklemouse@yahoo.co.uk with a brief description of why you have found it useful.

The links are to Amazon as, in many cases, you get the opportunity to "Look inside".  which I find helpful.

Happy Crafting


  1. Love your choice of books, I have a few of them, I have others in my wish list! elvie x

    1. Thanks for your comment Linda. Do let me know if there are any books you would add and what you think of them.