Rainbow Knits by Nicki Trench, softback published by Cico Books. ISBN 9781782495642, price 12.99 available from makeetc.com
Just what the doctor ordered – colourful knits – a joy to wear and a pleasure to knit. Combine colour to make your life a happier place. This book includes projects for the the home and accessories to wear. There are 20 projects including bags, hat, cardigan, sweater, tank top, shawl, cowl (front cover image) and scarf. The clothes are basic designs. For babies and children there is a cardigan, sweater, two blankets, a rabbit and hat. Under home and gifts you’ll find gorgeous mittens, cushion, passport cover (could be adapted to a phone cover), a fair-isle bag knitted using a chart, a tie, leg warmers, and sweet embroidered purse that could double as a pencil holder. At the back of the book is a useful, illustrated techniques and finishing section covering the basics. Try your knitting skills working in stripes, or use ombre or variegated yarns.
Visual Guide To Patchwork & Quilting, softback published by Stash Books (C&T Publishing). ISBN 9781617455612, price 20.99 in the U.K. available from www.searchpress.com
Everything you need to know about patchwork and quilting in one handy volume. If you need visual guidance to quilt – here it is. The book has a nice feel to the cover and is visually appealing with all the bright, detailed photos. Everything is laid out in 8 comprehensive chapters. Tools & Supplies, Fabrics, Piecing, Applique, Quilting by Hand or Machine, Finishing, Beyond the Basics and Reference. Jam-packed full of useful tips and information. A complete handbook to know how to quilt plus projects and 25 block patterns. The blocks get you going with thinking about design and the projects hone your skills. This book will make you a better quilter. Slight niggles are some of the pics are too small. Overall I believe this is a book every quilter should have.
Free Motion Meandering by Angela Walters, softback published by Stash Books (C&T Publishing). ISBN 9781617455209, price 18.99 in the U.K. about from www.searchpress.com
Angela’s name has become synonymous with free-motion machine quilting. Find the basics about machine quilting and the tools that make it easier. Start with simple meandering and build your skills with every exercise or pattern. Master and practice – that is the key. This book provides you with all you need to know and learn the craft. Free-motion is a craft that needs (for most of us at least) hours of practice. This book is like a quilting course, it provides the challenge you need to keep practising and keep going. Colourful samples and line drawings with quilting directional arrows help you finish each square. Gosh this girl is he mean in meander – you’ve got swirly ons, paisley, feather and many other designs plus design tips. Brilliant.
Modern Stencils by Nicolette Tabram, softback published by Cico Books. ISBN 9781782495499, price 12.99.
Fresh-looking, inspired designs that can transform your home. 8 re-usable stencils, including paisley and floral designs enable even beginners at stencilling to produce professional-looking results. There are 35 projects for textiles, furniture, floors and walls to make your house a home. 11 projects concentrate on textiles, such as stencilling bags, tea towels, napkins, cushions, curtains, a jacket or apron and more. You could stencil your own fabric. Learn all about this craft – tools, basic techniques and inspiration. Instructions are easy to follow and the photographs are excellent.
Lagom Style Accessories by Debbie von Grabler-Crozier, softback published by Search Press. ISBN 9781782216070, price 7.99 in the U.K. from www.searchpress.com
20 Scandinavian-inspired projects to sew. Lagom is a Swedish philosophy for balance. Nicely designed projects, but I did think some of them looked for Swedish than others. There are projects to fall in love with here. Use stash and scraps to make simple designs that can transform your home or make perfect gifts. Step by step instructions are accompanied by excellent photos. Full-size templates are included too. You’ll find a basic techniques section. Favourite projects for me are the apron, plant pot cover, tote bag, apple kitchen set and the fabulous fabric basket.
Making Faces in Fabric by Melissa Averinos, softback published by Stash Books. ISBN 9781617455445, price 22.99 available in the U.K. from www.searchpress.com
Subtitled ‘Draw, Collage, Stitch & Show’ this book is just that and you need to bear that in mind. It gives you the techniques and know-how to make faces on fabrics, so it does not matter if you like the style or the drawings, you will be using the techniques to develop your own creativity. The book is divided into four parts named in the subtitle. Chapter One is about drawing and proportion – where does your nose fit into that face? Tips for drawing and positioning features. It is on a very basic level that is excellent for beginners. Chapter Two – selecting, cutting and positioning fabrics for a collage face. Chapter three is about stitching the collage in place.Chapter Four contains projects to try out your skills. A cushion, tote, wall art, embellishing a shirt. The book finished with a Gallery of work, both by the author and by students. It skims the surface using basic techniques that are detailed enough for anyone to have a go and produce reasonable results.
Quilting Book Review – Southwest Modern by Kristi Schroeder, softback published by Lucky Spool Media in the USA. ISBN 9781940655284, price 24.99, available in the U.K. from www.searchpress.com
18 beautiful modern quilts inspired by travel in the Southwest from Maria to New Mexico. Ancient motifs are transformed into contemporary quilts. This book contains imagery from the Southwest used to inspire and inform the design process. In truth the travel seems to have informed colour and little else. The fantastic scenery and imagery is not found on the quilt designs. I found it quite disappointing in that respect, and felt that the idea to marry the quilts to the travel idea was a little lacking, just a story to find a hook for the book. Nevertheless, the actual quilts are stunning and the book is beautifully produced with stunning photos and easy to follow instructions. There are templates at the back of the book.
Improvising Tradition by Alexandra Ledgerwood, softback published by Interweave. ISBN 9781620333372, price 20.99 available in the U.K. from www.searchpress.com
Modern and exciting improvisational methods of quilting. Great on design, colour and machine quilting with projects you’ll want to make. This is the sort of book where you want to start making immediately. The projects look fresh and usable and are based in tradition. This book introduces three improv piecing techniques and traditional techniques such as log cabins and needle turn appliqué to marry old and new with a complete twist. There are 18 projects in all with a wide range of appeal. The book includes Creating With Strips, Strata and Slice and Insert improv methods. There are design tips and information for quilting on your home machine as well as special instructions for piecing curves, sewing triangles, quilt as you go, needle turn appliqué and hand quilting. Instructions are very clear and beautifully presented and include at-a-glance Materials, cutting and finished size, construction and excellent photographs and diagrams. Projects include baby quilts, cushions, throws, table runners, coasters, wall hanging, table mats and quilts in different sizes. Recommended.
Small Art quilts by Deborah O’Hare, softback published by Search Press. ISBN 9781782214502, price 17.99 available from www.searchpress.com
Subtitled ‘Explorations in Paint & Stitch’, this book explores the flourishing textile art quilt movement. This is ‘art quilt’ as in creating pictures on fabric and using wadding as a sandwich, not the Art Quilt Movement that uses quilting to make a statement. It explains techniques by hand and machine to guide you through the process. Step-by-step instructions reveal the techniques offering guidance for every level of skill. Close-up photography shows the detail wonderfully. Find out all about the materials for art quilting, inspiration, using photos, design, colour, painting on fabric and creating small art quilts then embellishing them. Finishing techniques and some templates are included. Another good addition to the Textile Artist series. Sadly nothing new, painting techniques have been covered in many books on textiles, but lovely work.
Free-Motion Block Designs, softback published by C&T Publishing. ISBN 978161745625, price 9.99 in the U.K. available from www.searchpress.com
75 inspiring free-motion quilting block designs. Easy to see, easy to use and the spiral binding allows the pages to lie flat. The design is split over two pages for many of the designs however, so you need to hold the book at a slight angle first to see the genre of the design clearly. That’s far better than trying to hold open a book with a fixed spine. Useful for both domestic and longer machines, the designs come form various artists and they are all curvilinear designs. Lots of ideas and inspiration however there is no starting place marked on the designs, so it is difficult to know where to begin to stitch – you would have to work that out for yourself.