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Book review Beginner’s Guide to Linocut by Susan Yeates

Book review Beginner’s Guide to Linocut by Susan Yeates, softback published by Search Press. ISBN 9781782215844, price 9.99 available from www.searchpress.com

A slim yet good guide to linocuts for beginners at a very reasonable price. Every step is explained and you will quickly be able to make prints. Try your hand at 10 projects by using the full-size templates. You can also inject your own creativity and make your own designs. Find out about linocut, materials, workspace, techniques, projects and templates. Discover how to draw, cut, print and repeat. Great step by step instructions with colour photos making it so easy to follow. Fun projects. I found the section photograph to linocut very interesting. This book covers more than just the basics, including working with text and two-tone prints, printing wrapping paper, gift tags and cards, labels, colour blends and printing on fabric. Recommended for beginners.

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Book Review Stack & Cut by Sara Nephew & Marci Baker

Book Review Stack & Cut Hexagon Quilts by Sara Nephew & Marci Baker, softback published by C&T Publishing. ISBN 9781617454691, price 24.99 in the U.K. available from www.searchpress.com

38 kaleidoscope blocks and 12 quilt settings. This book includes information on tools, cutting, selecting fabrics, planning and block design, binding and more. You can see all 38 blocks at a glance at the beginning of the book. They vary from a simple mix n’ match or the lamp design to the more complicated Flash Dance and Dew. The quilt designs, vary from two- to -eleven block designs, plus a three block design in the round and other designs. There are also triangle designs and border designs. The book explores the usual 6-layered fabric technique to produce kaleidoscopes. The block designs are shown as line drawings only. The instructions are given for making a wedge. The quilt designs are shown as finished quilts and as line drawings in colour. The quilt designs mix and match block design, settings and colours. The projects include a table runners, wall hanging, small quilts such as lap size and larger quilts. The designs are shown in a variety of fabrics and with alternatives. Templates are given at the back of the book. If you are not already in love with hexagon quilts and their potential, you will be after looking at this book. Absolutely superb.

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Book review Just Stitch by Lesley Turpin-Delport

Book review Just Stitch by Lesley Turpin-Delport and Nikki Delport-Wepener, softback published by Metz Press. ISBN 9781782216810, price 14.99, available in the UK from www.searchpress.com

Originally published in South Africa, this book is all about stitching with a theme of flora and fauna. It appears to be a reprint from 2008, so be aware if you already have the book with a different cover. The book starts with materials, techniques including wire-edged applique, Barbola (unwired stumpwork) and more unusual techniques such as three-dimensional forms. The projects are fantastic, not the simple projects often found in books, but real projects that a stitch artist would make. However, the instructions might not be comprehensive enough for some. They are certainly not step-by-step. The three-dimensional gerberas are a favourite. The cover is a Bougainvillea. The projects are colour-themed. A double-paged spread of related objects is given as inspiration, followed by the projects for that colour range. The effect is ruined by poor photo-editing. The templates at the back of the book need to be enlarged and are detailed. An inspiring book that would have been a lot better if someone on the editorial team knew how to edit the images – they are dull, and injected a better layout. I feel the projects with these instructions are beyond the beginner. This is a book for those who already understand three-dimensional embroidery, as such it is very good.

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Book review Wedge Quilt Workshop by Christina Cameli

quilt bookBook review Wedge Quilt Workshop by Christina Cameli, softback published by Stash Books (C&T Publishing). ISBN, price, available in the UK from www.searchpress.com

It’s always nice to see a new quilt book that presents something really different. This book is dedicated to wedges and ways in which to use them. The book is divided into Basic Round Construction, Round Variations and Beyond Rounds. In the introduction, you’ll see photos from the Volckening collection of quilts. You’ll discover wedge basics, rulers, shapes, possibilities and formulas. In the first chapter, you’ll see all the essentials, information and avoiding the pitfalls of construction. The projects hone your new found skills. Instructions are clear and easy to follow with great photos and line drawings. In chapter two, you’ll learn some variations on the theme. These tend to be fabric oriented i.e. scrappy, two colour wedges and not variations on using wedges in innovative design ways. Another three projects follow. Chapter three is about designing wedges that are not in the round. There is no design instruction as such, this section goes straight into five more fantastic projects. That’s ten projects in all of varying sizes. The book finishes with some basic quilting techniques such as machine applique and setting in a circle. There are some ideas for quilting. The afterword explains the creative making of the Sacred Heart quilt. A very enjoyable and informative book on quilting wedges.

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Book review Stitched Memories by Tilly Rose

bookBook review Stitched Memories by Tilly Rose, softback published by Search Press. ISBN 9781782215653, price 12.99 available from www.searchpress.com

What better than taking a walk down memory lane and creating crafts? Each project is a treasure trove of memories. Vintage cloth, found objects and embroidery combine to create textiles that tell a story. Shabby chic keepsakes that make a house a home. Discover layering, collage and other fabric skills to create meaningful artworks that celebrate your most treasured memories and perhaps even become family heirlooms. This book includes design inspirations, tools, objects, techniques and 15 wonderful projects. The projects include a needle case, cloth book, stitch bobbin, journal, quilt, stamped fabric, wall hanging, hoop art, panel, book cover, book wrap, purse, heart, patchwork and tags. Practical projects that anyone can achieve. A wonderful book for all lovers of vintage and country style.

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Book Review The Encyclopedia of Printmaking Techniques by Judy Martin

printmakingBook Review The Encyclopedia of Printmaking Techniques by Judy Martin, softback published by Search Press. ISBN 9781782216452, price 12.99 available from www.searchpress.com

This is a review of the 2018 edition. A new and updated edition of this classic bestseller. Printmaking is a wide subject with many specialisms. If you are unsure and wish to explore, this book is a good place to start because you can try out the different techniques. Discover and develop your skills is the key of this book. Information is highly visible with many illustrations throughout. Step by step demonstrations give you a real taste of the techniques. It covers tools and techniques, monoprints, linocut, woodcut, wood engraving, collage, screen printing, drypoint, mezzotint, etching, intaglio and lithography as well as some themes. It serves as an introduction so that you can get a feel for the techniques you wish to explore further. Linocut is one of the most popular techniques and has 8 pages in this section dedicated to planning, cutting, proofing and printing as well as printing in colour. Thorough and concise.

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Painting Book Review – Complete Guide to Watercolour by David Webb

Complete Guide to Watercolour by David Webb, softback published by Search Press. ISBN 9781782215738, price 15.99 available from www.searchpress.com

From beginners up this book, one of an excellent series, provides all the techniques and essential skills you need to begin to understand watercolour and paint your first paintings. There is no doubt that watercolour takes skill and understanding and that how it works is key to being able to use it. Understand the medium, learn how to mix, apply and more. This great watercolour primer will help you achieve success. Washes, resists, colour charts, design and perspective, texture, step-by-step demonstrations and fabulous finished art. The only thing it does not include is a loose style.

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Embroidery Book Review – Joyful Daily Stitching by Valerie Bothell

Joyful Daily Stitching Seam By Seam by Valerie Bothell, softback published by C&T Publishing. ISBN 9781617455513, price 22.99 in the U.K. available from www.searchpress.com

Encouraging you to stitch a little every day, this book will be a big hit with embroiderers and lovers of stitch. Make samplers and treat the seam like a goddess. Use different threads and silk ribbons to produce creative work. First it shows you how to piece crazy quilting style. Next up are several embroidery stitches in step-by-step demonstrations but with small photos. I think this section could have been done much better. 500 stitch combinations are shown in full colour but without instructions, so you need to flip back to the embroidery stitch section to see how to do the stitches. I think there is enough here to keep beginner embroiderers happy, I am just not that keen on the layout of the book.

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Quilting Book review – Quilted Throws by Sanae Kona

Quilted Throws, Bags & Accessories by Sanae Kona, softball published by Search Press. ISBN 9781782216292, price 14.99 available from www.searchpress.com

A delightful collection of quilting projects based on traditional techniques. These include patchwork, EPP and appliqué using traditional motifs such as hexagons and techniques such as log cabin. There are 28 projects including bags, throws, punches, table runners and more. All practical and useful with a timeless beauty. You’ll see photos of all the projects at the beginning of the book, followed by tools, materials and techniques. The latter section is detailed and illustrated by many photos, albeit small ones. The instructions are good. Each project has a materials section, a project diagram, cutting instructions and step by step illustrated construction steps. This book teaches so much – techniques including broderie perse, mitred corners and more. You use different shapes, so it covers much of what you need to learn about quilting whilst you are making wonderful projects to enhance your home or give to friends. Only a few of the project instructions are in colour, the rest are in black and white. There is a pull-out template sheet.

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Book Review Modern Quilts by Riane Menardi et al

Book Review Modern Quilts by Riane Menardi, Alissa Haight Carlton and Heather Grant, softback published by Stash Books (C & T Publishing). ISBN 9781617455988, price 33.99 available in the U.K. from www.searchpress.com

I know so many traditional quilters, but modern quilts are so very interesting, not only from an artistic and design viewpoint, but also that most of us live in modern homes and these quilts fit better into our lifestyles. Subtitled ‘Designs of the New Century’ this book reveals modern quilt design. It explains the role of the Modern Quilt Guild and showcases some of the best modern designs. The history of modern quilting is tackled in chapters dealing with the stages: Before 1998; 1998-2004; 2005; 2005-2008; 2009 each highlighting key years and developments and finally the movement becoming mainstream. It’s a brief written history, fabulously illustrated with incredible quilts. That’s the focus of the book – the quilts. You’ll see simplicity, minimalism, deconstruction, blocks, text, colour, early improv, geometrics, pictorials and much more. No patterns, no how-to, just visual delight tracking the early beginnings of modernism right up to today.