I’m trying to do things differently. Trying to slow down and do the things I really want to do–as opposed to the things I feel I “should” do or “have to” do. I’m saying “no” to some things and a happy “yes!” to others. It’s all about balance. Part of that balance includes making room for more handwork. So when I was contacted by CPI/Quarto about reviewing some books, I said “yes!” to this one, The Hand Stitched Surface by Lynn Krawczyk.The book includes projects for fabric and projects for paper. Great ideas for getting started on some slow stitching. This book is less of an instruction manual and more of an inspirational reference book as it is filled with pages of stitch examples, tips about combining stitches and using color. Lots of good information.The coffee coasters jumped out at me–no surprise there. I grabbed some round objects from around the house, chose fabrics and started tracing circles. (There are templates in the book, but you know me…if I can make it without a pattern, I will.) And truly, circles are circles, so why bother. Anyway…I chose a solid broadcloth to go along with three different fabrics from Anna Maria Horner’s Loominous collection. Some black, gold, gray and cream Anchor pearl cotton, two pieces of batting scraps and I was good to go.One of the unexpected joys…a backside that’s just as interesting as the front. I’ve already pulled some Kaffe shot cotton to go with some Kaffe Artisan collection. A stack of these would be lovely to have on hand for gift giving too, don’t you think?If you’re looking for a project that doesn’t have a lengthy time frame, is something different from the usual sewing and quilting thing and gives you instant gratification, you might consider big stitching a small project. The book is available at retailers. You can find it at Amazon for our Kindle too.
Have you heard the news? Amy has a new book! Published by Chronicle Books and full of fun, scrappy projects, it belongs in your library. With specific patterns and plenty of inspiration to jump start your own creative works, Amy acts as a guide, helping you see potential for expressing yourself through your fabric stash. Regular readers know just how much I adore Amy and her creative output. It will be no surprise then, that I jumped at a chance to help promote her book. Chronicle kindly sent me a copy to review for the blog tour. It was hard to decide on a project–they’re all beautiful! In the end, time constraints from the ongoing bathroom remodel decided for me. Statement Necklaces!This project gives you a chance to put your favorites on display. You create your own little improv block and then embellish it. Since I’m not big on beads and bling, I incorporated ribbon from my Renaissance Ribbon stash. I pulled some of Amy’s Glow in voile for the neck straps and threaded them with beads. The soft feel of the voile is perfect for this type of application. I’m quite content to hang these from a peg as decoration. I love seeing my tiny scraps like this!I should warn you. These can be a bit addictive. You may find yourself gathering scraps for a small stack of them. Like I did. See…too pretty to hide. And honestly, if you’re short on time but need a creative fix, these are perfect! Also, if you find improv too intimidating, starting small is a great way to gain confidence. Amy knows this and she gently nudges you to explore new things. It’s something I love about her and I’m so delighted it comes through in the pages of this book.
As part of the book’s blog tour, Chronicle will be sending one lucky reader a beautiful package. The package includes a copy of Piece Keeping, a Fat Quarter bundle of Amy’s new collection, Eternal Sunshine and some of Amy’s ribbons for Renaissance Ribbons. The package will be sent directly from Chronicle to the winner. So without further ado, here are the details:
- Leave a comment on this post before the deadline to enter. Tell me about your scrap stash.
- One comment per reader. Duplicate entries will be deleted.
- You have until 12:00 midnight Pacific Standard Time on Monday, July 18, 2016 to enter.
- The winner will be selected by Random Number Generator no later than July 22, 2016. Winner will be notified by email and will have 7 days to respond. If winner does not respond, a new winner will be selected by Random Number Generator and notified by email.
A huge “Thank You!” to Chronicle for inviting me along on the blog tour, to Free Spirit for supplying the generous bundle and to Renaissance Ribbons for adding their gorgeous ribbons to the mix. And a huge hug and Thank You to Amy for sharing her talents and joy!
If you’re not a regular reader, please click back through my June posts for inspiration and project patterns using Amy’s new collection, Eternal Sunshine. Who knows? You just might have a fat quarter bundle and a book full of projects and inspiration to work with very soon.
Also, be sure to follow along with the tour and see what others have made:
· July 11 – Chronicle Books
· July 12 – The Root Connection
o Charming Garland
· July 13 – Suzy Quilts
o Pyramid Pillows
· July 14 – Rock Paper Scissors
o Dreamweaver Wall Art
· July 15 – 100 Billion Stars
o Statement Necklaces
· July 16 – Carrie Bloomston Unconfirmed
· July 17 – Late Night Quilter
o Tribal Cuffs
· July 18 – Crimson Tate
o Project Unconfirmed
· July 19 – A Gathering of Stitches
o Embellished Infinity Scarf
· July 20 – Heather Jones Studio
o Improv Pillows
· July 21 – Make It In Design
o Illumined Lamp Shades
The holidays approach, whether we’re ready or not. I’m not doing very well on my gift buying list but it seems too early to panic. I did manage one purchase though.My friend Jenean recently published this amazing coloring calendar. Wrapped up with some colored pencils or markers, it will be a gift that keeps on giving all year round. Actually, any of her coloring books make great gifts. There’s something very soothing about sitting and quietly coloring. Another book that’s getting a lot of press recently is Sarah Fielke’s Old Quilts, New Life. I love the concept behind this book. Seeing the original inspiration quilt with two different interpretations is very inspiring. Sarah keeps one of her interpretations sympathetic to the original while the second gets a modern makeover. My favorite is the cover quilt, although truth be told…I don’t know if I have the patience for that many HST’s. My other favorite, surprisingly, is this one…I’m keeping this book for myself. Sarah’s books, along with Kathy Doughty’s and Kaffe’s, serve as occasional inspiration for me. Something about the diversity of style and the use of color can jump start the creative engine.
There are books that I occasionally add to my reference library. This recent purchase resulted from Susan’s recommendation. (Thank you, Susan!) Loaded with history, this book covers a lot of ground and provides plenty of photos. Like this amazing wedding quilt by Carl Klewicke from 1901. It was made from silk, faille, taffeta and satin. Wow. Just “wow”.And proof that “modern” is a really silly way to talk about quilts. This quilt, Railroad Crossing with Zig Zag Border by Christina Yoder Schlaabach was made in 1928, looks perfectly at home in the “modern” quilt movement of our present day.And one last recommendation, The 1718 Coverlet.This book contains 69 blocks from this coverlet as well as information on the mosaic piecing method used for the original. Quite inspiring.
And there you have it–my list of recommendations for your holiday wish list. If you think Santa isn’t going to oblige you, take matters into your own hands. You won’t be sorry!