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June Book Reviews

Fabric Manipulation
by Ruth SingerFabric Manipulation 150 Creative Sewing Techniques by Ruth Singer

This book contains 150 fabric manipulation techniques split into the 3 following categories: pleat and fold, stitch & gather and apply & layer. Some of the many techniques covered include box pleating, shirring, American smocking, English smocking, Suffolk puffs, trapunto, 3d appliqué and quilting.

As with most books this book commences with details of the different fabrics, tools and supplies used in the book.  It also covers some of the basic techniques and stitches used. Then it goes into the fabric manipulation techniques themselves.

Each of the techniques is accompanies by beautiful hand drawn diagrams and photos illustrating every step (see image).  Plus of course written instructions, but the focus is very much on the visual.  Different variations and techniques are shown, as well as a few projects scattered throughout the book.

I like that at the front of the book Ruth has added tips on how to use this book to create your own style, how to take her ideas further and make them unique to you.  I think this beautiful book would encourage any reader to start experiment with different fabric manipulation techniques.

This book is published by David & Charles 

Ruth singer Fabric Manipulation book review

Patchwork Please book review InterweavePatchwork Please by Ayumi Takahashi

I’ve seen this book all over blog land lately so I just had to ask to review it. This book contains 20 colourful Zakka projects.  Zakka translates as ‘many things’ meaning objects that improve your home, life or appearance (this definition comes from the book).

Before the projects the book has a detailed tools and techniques section which gives advice on combining fabrics and colours, preparing fabric, different stitches, quilting techniques and paper piecing amongst others.

The projects in the book are for the kitchen, for the kids, for the home, for going places and for crafting.  They include coasters, an apron, quilts, bibs, a pencil case, iPad cover and embroidery pouch.  They also have a difficulty rating so you can work your way Zakka style project book Patchwork Pleaseup if you are new to patchwork.  It’s quite an eclectic mix of projects, but you may find yourself making most of them simply because they look so good!  I had never thought to make an embroidery pouch before but now I am dying to make one.

The projects have step by step written instructions with the odd colour diagram or photo.  The templates are alongside each project rather than all at the back of the book.  Most of them are the correct size but the odd few require enlarging.

I can’t wait to get started on the embroidery pouch.

This book is published by Interweave


Abbygale Sews 20 simple sewing projects book reviewAbbygale Sews – 20 Simple Sewing Projects by Emma Curtis & Elizabeth Parnell

This book is written by the ladies behind the Hamble & Jemima and Abbygale Sews brands. This book contains 20 easy to sew projects with the vintage chic feel of their brands.  They have used lovely vintage style floral fabrics throughout.  There is beautiful photography and pretty colourful illustrations throughout making the book very attractive to look through.

Visuals aside the projects in the book are split into different categories including gifts, items for children (including a shirred dress like on The Great British Sewing Bee but without the fiddly straps), items for the home, gadget cases and garden Abbygale Sews bag patterndecorations.  There are several different types of bags, gadget cases, a patchwork bean bag, bunting, a stocking, aprons for mother and daughter and a union jack cushion amongst others.

The instructions are easy to follow and have illustrations for most steps to guide you.  There is also a sheet of full size templates in a pocket at the back of the book so no fiddling around trying to re-size the templates.

This book would be ideal for beginners looking for something projects which are both pretty and easy to sew.

This book is published by Search Press

 Tula Pink's City Sampler 100 Modern Quilt Blocks Review

100 Modern Quilt Blocks by Tula Pink

As the title would suggest this book contains 100 different quilt blocks.  Each block is shown as a photo of the finished and quilted block on the one page, and a pencil illustration of the individual pieces that make the block and how they go together on the opposite side.   I love the colourful illustration, they even show the patterns of the fabrics used in the photos.  I can’t imagine how long it must have taken Tula to draw them all!

At the top of the illustration page it tells you how many Tula Pink 100 Modern Quilt Blocksof each shape and different colour of fabric to cut.  The blocks in the book are divided by shape – Crosses, rectangles, triangles, stripes, squares and haiku. At the back of the book there are tips on choosing a colour palette, a guide to the tools you’ll need and a few different quilt patterns you can make to display the blocks you’ve made. 

If you are a visual type of person like I am you will love this book.  It will be a good reference guide for when you are making quilts.  If you like lots of written instructions and step by step diagrams/photos then this isn’t the book for you.

This book is published by David & Charles