Modern Kogin: Simple & stylish sashiko embroidery projects Boutique-Sha

1590691473294-193874028 Pub: Search Press

Discover the art of kogin, a style of traditional Japanese sashiko embroidery with modern appeal. Historically, kogin was used as a pattern darning technique to reinforce threadbare fabric and add warmth to the clothing worn by farmers in the villages of northern Japan. With dozens of beautiful and simple geometric patterns, kogin embroidery offers fresh inspiration and authentic technique to proponents of the decorative mending movement. Colourful photos offer step-by-step instruction for learning this simple counted thread embroidery technique. Beginners will discover how to prepare the thread and fabric, how to read kogin charts, and how to make the basic straight stitches that comprise kogin motifs.

Once you’ve mastered the basics, try your hand at one of the 25 adorable and easy projects included in the book. Featuring bright and modern colour schemes, these accessories are designed for contemporary life. You’ll find an assortment of pretty brooches, barrettes and hair ties, pouches and coin purses, framed samplers, pincushions, and ornaments, plus potholders, coasters, and place mats for the home. Once you start stitching, we guarantee you won t be able to stop!


My review

Kogin  is a traditional Japanese style of embroidery which gives a unique and stylish effect to any project.

Traditionally used to repair holes in clothing, it has now been brought up to date and used as decoration.

The projects and designs in Modern Kogin are divine. There are samplers, hair clips and ornaments. Each one beautiful. Whether they are given as gifts or made to adorn your home, they will add interest and colour.

The instructions have diagrams, charts and templates where necessary make each project a joy to complete.

Simple and contemporary, the patterns are easy to follow. Many projects are small, so will be completed in an afternoon.  The techniques can used to make and decorate other ideas you may have.

Filled with inspiring ideas, every embroiderer will love this craft.





About the Author

Boutique-Sha is a leading craft and lifestyle publisher in Japan, with hundreds of mooks (magazine-books) translated into English.



Modern Crochet: Patterns and Designs for the Minimalist Maker Teresa Carter

1590654239433947744231 Pub: Blue Star Press

Modern Crochet: Chic Patterns & Designs for the Minimalist Maker brings crochet to a new generation of makers! Teresa Carter, the creator behind Debrosse (@debrosse_nyc) makes crochet accessible, teaching basics like how to select the proper tools and yarn and how to read a pattern. From luxe throw blankets to sleek baskets, a cozy infinity scarf to a casual summer clutch and featuring a variety of materials like faux fur and alpaca, Carter’s fresh patterns lend a chic, minimalist vibe to home decor and fashion projects. The definitive resource for contemporary crochet, Modern Crochet includes: 12+ Stitches and Techniques: Slip Knot, Chain, Slip Stitch, Slip Stitch to Join, Whip Stitch, Single Crochet, Half Double Crochet, Double Crochet, Treble Crochet, Magic Ring, Single Crochet into a Magic Ring, Herringbone Half Double Crochet, Bobble; 16 Original Patterns: Baskets, Coasters, Tassel, Infinity Scarf, Bobble Pillow, Faux Fur Cowl and more!; Extensive Support: Step-by-Step Photos, 20+ Video Tutorials, Corresponding Webpages With Materials and Support. A comprehensive guide for beginning and experienced crocheters alike, Modern Crochet covers crochet tools, all things yarn (shapes, sizes, colors, and dye lots), crochet abbreviations, how to read a pattern, how to work in both rows and rounds, the nuances of short rows and standing stitches, how to manage and measure gauge, tension, and substitutions and so much more!


My review

The designs in this book are both contemporary and simple.

The moodshot photography is beautifully set, and the projects are usable and some will give your home a perfect finish and some will make beautiful gifts.

There are 16 project designs, from throws to headbands, ensuring that even a beginner crocheter will be able to use this book.

There are a number of stitches and skills included, along with yarn choices and a very good ‘ lesson’ on getting started with your crochet journey.

I loved the look of this book, the black and cream colour design is modern and the added ribbon bookmark gives an expensive feel.

Perfect as a gift, every crochet lover will want and adore this book.









About the Author

Teresa Carter has sold over 20,000 crochet and knit patterns in her five years as a maker. Her designs have been featured by Martha Stewart, West Elm, House Beautiful, and NBC’s show New Amsterdam. She has led multiple workshops and spoken on various seller panels at the craft epicentre, Etsy HQ, in Brooklyn, NY. She leads a Masterclass course, empowering other makers to build careers in the crochet and knit industry. Teresa began her journey as a maker when she learned to crochet to make blankets for children growing up in Haitian orphanages. Her support of these children is ongoing, with a portion of her shop proceeds helping to fund things like school scholarships, medical expenses, and grants for their parents. On her annual visits, Teresa teaches crochet to the children, staff, and local parents, and keeps them stocked with yarn year round.

Mending Life: A Handbook for Repairing Clothes and Hearts Nina Montenegro Sonya Montenegro

1590652319329-193874028 Pub: Sasquatch Books

Mending Life is a beautifully illustrated, practical tool kit for repairing the clothes and belongings we love. It is also an exploration of how mending can be a gently healing practice in our daily lives and a small act of rebellion in a world where many things are discarded without thought. Mending Life encourages us to cherish our things by repairing them rather than discarding them. It also encourages us to change our consumption habits so that with small mends here and there, we extend the life of our garments and other household items. This handbook is for beginners, but also offers more advanced techniques to those with some experience in mending. You’ll learn basic techniques such as patching, but will have options to take it a step further with decorative sashiko stitching; you’ll also learn how to darn socks and mend sweaters, as well as things like a tear in a bedsheet or down jacket. And along the way, the authors share heartfelt stories about the powerful act of mending, which strengthens not only the object we are repairing, but ourselves as well. Vibrant, full-colour illustrations are woven into the handbook. This is a timeless, practical guide to cherishing and caring for our belongings.

My review

Re-using, recycling and being environmentally aware seems to be the key phrases at the moment, so this book is very in keeping with our thrifty attitudes. In our world of throw away cheap fashion, mending very often takes a back seat.

Filled with hand drawn pictures and hand written wording, this is a book that is not only a handy lesson in mending, patching and repairing your garments, it is absolutely charming.

I must admit.. And most book lovers will understand this… The pages smell amazing!! It has a recycled paper feel about it, and the book perfectly sized.

I loved the stories, there is an open the woman who made my shirt.. and it is these snippets along with the many ideas, mending tips and alteration guides that sewists and recyclers will love.

There are knitting, embroidery and even relying tips to give your mended garment a unique and personal look.. Even a simple patch is given a modern makeover.

This book is beautifully written. It is simple, colourful and a must have, even if mending is something you have never thought of doing!








About the Author

Sisters Nina and Sonya Montenegro are illustrators, printmakers, menders, quilters, beekeepers and gardeners. In 2013, they founded The Far Woods, a creative collaboration making artwork that seeks to contribute to a cultural shift in which there is a land ethic, reverence for nature, rejection of the dominant throw-away mentality and direct connection to where our food and the things we use come from. Many of their artworks serve as educational tools, and their practice crosses disciplines to work toward an ecologically viable and socially just future. Their studio is situated on an organic farm just outside of Portland, Oregon.

Petal and Stem: 40 modern floral quilt blocks to mix-and-match. Amy Friend


1584931722098-1171149300 Pub:  Lucky Spool Media


Quilters can finally create their ideal landscape with no watering required! Use Amy Friend’s 40 adaptable flower, stem and leaf blocks (plus a snail and a butterfly!) to piece together a garden scene in any number of combinations; from tropical greenery using minimal greens and creams to a cottage garden packed with all of the bold hues of summer. Included are six colourful quilt patterns and a cute tote, designed and pieced by the author to help get readers started with their planning, as well as inspirational digital layouts to showcase just how customisable these blocks can be. It’s perfectly pretty patchwork!


My review 

Quilting has become much prettier with this book by talented designer Amy Friend.

Each of the 40 blocks, comprise of flowers, leaves and petals, which can be mixed and matched to make a beautiful quilt, pillows or wall hanging.

I loved the variety of the designs, they each compliment the other, and depending on your fabric choice, you can achieve a contemporary or vintage vibe.

There is a huge amount of templates included, each one needs to be photocopied and enlarged.

Advice is given on cutting your fabric, placing your blocks together and there are some fabulous tips on how to get your ‘ Garden’ looking good.

Not only is this book great for quilting ideas, it is also a fun and interesting read. From the introduction to the acknowledgements Amy let’s us in on her expertise and how the outdoors sparks her creativity.

It really is fabulous.




About the Author

Amy Friend is an award-winning quilter and a former museum curator. A member of the Modern Quilt Guild, she enjoys paper piecing and modern quilt designs. She blogs at and has 18.5k followers on Instagram @duringquiettime. Amy Friend will be teaching two QuiltCon 2020 classes based on the book.







Crocheted Wreaths for the Home Anna Nikipirowicz


1589635012024856587262 Pub: Search Press



12 beautiful crocheted wreaths to make for all year round, each with accompanying smaller projects.

Wreaths are not just for Christmas – they can be used to decorate your home all year round! Anna Nikipirowicz shows you how to create sumptuous crocheted wreaths and other decorations that will grace your home and look beautiful, whatever the season.

There is a wide variety to choose from, including spring, summer, autumn and winter wreaths plus a gorgeous succulents wreath and Easter, Halloween and Christmas wreaths. These lovely yarny creations are festooned with flowers, leaves and other decorations such as birds, owls, pumpkins, stars, bunnies and foxes. If you love the look but don’t want to make an entire wreath, Anna also includes other smaller decorations such as garlands and terrariums.

There are also three delightful tiny wreaths to make, featuring a hedgehog, a mouse and a robin. Each main project has a smaller accompanying project to make, and if you love crochet, you’ll love Anna s imaginative designs.


My review

Crocheted Wreaths for the Home is filled with colourful ideas and stunning creations.

12 beautiful wreaths to adorn your home are designed to give visual pleasure and a talking point feature to any room.

Designed for every season and holiday, the wreaths include an abundance of floral and foliage as well as hunting owls and oh so much more.

Each project has full instructions and there is a technique guide which includes making tassels , pompoms etc to finish your project.

I loved the Summer wreath, you can make your own colour choices to give each design a personal or original look.

Perfect for every crochet lover, but you will need an understanding of the craft. This book is not for the inexperienced.




About Author


Anna Nikipirowicz was taught to knit and crochet as a child by her very talented mother, but without practice the skills were quickly forgotten. Ten years ago she rediscovered her skills and an obsession was born! She has not stopped knitting, crocheting and designing since. A few years ago she became Design Consultant for Rowan Yarns and a workshop tutor, teaching knitting and crocheting across the UK. Her designs are regularly featured in craft magazines.

Portuguese Knitting Rosa Pomar

71mf6nI54dL._AC_UY218_ Pub: Search Press

The history and practice of knitting in Portugal, with 20 beautiful, traditionally inspired patterns.

More than just a history book or a handicraft manual, Portuguese Knitting is a journey into Portugal’s knitting heritage. Traditional patterns and techniques are brought up to date in the form of beautiful modern pieces such as socks, hats, shawls, cowls, pot holders and leggings.

Portuguese knitting differs from regular knitting in the way the wool is held; it can either be passed through a special Portuguese knitting pin attached to the knitter’s clothes, or looped around the neck and then over a finger.

Easy-to-follow instructions and clear illustrations allow beginners or more experienced knitters to recreate historical pieces in an original, contemporary way. You can make the projects as they are shown, or use other colours to create your own unique and original gifts.


My review

If you have never seen Portuguese Knitting in action, it’s well worth finding a video to see. It is absolutely fascinating!

This book should be on every knitters wishlist. It is filled with beautiful projects, 20 in total, they all have stunning designs and beautiful colour choices.

The beginning of the book gives an in depth history of Portuguese knitting, with some interesting pictures. There is advice on pins, needles and most importantly yarn.

The projects themselves are varied, hats, bags, leggings and even a pillow, show how versatile and useful Portuguese Knitting can be.

There are several techniques, stitches, hints and tips to help you along the way and you can even embroider your finished design to give it a personal and individual flair.

I adored the Lace Collar, it’s very vintage and really beautiful.





Creative Calligraphy: Prompts, tutorials and practice pages Mary Noble & Janet Mehigan

512CGNk53kL._AC_UL320_ Pub: Search Press

For those wanting the tools to create perfect letters, learn and practise classic calligraphy styles on exuberant watercolour borders and backgrounds.

Master beautiful alphabets in this neatly presented, interactive volume. Learn all about pen angles, letter width and height and letter and word spacing. Study the step-by-step sequences to see how each letter is formed. Each alphabet is shown complete with numbered arrows so it is easy to crack the order in which to place each stroke. Beautiful calligraphic lettering is guaranteed.

Once you have studied the how-tos, turn to the high-quality, woodfree skill-building practice pages and have a go! Each practice page is pre-ruled and assisted with stroke-by-stroke letters to help you get started. Once you have mastered a script, use the decorative borders to add your personal touch to everything from invitations, scrapbooks, bullet journals and more.


My review

Creative Calligraphy is a big book, it is a learning manual and text book filled into one. All you need is a pen or pencil and you have everything to get started. There is a list of other tools you can use included.

The pages are made of quality paper. Thick, pre-ruled and each one prettily designed.

Journals,notebooks and diaries can benefit from the writing tutorials. Alphabets and several lettering styles make this an inspiring and educational book to help you master neater and a more varied writing skill.

I adore the patterned pages. Decorated with flowers, borders in an array of stunning colours and designs, you will definitely not be stuck for ideas.

Creative Calligraphy is a beauty of a book, it would make a stunning gift idea, and give hours of learning and inspiration.




About the Author

Mary Noble is a freelance calligrapher and an enthusiastic adult education teacher. She trained originally in graphic design and later completed the Advanced Training Scheme of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators and was awarded the Advanced Level National Diploma in Calligraphy by The Calligraphy and Lettering Arts Society.

Janet Mehigan has always been interested in calligraphy and lettering; they were her main subjects when she attended art college. She holds a BA(Hons) in Education, is a Fellow of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators and a Fellow of the Calligraphy & Lettering Arts Society. She teaches calligraphy and art in Adult Education, holds regular weekend workshops for students and calligraphic societies and is the co-author of The Calligrapher’s Companion and Beginner’s Guide to Calligraphy. She has also contributed to The Art of Colour Calligraphy. Janet’s work is full of colour and interest and she enjoys both traditional and contemporary calligraphy. She also enjoys painting, drawing and working with all art media.