Wild Wool & Colorful Cotton Quilts Erica Kaprow

A1SIaa6P4xL._AC_UY218_QL90_ Pub:  C & T Publishing

Happy, bold, and whimsical! Sew house-themed quilts to welcome you home. Best-selling author Erica Kaprow shares three new medallion quilts with playful pieced backgrounds and perky applique. Using a mix of cotton and wool fabrics, you’ll hand stitch houses, flowers, vines, and more. Basic applique instructions and full-size patterns are included. With each border, you’ll fall more in love with the these textural quilts infused with colour!


My review 

Mixing cotton and wool to make something beautiful gives these projects a stunning and unique effect.

Three projects, all of which have a house theme are created using applique, patchwork, with flowers, vines and circles. The quirky houses are divine and the colours used in each design give a charming and whimsical look, that will brighten any room.

There is a full sized template sheet, and I love how the designer has suggested searching second hand shops for wool skirts to use.  Along with all the handy hints and tips, the instructions are simple to understand and are written in easy step by step order.

The sizes vary, but can be made into quilts, cushions and wall hangings. Filled with inspiration you can easily adapt the blocks for other home decor pieces and delightful gifts.

This is an amazing book, and would make an excellent gift. I particularly loved the House in the Middle project which even includes a cat sleeping on the roof. These small touches make them distinctive and individual.




About the Author

Erica Kaprow has always enjoyed sewing, making some of her own clothes as a young girl. Erica dyes her own wool to use in quilts, and the combination of the textures of wool and cotton give the quilts added dimension. She lives in Pennsylvania, United States.





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Whitework Embroidery Ayako Otsuka

71co3ABsESL._AC_UL320_ Pub: Search Press

This sumptuous book by accomplished embroiderer Ayako Otsuka is full of incredibly delicate and beautiful whitework embroidery of all kinds. Whitework is simply embroidery worked in white thread on white fabric, and it is renowned for its calm beauty and simplicity. An ancient form of embroidery that was popular in the Middle Ages, Ayako has brought whitework completely up to date with her gorgeous examples.

The projects include such items as a sampler, a tea cosy, a teddy bear cushion, a christening gown, a ring bearers pillow and a table runner. Some items are more complex than others, and there is a comprehensive techniques section with detailed step-by-step instructions, clear photographs and diagrams to guide you.

Featuring drawn thread work, Schwalm embroidery, Ajour embroidery and Hedebo embroidery, among other techniques, there is a wealth of information here for the keen embroiderer and 30 very beautiful projects to choose from.


My review 

Whitework Embroidery is an absolute beautiful thing to see.

White embroidery on white fabric is just stunning. It gives an antique and millionaire feel to any home.

Filled with techniques, this is book that will advance your skills and enable you to complete a proect with a stunning professional finish.

There are 30 projects, the Baby layette is amazing, but that said all the designs are skillfully and expertly showcased.  I just hope I can achieve the same result.

The introduction to the book is an interesting read and gives some history on the craft. There are 2 samplers included which give the chance to practice and hone your embroidery, These can be as small or as large as you choose.

Each project has a visual and written stitch guide included and a large double sided pattern sheet has the designs that can be easily traced.

If you love embroidery then this book is for you. Even a beginner will appreciate the beauty of the work involved and it will inspire and motivate any stitcher.


Whitework Embroidery is filled with projects for home decor. gifts and for personal use.

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About the Author 

Embroidery designer Ayako Otsuka is the director of Embroidery Studio Ecru and a member of the Japan Association of Linen Spinners. She has been immersed in the world of embroidery since childhood, learning from her mother, a designer of Japanese and Western style embroidery. Ayako is the author of several books about embroidery published in her home country of Japan. She specializes in teaching whitework, stumpwork and botanical embroidery at her school, Studio Ecru, and exhibits her work in Japan and abroad.

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Holiday Ornaments Galore Ursula Michael

91j+9EPOy+L._AC_UL320_ Pub: Leisure Arts

Trim the tree and deck the walls with these 98 cross stitch designs.


My review

Christmas is fast approaching and for us crafters we start EARLY!!!

This is a wonderful book, with 98 cross stitch designs that are simple and easy to do.

Bells, Snowmen, Christmas trees and so much more will get your creative juices flowing, and the finished projects can be made into cards, decorations for your tree, bunting and even a cushion.  There is a framed design on the back cover using just four of the gorgeous designs.

I made one in a couple of hours. The designs are showcased with some beautiful photographs and easy to follow diagrams.

Although you can any thread, they have given DMC and Anchor thread numbers for reference.

Suitable for all levels of cross stitchers, from beginners to advanced. I loved how the colours all complimented each of the designs.

A must have book, as there are so many stunning projects to stitch.




#Win   my finished make.. just leave a comment telling me what your favourite thing is about Christmas!   (UK only)    Winner has been chosen!


I decided to make a card using my finished design. 

I chose a Christmas tree stocking and you can see how easy the pattern is to follow.


This design did not take very long to do, and used just a few colours.  Notice I changed my colour scheme.
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I made a card with an aperture, which I cut using a die cutter.. and made a ‘dome’ shape to showcase my finished piece.
I stamped a sentiment and added some sticky gems.
Happy Stitching x


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Sew Outdoor Living Debbie Shore

81B3OHiynDL._AC_UL320_ Pub: Search Press

Ensure your garden looks stunning come rain or shine with this inspirational new book from Debbie Shore.

Using easy-to-follow photography and simple instructions Debbie shows you how to sew 22 beautiful items for outdoor living. Sew decorative accessories for the patio, such as seat cushions and bunting, create practical items such as a BBQ tool roll and picnic caddy, and even make a kids’ teepee!

Perfect for people of all abilities who love sewing and enjoy their gardens, or who want to make a gift for someone who does.


My review 

Once again Debbie Shore delights us stitchers with her amazingly simple but beautiful designs.

Sew Outdoor Living gives us patterns and templates for everything needed for a perfect Summery outdoor life.

From picnic caddies to teepees, Debbie Shore’s style shines through.

The teepee is absolutely divine, popular and very easy to make it will be my first project that I make. It will be a gift that the younger members of my family will love.

22 projects are included, and what makes a Debbie Shore special is that all the templates are full sized, she uses a simple language that even a beginner who has never sewn before can understand and each pattern comes with full instructions with photography, it really is like Debbie is holding your hand through each step.

This bright and colourful book is full of advice to advance your stitching techniques. It has a handy 10 tips for a beginner that every sewist will benefit from. Every thing is covered so you will not be at a loss as to what to do next.

Highly recommended.


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About the Author 

For Debbie Shore, taking a role as a presenter on children’s television in 1986 was the unlikely first step to becoming one of the UK’s most popular sewing designers. From charming kids on ITV and acting in some of our favourite soaps, she went on to demonstrate sewing products for a shopping channel, before making the leap to designing her own patterns, fabrics, kits and sewing projects. Her prolific output also includes over 20 best-selling sewing books, which feature simple and understandable projects to encourage new sewers to have a go. This has all contributed to elevating her to the position of one of the UK’s best-loved pattern designers, and the winner of Craft Influencer of the Year and Social Media Influencer of the Year in the British Sewing Awards 2019.




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Stitch Your Story Sarah Fielke

71XVWvuS7ML._AC_UL436_ Pub: Lucky Spool Media

When creating heirloom quilts for family, quilters everywhere are looking for ways to personalize, customize and use text to show their unique perspective. From award-winning quilt shows containing powerful messages to sweet portions of poetry for a baby’s bedroom, these alphabets encourage complete freedom to piece one-of-a-kind quilts but using the structure of the patterns Sarah provides.

More than just a collection of letters as in competitive titles, Say Something! has been careful to provide something for everyone. From paper-piecing, to appliqué to improv, her 6 alphabets allow readers to create symmetrical chunky block letters, sophisticated scripted cursive or whimsical improvisationally pieced letters all supplied in both lower and upper case. The perfect blend of having the structure and reliability of patterns, but still allowing for total customization.

  • Includes 12 project instructions to get quilters inspired!
  • Upper and lowercase letter patterns
  • Photographed on location in Australia
  • Learn how to scale letters to the perfect size!


My review 

With six different alphabet templates included, this is a book with which your can make a personalised project to gift.

Applique is a craft, that can be done by hand stitching or by using a sewing machine. I love the idea of free motion stitching and think a cushion with a family name on it would make an ideal present for a loved one.

Cushions, Quilts Pillows and even Wall hangings can be made using this technique.

The book comes with fulled sized templates along with easy to follow instructions. Also included are some brilliant advice on tools needed, such as rulers, threads and the usual essentials.

From start to finish Stitch Your Story holds your hand and guides you through the process of creating and finishing your personal design.  Each idea is unique and individual, and even a beginner can make something that will be beautiful and perfectly usable.

I loved the Rainbow cushion, and think it will appeal many friends and family.



About the Author

Sarah Fielke, is a quilter, teacher, designer, and author of five hugely successful quilt books: Material Obsession: Contemporary Quilt DesignsMaterial Obsession Two: Shared InspirationQuilting: From Little Things, and, for CICO Books, Hand Quilted with Love, and Little Quilts. Based in Australia, Sarah has designed seven quilting fabric collections in her trademark whimsical designs. She regularly teaches classes on how to make her unique style of quilts at craft shows and in quilt shops around the world, and online at craftsy.com.







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Patchwork USA Heidi Staples

71hVC-c1WqL._AC_UL436_ Pub: Lucky Spool

Planning a sewing getaway? Heidi Staples of sewing blog Fabric Mutt presents everything needed to have a successful trip, including helpful packing and organizing tips. Each section of this fun, colorful book is organized with travel in mind, offering small, medium, and large projects to be achieved while on the perfect sewing retreat:
–Daytrips: Small projects include a Bookmobile Sleeve, Road Trip Pillow, Snapshot Needlebook, Sewing Bee Pincushion, and Coffee Shop Coasters
–Weekend Retreats: Bigger projects include a Patio Pillow, Beachcomber Pouch, Kitchenette Set, Scout’s Honor Pouch, and a Color Book
–Summer Vacations: Extended projects include a Big Bear Cabin Quilt and Palm Springs Bag
Get ready to have a fabulous sewing retreat!


My review

Set in three sections Patchwork USA is a project book with something for sewists of all skill levels.

The Daytrips section are simple projects, Pincushions, Pillows and I absolutely loved the Postcard Kit project.  All these are easy projects everyone can enjoy making and  each one takes a small amount of time.

The Weekend Getaways and the Summer Vacation projects take a little longer to complete and are larger.. Bags, zipper pouches and even a quilt are included.

What is great about this book, is the enormous wealth of sewing information given, Advice on fabric choices and cutting, colour scheme help and a handy tool kit guide are invaluable to every stitcher.

I adored the Share the Journey section.  It gives ideas on different ways to gift your projects and other way that they can be used. There are a couple of recipes and a music playlist to help make your sewing ‘vacation’ a pleasant and fun experience.

I will be using this book to enjoy a fun afternoon sewing with God-Daughter. the projects are fun and for a crafty day of sewing and developing new skills it is just perfect.



About the Author

Heidi Staples published her first book, Sew Organized for the Busy Girl, in 2015. She is a fabric designer for Penny Rose Fabrics/Riley Blake Designs and lives in Texas hill country, where she sews, designs, and enjoys making beautiful things.





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An Easy Sewing Project


Stitch a ‘Button Boat’ 

2019-07-29 16.03.37


Those of who regularly follow my Craft Blogs will know my love of sewing is a real passion.

Today I thought I would share with you a very simple project that can be machine or hand stitched..even a complete beginner can achieve it 🙂

I made a pattern with a piece of card  12 x 4 inches.  The other measurements are written on the template.


You will need to cut 6 pieces. 3 patterned pieces and 3 plain pieces of fabric. Obviously it’s up to you with your colour choices.   Iron some fusible visilene onto 3 pieces to give your Button Boat some stiffness.

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With two pieces of fabric wrong sides together stitch zigzag stitch around each one.  I used my overlocker, but a normal sewing machine is perfect.

If doing this by hand, a Blanket Stitch would be ideal.


Overlap the 3 pieces by a quarter of an inch and stitch the middle of the 3 pieces together. Ensure that the top and bottom are left as flaps.


Ad four co-ordinating buttons ..as shown..

Fold up your Button Boat and tie ribbon or thick thread around the buttons to secure the Button Boat together on each side.

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Your Button Boat is now ready to use. Perfect for your small items.


Happy Sewing x