Botanical Embroidery Brian Haggard

Botanical Embroidery: 25 Designs to Mix & Match; 4 Elegant Projects

Pub: C&T Publishing

Reconnect with nature’s inherent beauty as you embroider the delicate lacework of flowers and plants. Stitch twenty-five mix-and-match botanical embroidery motifs with best-selling author Brian Haggard. This pattern pack includes complete instructions for four pretty projects and iron-on transfers you can use multiple times for endless creative applications! Apply the motifs to your own creations—a robust gallery of ideas will help you incorporate nature’s colors and forms into your next hand-sewing project.

My review

In this envelope, there are 25 embroidery designs, with a botanical theme.

5 sheets of embroidery transfers are included, which iron on using a hot dry iron.

The 4 projects are stunning, A Modern Shadow Box a Table Runner a Crazy Quilt Pillow and a Botanical Thread Board .

There is included, a stitch guide, with 11 stitches to help you stitch your project and make it beautiful

Brian Haggard was a florist for 22 years and it is easy to see where he got his inspiration for these stunning designs. Changing colour threads will give each project a classic and beautiful finish, and even if you don’t want to do the projects that are included, I think using a few of of the transfers will give you a unique and stunning sampler.

This is an amazing project kit, it’s beauty is in the simplicity of each design and I cannot wait to get started.

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Quilters Project Planner Betsy La Honta Kerry Graham

Quilter's Project Planner: Everything you need to dream, plan & organize 12 projects!

Pub: Stash Books

This delightful planner is a helpful, convenient way to track projects both individually and in the context of larger goals. There are no dates, so you can start at any time.

My review

I am definitely gifting all my quilting friends this book.

Not only is it bright and colourful but it is a handy book to list your projects month by month.

It is set out in five sections. Each section giving you the chance to organise each project or idea and even design your own quilt.

At the start of the book, there is a ‘how to use’, giving you the best tips to plan your quilting fun.

The ‘Reference’ section is brilliant. It gives sizes in decimal and fractions, yards and inches, even quilt sizes from crib to Californian king.

The planner is suitable for 12 projects and every quilter will love to ‘dream plan and organise’.

About the Author

Betsy La Honta has been crafting, sewing and creating for as long as she can remember. She loves to figure out ways to get the projects ideas out of her head and into the world. Betsy lives in Northern California with her family.

Kerry Graham is a graphic designer and illustrator. During the day, as part of her job to develop new products, she gets to draw, sew, and surf the web for inspiration. When she’s not at work, she makes Girl Scout projects with her daughter, Alivia; dances hip-hop with her son, Hudson; and cooks with her youngest son, Trenton. Even though her life is busy, she is grateful everyday for her family. She always makes the moments count. Kerry lives in the San Francisco Bay Area of northern California.

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Sewing Machine Reference Tool Bernie Tobisch

Sewing Machine Reference Tool: A troubleshooting guide to loving your sewing machine, again!

Pub: C&T Publishing 

Kick tension problems to the curb and say goodbye to presser foot problems! This pocket-size guide helps you troubleshoot your sewing machine on the go. Quickly fix issues with needles, threaders, buttonholes, tension, and more. It provides all the information you need to resolve common issues for stress-free sewing.

My review

Bernie Tobisch began his career as a technician for Singer. So what he doesn’t know about sewing machines probably isn’t worth knowing.

This is an essential guide to have in your sewing room, as it takes you through everything you need to know about looking after your machine and more importantly getting to know what it is capable of and how it works.

When I first started sewing, I remember I threw out a perfectly working, less than a year old sewing machine because I moved the tension wheel and didn’t know what to do to restore the setting!!

The Troubleshooting Guide is fabulous, it is detailed and I think even if there was no more than this guide in the book it is money well spent.

Each piece of information, from tension to threading and needles to calibration is accompanied by photographs of the workings, followed by tips to inform and teach you.

I loved that the book has a ring bound spine, this makes it easy to use as it lies flat. It is a handy size so will be easy to put in your travel bag to take to classes, and more importantly uses simple language so there is no expert ‘jargon’ to get your head around.

Highly recommended.

About the Author

Bernie Tobisch started his career as a sewing machine technician in the mid 1970s and became a dealer in 1980. He now lives in Vancouver, Canada, with his wife Shelley and continues to service machines.

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Other Women Jean Levy

1597241013690-1105606699 Pub:  Dome Press

Sophie thought she and Jonah were happy, bringing up their small daughter, until one summer’s day, she discovers that Jonah is far from the man she thought he was. Sam – an attractive English teacher – seems to offer her some comfort, and new friendships are a support.

But is Sam really who he says he is? Where have her new friends appeared from? Is anyone telling the truth? As Jonah’s lies threaten Sophie and her daughter, can anyone be trusted?

My review

What happens when you discover that your partner is living a double life?!

Sophie thinks everything is going along perfectly in her life with Jonah and young daughter Laura, but when he tells her he is leaving her, she finds things are not as simple as him just leaving.

Other Women is a good read. I loved how the story drip fed the secrets that Jonah kept from Sophie and all the drama that came with them.

There is a story within a story within the pages of this book, each one ties in beautifully, and while it seems, a little far fetched, the plot also has a certain kind of realness to it.

Jean Levy is a fabulous storyteller. I was hooked rather quickly and read this book in one sitting.  My opinion of Sophie kept changing, one minute I thought she was a door mat who was hanging on to her sanity for dear life and the next I wondered how she kept it together for herself and her daughter.

Each character offered something to the tale, and I loved how the book started and finished. It really is a book worth reading.

Other Women Blog Tour


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Sew Magical: Paper piece unicorns, dragons, mermaids & more Mary Hertel

Sew Magical: Paper piece unicorns, dragons, mermaids & more; 16 blocks & 7 projects

Pub: C&T Publishing

Journey into a land of fairy tales as you paper piece 16 blocks, including unicorns, dragons, and more! Sew seven cute and useful projects like quilts, pillows, and a backpack.

My review

If you want to make child something really special then this book is for you.

Paper Piecing is a quick and effective method of quilting which even a beginner can master.

The blocks are 8 x 8 and are all completely interchangable.

There are 16 blocks, that can be made into quilts, pillows and in fact you can create over 100 different projects from this fabulous book.

Filled with handy information, basic knowledge and with written and visual instructions, these stunning creations can be created in just a short time.

There is an abundance of colour in each design, each one with a mythical theme. There are mermaids, gnomes, seahorses and wizards so boys and girls can enjoy their own personal item.

I think this book is fabulous!


About the Author

Mary Hertel was an art instructor for 35 years. A lifetime sewist, Mary has more than 50 patterns in print and hundreds of paper-pieced blocks. She lives in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where she enjoys knitting, hiking, biking, and spending time with her two adult children.

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Making Marmalade Simone Gooding

Making Marmalade: Stitch Little Marmalade Rabbit and all Her Pretty Seasonal Outfits and Accessories: Stitch Little Marmalade Rabbit and All Her Pretty Seasonal Outfit and Accessories

Pub: Tuva Publishing

Celebrate the changing seasons by stitching this 100% wool hand-dyed felt rabbit and her seasonal outfits and accessories in this charming book, Making Marmalade. You will find Moses basket style bed with warm Winter mini quilt Hooded cape for those chilly Autumn walks Head scarf and apron for Lazy Summer days Butterfly wings to celebrate Spring and many more. These designs are suitable for most toy makers and contain step by step instructions and diagrams for machine sewing and hand stitching the components of each project. Marmalade is brought to life on the page by Simone Gooding’s adorable illustrations.

My review

Making Marmalade has a 100% cute factor. It is simply beautiful.

Marmalade is a wool felt rabbit complete with seasonal outfits and accessories to sew and make.

There are full sized templates included, and full step by step instructions with visual images to guide you.

Over 20 garments and accesories make this cute bunny, stylish and fun.

Marmalade stands about 10 inches tall, and is completely child friendly.

The book is set in seasons, giving you, the maker, a chance to prepare to give your child’s new favourite toy a whole new look throughout the year.

Fully illustrated, this wonderful book pops with colur and inspiration. I loved the Bedtime section. Marmalde comes compllete with his/her own bed, pyjamas and even their own toy bunny.

Every one will love this book. It is well thought out and each piece is simple by design but full of detail and extra additions. You can personalise them to meet your own requirements.

It’s brilliant.


About the Author

Simone Gooding is an illustrator and the designer behind the May Blossom range of toy-sewing patterns. Simone works with felt, yarns and cloth that are as close to nature as possible; hand dyed, 100% wool felt is the core ingredient of her designs. Drawing inspiration from the imaginary worlds of children’s literature, Simone creates a beautiful sense of whimsy and innocence in her characters. Her work can be seen in many magazines including Mollie Makes, Better Homes and Gardens and Bustle and Sew UK, her sewing patterns are sold around the world and can also be found at MayBlossomStore on Etsy. Simone lives with her husband and four children in Melbourne, Australia.

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My Crochet Wardrobe: 15 Wonderfully Wearable and On-Trend Crochet Garments Cassie Ward

My Crochet Wardrobe: 15 Woderfully Wearable and On-Trend Crochet Garments

Pub:Tuva Publishing

The collection includes jumpers, cardigans, ponchos, kimonos and cover-ups, ranging in difficulty from the beginner to the more advanced crocheter. Each pattern is accompanied by an easy-to-follow schematic.

My review

There are 15 garments in this book, complete with full instructions and accompanied with beautiful glossy photographs.

Cassie gives a lovely personal introduction to her book and it’s worth a read just to know who the designer is and what inspires her.

The projects are both wearable and stylish, I adore the Balloon Stitch Cardi, it’s truly amazing.

Each garment is unique and you can guarantee that you will be the envy of all your friends.

The instructions are easy to follow, a yarn guide is given along with stitch information. There is also a pattern chart with hints and tips to help you achieve a professional finish.

The sizes are S M L XL which means there will something for every size and shape.

Jumpers, dresses, ponchos and cardi’s are included, and the colour chosen for each design will inspire you to be bold.

I love this book, it will guarantee a warm and cosy winter wardrobe.


About the Author

Cassie Ward is a crochet designer with a uniquely modern style. Cassie is a frequent contributor to the UK crochet magazines and has her own crochet design website at

The Farmer’s Wife Homestead Medallion Quilt. Laurie Aaron Hird

The Farmer's Wife Homestead Medallion Quilt: Letters From a 1910's Pioneer Woman and the 121 Blocks That Tell Her Story

Pub: Krause Publications

Best-selling author Laurie Aaron Hird of The Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt shares the next installment of this beloved series.

A few years before Ada Melville Shaw’s death in 1937, she wrote–and The Farmer’s Wife magazine published–a seven-part series of articles about her homesteading adventures. It is this series of articles that come to life in The Farmer’s Wife Homestead Medallion Quilt.

Master of traditional quilting, Laurie Aaron Hird has used Ada’s writings to inspire the 120 classic quilt blocks that surround a stunning center medallion. Full instructions for sewing this queen-sized sampler quilt, featuring 64 six-inch and 56 eight-inch blocks, are included.

No CD-rom, no problem! The Farmer’s Wife Homestead Medallion Quilt templates for paper-piecing and rotary cutting are provided in a ready-to-print, easy-to-download PDF.

Travel back with Laurie and Ada to 1910s Montana where a homesteading pioneer woman inspired a contemporary quilt for the modern age.

My review

This is the second book of this series, along with directions to make quilting blocks to complete a stunning quilt, it tells the story of Ada Melville Shaw.

Ada died in 1937, she wrote an eight part series for Farmers Wife Magazine, and each block is accompanied by her writings. The history of the times is both fascinating and colourful. The stories are rich with detail and some are fun to read.

I loved the names of some of the quilt blocks… From Unrest Everywhere to Treasured Recipe, it is easy to imagine Ada’s life.

There are no templates included with this book, but you can download a PDF with the digital link provided.

The finished quilt is stunning. You can make a full queen sized quilt or use the blocks to make something smaller. The block sizes are given and full assembly instructions with a planner chart is pictured.

Quilt lovers will adore this book. It is a lovely size.. 8 x 8 which is a perfect size for a quilt block!


About the Author

LAURIE AARON HIRD is passionate about quilting, hand embroidery and her porch view of the beautiful Wisconsin countryside. She is the author of the Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt series and The Bible Sampler Quilt.

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Easy Masks to Sew Boutique Sha

Pub: Zakka Workshop

Learn how to make fabric face masks with this collection of simple designs that are easy to sew. This book includes three basic styles – simple, pleated, and contoured – allowing you to choose the mask design best suited to your personal preferences and comfort.

Each mask style is available in different sizes, so you can make masks for everyone in your family, from kids to adults.

Personalize the design and incorporate your favourite fabrics or add special details, like appliqué or embroidery. You can even create a face mask to match your outfit!

Elastic for 3 masks included. 

My review

The wearing of face masks is necessary in today’s world, so if you have to wear one why not make a cute one.

There are three masks to make in this book, a,simple mask, a contour mask, a pleated mask and there is a bonus children’s mask.

The sizes for each masks is small medium and large, and the bonus child’s mask I absolutely adorable. You can make a duck or a panda mask, but there is no reason why you cannot let your imagination run riot and create your own favourite animal using the template.

There are templates to photocopy or draw, and like the title sats , they really are easy to make.

I like the idea of matching my mask to my outfit, so these are great for adding style to your day.

The added bonus in this practical but amazing book is that it comes with enough elastic to make three masks. The elastic is strong and of good quality.

Each mask has written and visual instductions, so everyone of any sewing ability can create a fabulous face mask.


I made a contour mask and a pleated mask…

About the Author

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

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Thread Doodling Carina Envoldsen-Harris

Thread Doodling: Over 20 modern designs for stitching in the moment

Pub: Search Press

Over 20 different contemporary embroideries to transfer and stitch, plus 11 extra transfer designs to get your creative juices flowing!

In Carina’s latest book, discover how to ‘doodle’ embroider and create over 20 different designs full of colour and personality

Kickstart your journey to original, personal doodle work with a variety of designs, ranging from formal patterns – such as geometrics, mandalas, labyrinths and knots gardens – to more experimental, free-form shapes that will encourage you to explore your skills and creativity. Then, be taken step by step through Carina’s ‘Garden’ sampler, so you can see how to forge a unique embroidery yourself with no design to follow.

The 22 designs can fit either in a 3- or 6-inch hoop, which are easy to source instore or online. Each of Carina’s designs will include photographs of the finished embroidery, a thread key, a stitch diagram and suggestions of how to work the design. In addition, Carina will give advice on how to rework her embroidery, to encourage your own creativity. At the back of the book, a corresponding transfer can be found so that you can easily draw the design outline onto your own fabric.

Essential materials and easy-to-follow techniques chapters can be found at the beginning of the book, along with step-by-step stitch diagrams for the 15 embroidery stitches used to make all the designs in the book – providing you with a fuss-free, colourful crash-course.

Finally, there are 11 extra transfers at the back of the book, offering variations and ideas for you to dive into and work up your own unique stitcheries! 

My review

Thread Doodling is a very pretty book and it has the most beautiful designs to stitch.

Each project has a different technique and the patterns are transfered using the iron on transfers which are included in the book. Each transfer can be used up to ten times. 

The ‘stitcheries’ are not very large, but they are perfectly sized for some quiet time, just to sit and sew.  Each one can be changed in look just by using a different colour thread or using a different stitch. 

I love the idea of free form stitching, you can let your imagination flow and Thread Doodling is ideal for this kind of sewing.

There are over 20 ideas and patterns to create. You can make them into samplers, cushions or use the ideas to adorn your clothing. I think denim jackets look great with embroidery doodles on them. 

There is a stitch dictionary, with the stiches you will need to know, the author has used DMC threads, but as always you can use whatever you have in your stash. 

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced stitcher, this book will inspire you to sew, as it is filled with beautiful patterns and is complete with hints and tips to help guide you.



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