Miniature Quilts Kumiko Frydl

514e40qOIqL._AC_UL320_ Pub: Search Press

Create 15 exquisitely detailed miniature quilts with expert guidance from Kumiko Frydl, acclaimed quilt artist.

Kumiko Frydl demonstrates her knowledge and talent in this book which illustrates a variety of quilting techniques. Learn to craft 15 exquisite, intricately worked miniature quilts, each on a different theme – including ornate roses, whimsical pineapples, a stunning beach scene and a Wedgwood-inspired pattern in blue and white. Kumiko guides you carefully through each project using detailed step-by-step instructions, diagrams and close-up photographs of the finished piece, and all the templates and stitching patterns are provided on a fold-out sheet at the back of the book.


My review 

This book is for the experienced quilter. The designs are absolutely stunning and very inspiring.

The finished quilts are small, so you are not wasting much time and fabric if you do go wrong, but what is amazing about these tiny creations is the beauty of the designs that clearly makes you want to make one.

The explanations are easy to follow, but the techniques and additional decoration call for some embroidery skills, applique and a knowledge of free motion sewing.

There are some pattern sheets included,and while each design is meant to be a mini quilt, I think a few blocks together would make one stunning larger  throw.



About the Author

Kumiko Frydl was born and grew up in Tokyo, Japan.

Her educational background is in commercial arts and dress making; her journey into quilting began only after she moved to Canada, and she and her husband began to travel extensively. Frydl began to concentrate her efforts mainly on miniature quilts as they are easier to transport, and she began to enjoy the detailed and precise workmanship required for this discipline.

Kumiko Frydl currently lives in Texas, USA, and regularly displays her quilting works at exhibitions worldwide.




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The Portrait Antoine Laurain

91MRiV6k9-L._AC_UL436_ Pub: Gallic Books

A collector unearths the find of a lifetime: an eighteenth-century portrait of a man uncannily like him.
While wandering through a Paris auction house, avid collector Pierre-François Chaumont is stunned to discover the eighteenth-century portrait of an unknown man who looks just like him.
Much to his delight, Chaumont’s bid for the work is successful, but back at home his jaded wife and circle of friends are unable to see the resemblance.
Chaumont remains convinced of it, and as he researches into the painting’s history, he is presented with the opportunity to abandon his tedious existence and walk into a brand new life…


My review

I adore Antoinie Laurain novels, I love the quirky, charming tales that always seem to give the reader the unexpected.

Pierre-Francois Chaumont is a collector of antiques, and when he stumbles across a portrait, he thinks looks just like him, his life changes and he uncovers some things about his wife and his friends that he really ought to have known about. His obsession with finding out about the painting, and a coat of arms, leads him to a discovery that is unique and quite simply astonishing. I loved it.

The ending was not what I expected but was fitting for the story.

I loved his ‘Great Aunt’ Edgar, there really should be a story all about him, he is such a fabulous character!!

This very short read is perfect for an afternoon of reading,





About the Author

Antoine Laurain is a novelist, screenwriter, journalist, director and collector of antique keys. He is the author of the best-selling novels The President’s Hat and The Red Notebook.

A truly born and bread Parisian, after studying film, he began his career directing short films and writing screenplays. His passion for art led him to take a job assisting an antiques dealer in Paris. The experience provided the inspiration for his first novel, The Portrait,winner of the Prix Drouot.

Published on the eve of the French presidential elections of 2012, Antoine’s, fairytale-like novel The President’s Hat was acclaimed by critics, readers and booksellers, who awarded it the Prix Landerneau Découvertes. In the UK, it was a Waterstones Book Club and ABA Indies Introduce pick. Unsurprisingly, the novel quickly climbed into a Kindle Top 5 bestseller. This novel, full of Parisian charm, was the winner of the Prix Relay des Voyageurs, a prize which celebrates the enjoyment of reading. Since then, The President’s Hat has been adapted for television in France.

Antoine’s novels have been translated into 14 languages, including Arabic and Korean. Sales of his books across all formats in English have surpassed 155,000 copies. And The Red Notebook (2015) has become one of Gallic Books’ bestsellers both in the UK and the USA.
Also published: French Rhapsody (2016) The Portrait (2017) and Smoking Kills (2018)

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Patternmaking for a Perfect Fit Steffani Lincecum

91Jh8QA3j9L._AC_UL436_ (1).jpg Pub: Watson-Guptill

For sewers who want to use their basic skills to re-create and update their favourite skirts, blouses and handbags in new fabrics and/or to incorporate new details. In Pattern making for a Perfect Fit, costume designer, pattern maker and teacher Steffani Lincecum reveals the secrets of the rub-off, a technique used by fashion and costume industry professionals, but is little known outside these industries, to create patterns from existing garments.


My review 

Using your own clothes this book teaches you how to make a superb pattern that fits you perfectly.

How many times have we all bought clothes only to find that in certain places they are too long, too tight or just not quite right.

This book enables, even a beginner to be able to make a garment that is wearable and suited to your body shape. Not only that, you can then reuse your pattern pieces to make several of your favourite garments in all of your favourite colours.

It is a book filled with expert knowledge, and while you will have to remember that you have a different style to the garments shown, it is a good teaching manual.

Facings, sleeves, hems and much much more are given a face lift, and with handy hints and tricks, you will soon have a custom made garment that flatters and fits.



About the Author

Steffani Lincecum is a designer and instructor with twenty years of professional pattern making and sewing experience in film, television and theatre. Steffani’s reputation as a meticulous pattern maker afforded her the opportunity to work with some of Hollywood’s hottest and most highly acclaimed costume designers, including Lori Eskowitz-Carter (Will & Grace, Good Morning Miami), Mark Bridges (Indictment, Nixon) and the late Richard Hornung. She has created custom-made clothing and accessories for Madonna and Bridget Fonda. This is her first book.






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Beautiful Beadwork from Nature Melissa Shippee



81fTxtfC4yL._AC_UL436_ Pub: Lark Books

Drawing from the shapes, colours and beauty of the natural world, award-winning beaded jewellery designer, Melissa Grakowsky Shippee, has created a breathtaking collection of necklaces, bracelets and small accessories. From delicate earrings made of graceful beaded flowers to a show-stopping crystal-fringe necklace inspired by ancient stalactites, readers will weave dazzling works of art that they can wear to the office or during a glamorous evening out. Each striking project includes detailed step-by-step illustrations and makes use of popular materials such as seed beads, crystals and Czech glass beads. An illustrated basics section provides a refresher of essential bead-weaving techniques ranging from right-angle weave to the herringbone stitch. A gallery of works from other top artists will offer additional inspiration.

My review  

Inspired by nature this book is filled with beautiful jewellery designs.

They are placed as four difficulty levels so there is something that even beginners can do.

Each project has a visual and written description, and also has a diagram to follow in stringing the beads.

The designs are stunning, necklaces, anklets and earrings are perfect for every occasion. I especially loved the hair pieces and one of these will be my first make once my beads arrive.

The photography is stunning and showcases each piece perfectly. The gallery at the back of the book is well worth a look, it is both stunning and inspiring.

Th information included tells you how to measure your chosen piece, and also gives a dedicated section on the stitches you need to learn. These are easy to follow and with a little practice is easy to accomplish.


This beautiful anklet is just one of the designs and you can see how easy the diagrams are to follow.



About the Author

Melissa Shippee is a jewellery and accessory designer. Her beaded jewellery has won numerous awards and been featured in leading beading magazines, including on the covers of Beadwork and Bead & Button. In 2017, she was named as one of Beadwork magazine’s designers of the year. Melissa teaches workshops nationally and internationally, including at the Bead&Button Show and Bead Fest, and she sells kits featuring her beadwork designs on her website. She is the author of I Can Herringbone and was a contributor of Beading All Stars, 500 Necklaces, and 1,000 Beads.





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The Mannequin Makers Craig Cliff

51jt1Jns-8L._AC_UL436_ Pub: Melville House UK

The skin was smooth and bright as porcelain, but looked as if it would give to the touch. What manner of wood had he used? What tools to exact such detail? What paints, tints or stains to flush her with life?’ So wonders the window dresser Colton Kemp when he sees the first mannequin of his new rival, a silent man the inhabitants of Marumaru simply call The Carpenter. Rocked by the sudden death of his wife in childbirth and left with twins to raise, Kemp hatches a dark and selfish plan to make his name and thwart his rival. What follows is a gothic tale of art and deception, strength and folly, love and transgression, which ranges from small-town New Zealand to the graving docks of the River Clyde in Scotland. Along the way we meet a Prussian strongman, a family of ship’s carvers with a mysterious affliction, a septuagenarian surf lifesaver and a talking figurehead named Vengeance. Lives and stories will intertwine as fate takes its cruel trajectory, leaving you feeling as if waking from an unsettling dream


My Review 

Written in four parts this is a dark and disturbing tale.

Colton kemp  works in a department store, making the window displays the best on the street. That is until he spots the mannequins of a rival store!!  This sets him on an obsessive and strange journey in which he enlists his own children into becoming mannequins for his displays.

Colton’s wife dies in childbirth, and oddly he decides to tell no one of this tragic occurrence. Worried about how he will care for the children she has borne, he somehow comes up with an idea that will isolate the children and intrigue his rival, The Carpenter.

This is one clever tale, and did not end how I expected it to. In fact, from the beginning I was playing a guessing game and I was wrong at every turn.

A clever and absorbing read, I loved how the author made me thing and feel something different at every change in the plot. It is deliciously weird and brilliantly told.

I am anxiously waiting for the follow up.





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Beaded Embroidery Stitching Christen Brown

A1pU98UF1fL._AC_UL320_ Pub: C & T Publishing

Add dimension and lustre to your sewing projects! Inspired by the magic of beads, buttons, and charms, Christen Brown shares eight stunning beadwork projects including brooches, bracelets, and wallhangings. A handy visual guide to 125 bead-embroidered and bead-woven stitches categorises each stitch by style, with a second alphabetical index to keep at your fingertips. A robust project gallery will inspire crafters of all skill levels, from embroiderers and sewists to crazy quilters, mixed-media artists, and jewellery makers. Beads, buttons, and charms! Dabble in 125 bead-embroidery and bead-woven stitches Embellish eight projects, including bedazzled jewellery, wall art, and a sewing caddy Search both the complete visual guide (with stitches organised by type) and the A-to-Z stitch index for easy reference.


My review 

This very pretty project book is ideal for bead embroiderers..even if you are just a beginner.

It has a good pictorial guide to the stitches and each colourful design is simple but beautifully effective.

It explains the techniques used, which makes each project very easy and ensures a professional finish and a wearable or usable item. There are 125 stitches, but ribbon and buttons are also used to embellish the designs.

The author is a master of her craft, she has definitely inspired me to have a go. The instructions are simple and the layout for each method is easy to follow.  There is a skill level guide, so you can start easy and progress through the book as your confidence grows.

I loved the bracelets, they are very Boho in style, and also very stylish.

Beading Embroidery can be used to decorate bags, make cushions, trim quilts and so much more.  The pictures that are included are simply stunning. fabulous pieces of art that look absolutely amazing.

This is a beautiful book that I love and will use for gifts and ideas.



Although I have done a little Bead Embroidery before, I am by no means an expert.

I used the embroidery template from my last review, as I loved it and it is an easy design. I used some tiny seed beads and just a normal sewing thread.

2019-05-31 11.07.36

The result was quite amazing and I loved the 3D effect of the design.

My finished result was good and I stitched my design to some fabric and added some lace. I am going to make this into a purse and gift it to a friend.

2019-05-31 13.43.01


Happy crafting x


About the Author

Christen Brown teaches embroidery, quilting, ribbonwork, mixed media, and beadwork in her best-selling books. With a degree in fashion design, she has shown her work in galleries and fashion shows all over the world. She lives in Escondido, California.




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Finishing School A Master Class for Knitters Deborah Newton

71GSUhsroUL._AC_UL436_ Pub: Sixth & Spring Books

Notable knitter and designer Deborah Newton shares her expertise and love of finishing techniques in an on-the-page master class. Finishing School is THE most trusted resource on finishing techniques for knitting. Compiling her sage wisdom from more than 25 years of experience, Deborah Newton offers a welcoming and straightforward approach that empowers knitters to create professional-looking garments and accessories. She patiently takes her student-readers through every essential finishing technique–blocking, seaming, buttonholes and bands, zippers, edgings, pockets, and other embellishments–and carefully demystifies it with detailed photography, in-depth examples, and helpful sidebars, tips, and tutorials. As a bonus, 15 patterns for sweaters, jackets, and scarves, many with variations, illustrate the newly learned techniques to further cement essential skills.

My review 

Every knitter has a knitting book of some kind, and  Finishing School not only has 15 glorious patterns included it has relevant and helpful information we might have forgotten or may not have ever known.

I never knew the importance of making a swatch.. but now I understand that is a fundamental part of getting a perfect finished knit.

Blocking, Yarn differences, edging and even sewing your garment together are all important aspects of knitting that have been included in this amazing book.

I learned such a lot, and I have been knitting for many many years. I loved the felting section, which is something I would never have considered.

The pattern section is easy to understand and with four skill levels, even the beginner will have a project to do.  The pictures of the work is gorgeous and I loved the neutral tones of each design.

There are many skills covered and I do think this is a book from which every lover of knitting can learn.



About the Author

Deborah Newton has been a knitwear designer for more than 25 years, and her designs have appeared in numerous publications. She writes a popular fit and design column for Vogue Knitting and teaches regularly at Vogue Knitting Live. Her first book, the bestselling Designing Knitwear, has been in print for more than 15 years. She is also the author of Good Measure. She lives in Providence, RI.




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