50 Little Gifts: Easy Patchwork Projects to Give or Swap Susanne Woods

51vbpE5FprL._AC_US218_Pub:  Lucky Spool Media

With the power of this book and your fabric stash, you can whip up any of these 50 last-minute patchwork gifts with most taking under an hour to complete. All projects are sourced from some of your favourite designers like Anna Graham, Amanda Jean Nyberg and Jeni Baker. Don’t waste your time scrolling through endless tutorials online looking for those instructions on how to make a zippy pouch, when you need to make that last-minute gift right now. This is a collection of all of those projects including: napkins, pincushions, gift card holder, keyrings, electronic cases, bibs & fabric baskets. Get inspiration for some unique gifts like a Christmas pickle ornament, geode coasters or a teabag wallet too. These quick and easy gifts involve no fussy paper piecing or complicated techniques and are suitable for quilters of all levels.


My review

Filled with 50 gorgeous stitchy projects this book will give endless ideas for gifts for friends and family.

There are useful items that just about cover every occasion, from Bags to Bottle carriers.

Each project comes with easy to follow instructions and a list of what you need.

Measurements are given in inches, and there are a few pictures to guide you through the sewing process.

Many handy hints and tips are littered throughout the book and the Actual size templates are fabulous.

All the projects can be used with fat quarters, so this is a perfect craft book for those needing a ‘stash buster‘.

For beginner and advanced sewists, the projects are fun, they are also good for upgrading your sewing skills as the need for zips, embellishments and binding, to name a few, are key. As the projects are small they do not take long to complete, so a few hours of sewing will teach and remind you of the techniques involved.

I adored the Tooth Fairy pillow and the Undercover Maker Mat is something that every sewing room needs.

There is even a Butterfly Charm block for the quilters.

A beautiful project in full colour that is amazing and clever.



My make.


My husband needed a new tablet case so I was pleased that this book had one as a project.

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I used two fat quarters for this project.  The instructions are for a specific sized e reader, so I needed to measure my tablet for this project.

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The step by step instructions are simple to follow and give clear advice on the best techniques. However, if you are an advanced sewist, you can of course use your own know how to achieve a good result.


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This e reader cover took about one and half hours to complete. I think it looks great.


Happy sewing x


The Author

Susanne Woods oversaw several successful compilation books in her former position as the Acquisitions Editor at C&T Publishing. She has been in the publishing industry for over 16 years, and she is an avid quilter and a long-time crafter and Publisher at Lucky Spool Media. She is the Secretary of The Modern Quilt Guild and founder of the Tri-Valley Modern Quilt Guild chapter. Susanne lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.





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Pompom Noel: 33 Festive Pompoms to Make for Christmas Alistair Macdonald

51OmWb-QZdL._AC_US218_Pub: Search Press Ltd

Enter a wonderland of fluffy festive fun, filled with the magic of pompoms! Pompoms are easy to make, have oodles of charm and will appeal to young and old alike. 33 lovely projects to decorate your merry home, adorn your gifts and give as presents to loved ones on the special day. Starting with a simple know-how chapter on how to make your pompoms, filled with techniques and handy tips, you’ll get straight into making your designs and immerse yourself in holiday spirit right away. From robins and gingerbread folk to decorate your tree, through to wreaths and champagne markers that’ll warmly greet your guests, there’s something for everyone. Create these pompoms for a no-fuss Christmas that will spread surely festive cheer everywhere! Uses material from Alistair Macdonald’s Fabulous Pompoms and Pompom Christmas.


My review

Pom Poms are one of those creations we learn as children. Even the name itself conjures up creative fun.

How fabulous then, as adults to use this simple craft and create wonderful decorations with which to decorate our homes for that special time of year.

33 projects in the colours of Christmas are showcased beautifully in this wonderful book.

Robins, Reindeer and of course Father Christmas are simply put together, using different sized Pom Poms.

There are other Pom Pom creations to make and enjoy, such as Table decorations, Tote bags and even a Teddy Bear, these can all be given as gifts for your friends and family to love and enjoy.

In full glossy colour this is an amazing book. Full instructions for each project, along with a list of things you will need are given, and the full sized templates makes this an easy and fun craft for the whole family to enjoy.

The Pom Poms needed range from 1′ to 4 1/2′. so are small enough to crate in an afternoon.

I love this book. It original, creative and so much fun.



2018-09-28 06.30.33 This beautiful table decoration is both simple and stunning. It is bound to be a talking point among your dinner guests.

2018-09-28 06.30.51 I adore these colourful napkins, They will be my first project and will adorn my Festive dinner table.


The Author

Alistair MacDonald studied fashion design at Central St Martins School of Art in London and set up his own womenswear label, House of Alistair, in 2008. Working from his own studio in Savile Row, he has become a highly respected and well-known fashion designer. Alistair’s love of Liberty fabric has fuelled his imagination to design and create a range of craft and textile products and gifts, available at http://www.houseofalistair.com. Stockists include Liberty and the V & A, and Alistair has distributors in Norway and Japan.




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Embroidery Stitching Handy Pocket Guide Christen Brown

51J9qa7HDjL._AC_US218_Pub: C & T Publishing

Get the pocket guide to embroidery that everyone’s talking about – a 64 – page mini book perfect to take on the go! With over 30 essential embroidery stitches, this all-in-one-reference is ideal for hand stitchers, crazy quilters and freeform embroiderers. Learn the best stabilisers and thread for embroidery, then branch out with eye-catching embellishments. This petite paperback is the perfect size for your purse or embroidery kit – a great gift for all sewists!


My Review

This handy booklet showcases 30 stitches common to embroidery.

The techniques are shown in picture and written step by step and with recommendations and advice for fabric, thread and embellishments that will give your embroidery a professional and beautiful finish.

It is a pocket sized book, and includes some very beautiful pieces of embroidery work, giving inspiration and stunning ideas.

Starting with a simple Blanket stitch, Chain stitch, Chevron stitch and many others are included in this fabulous guide, You probably wouldn’t need many more to get started.

No needlework box should be without this informative and educational guidebook and it would make a great gift for beginners and advanced sewists.

Embroidery Stitching  is perfect if you want to learn the various embroidery stitches or just need to remind yourself of which stitch is best for your project.



The Author

A1DBtY6i49L._UX250_  Christen Brown has been creating with fibre and fabric since childhood. She studied fashion design in college and has been creating wearable art since 1986. Her ribbon work has been featured worldwide in galleries, fashion shows, and magazines such as Martha Stewart Weddings. Christen lives in San Diego, CA.






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The Build a Bag Book: Occasion Bags Debbie Shore

51O79LdgeQL._AC_US218_Pub:  Search Press Ltd

New from Debbie Shore, this is a brand new series with a difference! The 15 occasion bag designs are created using the rigid plastic templates contained within the book; these two easy-to-use templates are durable, reusable, wipe-clean and perfect for fussy cutting, plus they are simple to position and use – there is no need to pin them. The 15 bags are each made using different techniques, pockets, straps and fastenings, to create 15 very different results. The templates can also be used for your own further design variations, as you mix and match the techniques covered within the book; Debbie gives advice on how to adapt and create your own unique designs. Each project in the book is explained using Debbie’s trademark style and step-by-step photography, and there is also a comprehensive techniques section and a guide to using the templates.


Following on from my last review of Debbie Shores ‘Build A Bag’ series..

Occasion Bags is every bit as good as the Tote Bag book. You really do need both on your sewing shelf.

Once again, this is a book that is simple to use, with beautiful projects that give stunning results.

The ‘Build A Bag’ books come with two reusable templates, and is stored in a hard backed folder. the book can be removed for ease of use and with 15 very different styles of bag, there is one for every occasion.

The book has handy hints and sewing tips, so it is perfect for beginners and advanced sewist will benefit from the handy reminder.

What I love about Debbie Shores books is that she always uses easy to understand language. She uses no stitchy slang or technical terms, and every step is simply explained.

I love the fabric suggestions, the author has thought of everything we need to know. The bag projects have a both a visual and written explanation, which are simple to follow and ensure that you can stitch up a creation in just an hour or two depending on your skill level.

This has to be the best Debbie Shore series to date and I highly recommend them to every stitch lover.


I decided to make the Bow Clutch bag..

Once again, the ‘Build A bag’ series comes with two reusable sturdy templates.

Each step is beautifully demonstrated with colourful pictures and easy to understand language.

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The Bow Clutch is a small but beautiful bag, with a stunning bow, that also doubles up as the closure.

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You do not need a lot of fabric with these projects. For my bagI used just 3 fat quarters.

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The templates are easy to use. The instructions show a detailed picture of which part of the template you need for each project… you then just mark in the slots.

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It took me about an hour to sew my bag and I must say I am very happy with the results.

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Happy sewing x


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Friend of the Family Tasmina Perry

51+iLr0rUeL._AC_US218_.jpgPub: Review


She thinks your life is perfect. She thinks you don’t deserve it.

Your job
Amy is more than happy to offer the daughter of an old friend work experience at her London magazine. Josie is young and ambitious. She just needs a foot in the door.

Your home
When Josie arrives, she swiftly makes herself indispensable at work and at home. And when childcare falls through before a long-awaited university reunion in Provence, it begins to look as if Josie may be staying longer than Amy had bargained for.

Your husband
In the heat of Provence, Josie’s presence starts to unsettle Amy, especially around her husband. As cracks begin to appear in Amy’s perfect life, she cannot shake the feeling that the family friend may not be a friend at all…


All I can say is WOW!!

Tasmina Perry has written a stylish, gripping and creepy read that I highly recommend.

Amy has the perfect life, a wonderful handsome husband, a fabulous glamourous job in the world magazine editing and trusty friends. She has long left behind her humble roots and has made a success of her life.

Revenge, obsession and accusations arise when Amy meets up with an old best friend Karen, and offers to give Karen’s daughter a chance to work at the magazine in the form of unpaid work experience.

This is a chilling novel.

As Amy’s life starts to unravel, the tension mounts and the suspense is thrilling.

Each page gives a insight into the magazine world and I absolutely loved it. It is a novel of pure escapism, but all the while, it is a stomach churning twisty read. It is a little predictable and I did guess correctly along the way, but the story sneaks up on the reader, and I for one truly enjoyed it.



Boho Embroidery: The Pattern Collection Nichole Vogelsinger

51u8k2oJc6L._SS300_Pub:  Lucky Spool Media

Boho Embroidery is back! Following Nichole Vogelsinger’s best-selling Boho Embroidery: Modern Projects from Traditional Stitches, this book continues Nichole’s signature fabric-collage-meets-embroidery journey featuring all new designs, stitches and techniques. Immerse yourself in Nichole’s boho style with saturated threads and fabric and shimmery beads and sequins. Nichole provides over 30 original motifs all ready for you to transfer onto fabric and get stitching! Beginner-friendly, this is for the embroiderer who is looking for fresh trendy motifs and for fabric lovers looking to take a break from machine sewing and get back to handwork.


This book is one bright and colourful project book.

While the projects might not be for everyone, they can be adapted and used as inspiration.

Stitches, tools and a handy hoop guide are included and the templates are fabulous to trace and enlarge on a printer.

The Steampunk Beetle is a joy, as are the Stained Glass hoop projects. With various ideas, such as Applique, each project is showcased using colour, fabric and embellishments.

This is a book perfect for beginners and advanced embroiderers, and I just know it would make a gorgeous gift.

30 motifs and an abundance of stitches, this Boho styled project book is both delightful and inspiring.


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Quilter’s Yearbook: 52 Weeks to Explore Your Inner Quilt Genius and Have Some Fabric Fun Compiled by Susanne Woods

51zihaEIsxL._AC_US160_Pub: Lucky Spool Media

Document 52 weeks of your most memorable quilting moments in this interactive journal designed to help quilters and sewists expand their creativity and self-motivation. Write, cut and glue your way through a series of fast fun and easy challenges that ask you to try new things, to create lists of your favourites and to explore your sewing stash. This uplifting and humorous book presents supportive prompts and exercises to encourage reflection through writing, drawing and chart-making. Packed with open-ended questions this appealing full-colour journal will make a perfect gift and keepsake as well as being a powerful tool for positive change. At the end, you’ll have built a portfolio that celebrates your most inspired year ever.


This is a gem of book for lovers of quilting. 

I love journaling and I love sewing, so this makes an ideal book for me.

Each ‘week’ there is something exciting to do and with plenty of room to jot down your notes, projects and ideas, it is user friendly and inspirational.

The first project is to actually stitch your book!!  Original and unique it was the perfect way to personalise the book and make it even more special than it is already.

I loved that the author has made it fun, and to be honest I do not make a quilt a week, but this is a journal to keep working on and I don’t think it matters if it takes me a year or two.

It  has pages of half finished blocks, that you create more block ideas from, so I think that even quilting novices will be able to be encouraged.

I loved it and I think you will too!!


I just about squealed with the first project..

You are to make a strip to keep pencils and patterns, which covers the green band on the cover of your book.

I chose some stitchy themed fabric..

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I cut my fabric to size, stitch the sides together and made a band. I top stitched down each side to make it neat.

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This is then stitched to book, from end to end. I made some tiny ‘sleeves’ to keep pencils and other stitchy things safe and handy.

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