Summer Reading

Summer Reading

I decided that this summer is the time for me to get back to sewing that I absolutely love, quilting.  I haven’t touched any of my quilting projects, or started any new ones for a few years.  That leaves me with some projects that are incomplete, and an overwhelming desire to start some new ones!

Continue reading…….    

Book: Hobo Quilts by Deborah G. Henninger

I purchased this book some time ago and thought that I would share it with you.  This isn’t a regular book review, where I show and tell and let you decide if it is the book for you, but a discovery on my part.  What I mean by discovery, is that I purchased this book because it looked interesting (I bought it from an online source) and I like to read quilt books that are a little different than the norm.  But I found this book to be so much more than a regular quilting pattern book. It is a record of an important part of this country’s history.

I have always been fascinated by the era of the great depression.  I tend to soak up anything that I come across that tells about how people survived coped with the tough times they had to deal with.  There are some great lessons of survival that all of us can learn from.

First about the history included in the book.  Yes there are quilts,

I find it so fascinating to learn about the blocks, which were adapted from signs that were made by those who rode the rails, looking for work wherever they could. It was another language you had to learn (or would pick up)  if you were going to survive and join others doing the same.

The stories that are included on the pages with these blocks have totally engulfed me.  They are written by those that lived this life on the rails, some just short paragraphs, others a short story.

There are numerous pictures that show the hardships that families had to endure.

And this is also a quilt book.  There are quilt blocks in the first half of the book, and the second half provides layouts for several different quilts.  The stories about the experiences of several different people, are included throughout the entire book.

Each quilt is named, and there is a little story included below the name, giving you some history of the origin.  There there are the material lists, for different sizes, cutting directions, and then at the bottom of the page you may find some hints that may be beneficial to you.


Deborah also includes a set by step directions and layouts to guide you in the assembly of the quilt..

Here are more pictures of some of the quilts…

There is a comprehensive symbol glossary included in the back of the book, this is just one of the pages..

If any of you has read this book, I’d like to hear your opinion about it.  I have hardly been able to put it down, just reading the stories.

Thanks for stopping by and reading!

Book Review: Free and Easy stitch style by Poppy Treffry

Finally, here it is!  I have wanted to tell you about this book since this last spring, so here we go..

I purchased this book, not so much for the projects that are included, but because of the techniques that Poppy shows you in this book.  If you have read my blog for very long, you may have seen a few things that I have made using raw-edge applique.  I love the free and easy style of this type of sewing.   Well this book is that and so much more.

Poppy Treffry has such a delightful style!  She has created a book (all 128 pages) that is sure to spur the imagination of anyone wanting to just get into a project and add their own style without following a lot of rigid rules.

Yes she has some really cute projects in here that will certainly get you going.  But she has also packed the book with a lot of creative direction using diagrams and pictures to show you how to do a wide range of sewing, quilting and embroidery techniques.  She has also added a lot of tips along the way.

She has you experimenting with shapes, shading, outlining, highlighting, and creating dimension with thread.

A large part of what I like about her technique is that it seems almost impossible to make a mistake!  Talk about taking off the pressure!  And  you can be truly creative.  If something doesn’t come out exactly the way you planned, why not add more stitching or a different color or embellishment to it and make it something different?

Poppy also gives you some instruction on pressing, trimming, dealing with your edges, experimenting with different fabrics, and encouragement to try new things.  She includes a troubleshooting section so if you are having trouble with your thread or machine, you can look over her ’cause’ and ‘solution’ section.  I am sure that the things she has included are very common problems that most of us would encounter.

I love that she has such a large design wall of ideas, and uses an old Singer machine!

She has a lot of projects in the book, about twelve of them.

Here is a closer look at some of the instructions for some of the projects, and there are templates for your use in the back of the book, as well as an index to help you locate some of the tips and instructions a little easier.

I am inspired every time that I open up this book.  I love Poppy’s free and easy spirit in her creations.  I recommend that you find a copy and get a closer look at this book yourself!  I hope you enjoy!

Take care,

Cheryl


Book Review – Pretty Little Presents

As I promised, here is a look at a book that I recently purchased.  I had actually been looking at this book online, and decided that I wouldn’t purchase it.  But then browsing through the sewing books over at my local Barnes and Noble, (just try to keep me away from them!)  I ran across it.  Having a chance to really browse through it changed my mind totally.  I decided that there are a lot of really cute projects in the book that I would make.  It makes all the difference when you can really get a good look at the book before you purchase it.  That’s why I like to give all of you a chance to see some of these books, before you make the decision to purchase it or not.  Anyhow, here goes, through my eyes….

Pretty Little Presents

And a note:  Please excuse the lighting in these pictures.  I had to do this in the evening, and I had a hard time getting good light.

Pretty Little Presents is published by Lark Books and features projects from several different designers. Here is a look at the credits page..

Designer Credits
Designer Credits

In case you can’t read this well, you’ll see names like Elizabeth Hartman, Fiona Hesford, Belinda Andresson, Stephanie Costo, Lisa Cox and many, many others.  The information includes their websites and blogs, where you can learn so much more about them, and follow all of their crafty endeavors.

prelly little presents

Contents Page 1
Contents Page 1
Contents Page 2
Contents Page 2

The book is divided up int five chapters:  Host(ess) With the Most(est), Welcome Home, Snappy Birthday, Tying the Knot, and Bundles of Joy.  The chapters are all set up with gift giving in mind, and most of the projects are pretty quick to make.

Starting with basics, you will get some information  about what tools will be required to do most of the projects in the book, and a little background  about the tools needed and how they will be used.

Basics
Basics

There is also a some information regarding types of fabrics, what a fat quarter is, and some tips about sewing with these fabrics.  This is just general information, but can be helpful if you are fairly new to sewing with some of these fabrics.

Next, a small section of sewing techniques.  Diagrams walk you through tips such as binding with bias tape, clipping or notching curves, making and attaching straps, making your own bias tape, adding a lining, installing zippers, just to name a few.

DSC03391

The diagrams are fairly clear and easy to follow.

DSC03392

Diagrams like these are all through the book and included with each project as well.  Here is a peak at some of the projects included:

Passport Holder by Lisa Cox
Passport Holder by Lisa Cox
Passport Holder Instruction
Passport Holder Instruction
Some of the Figures
Some of the Figures
Closeup of the holder opened up
Closeup of the holder opened up

The project is listed step-by-step, with photos and figures to refer to so you know what is being said.

Here are a few more items for you to see….

Bookmarks with Magnets by Joan K. Morris
Bookmarks with Magnets by Joan K. Morris
Gift Card Holders by Beth Walker
Gift Card Holders by Beth Walker
Carryall by Lisa Cox
Carryall by Lisa Cox
Purse/Clutch by Elizabeth Hartman
Purse/Clutch by Elizabeth Hartman
wake, rattle & stroll by Roxanne Beauvais
wake, rattle & stroll by Roxanne Beauvais
hold anything by Celine Reid
hold anything by Celine Reid
sew convenient by Katherine Accettura
sew convenient by Katherine Accettura

I think that you get the idea.  I don’t want to ruin all of the surprises!

The book includes templates in the back that can be enlarged for use..

templates
templates

At 132 pages, this little book packs in a lot of projects that show a lot of creativity.  With holidays on the way, I have marked several that I’m going to make already!

I hope that you find that this information is helpful, and if you have any additional questions, please send me an e-mail, I’d be glad to answer them for you.

Enjoy your day, and thanks for stopping by!