Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

Modern Quilts Block By Block Hop

October 17, 2018

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It’s here, it’s here! When I found out that Emily Dennis had a book coming out, I had high expectations for it being really good. Emily has a great eye for design, color combos, and simplicity. Not only is her book full of amazing, all new quilt designs, but it also has helpful diagrams for cutting based on your fabric size, and step by step picture instructions for making classics like flying geese and hourglass blocks. My favorite books are the ones I not only turn to for inspiration, but also for helpful tips and instructions, and this book is exactly that!

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Like a lot of you, I am a visual learner, and am forever needing a refresher on the basics like making half square triangles four at a time (don’t tell me you haven’t cut those blocks wrong once or twice too!), the diagrams in here are worth their weight in gold and for that reason alone, I HIGHLY recommend this book.

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Another thing that really stood out to me in this book is the color pallet, but it’s really more than that, it’s a seamless look the whole way through from cover to cover, without a doubt you can look at the beautiful pictures and know right away that it’s Emily’s work. As someone who is still finding my own creative “voice”, this is something I aspire to do in my own work.

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Emily asked me to make one block and choosing was really hard, there is a gorgeous sampler quilt at the end of the book if you can’t pick just one block! I went with this 12 inch Hourglass block using some favorite fabrics. My friend Jenni and I just started a friendship quilt where we each make the other person one block a month for a year, at the end we will both have a custom made quilt top ready to quilt and cherish from the other. Our only “rules” are to have fun and don’t stress which has made this the most fun sewing I’ve done in a long time. I especially love choosing from my hoarded fabrics, you know the ones we save for something really special, and since we have similar taste it’s made it all the more easy, just make what we love! Although I did warn her that I’m afraid each block will have some sort of green in it (I just can’t help myself!). The blocks in this book are a variety of sizes (including a rectangle one!) and I look forward to making a few more for this friendship quilt. For now, I’m keeping Modern Quilts Block By Block on hand for inspiration and reference.

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Be sure to follow along with the rest of the book hop on Instagram for more inspiration and order your own copy from Amazon!

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Simply Stitched with Applique, Book Review and Giveaway!

October 30, 2017

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My friends over at Zakka Workshop sent me their beautiful new book Simply Stitched with Applique and they also sent one for me to share! Do you follow Yumiko Higuchi over on Instagram? If you don’t, you are missing out on some beautifully inspiring embroidery work!

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I always say a good sign of a great book is the one that has all the pages marked and papers sticking out everywhere. I had such a hard time choosing what to make first, so I just started putting papers in the ones I loved most (that cover motif is at the top of my list!).

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This Leaf Sampler is so striking in black with all the green shades. Each design comes with multiple options for colors or layouts, you could make these really modern or much more traditional, something for everyone!

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This one is up next on my to-sew list, in these purples and greens, maybe just a small pin cushion with a few leaves on it. Also what a beautiful way to bring nature into our homes for those of us who tend to kill actual nature, just whip one of these beautiful botanical scenes up! This design is also shown in rich Fall colors, perfect as Thanksgiving home decor!

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I fell in love with this tiny strawberry pin cushion and wanted to make one exactly like it to share with one of you. I remembered that my local antique store had some vintage linen towels with embroidery on them so I went in search of this minty green color and found one. Yay! And don’t worry, the original vintage embroidery will be going in a small hoop for my wall soon.

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Yumiko also has a wonderful embroidery guide in this book which I kept flipping back to. I don’t embroider often enough to have anything more than basic stitches memorized, so a picture guide is always a helpful tool.

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Something so sweet and little makes me happy, and what a joy to work on bits here and there while watching Wives and Daughters (it seemed very fitting to do a small embroidery to go with the time period of that show).

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I used a green wool thread from Aurifil for the leaves and other thread weights of Aurifil in yellow and red that I had on hand. The wool felt is from Benzie Design, they have a beautiful selection of quality felt at a very good price (just don’t get carried away with the felt balls for Christmas garland like I did! hehe!). And of course the linen is vintage which I think gives this whole project just a bit more charm.

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I just love giveaways and I am so happy to send this little pin cushion along with a copy of the beautiful Simply Stitched with Applique book from Zakka Workshop. This book is also available HERE on Amazon and would make a wonderful addition to your embroidery library. To enter the giveaway, find my post over on Instagram and enter for your chance to win. Giveaway will run from Monday October 30 till Friday November 3. Best of luck and thanks for stopping by!