Looking for an inspiring read? Check out what I’m reading right now.
Sew Charming: 40 Simple Sewing and Hand-Printing Projects for Home and Family ($24.99; Potter Craft, 2010)
Cath Derksema and Kirsten Junor
How often can you envision the perfect fabric print for your project…if only you could find it? Cath and Kirsten of Prints Charming, an Australian fabric design studio, show you how to screen-print your own fabric in their latest book. In addition to easy-to-understand, step-by-step photos outlining the screen-printing process, I love that there are 12 screen-printing patterns–including heart, bird, and starburst motifs–on pullout sheets. If printing your own fabric isn’t your thing, don’t fear. Plenty of the 40 projects don’t require the technique, and the ones that do include screen-printed designs have tips for using already-printed fabric. So much of what I sew is for my home, so I really appreciate that the projects are broken up into eight chapters centered around rooms: nursery, girl’s room, boy’s room, adult’s room, living room, kitchen, and outdoor living. Another bonus? Many of the projects feature stunning hand embroidery, which is called out in beautiful detail photos. Talk about eye candy!
On my “to-make” list: Brooches (page 64), Starbust Quilt (page 82), Lampshade (page 105)
Circle Quilts: Create Dramatic Medallions from Strip-Pieced Rings ($27.95; C&T Publishing, 2011)
I first saw examples of Colleen’s head-turning circle quilts when I learned about her new Quilt Shaper product for round quilts at Fall 2010 Quilt Market. To be honest, paper piecing intimidates me a little bit. Stitching, trimming, folding, unfolding…it can be tricky to keep all the steps straight. This book has great step-by-step photos that show you not only how to paper-piece arcs for these stunning quilts, but also how to chain-piece them quickly using a technique Colleen calls Power Piecing. This section is a great reference not only to make the eight projects and 11 color options in this book, but for any paper-piecing project.
On my “to-make” list: Liberty Star (page 28)