Tag Archives: book review

A Belated Day THREE book review…

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Yesterday was a hectic day for me, and I didn’t get the Day THREE book review posted! Sorry! Here it is – hope you enjoy it.

I got this book from the library, but believe you me, it is going to the top of the buy-as-soon-as I-am-in-funds list! I know it is popular in certain circles to belittle or defame Martha Stewart. But true crafters appreciate her creativity, and despite the enormity of publications, products and media that she and her staff produces, she is well worth watching, reading and learning from.

Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts (Basic techniques for sewing, applique, embroidery, quilting, dying, and printing, plus 150 inspired projects from A to Z) comes with a CD, which features print-at-home patterns and templates.  The projects are clever, and the explanation and pictures with each one are detailed and thorough. The templates are necessary, so I don’t suggest the book for those without a CD player on their computer – and a printer.

Some of the projects I intend to do include Washcloth Puppets (page 132) made with a terrycloth washcloth and washable felt. So clever, and so easy!

AND, the Mason-jar Sewing Kits (page 280) which will make wonderful gifts.

(NOTE: Please remember that these are copyrighted pictures/photos, the property of the authors, photographers and/or publisher, and as such are displayed for review purposes only. Please do NOT copy or distribute!)

Whether you are an accomplished seamstress/tailor, or a novice, you will really get a lot of knowledge from this book. It isn’t called an encyclopedia for nothin’! Right after Martha’s introduction, there are four separate sections in the “Getting Started” segment. These include – fabric glossary, thread glossary, setting up a sewing area and good things for sewing.

Last, but definitely not least, the end of the book brings the reader to:

  • tools and materials
  • tips and extra techniques
  • CD patterns and templates
  • sources
  • buyer’s guide
  • projects by technique

As always, should you do some projects from the book, please send me pictures to post on the blog!

It’s a GOOD THING! 🙂

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Book Reviews – a Trio of Treasures – DAY TWO!

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 I recently won a copy of New Dimensions in Bead and Wire Jewelry: Unexpected Combinations, Unique Designs by Margot Potter. I read it cover to cover, and tried out one thing – couldn’t do much because my jewelry making stuff is socked away in storage in California! 🙂

I absolutely love the way Ms. Potter works so organically with wire and beads; each project shows her attentiveness to detail, her dedication to her art and her interest in creating designs that are true to the nature from which her inspiration comes.

The projects are very well photographed and explained; and her sections on tools, selecting beads and techniques are really detailed. I don’t think this is a great choice for a total beginning jewelry maker, but it is a fine addition to a crafter’s library. Sorry I didn’t take any pictures of the project I worked on; I am practicing wire-wrapping techniques and working with different weights of wire, as well as making my own jump rings and earring wires. It is great fun to see improvements starting to happen just with the tools I have on hand! Next on my “to-buy” list is a new wire jig and some softer copper wire.

The book uses Beadalon wire almost exclusively, which Ms. Potter states she has used for over 12 years and likes tremendously. Beadalon is also the “sponsor” of the book, which is published by North Light Books out of Cincinnati. Ms. Potter has other books in the same series.

IF you do buy this book (or check it out from the library!) and do any of the projects therein, PLEASE send me pictures – I will give you blog space! 🙂 Happy Crafting!

Book Reviews – a Trio of Treasures – DAY ONE!

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I am going to do mini reviews this week on three books recently read. First up, Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders 101 Sewing Projects Using Cottons, Knits, Voiles, Corduroy, Fleece, Flannel, Home Dec, Oilcloth, Wool, and Beyond by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins.

I read this book on my Adobe Digital Reader, and I will have to say, up front, that reading craft books via an e-reader of any kind is an exercise in frustration for me. In this instance, it actually means I cannot give a full honest appraisal of the book’s usefulness, or the patterns (which are provided in an attached envelope in the real hard cover book) because reading a book this way is not conducive to a hands-on approach. Other books I have read and reviewed in this format were actually similarly difficult, (Simply Great Breads and the Crocheted Prayer Shawl Companion) because you cannot print books you get via this medium, for review. In the latter instances, I just kept my computer handy and referred to it as I crocheted or baked. Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders unfortunately does not lend itself to that kind of use. Nonetheless, I can tell you about the book’s strong points, and writing style!

Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins have written another best-selling fabric book, One-Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Fabric Projects; Look How Much You Can Make with Just One Yard of Fabric! I have not read that one, but get the sense that this one is more detailed insofar as it deals with different types of fabric, how they handle, the tools needed to cut and sew on different fabrics. Chapter 1 starts with Fabric Fundamentals, which was quite useful, whether you are an experienced seamstress/tailor, or a beginner. It gives you guidance on how to get the best from your sewing machine, what kind of needles to use for different fabrics, and details on presser feet, tension and thread weights. Good basic stuff, handy to have in one place. This chapter also has an excellent list of 31 Equipment Must-Haves.

The remaining chapters “take on” each kind of fabric, providing a pattern and tips on working with cotton, wool, knits etc. The patterns are illustrated with sketches, as well as photographs of the completed project. There is an excellent Glossary at the end of sewing and fabric terms, which, whatever your skill level, is really handy to have at your fingertips.

If I had had the actual book and patterns, there are several I would have tried, including the adorable Hedgehog Bookends or the adorable Knight in Shining Armor. (NOTE: Please remember that these are copyrighted pictures/photos, the property of the authors, photographers and/or publisher, and as such are displayed for review purposes only. Please do NOT copy or distribute!) From Hats to Belts to Scarves, this has some unusual ideas for fabric and sewing. If you have kids, and/or teens, there are projects in here that would be right up their alley! (LOVE those Clichés!Cliches!)

The Bottom Line? I liked it, I really liked it! I would not give it full marks because I was unable to test the patterns myself, but the layout, ideas and writing are great. This book will not be published until mid December, 2011, so that I don’t think it will do for making Christmas gifts for this year, but plan ahead for next year, or better yet, give the book as a gift!

Enjoy!