Saturday, 29 December 2012

Book Review: Hanging Hearts by Rachael Rowe

Rachael Rowe's 'Hanging Hearts' is a great introduction to sewing and making hearts to hang as decorations around your home. Rachael studied in the next city from where I live, at the University of the West of England in Bristol, and graduated with a First Class BA (Hons) in Fashion Design.

It contains ten pages of instructions at the beginning of the book to get you started with things like basic techniques and materials and equipment.

The projects vary from very basic heart sewing with no embellishments to printing photos onto fabric, so it's an excellent first sewing book for a beginner. One of the projects would make a great keepsake for someone you want to remember. It features a photo of your loved one printed out and sewn onto the heart which is very sweet and a lovely idea.

The hearts are made from very pretty fabrics in the book and the photographs will inspire you as they are beautiful.

There are twenty projects in the book in total and they include machine sewing and hand sewing. The templates are printed full size (without the need for a photocopier) at the back of the book, with a diagram showing the four main stitches used in the book, running stitch, chain stitch, backstitch and blanket stitch. As you can see from my photos the step-by-step instructions contain clear well-lit photos so you can see how to do the project as well as read, which is great for those who are more visual learners than text-based learners like me : )

'Hanging Hearts' is available for £7.99 from Search Press here.

While you're on their website, check out their 'hurt books' sections with savings of 50% off due to damaged covers. The interior pages are undamaged. Or check out their sale section, also with 50% off.

Thanks to Search Press for sending me this book to review.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Happy Holidays and have a great New Year!

I won't be blogging for a while so I thought I would post this video which contains a remix of a song from 'Holiday Inn' to say Happy Holidays! Enjoy!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Sunshine blankets for the elderly

This month's 'Simply Knitting' magazine led me to this website where a lady called Sue collects 15 cm crocheted or knitted granny squares to give to residential homes for the elderly after crocheting them together into 'Sunshine' blankets.
There is no deadline as it's an ongoing project so you could just crochet a granny square whenever you're on the sofa in front of the TV and you want something simple to do. There's going to be plenty of kids films and trashy TV for you to crochet in front of in the next week or so!

If you knit but don't crochet, or don't know how to do either, then this tutorial from the PurlBee is fantastic. She takes you a step at a time through the process of a crocheted granny square. It's much quicker to crochet squares than knit so you will be sending a pile to Sue in no time!

Sunday, 16 December 2012

A bumper post of Christmas reductions on Etsy

As we approach the final posting day for guaranteed Christmas delivery on Thursday in the UK many sellers are slashing prices for the next 48 hours (including my shop which is currently offering 30% off until Tuesday!):

£12.25 with postage and packing - reduced from £16

Sugar Cane is based in North Yorkshire and offering 25% off until Tuesday at midnight so you may still get your purchase in time for Christmas (check with shops in all cases).

HideNSeek (Hidden Eloise), based in Huddersfield, is offering up to 40% off her wonderful illustrations.

Martalily is offering 25% off her lovely jewellery and is based in Manchester.

Susan Lawson Lampwork in Bristol in the UK is having a 10% off sale.

Hurry or you might miss out : )

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Book Review: Sew Jelly Roll Quilts & Gifts by Carolyn Forster

'Sew Jelly Roll Quilts & Gifts' by Carolyn Forster is a beautiful book full of quilts to inspire.

As the title suggests all the quilts are based on a jelly roll of fabric which you can buy from most craft or sewing shops. It's absolutely beginner friendly and it answered a lot of my own questions as a novice.

It has 34 pages before the projects begin on a wide selection of topics such as 'What is a jelly roll?', 'Fabrics & Thread', 'Basic Sewing Equipment', 'Cutting your own strips', 'Stitching the patchwork', 'Basic quilting materials', 'Layering & Basting', 'Quilting', 'Binding', 'Labelling & Laundering' and 'Quilt size'.

There are then nine beautiful quilts which use lovely fabric to inspire you. The photographs are plentiful so you are in no doubt. There is an illustration or photo for each step.

There are also other projects such as a patchwork cushion, a bag and coasters which you can use your scraps for.

It also has three pages of templates which you don't need to enlarge on a photocopier and a glossary.

This book is an excellent introduction to quilting and will also be a fantastic addition to any quilter's collection.

'Sew Jelly Roll Quilts & Gifts' by Carolyn Forster was released in October and is available to buy from Search Press here.

Thanks to Search Press for sending me this book to review.
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