Saturday, October 1, 2011

Straight up Awesome!

Sewing in a Straight Line by Brett Bara
Potter Craft, pub. 2011
ISBN: 978-0307586650 

I had to wait a while for this one to become available at the public library but it was worth the wait. The introductory section of the book outlines all the requisite "how-to" techniques with helpful illustrations. The book is then divided into sections such as "straight up chic fashion", "cozy crafty home", and "quick cute gifts". My personal favourite is the "cozy crafty home" section. The "15 minute shams" are super quick and satisfying to make and I love how deceptively complex the "wonky diamonds" quilt looks. I haven't gone so far as to actually whip up one of these but it is definitely a project on my to-do list. Lots of great projects to choose from, I dare you to open this book and NOT find something you want to get started on!

Check out Brett Bara's website here for more info on the book.

Skill Level: Beginner - Intermediate
Rating: ★★★★★

Monday, July 11, 2011

New Release!

I have to get my hands on this book ASAP! The author, Ellen Luckett Baker, is a craft blogger and her blog The Long Thread is fantastic. I've followed it for some time and was very happy to see she was putting out a book of simple sewing projects. As a beginner sewer I need all the practice I can get!

The blog tour starts today for this fantastic book. Check out more info through the Chronicle Books blog or Ellen's blog.

Book info:
7-1/2 x 9 in; 168 pp ; 35 color photos, b/w how-to illustrations throughout,
semi-concealed Wire-O binding, 12 pattern pages in attached front pocket
Published in May, 2011
ISBN 9780811876490
ISBN10 0811876497

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Crochet Away

I've recently started crocheting and I'm trying to master the infamous granny square before I move onto more complicated patterns. So far I'm really enjoying making squares and I'm starting to get how to read the patterns.

One of my favourite books right now is 200 Crochet Blocks for blankets, throws, and afghans by Jan Eaton.

I love the MANY patterns in this book! It could keep even the most advanced crocheter busy for months. I also find that there is a really good range of basic, intermediate, and advanced square patterns. The patterns are really helpful in showing the difficulty of the square and whether or not it is crocheted in the round or in rows. The sample afghans aren't really my style but the range of colours and the "mix and match" suggestions are great. I borrowed this from the library but will definitely buy a copy for myself. A must-have reference for every afghan lover out there!

Interweave Press, pub. 2004
ISBN: 9781931499682

Skill Level: Beginner - Advanced
Rating: ★★★★★

Monday, January 31, 2011

Crafty Projects for 2011

It's the end of January already!? Sadly, I've been neglecting my poor crafty blog. Not because I'm not reading and not crafting but perhaps because I've been doing a little too much of both. Well, without further delay - let me tell you about some books I've been checking out.

Mastering Color Knitting
Potter Craft, pub. Nov. 2010
ISBN: 9780307586506

I just love Potter Craft books! They are always very well done and have great charts and instructions. This one is no exception. As a knitter new to color knitting I found this book very useful in explaining techniques that you NEED to know so your project ends up looking fabulous instead of looking like a lumpy mess.

Skill Level: Beginner - Advanced
Rating: ★★★★★

Sewing Machine Basics by Jane Bolsover
Cico Books, pub.Oct 2010
ISBN: 9781907030734

I got my first sewing machine for Christmas so I've been devouring any sewing books I can get my hands on. This one is particularly good because it covers every imaginable technique for any beginner or intermediate sewer. I love the easy to follow instructions and think this should be next to everyone's sewing machine as a handy reference. This book covers even the most basic of techniques - but believe me, even something seemingly basic can be a mystery if you haven't used a machine in quite some time.

Skill Level: Beginner - Intermediate
Rating: ★★★★★ 

Amy Butler's Style Stitches: 12 Easy Ways to 26 Wonderful Bags by Amy Butler
Chronicle Books, pub.Aug 2010
ISBN: 9780811866699 

I love Amy Butler's fabric so I thought I'd take a peek at some of her patterns. First of all I love the bag and the fabric on the cover so I was hooked without even opening the book. I quickly realized that even the most basic bag was a bit too ambitious for my sewing skills. It required a lot of materials (e.g. two prints, interfacing, and fleece interfacing) which I did not have on hand and wasn't sure I wanted to invest in to "try" one of the projects. However, I will definitely revisit this book for patterns and inspiration once I have few more projects under my belt. Fantastic pictures and clear instructions make this a must have for anyone with intermediate level sewing skills and a love of all things pretty.

Skill Level: Intermediate - Advanced
Rating: ★★★★

Bow Wow WOW!: Fetching Costumes for Your Fabulous Dog by Cathie Filian
Lark Books, pub. Oct 2008
ISBN: 9781600592355

This one is neither new nor anything I'm prepared to try but I thought it was so wacky that someone has got to love it! The costumes in this book sort of remind me of toddler pageant costumes and I don't have dog - probably a good thing for the poor dog - so I won't be attempting anything from this book. Nonetheless, check out the author's website for a sample of what you'll find inside!