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Book Review: Denyse Schmidt: Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration

Denyse Schmidt: Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration is a gorgeous book full of inspiring quilts. I absolutely love this style of quilt, based on traditional designs but made modern through scale, color or other types of reinterpretation.


Each quilt is introduced with information about the traditional design and Denyse's interpretation of it. Just a few of the patterns included are Postage Stamp, Churn Dash, Hawaiian-Style Applique, Irish Chain, Courthouse Steps and many more.

The book not only shows the quilts beautifully styled, but also a straight-on look at the entire quilt and has diagrams and complete instructions. Templates are provided at full size on a pullout pattern sheet and there is a complete techniques section at the back of the book.


This is definitely a book to cherish, practical for it's exploration of traditional quilt design and inspirational in Denyse Schmidt's modern take.


(Full disclosure: I was provided with a copy of the book for the purpose of a review. All opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own.)

Winner! Sewn Hats

The winner of the Sewn Hats book giveaway is:

Lynne Tilley

I just love hats, but never made one. This would be a great opportunity.


Congratulations Lynne! And thanks to all who entered!

Book Review: A Rainbow of Stitches

I have to fess up. I don't do a lot of embroidery. But I want to. And this book is an excellent resource. A Rainbow of Stitches by Agnes Delage-Calvet, Anne Sohier-Fournel, Muriel Brunet and Francoise Ritz has more than 1000 motifs and 80 project ideas. And that's just it, it is an inspiration book. It has a few pages of instruction, but basically it is full of motifs and ideas. The book is divided by color and features designs ranging from alphabets to flowers, fairies, seaside and a whole lot more. How about I just show you a big selection of pages?




Book Review: Reinvention

Reinvention is a lovely and inspiring sewing book by Maya*Made blogger, Maya Donenfeld. I've been holding on to this book for quite a while as I wanted to make something before sharing the book. But, the project I'm going to make will be on the back burner until after Christmas, so I thought I'd share this beautiful book now.

Reinvention is all about "reinventing everyday materials into remarkable items of beauty and utility." My favorite sewing books always provide inspiration with lovely photographs and this book is no exception. It is filled with wonderful ideas in Maya's signature style.

I have plans to make the barn quilt, pictured above. And hopefully a few more things, too!


(Full disclosure: I was provided with a copy of the book for the purpose of a review. All opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own.)

Book Review: Stylish Dress Book

I am so excited about this book! Stylish Dress Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori is a Japanese sewing book translated into English. It is true to the Japanese style of craft books with beautiful styling. The dresses are made with Liberty fabrics - so very inspiring! 

This is the Table of Contents. Each dress is named with a letter of the alphabet. All of the patterns are the same length and can be shortened to tunic or shirt length if preferred.

I've already ordered fabric to make two of these looks. I'll show you in a couple of months when I get them finished ;)

As is the norm with Japanese sewing books, the written instructions are short and to the point with helpful diagrams. The pattern pieces are full size and overlap on white paper.

How about a few more pages of dresses to end the post?


(Full disclosure: I was provided with a copy of the book for the purpose of a review. All opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own.)

Book Review and Giveaway: Sewn Hats

Sewn Hats is a fantastic collection of hat designs from a who's-who of pattern designers and edited by Carla Hegeman Crim (The Scientific Seamstress). If you've ever wanted to sew a hat, the pattern is in here. Really, it is. For girls, boys, men and women, it's all here. Fun, party, work, whimisical, sun, winter it's all in here. Skill levels run from beginner to advanced, so there's something for everyone. 

Here's a gallery of the hats featured in the book. 

Excellent instructions and diagrams are included.

What do you think? Does this look like a book you'd love to have? If yes, leave a comment on this post about a hat you'd like to make! Comments close Sunday, September 16. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced next week. Good luck! 

Sewing Book Review Week

And... I'm back! I totally did not mean to take a week off, but school started (two different schools for my three girls this year) and I'm working, and, wow, I was overwhelmed and tired last week! Phew!

This week I'm back with something a little different. I have a stack of books I've been meaning to write about and haven't gotten to them yet. Some I wanted to make a project from before doing a review, but... well... now that I'm working that might be a few months. I decided I should write up a review now and when I finish the project(s) and I'll write about them separately!

So, next week will be Sewing Book Review Week! And, one of those lovely books above will also be a giveaway! Come back tomorrow for the giveaway/review and then each day next week to learn about the rest! I personally love sewing books. They are still my favorite places to go for sewing projects and inspiration (though I do love blogs, too! And Pinterest...) Anyway, these books are very inspirational and I look forward to sharing them with you!

Cosmos by Laura Gunn

Painter/designer Laura Gunn has a beautiful new fabric collection coming out very soon. Cosmos features the painterly look her fabrics are known for and includes some wonderful Painters Canvas solids. She sent me a charm pack of the collection and I'm completely taken with the artistry and vibrant colors.

You can see the entire collection here: Cosmos by Laura Gunn for Michael Miller Fabrics. It is expected in stores in September! 

Little Kukla by Suzy Ultman

I adore these colors for fall! The collection does take me back to my childhood in the seventies a bit, but in a 2000s sort of way! Little Kukla by Suzy Ultman should be available in stores next month! Robert Kaufman's Swatch & Stitch blog will have a tutorial put up for the quilt today, as of this posting it wasn't up yet, but do check back with their blog if you are interested.

(All photos are from Robert Kaufman's Swatch & Stitch blog.)

Back To School Sewing Round-Ups

Are you doing any back-to-school sewing? Or are you like me, hoping find time after school starts? Either way, here are a few tips and round-ups to help you with your plans.

And some of my past Back-To-School Round-Ups:

Giveaway: Fox Hollow Fat Quarter Set by Monaluna

Monaluna is generously offering a fat quarter pack of her newest organic fabric collection, Fox Hollow, to one lucky commenter on this blog post. 

Fox Hollow is a whimsical collection of woodland prints featuring those fantastic foxes among other woodland motifs like toadstools and frogs. Included in this fat quarter set are three coordinating solids. 

Above are some of my favorite prints from the collection. For a chance to win this fat quarter set, leave a comment on this post about what you envision making with Fox Hollow organic fabric. Comments close Monday, August 20. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced next week. Good luck!

Book Review: Fabrics A to Z by Dana Willard

Fabrics A to Z is a fantastic little sewing reference book by Dana Willard (you may know her from her blog, MADE). I would highly recommend it to anyone who sews, especially those who sew garments, accessories and/or home decor. 

The book is really straightforward and easy to use. The fabric sections are divided between wovens, knits, specialty, blended and patterns. The reference page(s) for each fabric type not only explain what the fabric is and its properties, but (my favorite part) what type of needle, thread, interfacing, stitch length to use and more (under "working with"). Oh how I could have used this book last week when standing in front of a shelf of interfacing, trying to figure out which one to buy! Or, how about when you go to the fabric store with a certain fabric type in mind, only to fall in love with another and wonder if it will work for your project. Or, there's a really good deal for a certain fabric and you're wondering what you could use it for?

At the top of the reference pages are little symbols indicating what this type of fabric is used for (garment, home decor or craft/quilt). Very handy! 

There's another section all about notions and tools (again, who hasn't stared at a notion wall, wondering which one to buy?) 

The book is a convenient, small size so it will fit right into your purse or bag. Above, I placed it next to a typical paperback so you can get an idea of the size. 

Basically, I think this book is a perfect, little sewing reference book perfect to take along on your trip to the fabric store, at home buying online and when you're ready to sew that fabric up!


(Full disclosure: I was provided with a copy of the book for the purpose of a review. All opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own.)

Romper Revamp - not yet

Today is my turn on the Figgy's Patterns Romper Revamp except for one tiny thing. I haven't finished my homework yet. Sigh. I took a full-time (though temporary) position with a really wonderful company and I haven't had time to sew. I planned to work on it last weekend, which I did, but other things needed to be done, too, and I didn't finish.

I encourage you to come back next week to see the finished romper - my daughter is so excited for it! But in the meantime, here's a little information (and a discount for you!)

The romper revamp is a step-by-step video by Shelly Figueroa (Figgy's Patterns) of popular "Zephyr" pattern. The video covers:

  • Making a stylish romper-based outfit for girls ages 18 months to size 8/9
  • Taking accurate children's measurements and adjust for a perfect fit
  • Selecting appropriate fabrics and featuring details for comfort and seasonality
  • Adapting the basic pattern to create five pattern variations from pants to a dress
  • Creating a boutique-chic look that your child will love

To be honest, part of the reason I didn't finish yet was because I watched the videos, which is time consuming but SO INFORMATIVE. Taking a Craftsy class is really like taking a class with a real, live teacher. Instead of just flying through the pattern and trying to make it as fast as I can, I want to take my time and really learn how she does things.

And, if you'd like to check out the class and maybe take it yourself, use this link for a special discount: Kids Romper Revamp: A How To Creative Sewing Pattern Adapting Class.

So, stop by next week to see our finished romper and also stop by some of the other stops on the tour:

July 31       All Buttoned Up
August 1    Sarah Jane
August 2    Luvinthemommyhood
August 4    Sew Much Ado
August 6    Noodlehead
August 7    Betty Crocker Ass
August 8    Imagine Gnats 
August 9    A Sewing Journal
August 10  Susan Beal
August 11  Such Designs
August 12  Kelly Hogaboom
August 13  Bolt Fabric

Back To School Sewing Round-Up: 9 Backpacks to Sew

If you've ever thought about sewing a backpack, there is no shortage of inspiration around the web! Here are a few of my favorites:

Clockwise from top left: