embellish meIf you’re anything like me, you spend an exorbitant amount of time on Pinterest pinning projects that you’ll never finish (who am I kidding, never even start).  Of course you have all the best intentions to create that mason jar vase or handmade soaps, but last time you created something it should have ended up on Pinterest Fail.  And while many of my own Pinterest mishaps are purely the result of my impatience or inability to follow directions correctly, some are simply because I’m following the directions of another novice that lacks an editor.

Austin-based fabric designer, Laurie Wisbrun‘s book Embellish Me removes that amateur obstacle.    A professional fabric designer, Wisbrun brings expertise to the world of DIY.  As a visual person, I found Wisbrun’s step-by-step photography easy to follow and the directions complete.  The instructions make clear the tools and materials that will be needed for each project, and the interviews with other professional fabric artists were interesting and it was a treat to see their lovely works.

With a mix of instruction, ideas, and artist introductions — this is a book for crafting rookies and experts alike.

Filled with beautiful photos, The Gentle Art of Quiltmaking by Jane Brocket is not just for quilters – anyone will be able to find ample inspiration in the designs, colors and presentation of these glorious quilts.

Ideal for beginners as well as more experience quilters, instructions are given for 15 quilts and emphasize simplicity. Descriptions are clear and written in a chatty and encouraging tone. These quilts are more European in style; many take full advantage of the lovely large floral fabrics that are becoming more popular, and have a softer, less defined overall look and feel than many traditional American patchwork quilts. They are undeniably lovely.

Perhaps the most valuable aspect of this book though, is the design and inspiration process that Brocket takes us through for each quilt. The author shows us what has inspired a particular quilt – a favorite summer dress, flowers from the garden, a backyard hammock, tiles from Lisbon or a shawl from Russia – and then demonstrates how she translates this starting point into a quilt. Besides the usual section on how to make a quilt, Brocket lists favorite inspirations – books, shops, blogs, museums – and gives valuable insight on how to translate your vision into a finished object to be loved and cherished.