Twenty simple sewing projects are tied together with a thread of memoir that tells the story of how sewing brought Sanae Ishida profound happiness. Each seasonal project, specially designed to promote health, creativity, relationships and more, provides gentle inspiration to live your best life.
When Ishida was diagnosed with a chronic illness and lost her corporate job, she thought her life was over. But these challenges ended up being the best thing that ever happened to her because they forced her to take stock of her life and focus on the important things, and enabled her to rediscover sewing – her true passion.
Inspired to succeed at just one thing, Ishida vowed to sew all of her daughter’s clothes (and most of her own) for one year. Sewing Happiness includes 20 projects plus variations (including Japanese-inspired home goods and children’s and women’s clothing) organized by season, and stitched together with Ishida’s charming personal story. (description from publisher)
Just like in fashion, different crafts rise and fall in popularity. Quilting, however, never really goes out of style, it simply reinvents itself over and over, evolving from simple necessity to art form. Here are some of the latest quilting books that blur the line between art and craft.
Modern Minimal by Alissa Carlton – Quilts get super sleek and ultra modern with these gorgeous graphic designs that use lots of white space to show off the simplicity of the quilting. Add a splash of sophistication to any home by draping one over a bed, a couch, or change the color palette to make one for baby’s room. These beginner-friendly quilt projects work well with any décor, in any room, and for everyone in the family!
Quilting Modern: Techniques and Projects for Improvisational Quilts by Jacquie Gering – From two pioneers of today’s modern quilting movement, “Quilting Modern” teaches quilters how to use improvisational techniques to make graphic, contemporary quilts and quilted project with seven core techniques and multiple projects using each technique.
Sunday Morning Quilts: 16 Modern Scrap Projects by Amanda Nyberg – features 16 bold and scrappy projects including piecing, appliqué, and improvisational work as well as expert hints and tips for adapting patterns to your own style, and effectively cutting, storing, and organizing your scraps.
Block Party – the Modern Quilting Bee: the Journey of 12 Women, 1 Blog and 12 Improvisational Projects – Twelve chapters (one for each month) showcase the designs of today’s leading modern quilters along with easy-to-follow guidelines, so you can reinvent their work in your own signature style. With this book in hand, you’ll have everything you need to start your own online quilting bee and enjoy collaborating with other fabric lovers around the world.
Transparency Quilts: 10 Modern Projects by Weeks Ringle teaches you how to use traditional piecing techniques to create layered translucent effects. By learning how to distinguish and balance the subtleties of color in your fabrics, you can achieve remarkable results. You’l l also discover how the visual relationships between different colors make all the difference in your quilts.
No, we’re not trying to push the start of the Christmas season even earlier than it already is (Halloween is plenty early) We’re just reminding all crafters out there that if you’re going to make any presents this year, the best time to start making them is now. Handmade gifts are probably the nicest, most thoughtful gifts you can give, but they take time. Here are some great resources for ideas and inspiration.
Closely Knit: Handmade Gifts for the Ones You Love by Hannah Fettig
Handmade Home: Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Materials into New Family Treasures by Amanda Soule
Crafty Chica’s Guide to Artful Sewing by Kathy Cano-Murillo
Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Crafts by Martha Stewart
Bag Bazaar: 25 Stylish Bags to Make in an Afternoon by Megan Avery
Craft Challenge: Dozens of Ways to Repurpose a Pillowcase by Suzanne Tourtillot
Still looking for the perfect gift? Try making something handmade – it doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming, it simply needs to come from the heart.
You’ll find lots of inspiration in Stitches in Time by Alicia Paulson. Alicia gently encourages you to keep memories alive and part of everyday life through your own handcrafts. For instance, after going to see The Nutcracker ballet with her niece, she created a Clara doll (seen on the cover of the book) Other ideas include taking a child’s artwork and creating a stuffed toy (such as the adorable Molly the horse), making a pillow using family photos or creating a baby’s mobile using cards given at the baby shower. Alicia encourages you to take her ideas and projects and inject your own special touches; for instance, she shows several versions of the Clara doll and suggests that you create your own doll to look like a favorite book character or family member.
Alicia celebrates the domestic and the homemade, urging you to look for alternatives to manufactured perfection. Basic sewing and embroidery skills are all that’s required and clear and detailed instructions are included. The writing in this book is fun too – Alicia writes with a warm and personal voice and you’ll soon feel like she’s a close friend.
Be sure to check Alicia’s popular blog at Posie Gets Cozy where you can follow her ongoing stories of her family and crafts.