Beautiful things made with style: New Craft Books in March

It’s been an exiting time for our crafty library team, cataloguing and sorting out all these cool and ‘delicious’ craft books, which are packed with inspiring knitting, quilting, crocheting and sewing projects. If you are ready for an artistic journey take a look at some of our latest arrivals. Get inspiration with new ideas and learn great techniques through the numerous step-by-step tutorials and tips. And, there is much more… You are offered guidance on how to market your craft business, ways to engage with customers, sell your work online and move your business forward with confidence. Happy crafting!

Syndetics book coverOnce upon a knit : 28 Grimm and glamorous fairy-tale projects / Genevieve Miller. “Iconic fairy-tale characters from storybooks, movies, and television inspire this collection of magical knitting patterns perfect for modern knights, villains, and princesses. Once again, Genevieve Miller taps a wide range of contributors (from knitwear designers to students) to create a collection of 28 wearables, accessories, and toys that can be knit for adults or kids. Inspired by the recent resurgence of fairy-tale and fantasy characters, these projects draw from classic stories as well as pop-culture phenomena featuring romantic, feminine costumes. Projects range from kid- and teen-friendly animals hats to an Alice in Wonderland beret to a crystal-embellished vest fit for a Snow Queen, adding a little dress-up fun to knitters’ everyday wardrobes.” (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book coverQuilting with a modern slant : people, patterns, and techniques inspiring the modern quilt community / Rachel May. “May, a founder of the Boston Modern Quilt Guild, has created an encyclopedia of modern quilting. So-called “modern” quilting labels the latest category of quilting, following “traditional” and “art.” Modern quilting-admittedly hard to pin down, but proudly inclusive-is a hybrid of the other two, resulting in quilts that “perform both a design and functional purpose.” May divides her book into seven sections with titles that reflect the whimsy and experimentation that help define modern quilting, including “A Sense of Play,” “Improv,” and “For the Love of Color.” Within those chapters, she presents modern quilters (“Meet”), such as Angela Walters, David Butler, and Caro Sheridan; offers directions (“Project”) for techniques like paper piecing and for quilts, like Sherri Lynn Wood’s modern t-shirt quilt; and covers history and museums. Sidebars cite quilters’ blogs and places to donate quilts, among other information. Crawls at the bottom of pages define words (“Quilt Lingo”) and blurbed quotes from quilters and their blogs are scattered throughout for encouragement. Like a good host, May serves as an enthusiastic introducer, teacher, and cheerleader.” (Adapted from Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverBaby crochet / Sue Whiting ; [photography by Sian Irvine and Paul Bricknell]. “Create beautiful baby clothes with these quick- to-make designs. 24 gorgeous designs for babies, ranging from pretty cardigans and cosy jackets to hats, bootees, mitts and toys.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverWeekend : 30 quick projects to make for your home and to wear / consultant, Nikki Trench. “Weekends are all about slowing down and taking it easy, and crochet is a wonderfully restful hobby. Why not spend a weekend creating some gorgeous items for your home and your loved ones? Don’t forget to treat yourself – there are plenty of ideas for everyone, from snuggly hot water bottle covers with pom poms to cosy jumpers…  and more!” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk summary)

Syndetics book coverVintage crafts : 75 do-it-yourself decorating projects using candles, colors, and other flea market finds / author & photographer, Clara Lidström ; translated by Anette Cantagallo. “In this book, which is based on her blog, Lidstrom plays that pretty, talented friend who makes flea market finds and shabby chic decor seem enviable. The author makes make-do and mend look like high design, from her collection of “beloved” vintage dresses to a “scrapbooked” linen cabinet decorated with wallpaper. The author never lets her flea market evangelizing (“I fear that we’re annihilating our heritage in the rush to constantly consume what’s new and modern.”) overtake her enthusiasm at remaking a great bargain. Her favorite thing to do is to “pimp” her finds: a set of old speakers with lace, notebooks with vintage girls’ book covers, and a lampshade. The book contains a few gems, such as a recipe for wallpaper paste using water, sugar, and potato flour, as well as tips for freshening up old clothes with flaxseed oil soft soap. Her advice isn’t always new-using newspaper to form cups for seedlings or attaching jar lids underneath a shelf-but no matter. The book is less a practicum and more an idiosyncratic and inspiring romp through the charming space that Lidstrom has created from scraps and paint. Framing that world is a series of gorgeous, light-filled, photos, in which the author and her son often play a supporting role to the author’s lime-and-red retro kitchen or her tastefully unkempt vegetable garden.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverMade for baby : more than 50 fabulous gifts for babies / [editor, Hilary Mandelberg]. “This book features more than 50 fabulous homemade gifts for babies. Make over 50 beautiful, creative and personalised gifts for newborn babies to one year olds with Made for Baby. Homemade, personalised presents for babies are more popular than ever. Made for Baby includes a range of projects, from easy to complex, ensuring you can make beautiful gifts for babies to cherish whatever your craft skills. You can make anything from a button bunny to an appliqued cushion cover or spoil the new mum with a cupcake gift set. Other adorable projects include a night sky mobile, a sleepy dog rattle and wooden stacking blocks. Indulge in sewing, painting, paper crafts and more to make gifts for all occasions, including baby showers, new baby congratulations and first birthdays. Made for Baby is perfect for anyone looking to make and give gifts that will be cherished.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMade for you : homemade gifts to give / Jenny Occleshaw. “Helps you create gifts for your friends, family and loved ones using your sewing, beading, knitting, crochet, felting and embroidery skills. This book features projects that are divided into the following sections: Gifts for children, ladies, gents and the home. It is suitable for experienced crafters and newcomers alike.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book cover “Make your own cute and easy pompoms / by Kazue Kasuga, Ryoko Nishizua, Naoko Nakui, Idea Oshima ; Kevin Wilson, translator. “Most crafters are familiar with pompoms as embellishments for hats or scarves. The authors, a collective of Japanese fiber artists who call themselves Pompoms, banish the “embellishment-only” point of view with this series of whimsical projects that use creative placement of yarn and shaped trimming techniques to create pompoms featuring patterns or pictures. No specialized equipment is needed-either a piece of cardboard or a standard pompom maker will do; the magic is in the way the yarn is wrapped around the pompom maker. There’s a lot of counting involved, since the directions are given in number of wraps of each color of yarn, but the end results are surprisingly detailed. Standouts include a variety of pretty floral pompoms, as well as a pompom matryoshka set. – These easy projects require simple equipment and inexpensive supplies, making them appropriate for all ages.” (Library Journal)

Syndetics book cover “How to show & sell your crafts : how to build your craft business at home, online, and in the marketplace / Torie Jayne. “Online marketplaces like Etsy have opened up a new world for crafters who want to make money from their work, and UK-based Jayne, whose aesthetic is part English country house, part “put a bird on it” quirk, enlists the help of a number of successful craft entrepreneurs for this collection of tips for making a living selling creations. Though the title is presented as a book on showing and selling crafts, it comes across as more of a lifestyle manual, with cutesy projects taking the place of practical advice. Some of Jayne’s suggestions are a little odd-does it really matter if you cover your storage boxes with floral wallpaper, or if the chair you sit in to work is “stylish”?-but her tips on branding will be helpful to those who are new to marketing their wares. Those who have already mastered the basics and are looking to take their fledgling businesses to the next level may prefer Kari Chapin’s Grow Your Handmade Business, which focuses less on making your workspace pretty and more on selling handmade goods as a livelihood. VERDICT Crafters who are just starting out may find some handy tips here, but only if they’re willing to wade through all the style-related fluff to find the nuggets of wisdom.” (Library Journal)