Celebrate Spring

Spring is upon us and it’s the perfect time to refresh and rediscover your love of craft, with new ideas and inspiration from the latest library arrivals! Take a look at some vibrant tie-dye and crochet designs, as well as various innovative quilting and sewing projects for you and the family. And, if you are looking for something different, you might like to experiment with beads and wire to create cute and clever jewellery or ornaments using innovative techniques by Amy Kopperude. Enjoy the challenge!

Syndetics book coverTie-dye : dye it, wear it, share it / Shabd Simon-Alexander.
“Tie-dye has grown up and resurfaced as one of todays most inspired looks. Whether dip-dye, shibori, ombre, or the traditional circle pattern, the new take on tie-dye is amazingly fresh, fashionable, and fun. In “Tie-Dye: Dye It, Wear It, Share It,” acclaimed fashion designer and artist Shabd Simon-Alexander shares her techniques for creating the innovative styles that make her own hand-dyed collection so popular. Packed with Shabds design secrets, colour guidance, expert tips on making each piece distinctly your own, and twenty-two step-by-step projects for garments, accessories, and home decor items, this book will soon have you creating sophisticated dresses, leggings, scarves, tees, and more. Once you experience tie-dye like this, you’ll never think of it the same way again.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe collage workbook : how to get started and stay inspired / Randel Plowman.
“The author of The Collage Workbook has been making at least one small collage per day for many years and has chronicled his work since 2006 on the blog acollageaday.com. Plowman covers design basics, tools, and techniques before inviting readers to make their own mixed-media found-object artworks using 50 short exercises. Hundreds of examples of inspiring collages are included. A companion website to the book, thecollageworkbook.blogspot.com, provides links to sources for public-domain imagery and a place for readers to share work. Verdict? This book will help readers see creative possibilities in mundane and unusual places.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverThe Belle & Boo book of craft / [projects conceived and made by Lucinda Ganderton and Lisa Pendreigh] ; illustrations by Mandy Sutcliffe ; photography by Laura Edwards.
“’The Belle & Boo Book of Craft’ provides all the inspiration and know-how needed to bring to life a magical world. Sewing projects include an irresistible cuddly rabbit toy, a washingline wendy house and an explorer’s canvas satchel for playtime as well as a robust beanbag and stylish toy storage for your child’s room.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverModern holiday : deck the halls with 18 sewing projects : quilts, stockings, decorations & more / Amanda Murphy.
“Fabric and quilt designer Murphy brings her bright, modern aesthetic to holiday sewing in this collection of Christmas-themed projects. She begins with nine quilts, most of which are the perfect size for snuggling on a cold winter’s night, and then follows with nine home decor projects. For many of the patterns, especially the quilts, a different choice of fabric or color palette would make them more suitable for everyday use, rather than as holiday gifts. Several of the projects incorporate intermediate or advanced techniques, such as precision piecework and hand or fusible applique, but directions are provided. Verdict? Holiday projects are ever popular, and summer is the time to start thinking about handmade gifts. Modern quilters will enjoy this fun collection.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverSimply retro with Camille Roskelley : fresh quilts from classic blocks : use precut jelly rolls, charm packs, fat quarters & more / Camille Roskelley.
“In her second book, fabric and quilt designer Roskelley (Simplify with Camille Roskelley) returns to her area of expertise-traditional-style quilts with modern flair. The collection includes 11 designs in a variety of sizes, from wall hangings to baby quilts to a queen-size bedspread, most sewn in the aqua, red, green, and white palette that has become the author’s trademark. Once again, she focuses on time-saving precut fabrics, although directions are provided for quilters cutting from yardage. Verdict? Roskelley’s designs are popular among the online quilting community, and her designs are contemporary enough to appeal to modern quilters yet classic enough to appeal to traditionalists.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverGrowing up modern : 16 quilt projects for babies & kids / Allison Harris.
“For busy moms who want to quilt, 16 one-of-a-kind quilt projects to make for babies and kids, Almost all the patterns offer sizing for baby quilts and 7 of the patterns easily adapt to fit size crib and twin. Also includes instructions for a pillow and quillow, Fun, full-color photographs throughout the book are sure to inspire both beginner and expert sewists.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverCrochet-opedia : the only crochet reference you’ll ever need / Julie Oparka.
“Crochet instructor Oparka has gathered a collection of crocheting wisdom, information, and projects into this reference. Though supplies and equipment for crochet are amply covered, the focus is on technique, and Oparka covers everything from getting started to specialized techniques such as Tunisian crochet and hairpin lace. This will prove useful to experienced crocheters who need a refresher on a particular technique or who are looking for projects to expand their skill set. Verdict? Crochet reference works are much less common than ones for knitting, and this one has all of the basic information crocheters will want to have on hand.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverCrochet at home : 25 clever projects for colorful living / edited by Brett Bara.
“Get 25 small and quick crochet projects from top designers to add color and cheer to your home! In Crochet at Home, editor Brett Bara and a team of crochet experts bring 25 exciting home projects to life. Explore a collection of practical, pretty pieces for your kitchen, living room, and bedroom: from a riotously colorful blanket, to a delicate bunting of crocheted snowflakes, to flower-inspired trivets that are anything but dull-and even a full-sized ottoman! Techniques such as felting, lace, and crocheting with wire will appeal to beginner and advanced crocheters alike. Projects are made in affordable yarns, especially for large pieces and ones that take a beating, like kitchen accessories. Join Brett and her team of all-star crocheters in this cheerful, affordable, and occasionally humorous take on home decor in this new and approachable resource.” (Publisher description)

Syndetics book coverAimee Ray’s sweet & simple jewelry : 17 designers, 10 techniques & 32 projects to make / Aimee Ray with Kathy Sheldon.
“Ray (Doodle Stitching) and Sheldon (Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk! Make Stylish Shrink Plastic Jewelry) have curated a collection of fun and quirky jewelry incorporating a number of techniques such as embroidery, needle felting, and basic bead stringing. Most of the projects require only entry-level skills (and entry-level tools), but the results are surprisingly sophisticated, and the standouts are reminiscent of the trendy accessories popular on Etsy (or in funky craft boutiques). Vedict? DIYers with a taste for cute crafts will appreciate this book, and these introductory projects may whet their appetite for more advanced work, especially in embroidery and needle felting.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverFashion jewelry : the collection of Barbara Berger / text by Harrice Simons Miller ; photography by Pablo Esteva.
“Recognised as one of the world’s foremost collections, Barbara Berger’s costume jewellery portfolio features many of what are considered the twentieth century’s most significant designs. Fashion Jewellery: The Collection of Barbara Berger highlights over 200 beautiful and noteworthy examples from her more than 4,000 pieces. From legendary couturiers such as Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Valentino to contemporary designers including Daniel Von Weinberger, Iradj Moini, and Kenneth Jay Lane, this title presents the jewellery of over 60 designers, many of whom are among the industry’s most revered names. Published in conjunction with the Museum of Arts & Design’s Bedazzled exhibition, this book is the first definitive title on Barbara Berger’s costume jewellery anthology to date. With original photography and an informative text written by leading expert Harrice Simons Miller, Fashion Jewellery: The Collection of Barbara Berger is the ultimate accessory for jewellery aficionados and fashionistas alike”. (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverBead bugs : cute, creepy, and quirky projects to make with beads, wire, and fun found objects / Amy Kopperude.
“Creepy-crawlies take a turn for the ornamental in this collection, which features designs for 23 different insects and sea creatures (and, oddly, an owl). In her first book, Kopperude heads off the likely question-What would I do with an insect made out of beads?-by presenting each insect as part of a project, such as an ant magnet, a fly tie tack, and a spider sun catcher. Most of the projects require simple tools that should be in most beadworkers’ collections, such as pliers, wire cutters, and craft adhesive, and the projects themselves are simple enough for beginners to tackle. Verdict? The theme is unusual, but it works. Projects like the dragonfly wine-glass charms might appeal to wedding crafters, and some of the creepier designs, like the bat mobile, are perfect for those decorating for Halloween.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Celebrate Winter with crafts!

Enjoy the changing of season and get your creativity flowing with some fabulous finds in our latest arrivals of craft books. Find out about perfect weekend craft projects that require little or no specialist skills, including quilting, beadwork and crochet projects, as well as, knitting stylish hats and beanies to accessorise and express your own style. And, if you enjoy vintage craft, you will find lots of ideas and inspiration how to inject character and charm into your home using unique vintage pieces!

Syndetics book coverLight & layered knits : 19 sophisticated designs for every season / Vicki Square.
“A collection of nineteen women’s tops made from comfortable fibers–such as silk, linen, cotton, and bamboo–and light yarns that can be layered and removed at will.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFantastical hats & beanies / Jenny Occleshaw.
“Here is a delightful collection of unique easy-to-make hats and beanies to suit every outfit and occasion. The collection includes projects suitable for experienced crafters and newcomers alike. Every project is explained using easy-to-follow instructions. Hats and beanies are not only a fabulous way to accessorise and express your own style, the hand-made hats and beanies also make personal and unique gifts for friends and loved ones. With such a variety of techniques and styles, there really is a hand-made hat or beanie here for everyone.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Syndetics book coverHip crochet / Natalie Clegg.
“The interest in crochet is surging and making a huge comeback – and will surely be with us for some time. The need and desire to make handmade items is growing all the time as people find new ways to save money and new crafters take up some of the more traditional needlecrafts. Crochet has crept onto the catwalks and into fashion stores but the cool way to crochet now is to make unique crocheted items for the home that are colourful, quirky and funky. Many of the projects use traditional techniques and patterns but with brighter and more colourful yarns such as the zingy motif bedspread or the Union Jack cushion. Others are wonderfully contemporary and guaranteed to brighten up any home, such as the crocheted string of chillies or carnival bunting. From bedspreads and cushions to baskets, bags, egg cosies, doorstops, Christmas decorations and even a crocheted clock, “Hip Crochet” is full of wonderful easy-to-follow projects. All the projects have clear instructions and beautiful photographs and a techniques section at the beginning covers everything you need to know to make gorgeous crochet items for your home.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverQuilting on the go! / Jessica Alexandrakis.
“Maybe you have the urge to sew but don’t want to be stuck behind your sewing machine all the time – English paper piecing quilting is wonderfully portable. You can stitch on the train, bus, or airplane, in waiting rooms, in the car while your baby naps, or at the beach – all the stolen moments when your hands are idle. Learn to build a tool kit with everything you need to get stitching. When you’re done, just snap it shut and your project is safe and waiting for when you’re ready to sew again. Clear explanations and step-by-step photography will have you stitching in no time and, before you know it, beautiful patterns will materialize from your fingers, which you can use to create a colourful quilt, a cushion, a bag, and much more. Includes detailed instructions for preparing templates, basting techniques, joining pieces and finishing techniques, and with a myriad patterns to try, you’ll find this book full of inspiration for you to find an idea and make it your own.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Syndetics book coverThe artful parent : simple ways to fill your family’s life with art and creativity / Jean Van’t Hul.
“Jean Van’t Hul, mother of two, lives with her family in the mountains of western North Carolina. She has been writing about children’s art and creativity on her blog, The Artful Parent , since 2008. A graduate of Wellesley College with a major in art history and studio art, Jean worked in various art and nonprofit fields before devoting her time to writing and raising kids. She loves to share process-oriented art, seasonal crafts, and joyful learning opportunities with her own daughters and through her children’s art groups, her magazine articles, and on her blog.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPearl Lowe’s vintage craft : craft projects & styling advice for the modern vintage home.
“Pearl Lowe is a fashion and textiles designer based in Somerset. Her bespoke dresses launched her mainline collection in 2006 and sold internationally in Liberty and a range of high-end boutiques. Her high-street range for Peacocks, which launched in 2009, has sold-out season upon season. Pearl has also created successful lines of soft furnishings, candles and stationery for several high street, online and boutique retailers.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVintage home : stylish ideas and over 50 handmade projects from furniture to decorating / Sarah Moore ; photography by Debi Treloar.
“Recycle, revamp and rejuvenate; with over 50 projects Sarah covers a whole spectrum of imaginative ideas for every room of the house, from blanket curtains to patchwork wallpaper, clever storage crates to fun mobiles for children, as well as unique ideas for dining, sleeping and bathing. Interweaved throughout the book are ideas for ‘one thing four ways’ to show how the same piece of furniture or a room can be updated with different look, plus handy advice on essential kit and techniques. Aimed at all skill levels, the projects can be completed in a few hours or over a weekend so you can revamp and refurbish your home in no time at all.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLace, ribbons and bows : 35 vintage-inspired projects to make and treasure / Ann Brownfield and Jane Cassini.
“Indulge your nostalgic fantasies with this beautiful collection of ideas for things to make and give. Using lashings of lace, pretty prints, pearls, diamante, ribbons and all things vintage, Ann Brownfield and Jane Cassini have created 35 unique projects for romantics everywhere. In ‘Alluring Lace’ choose from embellished silk cushions, vintage pouches, and lace and diamante gift cards, while ‘Beautiful Bows’ has ideas for lampshades, felt purses and a lingerie bag. Finally, ‘Arrays of Ribbons’ will inspire you to make vintage scarf chairbacks, beautiful gift boxes and tags. With inspirational photographs and clear step-by-step instructions and illustrations that make every project easy, this book will appeal to oldfashioned girls everywhere.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Syndetics book coverThe complete guide to wire & beaded jewellery : over 50 beautiful projects and variations using wire and beads / Linda Jones.
“This is the essential companion for any fan of stunning jewellery made from wire and beads. Celebrated jewellery designer and best-selling author Linda Jones presents a must-have collection of beautiful pieces in a variety of styles. Packed with designs for daytime, ethnic-inspired necklaces, fun projects for kids, pretty pieces for special occasions and items suitable for beginners, keen crafters will find all they need here”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMetallic seed bead splendor / Nancy Zellers.
“Nancy Zellers is a bead artist and teacher who lives in Colorado. She especially enjoys encouraging others to develop their own style through teaching beadwork classes. Nancy has taught at the Bead&Button Show, the Puget Sound Bead Festival, the Rocky Mountain Bead Society Bead Bazaar, and other venues. Nancy’s work has been featured in many magazines and beading books, including ‘Bead&Button’, ‘500 Beaded Objects’, ‘The Art of Beaded Beads’, and ‘Beading with Crystals’. Her sculptural pieces have appeared in regional and national contemporary art shows.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCreate your own jewellery : over 100 inspiring ways to make stunning pieces from all kinds of materials, with practical step-by-step projects / edited by Ann Kay.
“This title features over 100 inspiring ways to make stunning pieces from all kinds of materials, with practical step-by-step projects. It contains over 100 ideas and easy-to-make projects, plus scores of tips and inspiration for creating many different types of hand-crafted jewellery. It features every kind of jewellery – from bangles, brooches and pins, to necklaces, rings, pendants and earrings – plus designs for buttons, badges, cufflinks, hair ornaments and trinket boxes. All techniques are shown in fully illustrated step-by-step format – clear, simple and easy to achieve, with stunning pictures of every finished piece. It covers a wide range of different crafting techniques using easily acquired equipment and material: including metal, wire, beads, ribbon, felt, silk, shells, mosaic, ceramics and paper. Jewellery always makes a very personal statement, and creating your own pieces is a wonderful way of saying even more about yourself and your taste. Better still, many of these ideas are so inexpensive, you can give yourself a new look quickly and easily. This book is designed to teach you everything you need to know about making jewellery, and covers all the materials, techniques and equipment you will need.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

The joy of creating

In this month’s splendid selection of new books we offer you inspiring ideas and techniques to make fabulous handmade projects for your home and family. Enjoy experimenting with contemporary and traditional crafts such as, felting, quilting and knitting using timeless knitwear designs, as well as, recycling and repurposing materials for your beach house, caravan or home. Happy crafting!

Syndetics book coverThe crafty minx at home : 50+ handmade and upcycled projects for beautiful living / Kelly Doust.
“The Crafty Minx is about making gorgeous things from pre-loved, remnant and vintage items. It is written especially for non-crafters who are desperate to be more creative but don’t know how, and shares the delicious rewards of living with and giving away beautiful handmade objects. Kelly Doust shares her practical tips to help make your own delectable crafts from discarded materials, and a positive impact on the environment in the process. Including over 75 projects which give traditional crafts a modern makeover – from brightly patterned summer beach bags and cotton apron tops to cosy lambs’ wool throws and cashmere-covered hot water bottles, or a soft toy for a friend’s new baby – this book is broken down into the four seasons of the year for easy inspiration, and to carry you through the year creatively. Bringing you stories about great vintage finds and new ways of looking at the treasures within our own homes. No matter where you live or what your circumstances, discover just how easy it is to be a crafty minx” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Syndetics book coverKirstie’s vintage home / Kirstie Allsopp.
“Transform your home from shabby to chic, with the help of Kirstie Allsopp. Looking to the past for inspiration and embracing vintage style to create something unique and beautiful, Kirstie continues her love affair with everything handmade.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFabric surface design / Cheryl Rezendes ; photography by John Polak.
“Sensational sewing projects demand fabulous fabrics! Fibre artist Cheryl Rezendes shows you how to create an astonishing array of surface designs, simply and safely, using textile paints and printing ink. She covers a wide variety of techniques: stamping, ancient Japanese Shibori, silkscreen, soy wax and flour resist, image transfer, marbling, nature printing, foils and metal leaf, and more. Step-by-step photos illustrate every technique, and Rezendes shows you lots of innovative ways to combine and layer techniques for stunning results.” (adapted from the Syndetics summary).

Syndetics book coverHandmade glamping / Charlotte Liddle & Lucy Hopping.
“Decorate your tent, tipi, caravan or camper van with any of the 35 stunning projects in Handmade Glamping. Using a variety of crafting techniques including knitting, crochet, quilting, embroidery, patchwork and applique, Charlotte Liddle and Lucy Hopping have created a wonderful range of accessories that will bring retro charm to your idyllic country getaway. Whether you fancy a quiet retreat to secluded beaches or are off to live it up at the summer festivals, you will find something to make your home away from home look stunning and feel cosy and comfortable. Divided into four chapters, start with Recycling and Repurposing and make the embroidered curtains using vintage fabrics or the hexagonal patchwork scatter cushions to put on the camp bed. In Campfire Cooking there is everything you’ll need for a romantic meal under the stars, including decorated plates, quilted placemats and a picnic bag.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Syndetics book coverFelt with love : felt hearts, flowers and much more / Madeleine Millington.
“Felt With Love is a must-have book for anyone with an appreciation of adorable hand-crafted objects. It is a colourful one-off book, filled with 15 cute, fun and simple projects (plus some variations) made from felted wool. As well as easy to follow instructions and step by step photographs for each project, the book explains various stitching and embellishment techniques. Projects include mini hanging decorations, beautiful brooches, pincushions, various wall hangings, a couple Christmassy pieces, plus much more! The author has provided templates for all the projects so that everything can be replicated with relative ease. This book is a great collection of bright, affordable, and easy to sew felt projects embellished with simple stitching, buttons and beads. They are great to do ‘on-the-go’ and once completed you have a beautiful gift for a special person or a timeless treasure for yourself!” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Syndetics book coverTula Pink’s city sampler : 100 modern quilt blocks / [Tula Pink].
“Make a beautiful, modern quilt of your own design with the 100 original quilt blocks or try one of the 5 city-theme sampler quilts designed by Tula.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHand quilted with love : patchwork projects inspired by a passion for quilting / Sarah Fielke.
“16 breathtaking new designs to inspire your own passion for quilting . From a pattern that reflects life’s ups and downs to a design featuring a teapot and cups, these are the quilts that Sarah has been longing to make– and give– with love.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKnit to flatter : the only instructions you’ll ever need to knot sweaters that make you look good and feel great / Amy Herzog ; photographs by Karen Pearson ; photostyling by Karen Schaupeter.
“Amy Herzog’s primary focus in writing this book is to teach knitters how to assess their own body shapes: top heavy, bottom heavy or proportional and then knit accordingly. The concept for the book began as a series of blog posts. Fans of the blog encouraged Amy to continue fleshing out this concept, so she went on to create ten tutorials that give knitters the tools and techniques they need to create flattering garments. And now she has combined her tutorials with more than 20 new patterns and turned it all into a book. In Knit to Flatter, Herzog provides guidelines for silhouettes and styles that work with each body shape along with three or four sweater patterns per shape category. She then provides patterns for 10 additional sweaters and guidelines for customising each one of them to flatter each body shape. Each pattern is written in up to ten sizes, and garments are photographed on models with a variety of body shapes to keep the whole presentation real. No smoke and mirrors here. Just real beauty!” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Syndetics book coverCutest ever toddler knits : over 20 adorable projects to knit / Val Pierce.
“This is a completely irresistible collection of gorgeous knitted clothes and accessories for toddlers. These patterns will give great delight both to the knitter and to all who see the results on their children. There are traditional sweaters and cardigans as well as more funky patterns for hooded tops and funky hats. Although most of the projects are suitable for beginners there are some that use more complex techniques and include motifs in bright colours to appeal to any fashion-conscious toddler. Created with children from 18 months to 4 years old in mind, these will make fabulous gifts for favourite little loved ones” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Syndetics book coverKnit back in time : includes techniques for updating vintage patterns and Retro-styling moderns patterns / Geraldine Warner.
“Do you have a great new jumper pattern that doesn’t match your current obsession for Peter Pan collars? Or have you found an original 1950s pattern for a gorgeous knitted blouse only to realise it’s three sizes too small and the recommended yarns haven’t been around for at least 20 years? Don’t be limited by what is available on-line and in shops. This book shows you how simple it is to change lengths, take out waists, shorten sleeves, and substitute for yarns that are no longer in production. Knit Back in Time reveals two crucial secrets for knitting vintage-style projects: how to update a vintage pattern to suit modern sizes and yarns, and how to customise modern patterns to give them a vintage look. It also provides patterns for vintage-style elements, offering invaluable advice on mixing and matching sleeves, necklines, and collars to create your own designs. You can choose to add a bell-shaped, three-quarter, or ruffled sleeve to the same sweater body, depending on the look you want, or just give in and knit three different jumpers, all from the same basic pattern.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Bright ideas for Craft Lovers!

Enjoying crafting? Start this New Year with lots of inspiring ideas and smart choices found in this fabulous collection of new library books. Take a look at some vibrant crochet designs as well as, various innovative quilting and patchwork projects for you and the family. Enjoy the challenge!

Syndetics book coverFind & keep / Beci Orpin.
“Be inspired with Beci Orpin’s beautfiul new book Find and Keep. This gorgeous ideas and craft book features all of Beci’s favourite things, from wall murals such as life-size paper Christmas trees, to embroideries and herb gardens and picnic fare. Discover where Beci gets her inspiration from and follow her in her studio, at home and out and about as she gathers ideas for her projects. Learn how these ideas come to life and then apply them yourself with 25 make-at-home projects that cover a wide range of crafty mediums, from collages to cushions and t-shirts to teacups. With simple step-by-step instructions and tips and beautiful page design by Michelle Mackintosh, these cool crafty ideas are new and fresh and bound to appeal to fans of Beci’s work and crafting in general. So, get inspired, get creative and go find, make and keep!” (Adapted from amazon.co.uk summary)

Syndetics book coverFun family crafts / Kelly Doust.
“Demonstrates how to make crafts with children that can be used around the house, with a list of materials, instructions, and tips on tasks that are most suitable for children for each project.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA passion for quilting : 35 step-by-step patchwork and quilting projects to stitch / Nicki Trench.
“With bags, quilts, blankets, pillows, table runners and more, A Passion for Quilting is filled with innovative quilting and patchwork projects to try. With 35 eye-catching designs to sew, every stitcher will fall in love with the projects in A Passion for Quilting. With something for everyone, Nicki Trench employs quilting, appliqué, embroidery and patchwork techniques to create items to make for the home, or to give as personal gifts to family and friends. Divided into four chapters, start by making Blankets and Quilts using colourful blocks and vintage fabrics. Take the picnic quilt out on a summer day or decorate your baby s crib with the cot quilt made with vintage fabrics. Carry Out is next, packed with projects for people who love bags. The glamour purse is covered with pretty yoyos while the beach bag is great for storing all your vacation essentials. Accessories and Gifts has book covers, needle cases, cushions and more that are certain to put a smile on the face of the recipient. In the final chapter, Kitchen and Dining Room, there are trivets, tea towels and chair seat covers to add colour to your culinary spaces. At the back you will find a handy techniques section explaining all the stitches you ll need to complete the projects. With creative ideas to inspire both beginners and more experienced stitchers, you are sure to find the perfect project to feed your crafting addictions!” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk summary)

Syndetics book coverClever crocheted accessories : 25 quick weekend projects / edited Brett Bara.
“The ideal curator, Brett shares a first-rate lineup of projects. Whether you are a beginner or experienced crocheter, there is something for everyone: hats and caps, including a cloche, porkpie hat, and tam; scarves, shawls, and cowls, from chunky to drapey to snug; eye-catching mittens and arm warmers; delicate lace socks and cozy man-slippers; flirty bags; and sparkly jewelry. Each piece is designed with standout details so that even the simplest pattern has that “wow” factor by showcasing lust-worthy yarn, an unexpected technique, or a fun embellishment. Techniques you’ll discover include Tunisian crochet, broomstick lace, and Bruges lace. The all-star roster of designers includes Robyn Chachula, Doris Chan, Mari Lynn Patrick, Regina Gonzalez, Drew Emborsky, Linda Permann, Kristin Omdahl, Ellen Gormley, Cal Patch, Pamela Wynne, Linda Cyr, and Vickie Howell.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk summary)

Syndetics book coverQuilt love : simple projects to stitch & treasure / Cassandra Ellis ; photography by Rachel Whiting.
“When scraps from personal items are incorporated, such as a baby blanket or a vintage T-shirt–that quilt becomes a cherished keepsake. A new take offers today’s quilters a modern twist on free-form, scrap, and patchwork quilting by combining fabric mementos into quilts.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBaby crochet : 20 hand-crochet designs for babies, newborn-24 months / Sandy Powers ; photography by Tara Renaud.
“This collection of crochet projects for boys and girls includes a range of hats (from a beanie to a newsboy), two cozy cocoons, bunting and baby blankets, a hooded sweater, legwarmers, mittens, booties, and four sets featuring body suit & hat, cocoon & hat, diaper cover, and more. The sizes range from newborn to 24 months.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGeek chic crochet : 35 retro-inspired projects that are off the hook / Nicki Trench.
“Capture the spirit of the sixties and seventies with these patterns for scarves, skirts, tank tops, turbans, and more. Do you have a passion for vintage fashion? If so, you’re guaranteed to love the 35 patterns in ‘Geek Chic Crochet’.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCrochet boutique : 30 simple, stylish hats, bags & accessories / Rachael Oglesby.
“This book was written with a beginning crocheter in mind. Despite all patterns having a skill level of “beginner” or “easy,” as an advanced crocheter I did find some projects I really liked. The Chain Scarf which is a scarf consisting of layers of chains made with the plain chain stitch was a great idea. I have some very ornate yarn that would be lost in a normal crocheted garment or accessory, but it definitely would look like “jewelry” used in this scarf. I also thought several of the hats were really cute and very practical, especially the Bubble Beret and the Slouchy Beanie.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk summary)

Syndetics book coverCast on, bind off : 54 step-by-step methods / Leslie Ann Bestor ; photography by John Polak.
“Discover the perfect beginning and ending for every knitting project! This one-of-a-kind reference presents more than 50 ways to cast on and bind off, creating edges that are tighter, looser, stretchier, lacier, longer-lasting, prettier–whatever your project needs, you’ll find it here. Detailed instructions for each technique are combined with step-by-step photography so that nothing is left to chance. At-a-glance charts identify the best cast on or bind off for various types of knitting, as well as cast on/bind off pairs that work well together. This indispensable guide will ensure that all of your knitting projects are polished and pleasing, from start to finish!” (from Syndetic summary)

Syndetics book coverCrazy-cool duct tape projects : fun and funky projects for fashion and flair / Marisa Pawelko.
“Marisa shares 24 of her best DIY Duct tape ideas, with step-by-step instructions and how-to pictures. You’ll learn how to make fashionable wearables like gloves, leg warmers, a kilt and a halter top. You’ll also find crafty ideas for functional items like a vase or night light. Projects cover a variety of skill levels, so you’ll get plenty of creative inspiration whether you’re just a beginner or an experienced Duct tape aficionado.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSide by side : 20 collaborative projects for crafting with your kids / Tsia Carson ; photographs by Meredith Heuer.
“Crafting is always more fun and more meaningful when it’s shared with those you love. Discover the joy of working alongside your child while creating arts and crafts that inspire. With these twenty whimsical projects in a variety of mediums, you and your child will find fun ways to work collaboratively and independently – together on the same project, or side-by-side on related projects”–Cover.

Syndetics book cover “Anna Maria’s needleworks notebook / Anna Maria Horner.
The book features four categories of needlework: cross stitch, needlepoint, embroidery, and crewel. Each category offers advice on common tools used, Anna Maria’s favorite techniques, and hold-your-hand instruction on how to develop your own inspired patterns. In addition, each project journals her process right down to the precise fabrics and exact color number of every thread used in the beautifully photographed examples.” (Syndetics summary)

Enough with the knitting….

Yet another debarcle with the knitting (first the hat was to small and now it is too big). I have decided to go back to stiching for a spell. At least if I get something wrong I can just add more stitches!
For your crafting pleasure, a selection of our new craft books……

Syndetics book coverBeautiful botanicals : 45 appliqué flowers & 14 quilt projects / Deborah Kemball.
“Plant an indoor garden with a bounty of lyrical applique designs. All the project patterns are interchangeable for creating endless combinations of flowers and leaves. See how color-saturated cottons, vibrant silks, and tone-on-tone chintzes breathe new life into botanical applique.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe knitted home : hand-knitted projects room by room / Sian Brown ; [photography by Tim Clinch].
This is a beautiful book of 30 knitted and crocheted projects for the home. It uses a variety of wools, silk, cotton and bamboo to make tactile and inviting, effortlessly stylish pieces.

Syndetics book coverKnitting with Peruvian yarns : 25 soft sweaters and accessories in alpaca, llama, merino and silk / Jane Ellison.
“Knitters of all skill levels can create luxurious garments using sumptuous yarns derived from the llama and alpaca herds of the Peruvian highlands with this project book. … The naturally hued, environmentally friendly merino wool, baby alpaca, and pima cotton called for in these patterns lend a palette of plums, blues, browns, ochers, and creams that instill an earthy sensuality to the attractive apparel. ….” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOilcloth inspirations / Sophie Bester ; with photographs by Fabrice Besse.
“Oilcloth Inspirations features over 25 stylish, practical projects to be made with oilcloth – the ultimate in durable, easy-clean fabric. Readers will learn all essential techniques, including sticking with glue, sewing and maintaining perfect finishes as they discover the fun of working with this inexpensive, yet fashionable fabric. The easy-to-follow instructions are accompanied by simple patterns, ….” (Syndetics summary)

I can start a new project!

I have finished something! Yeah – keep an eye on the craft blog, photo coming soon! That also means I can start a new project…..

Syndetics book coverCraft wisdom & know-how : everything you need to know to stitch, sculpt, bead and build / from the editors of Lark Crafts ; compiled by Amy Rost.
This title covers dozens of the most popular crafts in one complete, all-encompassing resource. The book is organized by type of craft and includes sewing, knitting, and other needlework; paper crafts, glasswork, and more. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJewellery solutions : hot to care for, repair and restore your jewellery / David McLoughlin. With lots of books out about making beaded jewellery it is great to see one about care and repair!

Syndetics book coverWood engraving : how to do it / Simon Brett. This is an easily followed, simple how-to-do-it manual on wood engraving for the beginner, written by one of the masters of the field. Illustrated with beautiful images, it is both a practical handbook and an art object in its own right. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLoop-d-loop lace : more than 30 novel lace designs for knitters / Teva Durham ; photographs by Adrian Buckmaster.
“…In this installment, Durham shatters the idea that lace is old-fashioned by presenting more than 30 cutting-edge knitting designs that are as up-to-the-minute style-wise as they are thoroughly steeped in lace tradition. The projects cover a wide spectrum, from classic shawls and camisoles that utilize traditional laceweight yarns and revered stitch patterns, to ultramodern pullovers and accessories in bold colors and chunky yarns that showcase lace at a larger scale. ….” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSock and glove : creating charming softy friends from cast-off socks and gloves / Miyako Kanamori.
“This guide contains step-by-step illustrations and instructions on how to make 13 delightful softy creations, all pieced together from ordinary socks, gloves, and mittens.” (Syndetics summary). Note from Librarian – School Holiday projects anyone?

Syndetics book coverCute and easy quilting and stitching : 35 step-by-step projects to decorate the home / Charlotte Liddle.
Beautify your home with Charlotte Liddle’s 35 gorgeous projects, all using quilting, applique and embroidery. All the projects come with clear instructions and step-by-step illustrations, so even novice stitchers will be able to make something they are really proud of. (Syndetics summary).

And MORE procrastinating….

The ironing pile is getting bigger, and I am perfecting the art of procrastination!

Syndetics book cover30-minute earrings : 60 quick & creative projects for jewelers / Marthe Le Van.
“”Sixty to make in thirty!” …This 60-piece collection showcases an array of inspired and stylish projects that don’t demand a large investment of time or money, but do give jewellers the pleasure of sharpening their skills and enjoying spectacular results. The imaginative and diverse designs feature everything from elegant gold, pearls, and sterling silver to nontraditional and repurposed materials. Every one is gorgeous! …” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe children’s year : seasonal crafts and clothes / Stephanie Cooper, Christine Fynes-Clinton, Marije Rowling. Keep the kids occupied over a wet weekend!

Syndetics book coverBig little felt universe : sew it, stuff it, squeeze it, fun! / Jeanette Lim.
“Enter the imaginative universe of felting, with this irresistible collection featuring a super-cute Asian-inspired aesthetic. Twelve “sets” include more than 60 projects, from fruits and a felt knife for “slicing” them to a show-stopping birthday cake with decorations and detachable candles. Hundreds of photos and full-size templates make the crafting easy.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKnitted socks east & west : 30 designs inspired by Japanese stitch patterns / Judy Sumner ; photography by Yoko Inoue.
“… Whether short or long, fine or bulky, simple or complex, each of the 30 designs in “Knitted Socks” “East and West” is named after an intriguing aspect of Japanese culture. For example, the leg of the Origami crew socks appears to fold in and out; and the Ikebana knee socks highlight a textural floral design. Step-by-step text and easy-to-read charts are included for each design,….” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe beaded edge : inspired designs for crocheted edgings and trims / Midori Nishida & CRK Design ; [English translation, Sean Gaston … [et al.]].
“… Add a personal touch with beautiful beaded trims. … 18 designs that range from delicate and classic to modern and bold…Each trim is illustrated with clear stitch diagrams that demonstrate the patterns, and the detailed step-by-step instructions will teach you to combine basic crochet techniques with beadwork for gorgeous edges and embellishments. …If you have a passion for personalizing and embellishing, you will find a treasure trove of new techniques in The Beaded Edge.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTwelve by twelve : the International Art Quilt Challenge / Deborah Boschert … [et al.]. If you need some inspiration this is your book!

To craft or not to craft… CRAFT

Having a very interesting weekend, I am seeing how high the ironing can get before I end up having to do it…….here are some of my many ways I am procrastinating…..

Syndetics book coverSoft toys : 36 characters to knit and crochet.
This collection of 36 soft toys in knitting and crochet will inspire delight in children and the young at heart. Simple elegant design with full page photographs of each project.

Syndetics book coverAnodized! : brilliant colors & bold designs for aluminum jewelry / Clare Stiles.
Loved the many patterns in this, there is something for everyone in this book.

Syndetics book cover175 fresh card ideas : designs to make and give throughout the year / by Kimber McGray.
“Share joy with handmade cards! Handmade cards are fun to give and receive! “175 Fresh Card Ideas” is packed with ideas for all occasions—from kid-friendly themes and milestone birthdays to holidays, bridal and baby showers and sweet sentiments—so you’ll never be stuck without a design idea for any card-giving occasion. …Let “175 Fresh Card Ideas” help you celebrate any occasion!” (Syndetics summary)

Cut it, paste it, sew it : a mixed-media collage sourcebook / [edited by] Chisa Itou.
“”Cut It, Paste It, Sew It” offers both insight into the materials, techniques (both familiar and experimental), and inspiration from a collection of 10 international artists who bring their own distinct style and methodology to the art of collage. …This book offers completely original materials and methodology from talented designers and artists that have not been seen before. The content is presented in an easy and fun presentation that makes it accessible to beginners while at the same time inspiring to more experienced artists with content that isn’t available through online blogging or magazines.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFresh quilting : fearless color, design, & inspiration / Malka Dubrawsky.
“Brighten up any room with fun, contemporary, and functional projects exploding with sensational color! “Fresh Quilting” presents 21 brilliant designs featuring quilt artist Malka Dubrawsky’s intoxicating colours and unexpected palettes. Learn to create beautiful and lively pieces for you and your home–from modern quilts and fun pillows to flirty bags and scarves.. …You’ll be inspired to infuse your own brilliant palettes into each project and discover just how irresistible and beautiful contemporary quilting can be!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKnitting over the edge : unique ribs, cords, appliqués, colours, nouveau : the second essential collection of decorative borders / Nicky Epstein.
Library note: Our last copy was so well used we had to replace it! HIGHLY recommended!