Winter in New England means a few things for my daily habits. I spend much more time indoors, out of the cold and snow, I feel like the crackling flames in the fireplace are my best friend, and I rejoice in the few faint rays of sun that come in my window. Sitting by the fire I can often be found reading, hand sewing, trying to read while a cat climbs all over me. I’m an avid reader and the long days of winter mean I have lots of time to catch up on this favorite pastime. I read a span on genres, but some of my favorites are craft and quilt books. Check out these titles for some good reads!
Jenny Wilding Cardon
Boro stitching and other hand stitching techniques are very popular as we try to slow our lives down from the fast pace of a technology-filled world. Enter Jenny Wilding Cardon as she clearly explains how to mend rips, tears, and stains in an artistic way. Jenny explores boro stitching, embroidery, patches, darning, and even how to mend with a sewing machine. Full of step-by-step instructions and links to additional video content online, beginners and more experienced sewists will find inspiration in these patched-up pages.
Beautiful Japanese hand stitching is showcased in this pair of books. Filled with galleries of exquisite craftsmanship, Reiko Mori’s publications are for the expert stitcher. These small projects are designed to showcase the detailed embroideries the experienced crafter will be delighted to create. Take on the challenge of these amazing patterns—or simply appreciate the beauty laid out in stunning photography in these pages.
Jen Hewett takes the reader through her journey to become the print and clothes maker she is today. With a love of a ‘uniform’ stemming from her parochial school days, Jen has created a whole new kind of uniform for herself using her hand-printed yardage and her own patterns. Jen instructs how to carve blocks for printing and mix paints. She also includes numerous tips and tricks for optimal patterning and stress-free printing. A great book for beginners who are looking to delve into block printing, Jen covers all the basics with extensive explanations of tools and techniques, as well as simple patterns to make and wear.
Shambhala Publications, Inc.
We often talk about the history of the American quilt, but other areas of the world also have rich textile histories. Kathy Allen has taken her homeland’s tradition of the woven tartan and interpreted it into quilt designs. With a fascinating history lesson on the origin of the tartan and how it has changed over time, Kathy invites the reader to travel along with her to the Scottish highlands. Her process for recreating the intersections between what would be the warp and weft fibers in a woven textile are explained in detail, with many suggestions on how to achieve certain looks. Use her simple process of strip sets and sub-cutting to make one of the included tartans, or design your own based on your personal heritage.
I hope I’ve expanded your reading list, may you be basking on the beach with a book, rather than dealing with snowfall! Don’t forget to check out this other fantastic book about modern quilting!