Tag Archives: book

Book Review: Material World by Perri Lewis

First off, sorry for the bad photos, it’s that time of year again Britain is only light during work hours and it will only get worse!

If you don’t already follow Perri’s blog you should. She puts snippets of latest craft news and trends and events up several times a week, here’s the link. I’ve been following her since I read her column in Making magazine- she used to have the inside back cover and it was nice to read about craft in context rather than specific items made or for sale or specific artists necessarily.

So, onto her book, which doesn’t come out until 1st November (check me out with my advance copy from Ebury Publishing!). The contents cover embroidery, decoupage, printing, encrusting(!), cross stitch, quilling, patchwork, paper cutting…. lots and lots of different stuff. I daresay areas that are easy to access- there’s no knitting for example which can take perseverance to pick up, or reams of embroidery stitches. There’s not even any need for half square triangles or seam matching in the patchwork section, it is very very beginner friendly stuff. It is refreshing to see overlooked crafts like quilling, millinery, macrame and leatherwork getting a bit of exposure though.

It’s quite a minimalist book, it’s more about the words and content than the beautiful pictures, whilst still being a substantial 220+ pages.. Each chapter has technique information, a project, interview-based tips from professional craftspeople within that skillset and finishing up with ways of furthering your newfound skill. The Insider tips to be found with the craftspeople technique interviews are frankly awesome, I mean I never thought of using sandpaper to stop fabric moving when drawing markers for applique!

This is one of my favourite projects, I’ve wanted to try upholstery for a while and of course patchwork in any form will always appeal to me!

All the projects are actually useful things that you would want to make. Unique modern design furniture, making a t-shirt into a dress, a chain based necklace or decoupaged shoes, which is nice and refreshing. Interspersed with these chapters are articles on which Perri has given thoughts on before, whether on her blog or for The Guardian, such as the art vs craft debate, X rated craft, and a small piece on craft business that also says it’s OK to make a crafts business on a different angle to owning an Etsy shop, you can even make money from blogging about craft (ha!), these sorts of features make it an interesting read as well as a general crafts reference book. It would make a good gift for a crafts curious aunt or a sister who likes to make a bit of everything, or a friend who loves customisation especially, with an eye for alternative fashion.

I’ve also noticed that Lily’s Quilts received a copy of this book and blogged about it just under a week ago, click here to see what Lynne says about it.

Material World has an RRP of £18.99 but is currently on Amazon here for £11.69 as a pre-order. Released 1st November 2012- in time for Christmas!


Book Review: Quilt a Gift for Christmas by Barri Sue Gaudet

This review is brought to you by Gina who is kindly guest blogging today. Since we’re in the last 12 weeks of the year it’s time for the C word!

This book covers a wide range of projects for the festive season, though a lot of them could be used for other celebrations with a little bit of interpretation. It has a combination of quilting, embroidery and applique, suitable for all abilities.
Here’s a couple of my favourite projects from the book. The Tinsel Tree Scrapbook projects covers a wide range of skills; patchwork, quilting, stitchery and making felt flowers…
The finger puppet and gift tag projects are great to do with children and can be made in a few hours…
The instructions are clear and concise with great illustrations and wonderful clear photographs. I particularly like the fact that each project has been given a time estimate and where required there are templates. The book gives useful advice about materials, techniques and fabrics, with a list of suppliers should you have problems requiring materials.
Great projects for those long dark nights.
Quilt a Gift for Christmas is available for £11.99 from RUCraft.
In other news, I’ve started to conquer my Everest… 25% of the patchwork bit of the other curtain is done…

Book Review: Antique to Heirloom Jelly Roll Quilts

This book is a bit different to the usual Pam and Nicky Lintott brilliance that you already know I love. This book was only released a week ago so you may not have seen it yet, it’s shiny new! The theme of the book is Pam’s antique quilt collection, showing these off and then making their own variations of these quilts from jelly rolls- the most useful of all precuts.

Each project has a spread about an antique quilt like this…

And then shows a modern adaptation you can make with the following project, like this…

If you prefer more complex projects, you are likely to prefer Jelly Roll Dreams that I reviewed several weeks ago, this book has more simple designs for quilts as the antique ones used for inspiration tend to be one or two block style throughout. There are the usual half square triangles and log cabin layouts that appeal to those who like traditional designs. Don’t get me wrong, I prefer traditional designs (but with modern fabrics) but the half square triangle and I have our fall outs from time to time!

Here’s some examples of the most interesting projects (to me anyway)…

This one looks useful for inspiration for the UK Border’s Agency Bee!

I like the look of the tumbling block quilt best and think I will eventually make this one- I thought this would be quite a hard thing to make from a jelly roll and I thought there might be Y seams to sew but apparently not! Yey!

Antique to Heirloom Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott is available from RUCraft for £11.99.

Giveaway: Carefree Quilts book by Joy-Lily

Another book sent to me by the publishers- and this one appeals to the lazy and maths-shy side of me! The book is ideal for those of us that like to just get stuck in and make, without having to do a huge amount of prep work or worry about perfect seam allowances.

This book has 13 projects- not just quilts- there’s a tablerunner, tote bag, placemats (above) etc made from flip blocks or stack and slash blocks. If you like wonky quilts and modern patchwork, this could be a nice book for you. Here’s some photos of my favourite pages…

So would you like to win my copy of this book? There’s 3 ways to do this…

1) Leave a comment here, if you want inspiration, visit RUCraft and tell me which craft book there is at the top of your wish list.

2) Like me on Facebook and leave me a comment saying you have done so

3) Tweet this giveaway and the link to this page, you can use this text if you like: “I’ve entered the Carefree Quilts book giveaway on @pennydog’s blog, https://pennydog.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/giveaway-carefree-quilts-by-joy-lily/“. Come back and comment that you’ve done that and leave your Twitter username.

So that’s a total of 3 comments to leave, this giveaway is open internationally until Friday 10th August at 6pm GMT.

Good luck!

Book Review – Quilter’s Desk Diary 2013

Since the Christmas in July season is upon us, it seemed apt to look at a diary for next year as my next book review. I don’t particularly enjoy talking about the C word until at least October, and even then only in the context of making some homebrew or spreading the cost of presents.

Anyway, here is the cover of the diary…

Quilter’s Desk Diary 2013 really is a desk diary. It’s hardbacked, a bit big for a handbag (a bit bigger than A5) and it doesn’t have all of that personal information and notable dates pages at the start, it leaps straight into 31st December 2012. This doesn’t bother me because I’m going to use it for birthday reminders (because we always forget someone’s birthday), blog post ideas and targets for getting my quilts finished for forthcoming shows and mailing deadlines for online swaps, etc. With a week to a full page there’s certainly enough room to put in those sorts of reminders.

So what makes it a Quilter’s Diary? Well the left hand page of each week’s spread has a lovely quilt photograph with a little bit of text about it. These feature projects you can make from books also published by David & Charles. It has some Pam and Nicky in there which is great, but I’m not so keen on the Japanese style ones but I know some of you will love those. Here’s some more examples of my favourite pages…

And this one is on my birthday week- a really intriguing painted quilt. I may actually check ‘The Painted Quilt’ book out on payday (it’s half price at RUCraft) as I love art quilts.

The details of the books featured are listed at the back. I actually own a lot of these and can thoroughly recommend The Quilter’s Bible, it taught me everything I’ve ever wanted and needed to know about the craft and I still refer to it often.

If I was grading the diary out of 10 I’d probably give it a 6- I’d have scored it more if it felt a bit less like a book advert and if it had a ribbon to mark the page- essential I think since this book is not spiralbound and so therefore doesn’t lay flat. I don’t think I would personally spend £9.99 (RRP) on any diary either, but I’m a cheapskate!

The Quilter’s Diary 2013 is currently available for preorder at RUCraft at £7.49, but it should be available very soon.

Book Review – Jelly Roll Dreams compiled by Pam and Nicky Lintott

I don’t think I’ve said this before, but I love everything that Pam and Nicky Lintott of The Quilt Room do. They are the precut queens and I bow down to them for that as I’m always a bit flummoxed by them without their books to guide me. Quilts I have made from their books so far? The Snapdragon one I’m finishing tonight(!), the Goldfinch quilt (sans applique) and the sample quilt I made for my grandparents last year.

Anyway, this week I was generously given a copy of Jelly Roll Dreams by the publishers to get my teeth into and I was surprised- here was a Pam and Nicky book I didn’t actually own! I was amazed at my laxness as this book came out three months ago! Jelly Roll Dreams offers 12 patterns for beautiful quilts not by the Lintotts, but chosen by them in a Moda sponsored competition they held where patchworkers had to come up with a quilt design that gets the most out of a jelly roll. And these are the top entries, and very worthy they are too. Look at some of these- it is tempting to make any of these right now and stuff the WIPs!

Something for fans of squares and HSTs…

Something for those crazy people that enjoy curved piecing…

And even some foundation piecing…

Each quilt is made from just one jelly roll and can be made with traditional or contemporary fabrics depending on personal preferences and there’s a good mixture of examples of both throughout the book to inspire you. I hate to use this phrase, but there really is something for everyone in this book, unless you hate precuts of course (but honestly, WHO hates precuts?!). The instructions are clear, the photos are just lovely- both of the original entrants quilts and Pam and Nicky’s fabric interpretations. I don’t think I can honestly find a fault with the book- except maybe the title is a little naff and the greedy side of me wants more than 12 patterns! I will definitely be making a quilt or two from this book once an opportunity arises and my WIP list is reduced a little more.

I think I am going to make this one- I have my special triangle ruler (also from the Quilt Room) at the ready!

The book is currently £10.35 at RUCraft along with other great titles. It’s cheaper than Amazon and they take Paypal on the site too.

Do you own this book? I’d love to know what you think of it too!

Writing another book

I’m working on a plan for my second book and hoping to get a publisher deal this time so I don’t have to worry about printing costs and I can put my feet up a little. I’ve pretty much put my proposal together but I thought it would be nice to ask for your opinion as to what tutorials you might like to see. Here are a few designs, any favourites?

Also I’m working on a huge order, so if anyone has bought the 6 cavity round moulds I sell (I’m out of stock at the minute) and doesn’t want it anymore, I will buy them back! I need at least 2 more!

Some more reviews…

I thought I’d share some more feedback for my book to “big up ma bad self”. If you want a copy, you know the drill by now- http://www.penny-dog.co.uk and click on books. You know you want to. By the way, the sequel is in the idea stage with a working title of “Further Adventures in Resin Jewellery”.

Anyway, let’s get down to business!

” Thank you! This book will be a perfect gift. :)”
– Ieva

” Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! Well worth the wait of a preorder! If you are into crafting and want to pick up working with resin this book is a great choice!”
– Heather

”Great book, thanks! I’m excited to try some of the things.”
– Lisa

”Fantastic book. Thanks so much!”
– Fiona

Make 50: Week 10…. sort of.

It’s been absolutely MANIC this week what with my knitting needles being featured on Little Cotton Rabbits (http://littlecottonrabbits.typepad.co.uk),  then my book delivery coming and the resulting £60 worth of postage, Comic Relief on Friday and the resulting traffic to http://crafterooshop.folksy.com and then the busiest craft fair of my life yesterday.  Seriously, I need a raise!

So my make this week is a bit of a cop-out, as I’ve decided that my book in it’s printed and bound form counts towards this. I will hopefully be back to regular blogging next week (oh, did I tell you I am going to be in a jewellery magazine at the end of this month and a future knitting magazine showcasing my knitting needles?!) and I will be sharing the top 10 most successful marketing strategies according to The Fournaise Marketing Group. “The 10 Global Trends in Marketing Effectiveness Offline and Online” is something I’ve had in my desk for ages at work and forgot about, but it’s actually got some useful points in there. It’s a bit more bedtime reading for me though as I haven’t got all the way through it yet!


By the way, if you want a copy of  my book, my first batch are selling out fast and I can now guarantee that it will be despatched the same day/day after you order now that the backlog has been dealt with. Here’s some of the comments I have had so far, I hope the people who wrote them don’t mind me putting them here!

I received the e-version of your book. It is terrific! I simply love it….It has everything I like in a book–just enough info to get me started, no extranious and annoying ‘chatter’ (man–I HATE filler in a book).
Well done. Really–well done.”
— Dahn

“My book arrived 🙂 Thanks –  Looks great!”
— Jo

“Got my book this morning hun, love love love it!!!!!!”
— Caroline

“My book from Pennydog has just arrived!!!! How exciting I must go buy resin this instant!”
— Harriet


Owl Swap and Book Progress…

I took part in Meridian’s Owl Swap (http://meridianariel.blogspot.com) and though I’ve not received my parcel yet, my partner Rosina has received hers, so I can now post a picture of what I sent!


My e-book is now no longer a preorder as it is all completed and if you do decide to order it from http://www.penny-dog.co.uk it will be with you within 24 hours of receiving payment. Those who have ordered paperbacks can be reassured that theirs won’t be far behind now, the manuscript went to the printers today, ready for proofing. I know there is at least one typo that needs editing and then it will be printed for real, and I’m hoping I will have them all ready in a couple of weeks! I can’t see how it will be financially viable for selling on Amazon though as they take a huge cut, so much so I will make a loss after printing costs, so I’m trying to negotiate something at the minute… Just for now, don’t order the book from there as I can’t guarantee they will get the business! 😉