Posts Tagged ‘Quadrille’

The Liberty book of home sewing

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

I know what you are thinking…. “what? another Liberty book review?”  Well,why not!  This is, after all, a beyond lovely book.  So if you have a few minutes spare, I invite you to stay with me and read this short review and also, see a bit more of the inside of this book, if you haven’t already bought it yet of course!

The Liberty book of home sewing

Pretty cover but prettier things inside


Like the overwhelming majority who already have this pretty book in their hands, I too must say that this is just such a beautiful book.  Quadrille, the Liberty team and every person that collaborated in the creation of this book managed to encapsulate the very essence of Liberty within it.

Rose corsage

If you have been to Liberty, the shop, you will probably agree with me that is full of beautiful things, some might not be to your taste but you cannot deny that many of the designs are amazing, beautiful textures, luxury smells, the place is full of so many shinny things.  But what are all those things?  Well, they are normal, everyday things, like slippers, bags, scarves, fabrics, buttons, plates, diaries; they are just beautifully designed, amazingly pretty and well, sometimes the price is a bit steep.

Book Covers

Well, The Liberty Book of Home Sewing is full of patterns for many “normal” things like shopping bags, a flower brooch, book covers, quilts, pincushions; however when they are made with very pretty and ultra traditional Liberty prints, they become something special, almost decadent.

Sugar-bag doorstop

The entire book itself screams Liberty, the quality of the paper and the lush photos just makes you forget that you probably already have more than one or two patterns for an apron, but the pinny in this book is the one that you need to have ;)

Frilly pinny with potholder

I have already marked two projects from this book that I will make myself, which will become very nice Christmas presents , I will keep you posted about these, and as always if you have made anything from this book already share it with us, we would love to see it!


Patchwork inspired projects by Cath Kidston

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Most of the time when I think of patchwork I think of new modern patterns or traditional simple patterns with contemporary fabrics.  I had almost forgotten that the roots of patchwork was not only to create an heirloom quilt, but to make the most out of fabrics in times long before mass production.  The new Cath Kidston book, Patch!, has reminded me that crafters from past times washed their fabrics before cutting them into little pieces, not to preshrink them, but to remove stains and odours, since the fabric they were about to sew together it was likely to be a shirt or an old dress.  So if you think that recycling and upcycling in a new trend, think again.

Patch! remains true to the brand and follows the same style than their previous books.  The photos are very warm and allow you to admire the beauty of vintage fabrics and the instructions seem quite straight forward, but don’t quote me on this one as I have not made anything from it yet.

There is a bit of everything in the book but there is a lot about bags and quite a few ideas for cushions and pillowcases.  You will also find things for the rest of the house, children, a dog bed, and a couple of applique project… after all applique is a close relative to patchwork.  Most of the projects are easy to make, there are no big complicated quilts, or anything that will take you ages to finish.

The beauty of this book is that it clearly shows how you can use old and new fabrics in the same project and nobodwil raise an eyebrow.  On the other hand, if you like making things exactly like the ones in the book with exactly the same fabrics, you are going to have a challenge to find the same designs.  To me, one of the great things is to make something and stamp my own style, so I wouldn’t have a problem making some of the cushions entirely with solids, or a mixture of linen in natural colour and bright cottons.

As in their previous books, it comes with a kit to get you starting in making a tote bag or a cushion cover, so there are no excuses of why not to get stitching.


Patch! Cath Kidston ® is published by Quadrille Publishing Limited. ISBN 978-184400-988-6

Crafting Wonderland

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Have you ever wished you could fall down a rabbit hole like Alice did and find Wonderland?  I did, I wanted to live all that madness and meet all those surreal characters (saying that, without falling down a rabbit hole I have meet quite a few surreal characters over the years!).  Disappointingly after all these years of been living in Oxford I have found no sign of that rabbit hole! One thing life has taught me however, is that if you want something really bad, you have to go after it and make it happen yourself, and I couldn’t possibly think of anything better than to create my very own Wonderland.

As I flick through the pages of Everything Alice, Hannah Rad-Baldrey and Christine Leech’s new book, my smile becomes bigger and bigger, just like a Cheshire Cat smile.

This must be my favourite project in the book

Everything Alice, as you might have guessed, is inspired by the Book “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carrol and inside it gives you all you need to get started creating your very on Wonderland, including wonderful things like patterns for for a white rabbit, mad hatter hats, invitation cushions, humpty dumpty doorstop; recipes for a Curious Teapot Cake, Duchess Macaroons, and Red Velvet Cupcakes that look so appetising you won’t be able to resist making them.

Oh yes! you will find embroidery projects too!

I can’t tell you how much I want to have an Alice in Wonderland  themed party make the Giant Rose Lights to decorate the garden.  But if you don’t want to take it to extremes, you could also have a little bit of Wonderland in your everyday life and make the very clever embroidery box or a very simple and practical bag to carry your books or lunch.

What better to amuse a little one than this mobile.

This mobile will amuse any child for hours

Alternatively you can do the same that I have done for a few weeks, and go through the pages and admiring the creativity of the two talented writers of this fun book.

You can't recreate Wonderland without having one of this hats!

Everything Alice, by Hannah Read-Baldrey & Christine Leech is published byt Quadrille Publishing (ISBN 978-1844009725)

A teacosy to add a touch of Wonderland to every day :)

A little touch of Wonderland to your everyday life

A guide to simple sewing

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

I think it was in a small shop in Portobello Road where I first saw a Lisa Stickley bag and I remember how my pupils dilated and I wanted so much to own every single bag that was on display.  Ever since then I have admired her style, and how she mixes simple lines with a contemporary take of vintage details.  Her book Made at Home, a guide to simple sewing, published by Quadrille last year, carries on this same style not only on the design of the book, which I love, but also on the projects that she shares with us.

I personally admire a designer that sticks to his/her style and in this case Made at Home has Lisa’s stamp all over it.  Even at the beginning of each pattern, there is an introduction by the designer that comes across so warm that almost encourages you to make it and makes you wonder why you have not done it before!

Although the projects might be a bit basic for the experienced sewer, they are so varied that you will definitely find something that you want to do, or always been wondering how to do, I even bet you will find in this book better instructions of how to do something that you have done before.

Another great thing about the clean design of each pattern is that whether you like to use natural linen, animal print or kawaii fabrics you are not going to be put off by the style of the projects.  All the opposite actually, you can see your favourite fabric working in either of the 30 projects in the book.  And as you get more comfortable with the pattern, you can start adding things to it, ruffles if that what you like, or maybe a border on different fabric; after all, like the title says it, this book it is a guide to simple sewing, you can make it as complicated as you want!

The patterns can be as basic and beginner’s friendly as the napkins and placemats

a bit more challenging like the piped cushion or outdoor cushion

or even a bit fun and inviting to get you out of your comfort zone like the roman blind or the pouffe (which by the way she suggests to use all those scraps of fabrics to stuff  the pouffe for a firm and weighty feel.  I told you she was a clever girl!).

I guess that the best way to describe this book is a blank canvas with very clear instructions on how to sew things at home.  At least to me, it does encourages me to go ahead and make something and put my own stamp, which is why I love so much about making my own things, don’t you think so?

Made at Home, a guide to simple sewing by Lisa Stickley is published by Quadrille Publishing, ISBN 978-184400-237-5