Sewing — by machine and by hand — was prominently featured among this year’s craft books. Many titles were geared toward quilters, and others were for children who want to sew clothes, gifts and quilts.
Some notable titles from 2015:
“All Points Patchwork” (Storey Publishing) helps quilters rediscover English paper piecing, a process that dates to the late 1700s. Author Diane Gilleland says it takes the struggle out of creating complicated patchwork quilts: “You can use (the process) to make beautiful and impressive quilts, but you can also add a bit of patchwork magic to smaller projects.”
“Constantinople Quilts” (C&T Publishing) is a gorgeous compendium of applique quilts by Australian quilt-shop-owner Tamsin Harvey that were inspired by Turkish Iznik ceramics, known for cobalt blue and intricate designs. Harvey’s quilts are highly detailed and prominently feature flora designs.
“The Modern Medallion Workbook” (C&T Publishing), by Janice Zeller Ryan and Beth Vassalo, also shares intricate patterns for applique quilting. The 11 modern patterns, by 11 expert quilters, range from basic to advanced. “It was a lightbulb moment for me when I realized that the definition of a medallion quilt is just a quilt made up of borders surrounding a center medallion — nowhere in that definition does it state that they have to be equal, perfect or matched,” writes Vassalo.
“Smash Your Precut Stash!” (C&T Publishing), by longtime quilters Kate Carlson Colleran and Elizabeth Veit Balderrama, shares 13 quilts that give purpose to quilters’ collections of precut squares and fabric strips.
“Dreamy Quilts” (C&T Publishing), by self-taught designer Lydia Nelson, features 14 simple, quiet projects, including pillows and a table runner. “My idea of a dreamy quilt . is soft and soothing to the eyes, with a palette drawn from nature,” writes Nelson. “It is a quilt that is not overly complicated by an abundance of prints and colors.”
“Get Quilting” (C&T Publishing), by mother and daughter Angela and Cloe Walters, walks young people through the process, from choosing fabric and supplies to assembling and quilting a piece. Kid-friendly projects range from a T-shirt quilt to a school-supplies holder.
“Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns” (Abrams), by Natalie Chanin, features patterns for several of the fashion designer’s haute couture pieces and instructions for how to embellish, with beads and embroidery.
“Rebecca Ringquist’s Embroidery Workshops” (Abrams) is this hand-sewing teacher’s modern take on the traditional technique of embroidery. Ringquist encourages experimentation and an artful eye; the book includes a small, printed, fabric sampler for practicing stitches.
“Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style” (Abrams) features five simple clothing patterns by this Swedish designer that require only basic sewing skills.
“We Love to Sew Gifts” (C&T Publishing), by children’s sewing teacher Annabel Wrigley, shares 23 projects, including a scarf, pillow, wall hanging, tote and dog collar.
“The Mood Guide to Fabric and Fashion” (Abrams) features advice from the Mood Fabrics store in New York City. It bills itself as “the ultimate guide for fashion students, aspiring designers and home sewers who want to dig deep and learn everything they need to choose quality fabric to create sought-after, fashionable garments.”
“The Spoonflower Handbook” features digital-design advice from Stephen Fraser, founder of one of the first print-on-demand fabric companies in the United States, and includes more than 30 projects.