Every year at Christmas, I give the ‘Christmas Elf’ (also known as a ‘husband’) some ideas of what I’d like for Christmas. This system is foolproof – this way, I always get things that I love (and so does he – there’s a female Christmas Elf who collects ideas of what he’d like, too!).
This year, I had a bumper crop of gorgeous books:
This first one is one that I knew had to be on my Christmas list as soon as I saw it first advertised, back around September.
It’s the new Inspirations book ‘A Passion for Needlework 2: Factoria VII’. This features twelve designs from a variety of designers who also create designs for the Australian ‘Inspirations’ magazine. The book is the second in what is now looking to be a series of volumes, fortunately – this is stitching eye candy at its best. The book is very well produced, the photography is wonderful, and I’m tempted to start on one or two projects right away! This is one of my favourites from the book, which I am itching to stitch:
And these gorgeous little stumpwork pots are calling to be stitched too:
One thing that I wasn’t very keen on with this book was the settings that the photography had been done in – a converted bacon factory in Australia, which is now a home, but it’s been decorated in the, admittedly, popular ‘industrial’ decorating style. But I hate that! The actual embroidery, in many of the images, seems a bit ‘lost’. Like this one:
I don’t like to have to play ‘hunt the embroidery’ when I’m looking at a picture in an embroidery book……
This next book has been on my Amazon wishlist for a couple of years, but never got beyond that:
I think that’s because although the embroidery is great, I’m not personally very keen to stitch things all in white, so the cover was putting me off. But on Pinterest a few weeks ago I saw an image taken from one of the projects inside the book, and then I ‘upgraded’ the book from ‘maybe one day’ to ‘yes, now!!’
It’s got some gorgeous stumpwork projects in it – really creative stuff. This complements Jane Nicholas’s style very well (Jane is Australian, and has a lovely neat stumpwork embroidery style, doing mainly botanical studies). I’m looking forward to trying some of these projects, too. This is my favourite so far:
The book has a long section at the beginning covering all sorts of ‘how to’s’ – very good detail.
I also received a couple of patchwork books, as I have a huge interest in making American Civil War-style mini quilts at the moment, using reproduction fabrics from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
This book is by two really good quilt designers – Jo Morton and Kim Diehl. They both showcase designs based on the same blocks throughout this book, showing how a designer can be influenced in very different ways, when using the same basic elements as another designer.
This is my favourite design from this book. It’s one of Jo’s:
The other quilting book is a very new one:
This book uses a novel idea – the author took one ‘layer cake’ of fabrics (that is, a pack of 40 co-ordinating fabrics, each ten inches square), to see how many projects she could make out of it (plus the backing fabric).
These are all quick little projects, so I want to get a few of these done soon, such as this one:
I’m hoping to share more of my attempts at patchwork and quilting on this blog during 2019.
Finally, I also got the latest Johanna Basford colouring book ‘World of Flowers’. If you haven’t seen this, you’re from another planet! I want to work on this one on the right hand side first:
So, as long as I get some spare time (Ha!! What’s that?!), I should have some good things to be working on during the coming year 🙂