Sewing books: Fresh Quilting + 123 Sew

by kath_red on 07/11/2011

in Books, Sewing+Fabric

November: Month of books at

1, 2, 3 Sew: Build Your Skills with 33 Simple Sewing Projects by Ellen Luckett Baker, published by Chronicle books.

When I say I love Chronicle books, it’s not because they are also the publishers of my two quilt books – its because they do quality, beautiful, practical books: pattern sleeve, spiral binding, lovely photos, pleasing design – and well edited too. Ellen Luckett Baker’s book is a Chronicle book and has all these great qualities, plus what she brings to the table – which is well made, well designed, thoughtful and lovely sewn projects.

In this book Ellen has gone back to basics to introduce the new to sewing crafter some basic skills which can then be built upon in a series of three projects gradually increasing in difficulty level – great concept and well achieved! For example – pillows – begin with a basic scrappy straight sewn design and learn about an overlapping pillow finish. Move on to blind hem applique and buttonholes and then learn about reverse applique and making a hook and loop fastener – all while making a series of three pillows. Tote bags are another great example – begin by learning about squared corners, then add in a divider and then learn about drawstring closures and French seams. Brilliant.

Project excerpt: You can make the mouse pincushion using this video tutorial.
Ps. Ellen is multi-talented and has just released a line of fabric with Moda. Congratulations Ellen!

Fresh Quilting: Fearless Color, Design, and Inspiration By Malka Dubrawsky, published by Interweave Press (December 7, 2010).

Malka Dubrawsky and Interweave books – what an amazing combination – one of my favourite improv quilters and one of my favourite book publishers all rolled up together: Malka’s stunning colourful designs, combined with Interweave’s attention to detail – love it – and the book delivers!

Malka’s quilts and patchwork designs are all about colour and pattern. She dyes and over-dyes her own fabric and combines these in eclectic and clashing and fun ways that are part gypsy and part country but the final result is completely modern! Her stitching may be a bit wonky at times and her corners may not meet up perfectly – but for me that not only adds to the charm of these improv quilts but also the accessibility of her style – she all about fearless quilting and sewing – just getting in there and doing it. Her fearless style embraces flaws but also discovers new methods, exciting colour combinations and fantastic designs.

PS. You can purchase Malka’s beautiful creations in her Etsy shop.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Margie November 7, 2011 at 11:15 am

I have Sewing 1-2-3 and love it. I’ve already made 3 projects. I made my 10 year old the lunch sack and she loves it. It’s a great book.


2 Seanna Lea November 7, 2011 at 1:14 pm

I really need the kick in the pants just do it when it comes to quilting. It isn’t like I don’t buy fabric far more often than is reasonable!


3 Sarah O'Halloran November 8, 2011 at 1:58 am

owww that 1 2 3 sewing looks good!


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