Book reviewed by Megan Enright: Megan is wife to a tolerant and encouraging husband and mother to four children ranging in age from 18 years down to 5 years. She spends her days keeping company with her 5 year old daughter and her evenings cheering on the sidelines as her older sons deal with homework, sport and other teenage issues. In her quieter moments, she likes to knit, embroider, sew and cook. She’d like to have the time and talent to crochet and quilt….maybe one day. She can be found at Notebook from home blog.
French Country Chic by Lise Meunier Published by David & Charles (March 4, 2012)
If you are a devotee of muted French inspired “shabby chic” style then this book will provide lots of inspiration. In it 40 projects are outlined and all of them imbibe an atmosphere of sophisticated comfort. Blue and white provide the predominant colour scheme so if you are into brighter colours you may need to adjust the fabrics and use your own favourites.
The book is divided into three sections, the workshop, the sitting room and the bedroom with each project designed for usefulness as well as a boost to the interior design of these three rooms. The projects are not overly complicated and the instructions although not very descriptive are quite clear. Some of the projects are suitable for absolute novice crafters, these include totes, cushions and drawer sachets. Other patterns require a little more expertise. For example there is a pencil case project that involves zipper insertion. Although the patterns are, on the whole, simple, they are made that little bit extra special through the use of trimmings, edgings, and well utilised vintage and “yard sale” fabrics. This is a book that gives the crafter ideas with which to create their own handmade item, made unique through fabric and embellishment choices.
I made my own version of the heart cushion. I am not a confident machine sewer but the instructions were clear and I was pleased with the outcome. Although I loved looking at the stylish interiors photographed in the book I do prefer a more vibrant colour palette. So, after a quick dive through my far too extensive fabric stash I ended up using an Amy Butler fabric on the front of the cushion. I am a sucker for hearts of any kind and I can definitely envision using this pattern for other cushions. Perhaps a series of heart pillows along my rather tired looking sofa? Most of the projects are sewn but there is a really lovely cross-stitch sampler and some sweet key holders made using modelling clay to add some variety.
As crafter who is far too keen on craft books, I had no trouble finding inspiration as well as some concrete ideas in this latest book from Lise Meunier. If you are looking for a quick handmade gift idea or a small craft project to add a lift to a corner of your home French Country Chic is a great resource. Now all I need is that little cottage in the French countryside…..