Books

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For the month of October, I invite you to share with the Whipup community as we celebrate the release of Brave New Quilts; 12 Projects Inspired by 20th-Century Art From Art Nouveau to Punk & Pop, by Kathreen Ricketson. 

In collaboration with Stash Books, we will be sharing a blog tour, featuring guest posts, and showcasing images and projects from Brave New Quilts.

I look forward to sharing ideas, inspirations, and recollections as we remember Kathreen and celebrate her work and creativity. 

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The reviewer of this book was Danielle: Danielle is a Canberra-based quilter, crafter, knitter and collector of fabric who loves to applique. She blogs infrequently at Petits Elefants, but is more likely to be found on Instagram and twitter (@petitselefants).

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Beginner’s Guide to Free-Motion Quilting  Natalia Bonner, Stash Books, 2012

 

Natalia Bonner is well-known in the online quilting community as a professional long-arm quilter. In her first book, she shows us how many of the popular quilting patterns used on modern quilts by long-arm quilters can be replicated on our home machines. This is a practical guide, with lots of pictures and diagrams to unravel the mystery of how those lovely, perfectly rounded and spaced swirls can work on your quilt!

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There’s no denying that free-motion quilting is to many home quilters the last frontier. While we may have squeezed a twin-sized quilt under the tiny throat of our machines at times, sometimes we have to admit that sending the quilt off to be quilted on a long-arm machine is the better option. Others may be confident with a gentle meandering stipple pattern, but be a little nervous about trying something that looks a bit more complicated. This book will help dispel the perception that ‘fancy’ quilting patterns can’t be done on your home machine.

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In practical terms, it’s important to acknowledge that free-motion quilting, as with a lot of skills, takes practice, and lots of it. The more you practise, the better you will be. If you’re willing to put in that practice, then this book has loads of inspiration for quilting designs, ranging from simple swirls to more complex combined designs, and perhaps the pinnacle of quilting, the feather! One feature I particularly like about this book is the whole chapter it devotes to border designs, and especially the hints about carrying the design around corners, something I have struggled with in the past and which has put me off wanting to free-motion quilt on my quilts that have borders. There are also sections on allover designs, how to quilt custom designs to fit individual blocks and how to manage appliquéd quilts. Six quilt patterns are included in the book, my favourite of which is the cover quilt, Orange Slices.

This book will serve as a fabulous resource for anyone who either would like to try free-motion quilting or who has already mastered one or more designs. It is packed with detailed pictures and diagrams, and practical tips on how to complete your quilt.

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Reviewed by Julie: a slightly unhinged fabric junkie! She is stitching and crafting obsessed as well as being addicted to tea and cake. She is a work at home Mumma to three energetic little girls and blogs at procrasticraft.

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The Mr of our house recently stated that “we eat too much meat”. I took this a challenge to prepare and eat only vegetarian meals for a whole week (not long really, I know! BUT, I have a house full of meat lovers) and thankfully the very next day, Ross Dobson’s Fired Up Vegetarian arrived in the post for review! I love how serendipitous life can be on occasion.

This is one cracker of a vegetarian cookbook. The recipes really do work as complete meals even for my carnivorous family. The most amazing transformation for us was that it has even inspired the non-cooking Mr of the house to commit to cooking one vego meal each week! The flavours throughout are diverse including Asian, Middle Eastern, European and South American dishes and the book includes useful tips and advice for maximising your barbecue potential.

With Fathers Day coming here in Australia next Sunday, as a gift for Dad the author has kindly provided a recipe for us to share with Whipup readers and the good folks at Murdoch Books have provided us with a copy to giveaway to one lucky reader. Just comment below with your favourite vegetarian meal idea (I love a good recipe tip!).

**Conditions:  Comments must be received by 8am Tuesday 27 August.  The winner will be selected by random number generator and announced on Whipup.net on Tuesday 27 August.  We apologise to our international readers but this giveaway is open to Australian residents only **

Thanks to those who shared their recipes with me, Number 2 was chosen by the random number generator. Congratulations Catherine.

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Reviewed by Megan: Megan is a wife and a mother to four children who spends some of her days in a hospital looking after sick people and some of her days at home hanging out with her gorgeous family. When she finds some spare moments she heads to her work table in a corner of the house to knit, embroider or sew. Megan can also be found in the kitchen cooking far too many cakes and biscuits. She will always choose reading a craft book over sweeping the floors!

Today Megan reviews Doodle Stitching: Embroidery & Beyond: Crewel, Cross Stitch, Sashiko & More by Aimee Ray

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Embroidery has come a long way in the last few years. Traditional embroidery techniques have been reinvented and given new life. As a long term embroiderer I have sat on the sidelines and watched in wonder as stitching designs have become brighter, bolder and just a lot more fun. Aimee Ray has been in the forefront of this embroidery revival and her series of Doodle Stitching books is a treasure trove of fun and funky embroidery designs and ideas. Aimee’s blog, Little Dear Tracks, is a great adjunct to her books with inspirational images and tutorials.

Doodle Stitching: Embroidery & Beyond is the latest book to come from Aimee and her approach is a little different this time round.  The book chapters are divided into descriptions of different embroidery techniques including crewel, redwork, sashiko, cutwork and stumpwork. Each chapter has very clear instructions on how to construct the stitches and there are several projects outlined in each chapter for the reader to complete or to simply use as a springboard for their own design. Some projects are quick and straight forward, for example, the Snow White, Rose Red Fleece Scarf. A cute and cosy idea that I think would look quite stylish around my neck as the cold wind blows. Other projects like the stumpwork Mushroom Pincushion are a little more involved but still provide a great way to practice a relatively little known embroidery method.

At the beginning of the book Aimee outlines the way to achieve basic stitches but the emphasis in this book is just to get in and give it a go. Aimee sees ‘Embroidery and Beyond’ as the next step on for the beginner embroiderer and at all times her ideas are accessible yet inspiring. I decided to give cutwork a try and completed my own version of Aimee’s cutwork book mark. It was ‘quick fix’ craft project that has become quite useful for my daughter to ‘mark her place’ as she reads.

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I loved Aimee Ray’s new book and I would highly recommend it for fledgling and experienced embroiderers alike. It’s a book that inspires any crafter to take up the needle and thread and create something beautiful.

[Thanks to publishers and distributors for sending books to review, we don't get paid to post reviews but do get to keep a copy]

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DO get in touch if you are interested in writing a guest post for whipup this year! Send Kate a short email with your idea to vagusvenus[at]gmail.com

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Book reviewed by Megan.  Megan is a wife and a mother to four children who spends some of her days in a hospital looking after sick people and some of her days at home hanging out with her gorgeous family. When she finds some spare moments she heads to her work table in a corner of the house to knit, embroider or sew. Megan can also be found in the kitchen cooking far too many cakes and biscuits. She will always choose reading a craft book over sweeping the floors!

Love with a Chance of Drowning by Torre DeRoche, Penguin

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The days have been getting very cold and damp down here in the southern hemisphere and on chilly evenings I have taken to retreating from the family a little and having a long hot bath…with a book.

Torre DeRoche, the author of ‘Love with a Chance of Drowning’ is an Australian woman who was living in America when she met the man of her dreams in the shape of a gorgeous, adventurous Argentinean man named Ivan. After a whirlwind romance he persuaded her to sail off into the sunset to Australia! The two of them, lots of beautiful Pacific islands and Torre’s morbid fear of oceans. An unusual combination, but a combination that has resulted in a lovely book that I enjoyed hugely as lay back in my hot bath.

Torre writes in a delightfully conversational style with lots of self-deprecating humour that makes you feel as though any of us could circumnavigate a good portion of the world if we had the right boat and the right partner by our side. And even though’ Love with the Chance of Drowning’ is about a grand travel adventure it is also very much the love story of Torre and Ivan, a unique story in itself.

So whether you are lying on the beach in the northern half of the world or snuggling under blankets in the southern half, grab this book and start reading.  In no time you will be deeply engrossed in life on a boat with Ivan and Torre.

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