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

Love with Drowning

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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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).


Today Danielle reviews Hand-Appliqued Quilts: Beautiful Designs & Simple Techniques

With so much inspiration around us, little wonder that many of us frantically try to squeeze in as much crafting as we can in the few short hours we might have available every week. The temptation may be to focus on quick-sew techniques in order to produce as many quilts as possible in the time available, and certainly there is a list of reasons as long as my arm to make quilts in this way. But sometimes, or perhaps more often, you might want to slow things down a little, use your few hours to meditate over each stitch, knowing that your project will become an heirloom to be treasured for years. Hand appliqué is just the technique I have turned to when I need a ‘slow-it-down’ project and is the subject of this gorgeously-presented book from Tonye Belinda Phillips.


Tonye manages to break the art of appliqué down, demystifying it as a foreign technique to one that is truly accessible to anyone with simple sewing skills. Even if you’ve never hand-sewn before, you will find that appliqué really isn’t difficult – Tonye describes her appliqué technique as a basic ‘get-out-there-and-do-it’ approach – and the detailed instructions guide the way. She gives useful tips on tackling different types of shapes – curves, points, circles and valleys (such as the dip formed in the ‘v’ of a heart shape) – and advice on fabric selection, choosing a colour palette for your project, and finishing techniques.

Included in the book are projects ranging from dolly quilts through to large bed-sized quilts, and each of the designs could easily be mixed and matched to form your own personal project. The projects display Tonye’s unique eye for bold colour applications – a number of the quilts feature bold background, such as red and mustard yellow. The shapes in the projects, for which templates are included, are in a naive, hand-drawn style, and the quilts are an engaging mix of modern and traditional.


Hand-Appliqued Quilts: Beautiful Designs & Simple Techniques is a beautiful book, with plenty of guidance for beginners and more-advanced quilters alike, and plenty of colour and design inspiration for starting your own hand-appliqued quilt. It will definitely be my next source when the urge strikes for a slow-it-down project!


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Today we welcome Helen Gladman, a new reviewer to the whipup team.

Helen is knitter from Canberra with a reasonably sized stash and a love of knitting shawls, cardigans and socks. She is learning to quilt, sews mainly little girl clothes and blogs at Bells Knits where you will find stories and photos of her creative output and dreams.


The Finer Edge: Crocheted Trims, Motifs & Borders by Kristin Omdahl is a book with wide ranging patterns that will spruce up all manner of items. The author has taken the notion of the standard framing use for edges and applies the techniques to a broader range of items.

While the book contains a stitch dictionary and basic introduction to the use of crochet borders and trims, it is not really a book for beginners. It is assumed you already know how to crochet and how to read crochet charts.

I really liked the way the motifs and borders are set out – one to each page with the chart and written out instructions provided in case you are more comfortable with one form of pattern reading than another.


The designs are varied and attractive and the possibilities greater than my previous crochet experience led me to believe. I could add a lot of stitches to my repertoire with this book and learn ways to do more than just trim a tea towel or piece of fabric. There are designs for hats and scarves which I think is a great way to show the way these stitches can be used.

The book makes me want to dig out a crochet hook and start adding borders to anything I can lay my hands on. You can’t recommend a book with higher praise than that, I think.


Today we introduce a new reviewer to whipup. Bianca blogs at Sadie and Lance where she collects and recollects many fleeting crafty pursuits, cooking adventures and the odd observation.

Bianca’s first review is Clean Eating for Busy Families: Get Meals on the Table in Minutes by Michelle Dudash, R.D. for Fair Winds Press.

Whip Up Book Review Clean Eating Cover

Clean Eating author, Michelle Dudash knows food. She is a registered dietician, Cordon Blue-certified chef and recipe writer for a number of well-known publications including Martha Stewart and Better Homes and Gardens.

I like the idea of a cookbook that is both practical and inspiring. Clean Eating for Busy Families delivers on both those accounts. The recipes are contemporary and designed with healthy eating and speedy preparation in mind. The 30-minute meal is not a new concept; nope it wasn’t Jamie Oliver that invented it! But it is a smart one. It’s also not just families, obviously, that might be interested in clean eating or speedy meal preparation.

When I first flicked through the book, I bookmarked so many recipes that caught my eye. Braised Pork Buns with Quick Pickled Cucumbers and Bean Sprouts? Yes, please! Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Sweet Potato Planks? Oh my! Moist, one-bowl chocolate cake? Lazy bakers rejoice!

The book is split into sections, salads & appetizers, meat & poultry, meatless mains, side dishes and desserts. Each recipe has nutrition information, serving sizes and preparation times. There are also tips for getting the most out of seasonal ingredients, making ‘green’ sustainable choices and notes about some key ingredients, such as where on a chicken the “tenders” come from (the underside of the chicken breast, by the way). It’s also worth noting that the measurements are in ounces and grams so it’s user-friendly.

Whip Up Book Review Clean Eating Recipe

To get a feel for the recipes I tried out the Hoisin Chicken & Bok Choy Stir-fry recipe. It was delicious, the recipe was easy to follow and the ingredients all at hand. It was pretty quick too. I really liked the extensive instructions that came with this recipe for substituting the chicken for tofu.

No matter which country you’re in (I’m in Australia), this book is for anyone (not just families) interested in learning some new recipes for healthy delicious meals. The recipes are interesting and simple and include some inspired recipes to spice up your usual menu.


[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]


DO get in touch if you are interested in writing a guest post for whipup this year! Send me a short email with your idea procrasticraft {at}

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Book :: Quilt it with love

by Admin on 10/06/2013

in Books

Reviewed by: Liz Hoyland loves scrap quilts in saturated colours and is a self-confessed fabricholic. She’s not brave enough to count how many quilts she’s working on right now, but she’s joined a fantastic movement on Instagram encouraging quilters to actually finish their projects in 2013, called #finishit2013. Her website is Scrappy quilts.

Project linus

Quilt It with Love: The Project Linus Story: 20+ Quilt Patterns & Stories to Warm Your Heart by Mary Balagna and Carol Babbitt, Published by Lark Crafts, 2012.

The authors, Mary and Carol, are two amazing women who took the idea of giving quilts to sick and traumatised kids and made it a United States-wide movement with about 60,000 volunteers. The charity movement that they created is called Project Linus, named after the little boy in the Peanuts cartoons who always had to carry his blankie.

Project linus

Their generosity has now gone one step further with this book of tried and true quilts that have proven to be winners with kids. The quilts all have that something special. One features pockets for hiding treasures or storing essentials. Another is a good example of a signature quilts, I can imagine a whole class signing the quilt to send their best wishes to a sick child. Another one, for younger children, has windows and door flaps for hiding surprises.

It’s such a heart-warming book. It really shows the power of quilts. I loved reading about the children who received the quilts. They all thought their quilts were so special. Some of the stories were sad, all of them were inspiring. As well as these wonderful stories, the quilt designs are perfect for people new to quilting with a few with more advanced techniques for quilters wanting a challenge, and quilting groups wanting to collaborate.