The Textile Artist’s Studio Handbook [Quarry Books (July 1, 2012)] by Visnja Popovic and Owyn Ruck [Textile Arts Centre website + blog]

Brought to you by the textile arts centre in New York, this book brings a beautifully laid out overview to various ways of creating and embellishing fabric: felting, knitting and crochet, weaving, printing, dyeing, sewing and applique, needlework. With only a chapter on each of these subjects, the information is not in depth enough for a beginner, but certainly gives some interesting ideas for those already familiar with the required techniques. There is also some great information on fibres and setting up a home studio.

Crochet Boutique [Lark Crafts (September 4, 2012)] by Rachael Oglesby. [blog]

A really cool wearable crochet book for beginners. The stitches are not complicated, and there is no fine hooks and yarn involved, but I think that more advanced crocheters looking for a fun ‘in between’ project will find something here to love too. Lots of scarves and hats and shawls, a couple of tops and sweet accessories too. I love the yarn and colour choices – making this book very visually appealing.

How to Make Stuffed Animals [Quarry Books (July 1, 2012)] by Sian Keegan [website  +  blog]

I loved the how-to illustrations in this book, and the toys are all very cute. They are all small-ish stuffed animals with big personalities – quite life-like faces and 3d body shapes. These little guys would make very sweet gifts. The instructions are good, making these toys look more complicated to make than they actually are.

{ 1 comment }

September/October brings change of season, and fresh starts and frivolity and seriousness too. So for a break from whipup realtime I am introducing a few weeks of guest bloggers to liven up your crafty experience. To bring you something fresh, and hopefully invigorate you to make and do and be and think! Its going to be a fun few weeks so come along for the ride.

Today I want to introduce you to Kathrin, her blog annekata has become a firm favourite, I love her original and stylish take on eco fashion and recycling. Her blog focuses on hand-sewing, slow design and features many tutorials ranging from making your own sandals, to fabric tape, to hand-stitched ornaments. I love that Kathrin showcases the process of making, showing some of the time involved and demonstrating that anybody, no matter their skill level, can create.

My passion is for all things handmade, particularly textiles and handsewing using principles of slow design. My work is process oriented and strongly influenced by folk art and the inventiveness of people with limited resources. I use recycled or sustainable sources whenever possible and design patterns for handsewn accessories, goods and wearables. I was born and raised in Germany but most of my adult life was spent living in Cologne, Madrid, Barcelona, Buenos Aires and New York City. I’m currently enjoying a slower pace of life with my husband and daughter in upstate NY. For more tutorials and interesting ideas, visit my blog: annekata.com

Did you know that the word ‘jewelry’ comes from the Latin word “jocale”, meaning ‘plaything’ and that the first jewelry dates back approx. 100,000 years ago? Some things are timeless. Who doesn’t love jewelry? Think about how much earrings, necklaces and rings can make any outfit more special. Not to mention the sentimental value of a brooch inherited from a great aunt or a wedding ring.

Usually I don’t wear rings; any rings, but this changed when I started to make them from fabric and thread. They’re soft, easy to wear and very comfortable. They can also be created any way you like including with a “stone”. I started to experiment with different threads, floss and shapes. The variations are endless. Experiment. They make great friendship rings and gifts.

If you want to make your own “plaything”, here are 2 different versions:


  1. tape measure
  2. fabric scraps (I use linen for a clean look)
  3. scissors
  4. needle
  5. thread (sewing thread and embroidery floss, metallic, different colors or whatever tickles your fancy)

How To:

First, make the ring. This will need some experimentation depending on the fabric you’re using. Measure around the finger and add a little extra for seam allowance. Jot down the measurement for future reference. If you want a ring with a “wrapped stone”, add a little extra, because the wrapping will tighten the ring. Be generous with your measurements or you’ll have a nice new linen toe ring.

Cut out a strip the measured length and approx.1 1/4 inches wide. It depends on how wide you would like the ring to be.

Fold both long sides to the middle, and then fold over once again to encase the seams. Close the open part with a slip stitch.

The easiest way to finish the ring is to attach a “stone” made from embroidery thread, illustrated here:

Close the ring with a few stitches. Now hide the closing seam with a “wrapped stone”. Thread a needle with embroidery thread, make a knot, sew through the ring (to attach the embroidery floss) and then wrap the thread around the ring through the opening a few times and finish by wrapping horizontally the embroidered part. This looks great with metallic embroidery thread.

Here’s a second version: A jewel for your ring.

Cut a piece of fabric 1 1/4 inches by 2 1/4 inches. Fold both long sides to the middle and then both short sides to the middle. Fold over once again to encase all the raw seams into the square. This will be the ring’s “stone”. Thread a needle with some embroidery or metallic thread and sew around all the edges. illustrated here:

When you are finished with the “stone”, attach it to the ring. Overlap the ring slightly and cover the seam by sewing the stone to the ring with a few stitches. Make sure the ring fits before you permanently close it. If you want to embroider a name or message, do so before you close the ring and attach the stone.


Try some weaving with this cute project from Sister Diane at Dabbled – more weaving projects in her ebook too.

weaving candy



I love this work by Dominican Republic artist natalia ortega gamez, [seen on design*sponge]. Local materials with a real natural feel. These bamboo stitched platters are amazing and I love the stoneware bowls with crochet covers – wonderful.




Stitched on horse hair, paper and found fabrics, Hand Crafted Landscape is a patchwork of rural romances. Opening Saturday 23 May 3pm until the 23 of June 2009 at Ararat Regional Art Gallery, Victoria.

tamara Marwood

tamara marwood

Images: Tamara Marwood, Quilt Work (detail), 2008, horse hair, cotton and cardboard. From Handcrafted landscape at Ararat Regional Art Gallery, from 21 May to 21 June. www.tamaramarwood.com