Wednesday 8 August 2007

mini book review

book bounty

ms paper.string.cloth asked for my thoughts on the books i received and i'm happy to oblige - with the disclaimer that i haven't actually made any of the projects in any of the books so far. instead i'll just give you my opinion of the book in general, the projects included, etc. starting from the top...

make your own contemporary quilts, no author credit
on first glance, this was my least favourite of the bunch, mainly because, flipping through, it's not quite as contemporary as i would like it to be - out of the 20 quilt patterns shown, there are only 6 that i would probably make. HOWEVER, that's just me and i do acknowledge that there are some pretty cool techniques used in many of the patterns - interesting folds, giant french knots and some cool applique suggestions - which are good food for thought for other projects. and a little less than half the book is dedicated to the basics (and not so basics) of quilting, which is what i really bought it for in the first place.

bend the rules sewing, amy karol
i'm just going to reiterate what everyone else has already said about this book - great photography, cute and easy patterns, lots of great tips on technique throughout and all in a very lovely and relaxed writing style. it's just a good book. and i would highly recommend it to anyone who is just starting out with sewing or wants to give it a go - i could have saved myself a lot of swearing if i'd had this book a few years ago.

simple sewing, lotta jansdotter
a beautiful, beautiful book about which i could probably say much of the same as above. i bought it for the lotta aesthetic and mainly for the damn cute sun hat i kept seeing all over blogland and it certainly doesn't disappoint in any aesthetic way. the patterns are pretty basic, but handy with a few tote designs and lots of around-the-house projects making it good for the beginning sewer.

sew u, wendy mullin
maaaaan, i'm loving this book. i find sewing clothes a little daunting and this book has me completely fired up and convinced that i'll be sewing my entire summer wardrobe! it comes with patterns for a basic shirt, a-line skirt and pants to get you started and has plenty of handy tips on shaking up the patterns to show your own style. plus lots of information on fabric choices, measuring yourself, working with patterns in general and all the little things that you could take years learning on your own. this one is my favourite out of the bunch : )

denise schmidt quilts
ummmm, pretty much ditto everything i said about the lotta jansdotter book. there are a good range of projects from quite basic to pretty advanced. i'm glad i got both quilting books as this one doesn't have the detailed technique info that the contemporary quilts book does - i wouldn't recommend this as a stand alone "learn-to-quilt" book but it does have some lovely quilt patterns.

and, yes, i bought them from i didn't find the shipping prices unreasonable, especially when the books themselves are so much cheaper than i could ever dream of finding them in australia. for one or two books, the shipping probably isn't worth it, which is why i waited until there was a good stack of things i wanted - all 5 books and shipping came to just over $100 US which i thought was pretty good value.


  1. Woot!
    Thanks so much Leslie....
    I've been thinking about getting Sew U for a little while, it's great to hear your feedback from an Aussie perspective.....
    Thanks so much for the link love too!

  2. Anonymous7:54 am

    It was lovely to read about these books. I've got the Denise Schmidt quilts and Lotta's simple sewing books on order - so now I'm even keener for them to hurry up and arrive. I think Bend the Rules will be next on my list :O)

  3. Anonymous8:09 am

    Thanks for the reviews! I've got Sew U too, and second everything you said... can't wait to make some things once I get my waist back. I've been eyeing off the Amy, Lotta and Denyse books, they will have to be added to my wishlist!
    (and you're so right about Amazon being cheaper if you buy a few books - I can't believe how expensive books are in Australia!)

  4. I so agree with the pricey tags they put on the books here in Australia. I've been getting my craft books from Amazon, too. I've found that I'm still ahead even with three books (incl shipping), since they're at least AU$40 each in the shops here.

    And you're very spot on with your reviews!

  5. I have a few of those books, but I don't have "Bend the rules Sewing" yet. I keep seeing all those great projects out in blogland from that book though and it is a bit tempting to go ahead and buy it:)

  6. Thank you for the reviews! I am just a beginning - well haven't even started the sewing yet but have ordered some fabric for totes! Perhaps I should buy one of the simple books!!

  7. I have all those books, and I too did the amazon thing have for years, even textbooks when I was a student, it is always cheaper and sometimes they even have great deals on books on my wishlist - smart of them really :) anyway, I too have grown to like contemporary quilts, and it does have good in depth instructions. I like Denyse's but so far have only made the scarf for a friend. I am loving Amy's book, have it open at the craft table at the moment. Still to make something from Lotta's but I just like looking at it anyway. But boy I really need a kick up the bum for the Sew U, because I haven't even really looked at, but you make it sound great, so I'm going to take it off the bookshelf and try again. thanks for the reviews. shutting up now!! :)

  8. Anonymous10:11 pm

    yeah .. that's what I do as well (with amazon jap too)! kind of sucky that books cost so much here! we are so far away.....

    hmm.. i think i may have a look at the Wendy one.

  9. Anonymous11:41 am

    oh my gosh, i have all these except the "sew you" which is on my wish list. crazy!


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