My top 5 craft books

As part of the Blogathon I’m writing about my five favourite craft books – other participants are talking about their favourite writing books but I thought craft books would be more apt for us wouldn’t you agree?

Plus, I have a heck of a lot of craft books…

I have a lot of craft books...590

1) Alabama Stitch Book: Projects and Stories Celebrating Hand-Sewing, Quilting and Embroidery for Contemporary Sustainable Style

This book is just gorgeous – I love the philosophy about stitching by hand and the important ritual of loving your thread (to stop tangles of course). I made a skirt from it but haven’t tried anything since. I think I need to dig it out from the pile and make something else soon.

My new skirt

2) Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun

This book is one of the newest in my collection and I haven’t explored it fully yet. But I love Carla Sonheim’s style and I tired one of the projects from the book a little while ago (paper dolls). I’m really looking forward to carrying out more of the fun and creativity-boosting exercises – the one about drawing Picasso dogs is particularly enticing me.

3) Bend-the-Rules Sewing

This book is one of the first I ever bought about sewing back in 2008. And there’s one particular pattern that I’ve made over and over again – the clutch on the cover. My version is below and it’s probably the easiest thing I’ve ever sewn. The patterns and style of writing is really accessible for the beginner sewer (sewist? sewer just looks plain wrong).

New clutch

4) Sew It Up: A Modern Manual of Practical and Decorative Sewing Techniques

Writing this list is really reminding me just how many books I have. And how many I’ve never made anything from. This book isn’t one of them. Ruth Singer’s book is a great reference book for all sorts of sewing techniques. I’ve used the envelope cushion cover several times. And I used the Suffolk puffs (yo yo) tutorial for the purse below. If you only buy one sewing book, make it this one.

Suffolk puff clip frame purse

5) Homemade: Gorgeous Things to Make with love

This last choice is more of an inspirational book that a project book as I’ve never actually made anything from it. But it’s a lovely book to browse through, to read and to get simple and pretty ideas for your home. I’ve actually got a hardback version of it with a beautiful aqua blue cover – part of the charm for me I do admit.

I hope you enjoyed my list – what would be in your top 5?


11 Responses to “My top 5 craft books”

  1. 1 Kris @ Attainable Sustainable May 5, 2011 at 4:42 am

    I really, really need to take the time to get crafting again. I’ve got a partially finished quilt calling my name.

  2. 3 Nicole/MadlabPost May 6, 2011 at 2:23 am

    I never heard of these but would read that mixed-media book. It sounds cool. Crafty Chica seems to have a nice line of craft books as well but I haven’t read any of those yet either. I read craft magazines more often.

  3. 5 wendy May 6, 2011 at 10:17 am

    I’ve got one of the 5 books you listed, Homemade, Gorgeous Things to Make with Love. It’s my least favourite craft book! There’s nothing in there you could actually make! I have a massive craft book collection and I’m doing the Craft Book Challenge, maybe you should have a go at that after your 52 weeks are over.

    • 6 Christine May 7, 2011 at 7:32 pm

      Hi Wendy, the reviews of Homemade are complete opposites on Amazon. I guess it’s a Marmite book :) I need to know more about the Craft Book Challenge – sounds like something I should look at.

  4. 7 Michelle Rafter May 7, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    These books sounds great – I’m sharing this post with my 22-year-old daughter who’s a dancer/choreographer and beginning/intermediate seamstress who designs and makes costumes for her dance performances. There are a few I think she’ll love.

    Michelle Rafter

    • 8 Christine May 7, 2011 at 7:33 pm

      Hi Michelle, I hope she finds a book she loves. I think the Alabama book is probably my favourite one. Thank you for the inspiration for this post!

  5. 9 Ruth Terry May 7, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    I LOVE that Alabama stitching book too! This is the first time I’m reading your blog. Have you thought about writing a craft book?

    Ruth (fellow Blogathon 2011 participant!)

    • 10 Christine May 7, 2011 at 7:34 pm

      Hi Ruth, have you got the second Alabama book? I really want it.

      I would love to write a craft book – maybe I should stop thinking about it and just get on with it!

  6. 11 Sawyer May 22, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    I missed this post until now – thanks to Michelle who recapped it on her Sunday post. (Thanks, Michelle!)

    I have the Bend-the-Rules book too. Plus lots of others. Now I feel compelled to post them in my own list of 5 favorites.

    What about all these gorgeous magazines that are practically like books (prize-wise, certainly), put out by Somerset Publishing? This one line called “Altered” – I just LOVE it. The pictures are sooo gorgeous, but I admit I never actually made anything like it.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing. I might try my hand at the clutch bag you made.


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