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Handcrafted Gifts

If the summer heat gets you down, create some handcrafted gifts with floral themes for loved ones.

If you’re looking for gift ideas, craft books are a great source. “Fan-cy Flowers” by Patricia Knoechel was published by Creating With Color, and is available from Quilt-in-a-Day. This features complete, illustrated, step-by-step instructions, lists of materials, and pre-printed fusible interfacing for each project. A pull-out sheet with the patterns and details on placement are included. The book features several versions and sizes of different projects, including wall hangings and quilts. These projects would make suitable for flower lovers.

“Borders and Finishing Touches 2” by Bonnie K. Browning from the American Quilter’s Society features 18 projects for quilts as well as sheets, pillowcases, clothing, and other items. Suitable for all skill levels, this book features over 175 how-to color photos. It contains all the details and instructions for the techniques and projects. Among the floral patterns are ones with tulips, roses, and dahlias.

“Gwen Marston’s Needlework Designs” from the American Quilter’s Society features over 70 designs, many of which depict flowers. The adaptable patterns can be used for embroidery, appliqué, stencil, quilting, and other craft techniques. These motifs are based on Renaissance and Baroque art. In the introduction, the author provides complete details on using the designs. One of the quilts is called Friendship Bouquet, and depicts five different flowers.

“Art Deco Patterns and Designs” by Phoebe Ann Erb was released by Stemmer House. This volume is part of the International Design Library. In addition to well known images from the era, the author also presents long-forgotten ones that will inspire your creativity. Many of these feature flowers and plants. The designs are suitable for various craft techniques, including everything from decorative painting to ceramics. These designs can be enlarged or reduced to fit your specific needs. The author lists the sources and dates for each design, and provides a background about the history of Art Deco.

If you have flower photos, you can use them to decorate all sorts of useful and ornamental projects. “Photocraft-Cool Things to Do With the Pictures You Love” is by Caroline Herter et al, published by Bulfinch Press. The authors explain how to edit your electronic images, and walk you through every project with step-by-step instructions and a list of materials, and suggested images. There are over 40 wonderful projects include a lovely folding screen decorated with plants and a lampshade with pictures of flowers They also explain what supplies you will need, such as paper, fabric, and glue. The appendix features a complete list of resources for everything you could possibly need for the projects.

“Dresden Plate-New Quilts from an Old Favorite” from the American Quilter’s Society features 18 exquisite quilt designs by leading quilt designers. These were chosen during the Museum of the American Quilter’s Society’s annual contest. Five of the designs received top honors, while the other 13 were finalists. This presents the story of each designer and what inspired these particular designs. There are full-size pattern pieces for each one. A number of these depict floral or garden themes, such as wildflowers and tropical flowers. This is lushly illustrated with full color photos.

“The Complete Book of Quilting-Projects and Templates” by Diana Hill from Thunder Bay Press is perfect for both novice and experienced quilters. This hard cover with a hidden spiral binding features quick machine-quilted projects with pull-out templates and patterns. Among the twelve projects are favorite, traditional pieced and appliquéd blocks. For each project, there is a list of fabrics and supplies, and illustrated step-by-step instructions on cutting, assembling, and completing. A number of the projects feature floral themes or floral fabrics. In the introduction, the author presents a brief history of quilts and details on the basic techniques and materials that are used.

“Material Connexion-the Global Resource of New and Innovative Materials for Architects, Artists, and Designers” by George M. Beylerian et al was edited by Anita Moryadas from John Wiley and Sons. Lushly illustrated in full color, this is the essential guide to both natural and non-natural based materials. Those involved in crafts and designs will find this invaluable book is both practical and inspiring. Among the different materials are glass, ceramics, and naturals, such as paper, bamboo, fiber, and wood. The authors devote particular attention to recycled materials. They explain the qualities and use for each substance. In addition to color photos of the materials, there are also ones of products and designs made from them. This also features lively, enlightening interviews from those on the cutting edge of design.

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