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Craft Book Reviews for Gardeners

When gardeners aren’t busy in the garden, chances are they’re planning landscape projects. When you need a break from gardening, indulge in some garden craft projects from these craft books.

For anyone aspiring to create landscape quilts, there is a definitive book from Interweave. “The Quilting Arts Book-Techniques and Inspiration for Creating One-of-a-Kind Quilts” is by Patricia Bolton. A must-have, it includes articles by leading artists from Quilting Arts Magazine along with new material. This covers a wide range of art quilt techniques, including beading, stitchery, mixed media, needlefelting, appliqué, foiling, fabric painting, and printing.

This provides all the basics on art quilts. It begins with how to choose your colors and how to follow the elements of design. It also explains all the various appliqué methods. This covers all the steps from creating the quilt tops and assembling the quilt to finishing the quilts.

This gives step-by-step directions for each of the techniques and projects. There are boxes with additional tips and techniques to try.

Throughout the book are numerous examples of art quilts with garden and nature motifs. The garden motifs include sunflowers, purple coneflowers, ginkgo leaves, bell peppers, and poppies. Some of the art quilts depict garden scenes, wildflower meadows, or vases filled with fresh flowers.

“Floorquilts-Fabric Decoupaged Floorcloths-No Sew Fun” is by Ellen Highsmith Silver. This was released by C & T Publishing. It features twelve foolproof projects with easy to follow, color illustrated instructions. In the home, these items can be used any number of ways. The ideas include coasters, placemats, bookmarks, trivets, and luggage tags.

The introduction covers all of the basic craft techniques. For each project, you’ll find templates and a list of materials. A number of the projects feature garden and nature motifs. These include ones with vines, butterflies, flowers of all sorts, and foliage.

“Scallops Sew Easy” by Marie Seroskie was released by the American Quilter’s Society. This has all sorts of garden quilt projects you can use throughout the house. Some of my favorites include the dogwood table runner and the calla lily wall hanging. Other projects include valances, pillows, towels, and pillow cases.

For each project, this has a list of supplies, templates, and color illustrated, step by step directions from start to finish. This also explains all of the basic steps and techniques for making your own scallop templates.

“Feathered Friends-18 Paper-Pieced Blocks for Bird Lovers” is by Jette Norregaard Nielsen. This was released by C & T Publishing. These realistic looking bird blocks can be mixed and matched to introduce nature themes to your home décor. The projects include all sorts of birds from sea and water species to songbirds.

The easy to make blocks use straight seams, which mean they’re suitable for beginners. The blocks can be made from scraps or fat-quarters. The introduction covers all the basic tools and techniques. It also gives ideas on using the completed blocks. For each project, this has a list of fabrics and supplies, patterns, and color illustrated, step by step directions.

“Beyond the Block” by Crafty Ol’ Broads Linda K. Johnson and Jane K. Wells was released by the American Quilter’s Society. This features eight delightful projects, most of which feature garden themes or floral/nature fabric prints.

For each block, the authors begin with a focal fabric for the center and build around that by adding borders of complementary fabrics. The results are stunning wall hangings. Almost all of the projects depict garden-related themes, including seasonal garden quilts. For each project, this has complete color illustrated instructions, color layouts and lists of fabrics/supplies. This book explains all of the piecing and quilting techniques that are required.

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