Sewing and quilting offer ways for gardeners to use gardening motifs in all sorts of handmade items. Here are some recommended books for gardeners.
Thread Work Unraveled
By Sarah Ann Smith, this title was released by the American Quilter’s Society. It features a number of garden quilts with various motifs, such as foliage and trees.
There is an exquisite four-season quilt that can be used throughout the year. Of all the projects, this is my favorite. It depicts a tree in each of the seasons. Most of the projects are fairly small, and feature nature and gardening themes, particularly leaves.
Each of the small projects is designed to help readers learn a specific lesson, such as machine quilting or appliqué. For each project, this has a list of fabrics and supplies, and color illustrated, easy to follow, step by step directions.
While some quilting books begin with fabric, this title is unique. It sheds light on subjects that receive little attention—thread and needles. Readers will learn all about the different types of thread, its selection, and use for various kinds of sewing and quilting techniques. In addition, this explains many other things that are vital to good sewing, such as choosing needles, foundation fabrics, using your sewing machine, marking tools, and organizing your sewing work space.
The New Handmade-Simple Sewing for Contemporary Style
By Cassie Barden, this was released by Martingale/That Patchwork Place. This features 23 wonderful projects, many of which are made with gorgeous floral print fabrics. These are fresh, appealing innovative designs that folks will love using and having around.
There are items that gardeners can use throughout the day from a cell phone case and media player cover to totes, purses, and every imaginable style of bag. Some of the projects can be used for garden record keeping, such as journal and book covers, and pencil cases. This also offers lovely fashion accessories, such as scarves and headbands. Gardeners will just love the projects for the kitchen and dining room.
For each item, this has a list of fabrics, a cutting chart, color illustrated, step by step instructions, and full size templates. The techniques include appliqué and patchwork. Many of these projects are suitable for beginners. The introduction explains how to choose fabrics. The appendix covers all of the general instructions that sewers need to know, including tools and supplies, machine stitching, using templates, the different kinds of embellishments, appliqué, machine quilting, and binding.
Sunflower-New Quilts From An Old Favorite
Edited by Linda Baxter Lasco, this was released by the American Quilter’s Society. This features 18 award winning quilts by 25 leading quilt designers. This volume is part of a series from The National Quilt Museum’s New Quilts from an Old Favorite contest.
An introduction by the Curator of Collections of the museum provides an insightful history of the language of flowers and the use of floral motifs in quilts with particular emphasis on sunflowers. This title provides an in-depth look at the sunflower quilt block and its use during the last century or so.
For each of the exquisite quilts, this title gives a biography of the designer/designers, and an extensive story on the creation and design of each quilt along with in-depth details on the techniques that were used. Some designs combine appliqué and piecing, while others are pieced. This title features color photos and sketches of the quilts and the designs that were used. All of these gorgeous quilts are just delightful, and gardeners are sure to love all of them. I find it hard to choose a favorite. While some have a very traditional look.