Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Hand-made gifts are a great way to show someone you care. Here are some books with some inspiring projects, some of which feature flowers.
“Designer Style Handbags” by Sherri Haab was published by Watson-Guptill. All you have to do is choose one of the ten easy to make bags and personalize it. Suitable for novice and experienced crafters, these projects include easy sew and no-sew bags with various techniques from stenciling and collage to photo transfer and polymer clay. A number feature floral themes. Different styles from clutches to purses and totes are presented with easy to follow, color-illustrated instructions. In the introduction, the author explains all the materials and techniques you need to know.
“Paper Art-The Complete Guide to Papercraft Techniques” by Diane Maurer-Mathison et al from Watson-Guptill presents all you need to know for making and decorating paper and turning it into delightful projects, such as pop-ups and sculpture. Among the techniques are weaving, cutting, pleating, and collage. The sample projects include works by nearly 50 well-known paper artists. This in-depth guide walks you through every step of the craft process. The section on papermaking has instructions on making and decorating paper with flowers and plants from your garden.
Quilt-in-a-Day has numerous titles featuring suitable projects for gifts. One of my favorite titles is “Tennessee Waltz Quilt” by Sue Bouchard. As with all of the Quilt-in-a-Day books, this features easy and fast strip quilting techniques. The author gives color illustrated directions for every step of the process from choosing and cutting fabrics to sewing and finishing the quilt. Among the projects are table runners and crib quilts. In the introduction, there is an engrossing account concerning the history of the quilt design’s history.
“Native American Designs 2” by anthropologist Joyce Mori was published by the American Quilter’s Society. This features designs that are versatile enough to use for various kinds of crafts from woodwork and beadwork to pottery, silverwork, and quilting. The designs were inspired by a vast array of Native American cultures. This title features over 100 different motifs. The author explains the origins of each design and what it was originally used for.
If you’re looking for quilt patterns, you won’t go wrong with selections from Mt. Redoubt Designs. In 2006, they released “Sea Turtle Parade,” a lovely hanging showing whimsical turtles against a background of various hues of blue. Flower lovers will especially like this hanging because it features various floral and leaf motifs. This pattern includes a color chart listing all the amounts and fabric selections you will need. It has complete, step-by-step instructions from cutting the fabric to assembling and finishing the quilt along with a layout showing the placement of the pieces. There are also full-size pattern pieces. For best results, purchase the optional crystal kit to embellish the design. Easy and fast to do, this adds additional visual interest.
“Paper in Three Dimensions” by Diane Maurer-Mathison was published by Watson-Guptill. This book features dozens of functional and decorative projects that would be suitable as gifts. Among these are lamp shades, boxes, baskets, and books. This provides color illustrated, step-by-step instructions for the projects and techniques, such as pop-ups, origami, and paper sculpture. The author goes beyond the basic papermaking methods by presenting dimensional techniques for working with paper pulp, such as papier-mâché, paper casting, embossing, and sculpting. This title showcases the work of leading paper artists. To look at the completed items, you’d never realize they’re made with paper.
Four Corners Designs is a leading pattern company. They offer a number of titles featuring items that would make great handcrafted gifts. Among these titles is the “Home Again” book. This features eleven delightful projects with various motifs. Among these items are different sizes of quilts as well as colorful banners, wall hangings, napkins, placemats, table runners, and pillows. Using simple and easy pieced and appliqué techniques, these include projects that would be of special interest to gardeners, such as those with flowers, fruits, and trees. For each project, there are complete, illustrated, step-by-step instructions along with a list of materials and supplies that are needed. The patterns are easy to use. The pieces are presented full-size, and come in pull-out pages in the center of the book.