Tag Archive for chronicle books

Book Review: Little Bits Quilting Bee

Little Bits Quilting Bee

You probably known Aussie crafter and blogger Kathreen Ricketson as the founder of Whipup.net. You might have also seen her book Whip Up Mini Quilts, with 20 smart designs for patchwork wall quilts.

Her newest book is also for quilt lovers, and it’s all about sewing with pre-cut fabrics. Little Bits Quilting Bee (Chronicle Books) includes 20 quilt designs from Kathreen’s studio, 5 each from the represented types of pre-cuts (charm squares, jelly roll strips, layer cakes and fat quarters).

The book’s 20 designs range from traditional (with modern fabrics) to whimsical/inventive, with standouts like “Cloud Song,” a bright solids quilt from charm squares with raindrop applique and cloud-shaped quilting.

Cloud Song Quilt

“Constructivist” is Kathreen’s answer to sophisticated boy decor, and it has an adult appeal, especially with her woodgrain quilting technique.

Constructivist Quilt

“Electric Spectrum” is a take on the classic log cabin, and “Rhombus” uses a strip-piecing technique. The cover quilt, “Dress Circle” is suitable for layer cakes, but isn’t an incredibly new idea. Essentially, it’s a drunkard’s path quilt using appliqued circles instead of set-in circles. Although many designs are takes on classic quilt designs, the projects in this book are beautiful and are likely to inspire new to intermediate quilters.

Modern quilters who enjoy creating their own designs or stray toward improvisational piecing are likely to become frustrated by this type of book, which is perfect for those who like to quilt from patterns. A pattern pocket in the front of the book includes enlargeable applique patterns for the quilts that require it. The book includes full-color photographs and illustrations. The matte pages give it a bit of a “green” feel.

5 Flavors

The book shows off a variety of fabrics, including solids and prints in recent and older lines, like Lush by Erin Michael for Moda. Kathreen also makes up many of her own fabric combos from Japanese prints, polka dots and stripes, which adds a nice variety to the charm pack and fat quarter quilts. The final quilts of the book show off some really innovative designs, including “5 Flavors” (channeling Life Savers candy) and “Summer Sundae,” a delicious take on a quilt for a little girl’s room.

Community Quilting

My favorite aspect of this book was Kathreen’s introduction to “Community Quilting,” in which she shares her expertise on virtual quilting bees, quilt swaps, guilds and sewing circles and charity or fundraising quilts. There are resources in the book for quilters who are looking to get more connected with others in their craft, which is a valuable aspect of the online crafting community.

Little Bits Quilting Bee

Quilters: Do you prefer to create quilts from pre-cuts or from yardage? Do you use pattern books like Little Bits Quilting Bee or create your own quilt designs?

Win It: Girl’s World by Jennifer Paganelli

We’ve added a new giveaway for the Craft Book Month linky party. It’s a copy of the Girl’s World book by Jennifer Paganelli, courtesy of Sis Boom!

We absolutely loved this book, and you can read our full review of it as well as a fun Q&A with author Jennifer Paganelli.

Girl's World Book

If you like sewing for girls, this book is a must-have. And you can win a copy just by linking up your craft book project this month. Enter here!

Rebecca Dress by Sis Boom

(Also check out Sis Boom’s new patterns, the Rebecca Dress and the Shannon Dress!)

Book Review: Girl’s World by Jennifer Paganelli

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I’ve been pretty anxious to get my hands on this book. The reviews so far have been amazing, and although I don’t have any young girls in my life, the mere look and feel of Jennifer Paganelli‘s new book Girl’s World makes you want to put on a ruffled apron and host a garden party.

I’m in.

Girl’s World: Twenty-One Sewing Projects to Make For Little Girls (Chronicle Books) is the first book by Paganelli, creator of Sis Boom fabrics (FreeSpirit). Fans of her fabrics will eat up the pages of this project book, which are beautifully printed in colorful patterned swirls and florals. Did I mention that the book covers are tied shut with pink ribbon, an invitation to unlock this pretty little world?

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Getting Started, the book’s intro, includes some sewing basics, including notes on dress sizes—for this book, girl’s x-small (2-3) to x-large (12-14). Filled with illustrations and diagrams for the visual sewist, the hardcover book has patterns tucked inside a pretty paper pocket.

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The next section, Dress-up includes seven dresses worn by sassy little girls who are having so much fun wearing them that you almost forget to look at the clothes. But then you catch a glance and don’t want to flip the page. Far from basic but simple enough not to intimidate the sewist, the dresses range from poufy to comfy. Little additions of a sash, pleat or pocket define each dress as its own. The Agnes Tunic Dress is a bit grown-up and sophisticated, while the Annabel Apron really pushes the envelope of cuteness, edged in tight ruffles and featuring a keyhole-and-tie ruffled pocket.

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In the Accessories section, the five patterns are one-size-fits-all, including a purse and a floral headband. Glue guns replace sewing machines in a couple accessories, a trend that continues toward the end of the book. The Chloe Paper Doll Overnight Bag is such a darling and clever design that moms will swoon for it more than their little girls, who will already be adorned in tulle-and-pearl Fiona Fabric Flowers.

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The book’s final 9 projects are group together in the Home section. The Gigi Ruffled Pillow and George the Puppy really caught my attention, and both would make great gifts. The Genevieve Patchwork Square Quilt is suited to beginners, with its large blocks and suggested hand-tied quilting. Two of the projects in this section are basically the same project with a slight twist, so they could have been grouped together.

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Whether you’re sewing for a girl, or teaching a girl to sew, the projects in Girl’s World really engage all levels of crafters. And the book really is beautiful! I recommend it and so appreciate Jennifer sending me a copy to review.

In fact, she was just as fun to interview, and now we have her next book Happy Home to look forward to next year! As well as new fabric lines, Crazy Love and Super Fly, due out this fall.

Would you like to win a copy of Girl’s World? Stay tuned, because there’s a giveaway coming up next week!

Business Tips from Jennifer Paganelli, and her book Girl’s World

I had the privilege to interview fabric designer Jennifer Paganelli, the business woman behind Sis Boom. She’s a crafty mom who seems to do a little bit of everything!

Jennifer’s creative work includes sewing patterns and juicy, vintage-inspired fabrics (produced by FreeSpirit). We got to chat a little bit about her journey as a creative business woman, as well as her first book, Girl’s World, with 21 projects made for little girls!

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Jennifer, congrats on your first book, Girl’s World. Can you tell me a little bit about how this project came to fruition?

JP: Well I’ve always wanted to do a book for years and it just took time to find the right fit. I also am not a great sewer so I wasn’t certain I could do a how-to book, but then I found Dolin Oshea who is the technical writer and illustrator for Girl’s World and it was a marriage made in heaven!

How have you enjoyed the process of working on Girl’s World as compared to working on individual patterns or fabric lines?

Girl's World by Jennifer Paganelli Girl’s World is an incredible platform for me. Until now the vision I had set forth for Sis Boom had really never been seen. It’s colorful but decidedly vintage, and I wanted that to be the principle factor. The book coming to life reveals the sensibility that Sis Boom is all about. It’s about color, but also draws back to a simpler time.

What’s the general theme or idea behind Girl’s World?

The general theme is how to create a pretty room or dress for a certain occasion, all the while being inspired by that cozy nook in your home. I love that these dresses are all cotton and washable, not fussy or demanding.

Do you have a favorite project in this book?

I love the Josie dress. I love that it can be used as short or long and I love that it can be worn to the beach or fancied up for a wedding.

Sis Boom sneak
Aside from the cute Bosco Bowtie, can we look forward to any Sis Boom patterns for boys?

I love this question, and yes you will see more! Don’t forget the Sis Boom Louey Boxer as well as Carla Crim’s own collection of Scientific Seamstress items for boys.

You are an inspiration to moms who dream of having their own creative business, while balancing work with family life. Can you tell us how you’ve made it through the tough times?

You know I love highlighting other women and giving them a chance to shine because it can be so competitive out there and I think we are coming into a new time of more cooperation and sharing. Coveting keeps us lonely and isolated. Sharing is really the better route to a successful business. I have amazing and very talented women that work with me and pursue their own visions and dreams and they need to be supported in that.

Sis Boom sneak peek
What’s your best advice for an aspiring designer or handmade author?

Never give up! Don’t quit before the miracle and always count your blessings! There is room for everyone and you are right where you are supposed to be.

What’s next for you, Jennifer?

I am super excited about my next book Happy Home, to be published by Chronicle next year. I love my fabrics for fall, Crazy love and Super Fly! And I am so grateful to everyone for their love of Girl’s World, because it’s just the beginning.

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Thanks for the inspiration, Jennifer! You can check out the book here.

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