Today I’m part of the blog tour for This Book Was a Tree: Ideas, Adventures, and Inspiration for Rediscovering the Natural World by Marcie Cuff of the blog Mossy. This clever book offers ideas and projects to get away from technology and get back to nature. You can make a terrarium, sundial, journal, natural bug repellent, bird nesting ball, and garden projects. I look forward to trying the pinhole camera project with the kids soon.
The book includes space for you to add your own thoughts, ideas and reflections throughout the process, along with charming illustrations and detailed instructions. I think this would be a good book for homeschooling parents because it adds great ideas along with information and activities. It reminds me that I do need to get away from this computer and get out into nature more often!
Follow along with the blog tour:
Today I’m excited to be part of the blog tour for Lucie Summers‘ book Quilt Improv from F & W Media. I ordered this book the moment it was published and I have been meaning to post about it, so I’m glad to finally sit down and tell you about it! I’ve been a big fan of Lu’s screenprinted fabric designs for years and I was thrilled when I discovered that we were both designing for Moda a few years ago. She’s hilarious in person and I love the work she’s been doing with quilt improvisation.
Quilt Improv first teaches various techniques that you can use in your improvisational quilts, with simple visual instructions as shown below. Above, you can see the mini-quilts that Lucie made using the techniques covered in the book. Once you have learned the techniques, you can move on to make the quilts.
For each of the twelve quilts in the book, Lucie talks about her inspiration, followed by the process from sketching and planning to execution. She loosely plans her work before she begins, but is free to make changes during the process; this freedom is the fundamental key to making improvisational quilts. It allows you the ability to be creative and spontaneous, add new colors or patterns, make changes to your layout or add a new design element to your quilt. Here’s her Bricks and Fences quilt below:
And a bit of the inspiration and process for the design:
You can make the quilts as she shows them in the book or you can use the book as a foundation for your own designs. For those of you who may not yet feel comfortable with improvisational style, you will get instructions to make the quilts as shown, but you can add your own fabrics and color palette to create something wholly unique. The photography in the book is beautiful and the instructions are clear and simple.
So step outside your quilt box and make something interesting! Get Quilt Improv here, head over to Lucie’s blog for a chance to win a book and a mini-quilt, and take a look at her Etsy shop. See the other stops on the blog tour here.
Today I’m participating in the blog hop for Katie Lewis’ Simple Sewing: 30 Fast and Easy Projects for Beginners. Katie is a blogger at The Red Kitchen, so be sure to check out her work there.
This book has nice basic projects for those who are just getting started. With clear photos and instructions, the book is a good introduction to sewing with projects that even a novice can complete quickly and successfully. Basics like a tote bag, placemats, a pincushion, pencil case, and bow tie are among the patterns.
I used the instructions for the reversible placemats in the book, but decided to make coasters for holiday gifts. Just a simple 5″ square cut and sewn right sides together with quilt batting. Here I used fabric from my Folk Modern collection for Kokka.
Projects like this are quick and easy, perfect for beginners!
CRAFT is giving away three copies of 1, 2, 3 Quilt. So head over there before Friday and leave a comment on their post for a chance to win! The photo above shows all of the projects in the first chapter of the book, focusing on squares. You’ll make the reversible Game Mat (checkers on one side and tic-tac-toe on the other), then the Pixel Pouch and finally, the Lopsided Squares quilt.
Photo by Laura Malek of Felt Jar.