Scoop: Stash Reviews

megan • July 13, 2011 • 4 Comments

The three books reviewed this week are the latest releases from C&T Publishing’s Stash Books. If you didn’t know (and how could you not?) Stash Books is all about the modern and contemporary quilter and sewist. In other words, it’s all about us and the books are written by the same guys and gals we worship blog-style. So check ‘em out.

 

Deploy that Fabric: 23 Sewing Projects Use Military Uniforms in Everyday Life

Jen Eskridge

Stash Books, 2011, www.stashbooks.com

Softcover, 128 pgs., $22.95

As we sit at our machines and obsess happily through our seams, it’s too easy for many of us American creative types to forget that we are a nation at war and that we have many military men and women serving here and abroad. Jen Eskridge brings that reality to our sewing rooms in a big, but wonderful, way. Deploy that Fabric uses fabric captured from tired military uniforms and reworks it into quilts, bag, home décor and more. Because the projects are so nicely designed, they manage to be casual and classy at the same time.

What’s absolutely brilliant about this book, though, is that Jen provides incredibly useful info on how to take apart the uniforms and discover hidden fabric behind pockets, as well as how to repurpose patches, buttons and zippers. Her deconstructing tips can be used on civilian clothes, too. She writes from the perspective of a military wife, one who totally gets this system filled with rules, tradition and honor, but still offers fun, practical items to make. This one is worth the money.

 

Countdown Calendars: 24 Stitched Projects to Celebrate Any Date

Design Collective

Stash Books, 2011, www.stashbooks.com

Softcover, 112 pgs., $15.95

Don’t know about you, but Jake is a sucker for Advent calendars. Every Dec.1, she drags out this wooden box thingy with a gazillion small drawers, and for 25 days she tortures her daughter with daily X-mas verses. (The nerve!) The calendars in this book are the fabric version of that wooden box o’ torture, but go way beyond the obvious Yuletide types.

Some of our fave designers weigh in with their own versions of countdown calendars (Hey, Lisa Fulmer: Your Wedding Day Pockets is wonderful! Just had to say…), and they are pretty much clever and cute across the board. Which, after all, is what you want for any project that’s supposed to appeal to the littlest critics in the house. Many of the designs are adaptable for adult tastes as well. Think about a retirement countdown with honey-dos stuck in each pocket, or a baby countdown stuffed with new mommy tips and treats or even a count-up calendar to mark the steps accomplished on the way to a goal. (Maybe a pedicure coupon for every 10 pounds of weight loss?) Besides the variety of styles and designs, this is a whole lotta book for not much money, compared to many new titles out there now. Spend your money safely on this one.

 

Fresh Fabric Treats: 16 Yummy Projects to Sew From Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes & More

Moda Bake Shop Designers

Stash Books, 2011, www.stashbooks.com

Softcover, 128 pgs., $21.95

Is it the designers, the precuts or all the yummy Moda fabrics that draw us into this book? Oh heck, it’s all three! Moda Bake Shop is the blog community set up by Moda to feature “recipes” for creating wonderful fabric treats from Moda’s jelly rolls (2 ½” strips), layer cakes (10” squares) and other packs of already cut fabs. Precuts have been all the rage since designers started working with fat quarters and are a wonderful way to get a little bit of a lot of different fabrics, usually from a single designer’s collection.

In this case, the quilts are simple and doable (April in Paris is sooo pretty!), but the shine really comes from the other sewn projects. Just a bit more involved than beginner, Roslyn Mirrington’s Jewelry Wallet is so incredibly girly and useful for those of us who travel that our fingers were itching to make it. Jenny Garland’s Zippidy Doodle Bag is practically a no-brainer for kid-accompanied outings. (Skeptical? Just think about how many shoes you can try on while your 4-year-old works on the Cars 2 coloring book.) And Kimberly Walus’ Pack ‘N Go Tote with a matching Sewing Kit is a fabulous combo for us sew-types. A perfect buy for gift givers or those of you drowning in precuts.

 

Says us: Yep. Many of our reviews are positive in tone, but that’s because we get a ton of quilt and sewing books sent in for review! We can afford to be picky. But here’s our promise to you: When we slog through not-so-top quality craft books on your behalf, you’ll read snarkier reviews. That’s because we’ve got your back, people, and want you to spend your q-money wisely. You need honest reviews to do that.  

And, attention, authors! If you have a book you’d like us to review, especially if you’re self-published, send it our way. Just give us a shout, and we’ll hand out the address.

 

 


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4 Comments

  • Sarah Craig • 6 years ago
    COMMENT #1

    Thanks for the great reviews! I always hesitate to buy a book before I’ve looked at it myself, and our local bookstores are remarkably lacking in good new quilting books. And while it’s nice to see positive reviews, it’s always good to know which books aren’t worth the money, too.

  • Dianne • 6 years ago
    COMMENT #2

    Checked out the last two books at Creative Edge Quilting and Sewing in North Vancouver last weekend and agree they are lovely books with some awesome ideas.

  • Lisa Fulmer • 6 years ago
    COMMENT #3

    awwww – thanks so much for the shout-out! Things are lookin’ pretty spiffy these days in your neck of the woods!!

  • Hola! I’ve been following your blog for some time now
    and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from New Caney Tx!
    Just wanted to tell you keep up the excellent job!

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