Crafts & DIY Reviews | March 15, 2013

Rudell, Jeffery. Paper Blooms: 25 Extraordinary Flowers To Make for Weddings, Celebrations & More. Lark Crafts. Apr. 2013. 132p. illus. index. ISBN 9781454703501. pap. $17.95. crafts

Paper artist Rudell provides step-by-step directions for crafting realistic flowers out of paper and paper products. The combinations of colorful paper with commonplace materials such as corrugated cardboard or coffee filters may be surprising, but they’re also effective. The coffee-filter carnations look more like a flower than a receptacle for coffee grounds, and corrugated cardboard is a solid stand-in for the center of a sunflower. Rudell’s guidance is thoughtful and encouraging, and the projects, which incorporate a variety of techniques such as quilling, paper cutting, and simple wirework, are striking. VERDICT Wedding crafters and handmade-decor fans will find solid inspiration and excellent instruction in this collection.

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewMoebes, Deborah. Stitch Savvy: 25 Skill-Building Projects To Take Your Sewing Technique to the Next Level.Krause. 2012. 224p. illus. index. ISBN 9781440229473. $27.99. fiber crafts

In her second book, Moebes (Stitch by Stitch ), owner of Atlanta’s popular Whipstitch Sewing Lounge, focuses on sewists who are ready to move past basic beginner projects. The title is organized into five “tracks” (home decor, patchwork and quilting, bags, sewing for children, and clothing), each with five progressively more difficult projects. The author’s goal is to further refine basic sewing skills and bring beginners to the next level. Moebes’s expert advice is peppered throughout the book, and each project includes a sidebar that serves as a guide to possible “next steps,” including similar projects elsewhere in the collection. All of the patterns are included, in PDF format, on an enclosed CD. VERDICT Moebes fills in the gap between beginning and advanced sewists with this diverse collection of projects. The thoughtful organization makes this book the next best thing to a sewing class with an experienced, involved instructor.

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewRowan, Margaret. Handsewn: The Essential Techniques for Tailoring and Embellishment. Interweave: F+W. 2013. 256p. illus. index. ISBN 9781596687561. $29.95. fiber crafts

Rowan, an experienced sewist and sewing instructor, brings her love of handwork to the page in this encyclopedic collection of handsewing stitches and techniques. The stitches are divided into functional and decorative, with functional stitches including such useful ones as hem stitches, buttonhole stitches, basting, and tailor’s tacks. Decorative techniques include basic hand embroidery stitches such as stem stitch and cross-stitch, as well as basic needlepoint and crewel embroidery stitches. Each entry includes a full-color spread with step-by-step directions (including photographs for each step) and close-up views of each completed stitch. Plenty of useful advice regarding needle, thread, and fabric selection is also included. VERDICT Thorough, comprehensive, and useful, this deserves a place on every sewist’s shelf.

The following titles are reviewed in the March 15 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.


Civardi, Giovanni. Understanding Perspective: Form, Depth, and Distance. Search. (Art of Drawing). 2012. 64p. illus. ISBN 9781844487837. pap. $17.95. art instruction

Wagstaff, Adele. Painting Still Life in Oils. Crowood, dist. by Trafalgar Square. 2012. 160p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781847973139. pap. $ instruction


Lee-Creel, Kelly & Rebecca Soder. Handmade Hostess: 12 Imaginative Party Ideas for Unforgettable Entertaining. Stash: C&T. 2013. 160p. illus. ISBN 9781607055600. pap. $25.95. crafts


Johnson, Bea. Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste.Scribner. Apr. 2013. 304p. illus. index. ISBN 9781451697681. pap. $17; ebk. ISBN 9781451697704. DIY


Leinhauser, Jean. 50 Fabulous Crochet Bobbles, Popcorns, and Puffs. Leisure Arts. 2013. 55p. photogs. ISBN 9781609003913. pap. $14.95. fiber crafts

Ray, Aimee. Doodle Stitching: Embroidery and Beyond; Crewel, Cross Stitch, Sashiko, and More. Lark Crafts. (Doodle Stitching) Mar. 2013. 120p. illus. ISBN 9781454703631. pap. $14.95. fiber crafts

Watterson, Lynne. The Very Easy Guide to Fair Isle Knitting. St. Martin’s. (Very Easy Guide) 2013. 144p. illus. index. ISBN 9781250016225. pap. $22.99. fiber crafts


Miller, Judith. Mid-Century Modern: Living with Mid-Century Modern Design. Mitchell Beazley: dist. by Hachette. 2012. 256p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781845336936. $39.99. interior design