Friday, April 2, 2010 Stitches

Last night (4/1/10) I went to Stitch Fest, the launch event for Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and peek Fabric Crafts. It was a sewing bee to end all sewing bees. Hundreds of women (and a few men) spent the evening getting a sneak peek at the many projects featured in the book. And better yet, doing a little sewing, a little drinking and some noshing.

Many projects from the book were on display featuring appliqué, quilting, hand dying.

Eco-friendly ideas were represented as well, would you ever think of turning a tuxedo shirt into a pillow? Make a bunny out of that wool suit jacket you haven’t worn in years, turn old wool sweaters into adorable animals.

The line to make your own heirloom tomato pincushion and machine embroidered hand towel were very long. But how often do you get to say you stuffed a tomato at Martha Stewart’s place?

As fantastic as Stitch Fest was I could hardly wait to get home to devour my copy of the book. Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts is both beautiful and useful. It delivers exactly what the title promises, straightforward, basic techniques covering both sewing and fabric crafts. The information is reminiscent of that on the website and magazines, however here it is all in one well-organized place.

The first part of the book is divided into sections each featuring a different area -- sewing, appliqué, embroidery, quilting, dyeing and printing. In each section you learn the basics and a few more skilled techniques. The second part of the book takes the techniques and works them into 150 clever and delightful projects, organized from A-Z. The entire book is beautifully photographed and well illustrated. I think it is safe to say (almost) everything is in here – tips on setting up a workspace, essential tools, glossaries, techniques, suppliers, and 150 projects with a CD that contains the patterns and templates.

I’d say this is a book that belongs on your bookshelf, but in reality it will spend it’s time on your sewing table. Now I have some sewing to do!