The numbers are in! These are the top ten books you loved the most in June. Count down with us to find out what was number one, and hear a little bit about why these books are so popular along the way.
10. Sew It!
Coming in at number ten is Sew It! by Allison Nicoll, a FunStitch Studio title aimed at tweens and teens. Each of the seventeen projects is made using precuts! Generation Q loved this title when it first came out; find out why below.
"It's our goal at GenQ to inspire and educate our kids and our neighbors' kids (and heck, any kids!) to pick up fabric and thread and create. And here's an excellent tool to further those plans of sewist world domination, one Jelly Roll at a time! Author Allison Nicoll is an experienced sewing teacher of kids and young adults, and she's totally onboard with our play. Her book is conveniently divided into chapters for pre-cuts (Jelly Rolls, Charm Packs, Layer Cakes, and fat quarters), which makes it easy for beginners to choose a project and start sewing. She offers plenty of basic sewing instruction, and project-filled chapters. We love the basic advice and sewing term definitions she gives throughout each project, and there's a huge variety of designs—wall hangings, bags, cuddly quilts! The fabrics are bright and modern too. We're thinking we'll sew up some Sleepover Set pillowcases and totes for our next retreat!"
Number nine is our coffee table book created in partnership with the Modern Quilt Guild: Modern Quilts! Modern Quilts snagged a review in Publisher's Weekly; read it below.
"This gorgeous coffee table book illustrates the ways quilters today are breaking traditions through color photographs of more than 230 quilts designed by members of the Modern Quilt Guild, and provides a brief history of the modern quilting movement."
Quilt As-You-Go Made Modern was Jera Brandvig's first book, and it was an instant best seller! I guess everyone is looking for ways to quilt anytime, anywhere, and Jera's simple instructions and bright patterns make it easy and fun. Modern Quilts Unlimited had this to say:
"Quilting is easier than ever with Jera Brandvig's modern spin on the popular quilt-as-you-go technique. With this method, you will learn how to piece fabric on to small, manageable batting blocks, instead of using precise paper patterns and cutting measurements. Find your creativity as you quilt directly on the blocks (not the whole quilt!), whether in large abstract zigzags or small structured stitches. After the blocks have been joined, all you need to do is add backing fabric and binding, and your work is finished!"
Another perennial best seller, number seven is We Love to Sew by Annabel Wrigley. Annabel teaches kids how to sew, starting with easy, no-sew fabric jewelry and moving on to more complicated projects. Quilter's World loved it too:
"Make one-of-a-kind jewelry, headbands, softies, T-shirts, pillows, totes, diary covers, and decorative items for the young girls in your family, or...they can make these projects themselves with their friends. Even if you've never sewn before, Annabel's instructions are easy to follow and some of the projects require no sewing at all. These projects are super cool and super creative!"
Valerie Bothell's newest book has struck a chord, and crazy quilters and embroiderers can't get enough. Even Library Journal took notice with this review:
"Crazy quilter Bothell challenged herself to stitch a crazy quilt featuring 500 different stitch combinations on 49 blocks. That quilt forms the basis of this book. Bothell begins with two methods for sewing crazy quilt blocks, as well as a dictionary of basic embroidery stitches. The unique heart of the book is the guide to combination embroidery stitches, where Bothell combines multiple stitches, as well as embellishments such as silk ribbon, beads, and buttons, into ornate designs. Stitch combinations are organized by the base stitch (e.g., blanket stitch), and each combination includes a close-up photo of a stitched seam and a caption listing the stitches and embellishments used. VERDICT The stitch combinations will be useful to embroiderers interested in replicating Bothell’s designs but also provide a jumping-off point for creative stitchers to create their own patterns."
Apparently you all love to stitch joyfully—Joyful Stitching from Laura Wasilowski came in at number five, just above Joyful Daily Stitching, Seam by Seam. Quilting Arts Magazine definitely appreciated the appeal:
"Improvisational stitching has never looked more inviting than with this beautiful new book from Laura Wasilowski. Chock full of inspirational designs, Laura covers the basics with step-by-step instructions. From needles, to thread, to background fabric—stitching is explained so novices and experienced stitchers alike will be confident, dipping their needles into the whimsical worlds she creates. Laura has a keen knack of encouraging readers' own design and color sense to flow. She says, 'Free-form embroidery pairs the warm, friendly notion of the hand made along with the heady thrill of improvisation.' Throw caution to the wind and start stitching!"
If you haven't tried Carol Doak's Foundation Paper yet, prepare to change the way you paper piece forever! Just listen to what the own of quilt shop Berrima Patchwork has to say.
"If you love foundation piecing these papers are without question a MUST! They are fantastic. I had sewn several quilts which are foundation pieced. The first couple I printed my templates out on normal computer paper, oh what a mistake that was. When you tear out that paper it pulls the seams and it is really hard to get it all out. I then got some of Carol Foundation Papers to try, yes they will cost more to use but oh wow the difference, you will wonder why you bothered trying anything else. The paper will print through your normal printer and in most of Carol's books you will find a disk that includes Foundation Factory which has the templates on it so you can just print it straight from the computer onto these foundation paper's (and you can print them out at any size!). They tear out so easily, no pulling on the seam and you get it all out, no little pieces left!"
We're into the top three! With the immense popularity of first book, it's no surprise that Jera Brandvig's second book, Quilt As-You-Go Made Vintage, would be just as popular. Popular Patchwork gives their verdict below.
"This is a follow-up book to the popular Quilt-As-You-Go Made Modern, also by Jera. It features 51 blocks, nine projects, and three joining methods; including her very own technique that makes your quilt reversible by quilting each block individually on a backing and using joining strips on the front and back of the assembled quilt. Whilst the first book focussed on improvisational techniques in a modern style, this one is about using vintage fabrics in classic block designs. There are useful sections on tools and supplies, working with batting, and choosing your fabrics. Each project is laid out in an easy to follow fashion that is packed with photos and diagrams. Overall, a well considered books that is a delight to look through with a warm, encouraging tone of voice."
Number two is Free-Motion Meandering by superstar Angela Walters! Angela walks you through eight allover patterns step by easy-to-follow step. McCall's Quilting says more:
"Best-selling author Angela Walters is a masterful quilter. Her book starts with the basics of quilting and supplies needed. She helps you master meandering with 8 different stitching patterns plus variations with step-by-step visual instructions and samples."
And number one is ... the Rulerwork Quilting Idea Book from Amanda Murphy! Quilting rulers are gaining in popularity and Amanda hows you how to use the most common ones and combine them with free-motion quilting. Fellow quilter Cinzia White is a big fan, saying:
"Have just finished reading Amanda Murphy's new book Rulerwork Quilting Idea Book. This is a perfect accompaniment to her previous book, Free-Motion Quilting Idea Book. It shows a quilter how to modify and block shape using rulers. She demonstrates a variety of design strategies and how to break a large design into small manageable portions and then numerous options that are suitable. Perfect for a person who wants to do more than ditch stitching and stippling."