Reviewed by ASG member Cindy Baker
I’ve been quilting long enough to remember when stained glass quilts burst on the scene in the 1980’s. They were impressive…lots of black bias binding, curves, & hand stitching…oh my. Well, if you liked ’em then, this book will knock your socks off! The author started making them back then & has progressively refined her technique to make them easier, quicker, & without the hand sewing. Think ribbon of different widths, braid, ultrasuede, even metallics…all kinds of “strippy” things with no-fray edges make the stained-glass technique easier & faster than before. And the patterns–no church windows here–the patterns are fresh & contemporary. The author uses cotton, but she also uses silk, velvet, flannel, & wool. She teaches 3 main techniques: couched fiber, appliqued ribbon & trim, & iron-on leading. A removable pattern sheet to trace is included. A chapter on basic quilt-making instructions is included. I found the chapter on design very useful. She recommends you think of stained glass as out-lined art & any design can be transformed. You can always begin with a coloring book or clip art, but she encourages you to look beyond…applique patterns, redwork, & embroidery transfers are also rich sources of design.
“The Gown”, by Jennifer Robson. Reviewed by ASG Member Linda Abel
Our web master, Jude Hernly, suggested since I read quite a bit and also sew that I might want to review books that have are of particular interest to us as sewist. For my first review I picked “The Gown”. It is an historical fiction that revolves around the making of Queen Elizabeth’s wedding dress. (FYI, the dress is still on display.)
My book club, mostly non sewers were impressed with the detail concerning how the embroidery was completed. The creation, even financing of the dress is scaffolding for the interplay of generations, and friendship well-crafted into the story. The main characters of the book did not exist in real life; however, the dress does. The story line pulls you in and makes you care about them all. Some more than others depending on your own history.
It provides a view of life in London after WW II. It touches on the relationship between a grandmother and granddaughter as well as the women involved with the embroidery and fashion at the time. The author gives a view to her writing process at the end of the book, don’t miss that part, very interesting.
As I said before you don’t need to be terribly interested in sewing, or fashion to enjoy this novel. I will look for other books from this author given her attention to technical facts and her character development. Put this one on your list to enjoy.
Does it seem like happenings are a day or two off this year? Well, your right they are because this year is Leap Year.
And as I was reviewing dates for events, like National Sewing Month, National Button Day, etc., I found the following anomalies.
While National Sewing Day is June 13, 2024, National Sewing Month is September 2024.
The National Button Convention is March 11-18, 2024, but National Button Day is November 16, 2024.
Now I found all this information on the internet, and the internet is always right, right?
Enjoy your extra day of 2024, just so you know.