Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sewing Tales: a book review

OK, so lets begin by saying I don't really review toy making books (I don't tend to buy them either). I get all crunchy undies about it and worried that I might "borrow" other people's techniques or ideas so I stay well clear of it all. (and lets be honest there's enough insanity in my own head without adding too much more to the mix). A while ago though,  I met Kerry Goulder on Instagram, and we became insta-friends, so when she asked me to take part in her book blog hop I was happy to say yes (and I am glad I did)
Sewing Tales to Stitch and Love is a brand new release containing 18 whimsical toys, each with a little story (you know how much that appeals to me). Even before I received the book I knew I had to make Morton the Turtle. The book is peopled with gnomes and mice and magic mushrooms.

I chose Morton because of his interesting construction and my abiding love of  turtlefolk- can you see his turtle body actually slips in there under the bottom of his shell? I was a bit worried, thinking I had chosen the most difficult toy in the book but in just under three hours - he was finished. Everything works and fits together perfectly.
I love his underneath so much !

Each toy has step by step photos and clear concise instructions.  The bummer for some people might be the lack of full size pattern pieces (you need to enlarge them on the photocopier). In the end those kind of things come down to the book production cost and really a bit of money at the photocopier is not too bad when you get 18 patterns for the cost of the book.

There is plenty to learn from in this book, Kerry has a very different instruction style to me and also a really new-to-me way with embroidering eyes. There is also a great way to draw larger pattern pieces on a corner fold (That actually took me a minute or two to work out), that i haven't seen before.
If you would like to follow along the blog hop, there are lots of people posting their projects and if you are instafriendly you can follow the hashtag #sewingtalesbookbloghop

MONDAY: Nov 4th

Mollie Johanson – Wild Olive
Jessica Fediw – Happy Together
Abby Glassenberg – While She Naps
Jennet Jones-Rau – Feathered Nest Studio
TUESDAY: Nov 5th
Sabra Gubler – Sew a Straight Line
Amber Carillo – One Shabby Chick
Caroline Hulse – Sew Caroline
Amy Friend – During Quiet Time
Miranda Anderson – One Little Minute
Andrea Taddicken – Knitty Bitties Sews
Kristi McDonough – Schnitzel & Boo
Terri Harlan – Sew Fantastic
Shari Butler – Doo Hikey Designs
Jodie Carleton – RicRac
Jen Goode – 100 Directions
Justine Henshaw – Sew Justine Sew
FRIDAY: Nov 8th
Emily Levey – Strawberry Patch Ramblings
Nicke Cutler – Kiss Kiss Quilt
Cathe Holden – Just Something I Made
Kate Henderson – Two Little Banshees

Thanks to FiskarsDritzFairfieldBosalFree Spirit, and F+W Media for the box of goodies that were sent all the people participating. I told Kerry not to bother sending it all to me (postage to Australia was a bit obscene) and I didn't want to be "paid" to participate, but she sent it anyway. (She's kinda nice like that)
So, of course I am going to share it with you guys. All you need to do to enter is pop over and have a look at   Sewing Tales  and let me know which project you like the look of to be entered.
The winner will be picked at random and they will get all the goodies plus a signed copy of the book (with a smudge on page 49 where the cat stood on it while I was reading the instructions- sorry)


  1. Oh my goodness, so adorable! I would definitely want to make the little boy and his rowboat first. <3

  2. I wish there were a way to see all the projects, but I sure love that boy in the boat!

  3. Oooh what a fun book! I love the turtle too, and would really like to see the polar bear cub! The gnomes backpack is just gorgeous too!

  4. What a gorgeous book. I'd love to make a pile of those toad stools, and the turtle, and the car and caravan, and the ............! Thanks for the great giveaway.

  5. What's not to like? Spoilt for choice, and you are right about there being a back story to each of the patterns. It is an adorable looking book. I wouldn't know where to start, but a couple of woodland peoples named Piper and Sage is as good a place to start as any, and their little story is just so cute!!! I also love the car and caravan.
    What a great addition to the library! BTW Jodie, love your rendition of the turtle. He's very cute. :) I also have cat-soiled things here as well.

  6. I'd be making the turtle. We are fond of turtles in this house. Though there would be a temptation to take the challenge of making my first ever softie lobster...

  7. What a lovely book! You are right the turtle is adorable and I have a thing for mice so I would have to make a few of them! Thanks for the giveaway.

  8. Oh what a cute book. I think I would have to make the turtle. My children want a pet turtle this christmas, but that is not an option, so a fabric turtle would be good.

  9. Piper The Gnome looks interesting and could be quite quirky - thanks for the review and giveaway

  10. I think I like Morton too - although I would like to see the bear? I do tend to have a bit of a thing about bears.

  11. Oh I like the car and the caravan. What a cute idea!

  12. I like the gnome and the toadstool!
    Your turtle looks great fun too!!

  13. They are all adorable but the balloo. Would be super cute in my daughters room and she would soon have her 'friends' floating around. BUT my kooky parents are about to buy their first grey nomad, freak out, I'm retired, we are going to travel Australia caravan so maybe I should make them a soft one?!

  14. A smudge on a page makes the book even better (ears scratches for all furry residents!).
    I love the gnomes and mice and the caravan. Although the whole book looks brilliant. Thanks for a great review, I have enjoyed this blog hop as this is a book that I would love to find in my book shelf soon.

  15. Mimi the Hot Air Balloon looks charming and fun! The pages I could see seemed to be well illustrated and clearly written/photographed. A really nice collection of patterns and creativity!

  16. The turtle seems to be the popular choice... but I still adore the mice with their big round ears, too sweet!!

  17. I love the Dolly Moses Basket for my daughter's American Girl dolls. There are so many great projects!

  18. I love the gnomes because they have such personality and wear great shoes. Thanks for a fun giveaway. I know you probably don't want to pay to post this to England so I would be happy with just a few bits and you could send the rest to someone nearer and cheaper.

  19. I am definitely into the balloon.Love hot Air Balloons. But I made my first mouse recently so I think there are many other items that could get made with not much persuasion.

  20. the car and caravan.....

    perfect gift for an ill friend!!

  21. I love the turtle but the car and caravan are hard to beat. So cute! :-)

  22. I would like to make the Dolly Moses Basket for my granddaughter.

  23. This book does look amazing (it also makes me think about how amazing YOUR book would be, Jodie). I do love hot air balloons, but that turtle is cute too... and the mushrooms... x

  24. For originality, i'd go the lobster. I've never seen a lobster softie! Love Morton, he's very cute (Ernst might get jealous though!)

  25. I love that turtle but the whale is great too!!!! Looks like a very interesting book.

  26. Pinchy the Lobster! I'm pretty sure my kids don't have any toy lobsters (although I can't be sure with all the mess in this house) and who could resist the name.

  27. I like all the projects but would probably start with Drifter the Orca.

  28. Your turtle is so cute. I like the gnomes myself and thanks for the giveaway.
    smjohns63 at yahoo dot com


Hellloooooo !!!!