Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Sew Flower Quilts & GIfts (AKA 'Happy Flower Quilts') Review: Atsuko Matsuyama

Like many, I've been waiting for Atsuko Matsuyama's gorgeous book, Sew Flower Quilts and Gifts for the last few months since I saw an English language version was on the way. It's arrived with a change of title and cover for the UK market, so 'Happy Flower Quilts' as it's known in the USA is Sew Flower Quilts and Gifts but the contents are reassuringly the same and it's a stunning book with 30 detailed projects and a tonne of inspirational photos.

I selected 6 double page spreads from the first 27 pages of the book to give you an idea of the content but there's much more than this inside.  If you like detailed, pieced projects with lots of extra zakka-style details, you are in for a treat.

There's so much going on in this sweet little sewing kit.  Throughout the book, it is all about the details...

Some makes I just find so charming like the 3-D appliqué mini purse. 

I love these seasonal mini quilts, the colour and fabric selection is stella!  The appliqué and hand work that goes into these projects is typical of many in the book. 

Although the Happy Flower Quilt Sampler is the best known project in the book, the Lovely Vines quilt is equally stunning.

The star of the book, Happy Flower Sampler quilt.  I love how the quilt pieces move into the border.

Beyond the eye candy, this book is spaciously laid out.  All the techniques are set out in step-by-step detail with lots of photos.  The 'How to Make a Pouch' guide can be applied to all pouches/bag projects and  includes 22 steps with a photo for each - you can see what I mean by detail!   The translation and production is by Zakka Workshop and the editors are Lindsay Fair and Kristyne Czepuryk from Pretty by Hand.

For each project, the instructions are clearly set out with a thumbnail colour photo as well as carefully drawn and annotated black and white diagrams for layout and construction.  Cutting instructions are shown in a pastel coloured text box.  Imperial and metric measurements are included.

Things to note: the projects are hand pieced and are predominantly made with full size templates at the back of the book.  These could be adapted for rotary cutting and machine, especially some of the simpler blocks and shapes that use basic squares/rectangle/triangles but instructions for that are not included.  Needle turn appliqué features in many projects, along with an interesting freezer paper technique which is different from other methods I've used.  

There have been one or two stock issues with this book before it arrived in the UK, some shops originally had it listed as 'Happy Flower Quilts' with the pink cover - I ordered a pink cover copy and had my order cancelled by the UK supplier at a later date - but I think such issues are now resolved, the UK publishers informed me that cover and name changes can be a last minute editorial decision.   The UK title, Sew Flower Quilts & Gifts is available at Search Press (who kindly supplied me with this copy for review) and other shops like Pretty Fabrics and Trims who you can see were listed as a recommended supplier of 1930s style fabrics, along with USA favourite Pink Castle Fabrics.  Search Press have assured me that they have plenty of copies available.  If you enjoy some thoughtful, detailed slow sewing, piecing, appliqué, quilting and floral motifs,  this is the book for you. 


  1. What cute, cute projects and blocks in this book. Thank you for sharing, Kerry!

  2. Great review Kerry. "Slow sewing" .... Sounds like a good book for me!

  3. Wish I had seen this article sooner. I have just bought both books as I mistakenly believed they were different books by the same author. I am feeling quite misled and disgruntled and it is spoilng my enjoyment of what is such a pretty book. One was at least £3 dearer than the other.


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