I've just had the chance to review a lovely book that I've spotted coming on Instagram from talented author/designer Heidi Staples @fabricmutt. She has such a cute zakka-style aesthetic and is always very generous sharing free patterns/tutorials on her blog. Patchwork USA: 24 Projects For Your Handmade Journey is a road-trip inspired book of makes from the quick 'daytrip' style coasters, snap shot needlebook, to 'weekend getaways' e.g. Hobby Kit, Color book and finally longer projects- 'Summer Vacation'- like quilts and pillows.
It is a very pretty book to look through, the photography is so nicely done- clear, cute and with a lot of vintage props! All the makes are straightforward, there's only one pattern piece which is a corner rounding template, and the enjoyment is in fabric selection and fussy cutting. It's also a hardback so as it stays open easily and feels extra good in my hands! Let's take a look through first, then I'll show you what I made!
The opening pages are the usual tools and techniques and this is where you refer back to when making a zipper pouch, hand sewing hexagons etc. Heidi's thoughts on fabric combinations are excellent and especially helpful if you get stuck putting fabrics together to achieve a particular look or using certain colours or prints. It's very well written and easy to understand with lots of tips and tricks.
The projects all feature some little extra text touches. There's a Historical Marker note telling the story behind the project. Design tips come under Scenic Route and Rotary Club lists the fabric and cutting requirements. Some projects have a Tour Guide section with helpful hints and also a Detour for any project variations. I made the Penny Pouch, more about that later!
I love these little banners on the Curio Pocket, made with tiny flying geese!
There are three quilt projects, a mini and two larger quilts. All are easy makes using simple shapes.
At the end of the book, there are some ideas for gifting your makes, playlists and even recipes. Again, lovely extra touches.
Here's my Penny Pouch. I used a mix of vintage fabrics from some squares that I was given, plus a few fussy cuts.
It is a quick make, most of my time was spent arranging my fabrics for colour and print balance. The zip was from one of my favourite shops, Rose Garden Patchwork. The colours were just right.
You can just about see the Heather Ross Tiger Lily butterfly print that I chose for the lining.
It's definitely for my use! The 'K' was from one of Ayumi's Lighthearted fabrics.