Thursday, October 30, 2008

Adorably practical gifts

Every once in a while, we get a craft book that makes me wish I had just an iota of crafting skills. Pretty Little Pincushions, edited by Susan Brill, contains page after page of cute little pincushions that would make perfect gifts for coworkers, friends, neighbors, teachers and anyone else to whom you would like to say "I was thinking of you".
Elegant silk fruit, corsage flowers that sit handily on the wrist, lavender-filled sachets and cute little figurines offer a variety of creative ideas. The patterns also incorporate the use of 'found' objects in the home: old shirt cuffs, canning jar lids, cast-off buttons, bottlecaps and old mittens and sweaters. The book begins with a brief overview of the tools you will need (not many), the different types of fabrics, stuffings and weighting materials you can use, and hints for dealing with curved seams, stuffing tiny pockets and trimming loose threads.
The design ideas range in difficulty from simple pillows to colorful little cushions embellished with tiny felt flowers and hand embroidery. The styles vary, also, so if your gift recipient isn't a 'cutesy flowers and animals' kind of person, then try the Bacon & Eggs set of cushions, the voodoo dolls, or the little bottlecap cushions topped with a giant embroidered eye. This is a very fun book full of creative ideas for holiday gift-giving.

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