From our family to yours, wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season. See you in January!
If you're like us, you're in the midst of hosting --or frantically preparing to host-- friends and family this time of year. If you're also like us, you can't help but add a few little flourishes along the way. Here are some quick and simple projects from our bookshelf to help you add a little something extra to your home or holiday table. These also double as great host gifts!
From our bookshelf:
Are you planning to add a little handcrafted flair to your holiday table? Show off your work online and tag @stc_craft on twitter and instagram.
With time running down, there's still a chance to get some of our faves from this year for the folks on your list (or maybe just to treat yourself—who's looking!?) Check our list below for a little something for every kind of maker.
For the One Always Looking to Try Something New
For the One Who Needs to Relax (and Doodle)
For the Fabric Store Junkie
For The One Who Always Seems to Set Her Own Trends (and looks fabulous doing it!)
For the Novice Crafter, Nester, or General DIY Enthusiast
We hope some of these lovely books find their way to your bookshelf, or to a craft table of someone you love, sometime soon! You can find more of our books online here.
With the holiday season kicking into high gear, we're looking for inspiration for everyone on our list this year.
These sweet and simple gifts (and the books they came from!) are some of our favorite picks for simple handmade gifts for everyone from your neighbor to your work wife.
- Dressing up your dishware has never been so easy. Try adding this personalized touch as a host gift at a holiday or dinner party—and top it with home-baked cookies!
- For the crafter who you can barely keep up with (also adaptable for other handmade projects: try a smaller version for knit sweaters, pouches, and other sewing projects!)
- A cute and simple way to make something special for someone special.
- We love this simple yoga (-or- ukulele -or- farmers market) bag—easy to customize for friends who are always on the go! Cecilia Yoga Bag from p. 58 of Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style
Straight from our 2015 shelves:
Have you made anything inspired by STC Craft on your bookshelf this year? We want to see it! Show it off online and tag @stc_craft on twitter or instagram.
A few weeks back, I'd mentioned the upcoming jam-packed blog tour celebrating the release of Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style. We're ready to kick off the tour—starting now! As an added bonus, Lotta has a few NYC-based events for local folks. No problem if you can't make them—you can follow along at the blog tour stops below:
- Dec 1 – Lotta
- Dec 3 – Windham
- Dec 4 – Noodlehead
- Dec 7 – Modern Handcraft
- Dec 8 – Sew Scatterbrained
- Dec 9 – Crimson Tate
- Dec 11 – Groovy Baby & Mama
- Dec 14 – City Stitching with Christine Haynes
- Dec 15 – CraftSanity BONUS: check out their recent podcast feat. Lotta!
- Dec 16 – Aesthetic Nest
- Dec 17 – Sew Mama Sew
- Dec 18 – Lish Dorset
- Dec 19 – Fancy Tiger Crafts
- Dec 21 – Generation Q
- Dec 22 – Carolyn Friedlander
- Dec 23 – Crafty Planner
All stops on this month's tour feature talented creators and makers sharing a version of their simple sewing projects from the book. All blogs will also feature a giveaway! Check out each stop for a new chance to win a copy of the book, Lotta Jansdotter fabrics from Windham Fabrics, and Lotta-branded temporary tattoos from Tattly!
As an added bonus for NYC-based crafters: On 3 consecutive Saturdays (Dec 5, 12 and 19) from 12-4, Lotta’s Brooklyn studio and shop will be open for book signings, studio visits, and a trunk show! Stop by 131 8th Street in Brooklyn or visit http://jansdotter.com/studio/ for more info.
Follow @stccraft and @lottajansdotter for more information on additional workshops and signings throughout the spring in LA, Pasadena, Denver, and London (and more!)
We're also thrilled to invite you to a free fabric bracelet workshop and book signing at Purl Soho in NYC!
We hope you can join us in person and on the web!
We're thrilled to welcome celebrated, chic fabric designer Lotta Jansdotter to our list this season! Her latest book, Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style: Key Pieces to Sew + Accessories, Styling, and Inspiration is a pattern- and guidebook for creating your own basic wardrobe essentials throughout the year. At its core are five easy, versatile sewing patterns—skirt, dress, blouse, pants/shorts, and jacket/coat—and highlighted with quick DIY accessories, including hats, bags, scarves, and jewelry.
Photographed over the course of a year in her life in New York, Tennessee, India, and Sweden and organized by season, Jansdotter shares her sources of inspiration and how she and her friends mix and match her key pieces while working, playing, resting, and traveling.
Looking to add some of Lotta's infectious and sought-after sense of style to your own closet? Check in over the next few weeks for updates on a jam-packed blog tour, plus a chance to win your own prize pack! More info to come.
The fall is a time for reflection for many as we start to feel the effects of the changing seasons—moving clocks back, taking sweaters out of storage—and we begin to look forward to the holiday season and a new year. This November, we're giving ourselves a chance to sit back and take the time to explore those changes more mindfully through the process of art journaling. Available this week, Dawn "Doodle Queen" Sokol's latest book, The Year of the Doodle: 365 Drawing, Collaging, and Mark-Making Adventures, is the perfect way to get started.
On the first of the month, Dawn kicked off her annual National November Journaling Month (or "NaNoJouMo") with daily prompts on her blog. We wanted to try our hand at art journaling as well, so we spent this past week trying out a few prompts from the book. Check out the results of our early November doodles from inside the Abrams office below.
Feeling inspired? Head over to Dawn's blog where she's giving away a few copies of her book. Join us and start a daily journal challenge of your own!
When we look through the pages of Kristine Vejar's debut book, The Modern Natural Dyer, we're met with a sense of wonder about the origins of the natural hues that color our world. Officially on sale this week, Vejar demystifies that process, sharing user-friendly techniques for dyeing yarn, fabric, and finished goods at home with foraged and garden-raised dyestuffs and natural dye extracts.
In explicit, easy-to-follow detail, Vejar explains how to produce consistent, long-lasting color. With stunning photography of the dyes themselves, the dyeing process, and 20 projects for home and wardrobe (some to knit, some to sew, and some just a matter of submerging a finished piece in a prepared bath), The Modern Natural Dyer is a complete resource for aspiring and experienced dye artisans.
We were lucky enough to have the chance to learn about natural dyes and processes straight from Kristine as she kicked off her book release tour on the east coast this past week.
We were also thrilled to welcome Kristine into our office to show us a thing or two about natural dyeing techniques this week! Click through the gallery below to see images from our demo session.
If you're looking to learn some techniques of your own, you can follow along on Kristine's upcoming blog tour, with each stop offering a chance to win a copy of the book and one of the 4 dye kits pictured below!
Oct 23 DIY Network
Oct 26 Mason Dixon Knitting
Oct 28 Leethal
Oct 30 Mary Jane Mucklestone
Nov 2 Very Shannon
Nov 4 Make Something Blog
Nov 6 Our Daily Craft/Sarah White
Nov 9 Heather Ross
Nov 11 Tolt Yarn and Wool
Nov 16 Made by Katrina
Nov 18 Ysolda Teague
Nov 20 Jen Hewitt
If there's one thing that says "fall" around here, it's packing our books and heading up to Rhinebeck for the annual New York State Sheep & Wool Festival!
Please join us this weekend as we showcase some of our brand new needlearts books for the fall, bring back some STC Craft classics, and throw in a few goodies and giveaways. Stop by and meet celebrated knitting guru Clara Parkes on Saturday, 10/17, as she signs advance galleys of her newest travel memoir, Knitlandia, in advance of its spring 2016 publication. And stop by Saturday or Sunday (or both!) to meet and chat with dyeing expert and owner of STC Craft favorite A Verb for Keeping Warm Kristine Vejar, as she sells and signs copies of her first book, The Modern Natural Dyer, before it goes on sale next week!
Stop by and say hello in Building B, check out our books and sample projects, and sign up for the STC Craft newsletter for a chance to win a prize pack!
There are few seasons more lovely than a New York fall. As the leaves begin to change and the air gains a certain crispness, we're getting ready to pull out the warm blankets and bask in the comfort and familiarity of home. In her new book, Heather Jones does just that. Debuting today, Quilt Local: Finding Inspiration in the Everyday is a love letter to landscape. Heather presents 20 quilts, each inspired by objects and places close to home—country roads, cityscapes, street signs—the landscape of her existence. Then, in a fascinating exercise in color theory and design play, she reworked each one in a second palette to show what a striking
We're so inspired by the interplay of colors, shapes, and space in this book, and we know you will be, too. That's why we're inviting you to join us on a blog tour, kicking off this week!
Please follow along as Heather's creative colors and patterns grace the following blogs throughout the fall:
10/8: Robert Kaufman
10/9: Melanie Falick
10/10: Sew Mama Sew
10/11: Creative Bug
10/12: Plaid Portico
10/14: Modern Sewciety
10/19: The Tattooed Quilter
10/21: Amy’s Creative Side
10/23: Diary of a Quilter
10/26: Film in the Fridge
10/28: Tall Grass Prairie Studio
10/29: Okan Arts
10/30: Kara Sews
11/2: Crimson Tate
11/4: Dainty Time
11/6: Nap Time Quilter
11/13: A Gathering of Stitches
Feeling inspired to make a quilt of your very own? Here's your chance! Right now, Creativebug is offering up a chance to win a 3 month course subscription, a copy of the book, and the fabric (from Robert Kaufman), batting (from Pellon), and thread (from Aurifil) to make the Austin quilt! Click here to enter.
I’m so excited about the release of my new book, Gertie’s New Fashion Sketchbook! Over the past several years, I’ve been busy writing sewing technique books with an emphasis on retro design (see Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing and Gertie Sews Vintage Casual), so this is a bit of a departure for me. Today I’m going to share the inspiration for the sketchbook and why it was such an important project for me.
Sewists often think of sketching as something that “real” designers do. But everyone who sews is a designer! The simple act of matching a fabric to a pattern is designing. Even picking out a zipper is a design choice. Every choice you make on a project is part of its design. With so many little decisions to make, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. That’s why sketching is such a helpful tool: you can map out your ideas visually, easily changing them if necessary.
A wonderful tool for sketching fashion ideas is the croquis, a body figure template. That way you don’t have to be able to sketch a realistic figure from scratch! And nowadays it’s easy to go to a bookstore and buy a fashion sketchbook filled with croquis, ready to go. However, the problem with the available fashion sketchbooks is that the figures can look a little bizarre: they’re strangely elongated and spindly, and twisted into strange poses that I like to call the "broken doll" or the "sad alien." That's because fashion people work with a concept called "nine heads," where the figure is nine head-lengths tall. To put this in perspective, actual people are only seven to eight heads tall. Here's an interesting image that breaks it down:
One of my missions over the years has been to write about sewing and fashion in a body-positive, feminist way. So these nine-head ladies were bringing me down. And so the idea for this sketchbook was born and brilliant illustrator Sun Young Park brought it to life. Here's how it works:
The figures are presented in a "nested" configuration (almost like a sewing pattern!), so that you can follow the lines (bigger or smaller) to represent different figures. You can make the figures smaller on top or bottom to replicate a woman's actual curves and proportions. I tested the whole thing out with some wonderful sewing friends, and it really works! But my favorite thing about it is that the height of the figures is actually realistic. And that’s a beautiful thing.
Do you enjoy sketching ideas for your sewing projects? If so, I hope you love this new sketchbook!
Textile artist Anna Joyce believes that we should all live with color and pattern every day. Now, with the release of Stamp, Stencil, Paint, so can you!
In this beautiful and approachable new book, Anna Joyce shares her signature hand-printing techniques for adding color and pattern to ready-made surfaces like fabric, ceramics, paper, leather, furniture, walls, and more. Inspired by vintage fabric, folk art, shapes in nature, and exciting new color combinations, Anna’s distinctive projects showcase the beauty of the unexpected and the mark of the artist’s hand. Following beautiful step-by-step photography, you'll learn new, easy skills to stamp, stencil, and hand-paint wonderful projects for your homes, wardrobes, families, and friends.
Anna's joy for making things by hand is truly infectious, and if you're in Portland this weekend or New York the week after, you can see for yourself at one of her exciting tour stops:
Portland, Oregon Events
- September 12th, 1-4pm West Elm, Portland - book signing and trunk show.
- September 13th, 2-4pm, Collage on SE Division - official book release party for Stamp Stencil Paint! book signing and hand stamping DIY project.
- October 2nd, 8-5pm, WeMake PDX Maker Market at The Armory - Book signing and trunk show.
- October 3rd, 4pm, Powell's Books - book signing and hand printing demonstration
New York City Book Tour
- September 17th, 6-8pm, Etsy HQ, Brooklyn - free a hand painted tea towel workshop and trunk show! Sign up here
- September 18th, 7:30-9:30pm Textile Arts Center, Manhattan- book signing and workshop Click here to reserve your spot!
- September 19th, 3-5pm, powerHouse Arena , Brooklyn - book signing and hand stamped tote bag make and take
- September 20th, 12-2pm, Brooklyn Book Festival - book signing and hand stamped notebook DIY at the Abrams booth
- September 21st, 7-9pm, Makeshift Society Brooklyn - Book signing and workshop! Sign up here
Can't make it to one of the events above (or can't get enough of Anna)? You can still get involved and learn from her with this fabulous giveaway from our friends over at Creativebug, going on now! .
“Designers, we’re going to Mood!”
Chances are, if you've heard of Mood Fabrics you fall into one of two categories: you are either a huge Project Runway fan OR you are an avid home-sewer, a fashion student, or an aspiring designer. Regardless, you know it's New York's go-to spot for anything and everything fabric.
It was more than 10 years ago that Tim Gunn walked the first batch of Project Runway contestants into Mood Fabrics. This week, the experts behind this fabric power- house bring their fabric and fashion know-how—plus their behind-the-scenes stories—to the sewing public. The Mood Guide to Fabric and Fashion is the ultimate guide for the home-sewers, fashion students, aspiring designers, and Project Runway fans who want to learn everything they need to know to choose and use quality fabric. Drawing upon the expertise of the Mood staff, the book teaches readers the fundamentals—from where fabric is produced to the ins and outs of its construction—and features a fabric-by-fabric guide to cottons and other plant fibers, wools, silks, knits, and other specialty fabrics.
Intrigued? Hear what Tim Gunn has to say about it.
And if you're a frequent shopper at Mood (or would like to be!), take advantage of the promotion that is going on on their site right now! Buy a copy of the book from their site and you'll be automatically entered to win a $250 gift card to the store.
What if learning to design fabric was as easy as messing around with pencils and paints? The Spoonflower Handbook puts surface design for fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap well within the reach of creative people everywhere.
What used to be a prohibitively expensive and time-consuming process is now available to anyone with a computer, Internet connection, and an idea! At the forefront of this revolutionary DIY movement is Spoonflower, a North Carolina startup that produces designs for hundreds of thousands of creative people worldwide.
With step-by-step tutorials and projects that span a wide spectrum of skills, The Spoonflower Handbook is written for both new and experienced users of this print-on-demand technology. Covering everything from equipment to software to working with photos, scans, repeats, vector files, and more, it is an essential guide to a booming new creative outlet.
Excited to try Spoonflower but not sure where to get started? Check out our #HowToTuesday from last week for a fun new way to honor your favorite child (the dog).
Beginning today, the Spoonflower team is celebrating the book's release with a special giveaway! Check out their site for more info on how you can enter for a chance to win 2 free custom yards of fabric!
The shifting seasons mean lots of exciting things for us here at STC Craft: a new list of books to share with you, new projects, and new growth and colors all around us. We are excited to present to you a whole new roster of books to get you motivated, teach you something new, and empower you to add a handmade touch to your world. Click on the covers and catalog below to get a feel for what's in store this fall.
We also want to share some news with you. As you may already know, we are entering a new chapter with the departure of Melanie Falick, founding editor of Melanie Falick Books. We celebrate the wonderful program she created here, and we are dedicated to continuing to provide the beautiful, inventive, and inspiring craft books for which STC Craft / Abrams is known. There are many great things on the horizon as the craft and DIY marketplace evolve, and we're so excited to have a front row seat to our readers' creative pursuits— and to broaden and enhance our craft list as a part of it.
Stay tuned! We'll begin to unveil our new crop of projects soon. Meanwhile, kick back, relax, craft on, and savor these remaining weeks of summer.
—Your Friends at STC Craft
Earlier this spring, we were lucky to have Rebecca Ringquist come in the Abrams office and teach us some skills from her latest book, Rebecca Ringquist's Embroidery Workshops.
Scroll through to see the team in action!
If you're interested in learning more about embroidery on your own-- now's your chance! Our friends over at Creativebug are offering this amazing beginner package! Get the details over there, and win a sweet beginner pack (plus the book + a 3-month Creativebug subscription so you can follow along and learn with Rebecca, too!)
You may have met the multi-talented Sherri Lynn Wood on her cross-country tour to launch The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters this spring.
If you managed to catch Sherri on tour, then you may know that she received over 250 requests and 165 completed submissions for the ten test quilt scores in the book. You may have even seen some online or on display at recent shows like Modern Quilt Guild's QuiltCon in Austin earlier this spring.
Good news: if you happened to miss them (or if you can't get enough of them), you can join Sherri for a test quilt blog hop going on right now! Click the link above to see where test quilters will be showing off their variations of Sherri's test patterns, and get inspired to try one out on your own!
Have you tried one of Sherri's patterns from The Improv Handbook? If so, we'd love to see your results!
Sherri Lynn Wood is taking the sewing and quilting world by storm with her new book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters. And now, she's crossing the country to help spread the word—and you can join her!
We kicked off the tour on Friday, May 8th, with a performance at Sew Modern in Los Angeles. Check out these bright and inspiring images plus a great recap from the event on Sherri's blog, Daintytime, here.
And of course, make sure you catch Sherri when she comes to a city near you:
Saturday, May 16, 12 - 2 PM, Conversation
Rosie's Calico Corner, 7151 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92115
Sunday May 17, 9 AM - 4 PM, Teaching
San Diego MQG, Quilt in a Day, 1955 Diamond St., San Marcos, CA 92078. Register in advance.
Thursday, May 28, 7 - 9 PM, Presentation
United Church of Chapel Hill, 1321 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, (919) 942-3540
Friday, May 29, 6 - 8 PM, Performance
Thimble Pleasures, 225 South Elliott Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516, (919) 968-6050
Sunday, May 31, 10 AM - 5 PM, Teaching
Triangle MQG, Durham Catering, 3710 Shannon Rd. Suite #117, Durham, NC 27707. Register in advance.
Monday June 1, 5 - 7 PM, Presentation
Sewingly Yours (Triad Area), 1329 Lewisville-Clemmons Rd, Lewisville, NC 27023, (704) 575-9234
Tuesday, June 2, 4 - 6 PM, Conversation
Malaprops Bookstore, 55 Haywood Street, Asheville, NC, (828) 254-6734
Wednesday, June 3, 6 - 8 PM, Performance
Sewn Studios,3212 Madison Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45209, (513) 321-0600
Friday, June 5, 3 - 5 PM, Presentation
International Quilt Study Center and Museum, 1523 N 33rd St, Lincoln, NE 68503, (402) 472-6850
Saturday, June 6, 5 - 7 PM, Performance
Fancy Tiger, 59 Broadway St, Denver, CO 80203, (303) 733-3855
Sunday, June 7, 9 AM - 3:30 PM, Teaching
Front Range MQG, Jefferson County Fairgrounds, Exhibit Hall 3, 15200 W 6th Ave Frontage Rd, Golden, CO 80401. Register in Advance.
Tuesday, June 9, 10 AM - 12 PM, Performance
Scrap Apple Quilts, 144 W. Brigham Rd. #23, St. George, UT 84790, (435) 628-8226
And if you can't join Sherri as she travels from state to state (or even if you can!), you can be part of the action by following along on her month-long blog tour this May.
The final piece in our fabulous lineup of spring releases is Sherri Lynn Wood's Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously.
For the quilter looking to break free from the confines of step-by-step instructions and predictable patterns, Wood (of Daintytime.net) brings a flexible approach to quilting that knocks traditional instruction aside. Instead, she presents 10 frameworks (or scores) that create a guiding, but not limiting, structure.
To help quilters gain confidence, Wood also offers detailed lessons for stitching techniques key to improvisation, design and spontaneity exercises, and lessons on color.
Every quilt made from one of Wood’s scores will have common threads, but each one will look different because it reflects the maker’s unique interpretation. Featured throughout the book are Wood’s own quilts (more on view here!) and a gallery of contributor works chosen from among the hundreds submitted when she invited volunteers to test her scores during the making of this groundbreaking work. For inspiration, you can check out some variations on her Rhythmic Grid score in this image gallery.
Sherri is also coming to a shop or guild near you! Check back later this week with more info on her in-store national book tour. First stop: this Friday, 5/8, at 6:30 pm at Sew Modern in LA!
And that's not all—all month long, Sherri will be making digital appearances on favorite blogs from Sew Mama Sew to Spoonflower. Check out the full list of blog tour participants here!
Art journaling is typically a private activity, but anyone who has ever journaled knows that there's no inspiration quite like seeing the work of other artists you admire. In this colorful and exciting new book, Dawn Sokol breaks into the journals of over 230 artists from all over the world to showcase a selection of over 1000 captivating pages.
As an added bonus, behind-the-scenes interviews, plus a list of techniques and materials used for each page, give you a glimpse inside the minds and toolboxes of new and established artists.
And enter to win a free copy by entering Dawn's giveaway before April 28 here.