Two Wonderful New Books Plus New Favorite Tool

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Search Press (May 1, 2013)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844487691

Considering my emerging love of things wool applique, this book was especially appreciated. I noticed it on Amazon and just could not resist it.  There is an excellent section on the basics; selecting wool, needles, threads and some basic instructions on how to dye your wool, as well as an introduction to some most use embroidery stitches for wool applique. The patterns include hearts, birds, stars, pincushions, pillows, a 4-seasons wall hanging and much more. I can't find too much (like a website) for Madeline Millington, but what I can find indicates that she is a very well known and whose use of bright bold colors is one of her hallmarks. It looks like she is building a website, but it does not seem to be working yet. One way or another I love this book, I love her style and I am happy to have added this fun book to my collection

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Lark Crafts (March 18, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1454708476
This new book from Lark (thank you Lark for ending it to me for review!) is a gem. I think that packaging your work is a small, but important part of selling what you make. I tend to truly appreciate small details and attention to detail when I order things. It's about time for his sort of book, and this one really does a great job of providing some great ideas for packaging all sorts of things. There is so much information in this little book that I can't cover it all! 

The sections include:
1.   Materials and how to use them (paper, plastic, fabric, alternate materials, re-purposed and     
      up-cycled materials.        
2.   Designing your packaging: jewelry, ceramics, and glass, foods and plants, bath and beauty, clothes
      Shoes and accessories, soft furnishings, paper goods, home and living
3.   Resources (materials, glossary, templates, useful information and index.

The information is beautifully presented, very well organized, nicely photographed (as are all of Lark 's books!) and, I have to say, very useful. There's no way that you can't find some inspiration within the pages of this great book!


Next up is an item that I have known about for a long time, but I never thought it was important enough to buy. Recently, two friends in our quilt group have gotten this Martelli ergo rotary cutter, and they both have raved about them. I  had carpal tunnel surgery, and after many years now, I still have to wear my wrist brace when my wrist and hand gets too tired. I decided that perhaps, since I am cutting a lot of material again, this rotary cutter might just be a good addition to my sewing room. 

Martelli makes their ergo cutters for both right and left hands and in different sizes. I may add a 60mm version at some point, but the 45mm touts being about to cut through 6 layers of material at once, and I think that is probably a true claim, in which case I am not certain that I would need the 60mm, which I used to use for cutting through multiple layers. Rumor has it that Martelli blades are made from titanium and that they last a lot longer. I ordered an extra two blades, but only time will tell about the longevity. They do feel VERY sharp to me at first use, though, so maybe they will last longer!

I am SO happy that I got it! Once you get used to how to hold it - and by getting used to it, I am talking about minutes not days, you will notice a difference. I don't find that I need to use as much pressure on the blade, and my wrist and hand are, most definitely, in a better, more comfortable position. Fatigue will not be as much of an issue when I use this cutter.


  1. The Millington book looks wonderful! I liked the little ornaments and the paperdolls on the back cover are so cute. I watched the video on the rotary cutter. It all makes so much sense! Thanks for the great reviews.


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