New Holland Publishers kindly sent me a couple of books to review recently, Learn to Quilt by Sharon Chambers and Crafts with Kids by Susie Johns.
Learn to Quilt is a book I chose for myself having made a couple of quilts more or less freestyle, or with very simple patterns, but wanting to learn more about different styles of quilt blocks. This is a fairly slim volume but it does cover a lot of ground, starting with basic quilting and rotary cutting techniques and moving on to more complicated blocks as the book progresses. There's even a chapter on foundation piecing, which I'm really keen to try having seen all the string-pieced blocks popping up all over the place in blogland and on flickr lately. The book also covers techniques such as 'quilting as you go', hand quilting (with templates) and hand-tying. There are 13 chapters in all with each starting by explaining a technique and then going on to use that skill in a quilt design. The book is a good project-based volume for beginners, with more than enough to keep me busy for some time to come.
Needless to say, Crafts with Kids was immediately pounced on by my 7 and 5 year old and they have been poring over it ever since, choosing things to make.
There are 5 sections inside covering paper craft, recycling, painting and printing, naturecraft and needlecraft. All the projects are very easily attainable for children of this age range with a little adult supervision - no overly complicated or finicky techniques and, more importantly, they end up with a finished object that looks enough like the photo in the book to avoid major disappointment! The big sister had a friend over to play the other weekend and they had great fun making pretty paper heart decorations from the book for their bedrooms using tissue paper, coloured cardboard and some sparkly stickers and sequins. They followed the instructions themselves and were able to assemble the various layers without adult help.
Whilst we have lots of other children's craft books on the shelves, this book is one I could let my children have pretty much free rein to choose projects from - we have most of the materials around the house and they're not too time consuming or difficult, all in all a winner!
New Holland publishers have kindly offered readers of this blog 20% off Crafts with Kids or Learn to Quilt with free P&P (UK only) if you follow these links and enter the code 'angharad' at checkout (Offer valid until 30th June 2011).