Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Crafty Book Review - Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts

Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts: Basic Techniques for Sewing, Applique, Embroidery, Quilting, Dyeing, and Printing, plus 150 Inspired Projects from A to Z

When I first saw this book, I actually had no intention of buying it. For some reason, the idea of an encyclopedia of crafts just left me cold. What would it be, an a-z listing of various mediums?
(A - applique...B- beading. C- Crochet)
I don't know, it just sounded dull.

Boy, was I wrong. First of all, although it is set up in alphabetical order, the book is rife with the unexpected. (B is in fact for beading...beading flowers! And bugs!) The book is a nearly endless supply of ideas and inspiration.
Each chapter begins with a beautifully photographed step-by-step lesson on how to do said skill. Then a bunch of projects follow, generally accompanied by one or two photos and a brief how-to paragraph.
(Which crafts made it into the XYZ slots, you ask? The editors adorably sidestep the issue by assigning all the indexes back there. Cute!)

I'm not sure if any of the projects are original to the book. I recognized a lot from past issues of the magazine. However, I recognized these projects mainly because I have a habit of tearing out said projects, "filing*" them away, and never seeing them again. Having them together in a book is fantastic! They're easy to find, and therefore much more likely to actually get made. Hooray!

One more thing to note: This book is HEAVY. It is literally a tome. If you're resting the book on a table, it's fine, and the pages tend to lie nice and flat. If you're cuddled up on the couch, however, grab some manner of support pillow. You're going to need it.

*filing= stuffing into binders or folders in no particular order

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