Tuesday, March 18, 2014

pretty patches, multiple yorks

i saw this lovely large log cabin quilt on the inside cover of pretty patches magazine. it was a sample from an exhibit at a quilt museum in new york. i got all excited because the mr and i were headed there for our anniversary and i was going to tag the museum on to our itinerary. however, i read a little more closely and realized it wasn't in the new york but in the original one. on the other side of the pond. ah, too bad.

i'm home and you didn't even know i was gone, right? it's not the kind of thing one generally announces online before leaving. we saw museums and lots of plays, but seeing as i'm on a fabric fast (and holding this month - yay!), we did not make any stops at any of new york's amazing and varied fabric purveyors. we did happen into the garment district for a street or two on our way to a play. i saw the word "fabric" on a store front and started to get excited. but we were in too much of a hurry to even pause for a look in the window.

moonstone, sapphire, and platinum necklace by louis tiffany - that would have made a lovely anniversary present, no?

i had hopes of seeing some quilts in the metropolitan museum of art, and even went to the american wing for that reason, but was disappointed. we did see lots of other lovely exhibits, such as exquisite works by louis tiffany, but no quilts.

i was talking to a friend about my trip and how the mr wouldn't be interested in anything fabric or sew-y. she said, "yeah, i want to go to new york with girlfriends. sewing girlfriends." yes, i think that would work much better for fabric sightseeing. maybe said friend and i will have to plan that.

as for the magazines, i recently bough three new ones to give them a whirl. i looked at several, but there were three that seemed worthy of putting my dollars down for. i thought others might like to know what i thought of them, so i'll review pretty patches today.

pretty patches is a new UK publication. the jan/feb 2014 edition is the third issue. it's made of nice, thick paper and laid out beautifully with crisp, clear photography. this makes it a pleasure to peruse.

the pretty patches post section had lots of bits and blurbs about sewing related news: stores, products, shows, designers, etc. the shopping section alerts one to sewing finds: retail therapy from the haberdashery and beyond. there is also a regular glossary, workbox, and contacts section that seems to be specific to each issue. this is helpful, particularly to the beginner.

in general, the articles and projects cover a wide variety of interests and skill levels. this can be helpful or off-putting depending on how varied your interests are for sometimes one will only find one or two items appealing if they don't match up with your own preferences. it is a hard balance between trying to please everyone and targeting a specific audience. for me, this issue struck a pretty good balance.

in addition to products and projects, i particularly liked that there was a quilt history article included in this issue. one designer and her new studio were featured in another article. also, there is an article on the "absolute beginner" division winners from the 2013 festival of quilts. all of these bits were interesting to me, personally.

as for projects, there were 10: 2 quilts, 2 cushions, hand warmers, lanterns, a hexi bean bag, hexy bed linens, tiny fabric boxes, and a liberty doll. which am i likely to make? if i had all the sewing time in the world, i'd probably give most of them a go. realistically . . .

 i loved the look of the patchwork lanterns. i'm thinking this is something the older girls could easily make to decorate their bedroom.

and of course the liberty print doll! softies + liberty prints = love. a bonus for me is that this came out of the liberty home sewing book that i didn't keep. it was one of maybe two projects from that book i liked, but didn't feel were worth purchasing the whole book for.

which brings up my last point about the way this magazine is currently operating. with the exception of the "quilt as you go" cushion, which was designed specifically for the magazine, all the other projects were taken out of previously published books. if you don't buy books, this is good for you because you are getting some great projects from a variety of books. if you do buy books, you may find you already have some of the books on hand and the projects are therefore redundant to you. this was the case for me with one of the two quilt projects featured. as a quilter, i was seeing more quilt-related inspiration and projects than this issue offered.

overall, i found this issue appealing and interesting. there were articles i wanted to read and a few projects i would conceivably make. i am not taken enough, yet, to commit to a subscription as the rate is high. i look forward to seeing other issues before i commit to that.


  1. What a fun trip! Happy anniversary! I get so exited about quilting magazines because flipping through is a nice way to relax. I have to say I'm mostly disappointed, there seems to be very little original content in some. I've either seen it in books or on blogs! I would rather save my money for books though a good mag is a nice treat now and again. I haven't read that one. Funnily I get more out of some of the traditional ones because I like imagining modern takes on the projects!

  2. Love that your children are showing interest in craftyness, its like a affirmation of the stitching you do too.
    That delightful snail needs to be made up surely?
    Even socks stitched togther would make him become 'real'!!
    Im visiting the Quilt Museum in York at Easter, want me to take afew close up pics of the log cabin, if they let us take piccies there? Im sure they do, when they exhibit at the big shows, we snap away happily then, so reckon the Museum itself may be the same.
    Your so right about many of the currently new Brit mags, there are extracts from books or the makers blogs and its really disapointing.
    Theres a plethora of crafty/recycling mags here at the moment and frankly, most of it is rehashed from the 1960s when we were doing the very same thing then!
    Just its brighter, bolder colours now and not orange/yellow/browns and creams like back then!
    If you like the lampshades I will send you a link for a Uk lass who embroiders a scene round hers with appliqued fabrics added. They are amazing but would be as easy to make and personalise for yourselves.
    Shes on Fb so will get the link for you.

  3. https://www.facebook.com/marnalunttextileartist/photos_stream

    take a look at the lampshades on there!
    Her Liberty shop one is dark but so clever. But her seaside and flowery ones are a delight to see and I see no reason why stitched pieces couldnt be then glued onto the lampshades themselves to make life easier for less experienced stitchers? : )


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