I love Anna Maria Horner, her fabrics, her blog, her creativity and was very excited to hear that she wrote a new sewing book. Now, other fabric designers before her already published some very nice books so I had very high expectations for Anna Maria’s one (you know, wondering if she was going to offer some fresh new projects, and if I will learn something new from the book). I was delighted, I love it so much I had to write this review even though I have millions more urgent things to do right now. You can click on each picture to see a larger version of it.
What I liked:
* The spiral format of the book makes it easy to use
* There are 24 projects, most of them are fresh (not a rehash of projects already in other books or readily available online), there are 10 paper patterns (ready to be cut as they are printed on one side only). The projects are varied: for your sewing room, bags, home deco projects, women clothing, kids clothing, quilt, wall hanging art, baby toy, even one project for your pet etc
* The book is a visual feast, very enjoyable to browse through with lots of bright and cheerful colours
* The book is very comprehensive. You will learn how to set up your sewing space, what tools are really worth having, she offers useful tips that I have not seen in other similar books, there is even a lesson on colour combination based on saturation. I love this book because Anna Maria somehow, through what she is generously sharing in this book, has inspired me to be more creative in my sewing process. She is inspiring me to think/act/create as a designer/artist and not just a seamstress.
* I like the fact that she used other designers’ fabrics in addition to her own, so the book is not a marketing book for her fabric lines.
* The tutorials are very well explained, and for each project she add a litte “color notes” where she explains why she chose that print and colour (it’s like an insider tip on how designers select fabrics for their projects)
What I didn’t like:
* A very few projects are already familiar to me (like the cozy cube)
* I would have loved to see full pictures of her studio
To recap, it’s a very good book, worth having even if you already have all the other fabric designers books (Amy Butler etc).
Fancy sewing something from the book right now? Click here to to go to the publisher’s site where you can download (pdf format) the free tutorial for the doodad pillow project from the book.