Latest books for a creative Christmas

The Latest Books For a Creative Christmas.

Whether you’re planning a crafty Christmas, looking to make your own gifts or simply want to learn a new craft, we’ve hand selected the latest books covering our core subjects for you to enjoy. From Fair Isle knitted baubles to contemporary quilts, there really is something for everyone to enjoy this Christmas. 

The Embroidered Art of Chloe Giordano

A beautiful in-depth, practical guide to the exquisite textile art of renowned embroiderer, Chloe Giordano.

Take a walk through the stunning stitched world of renowned embroiderer Chloe Giordano, and discover not only her unique way of working with sewing thread but also a sublime collection of her exquisite textile art, inspired by her love of the natural world.

Taking one project from conception through to completion, see how Chloe plans her designs, chooses colours, selects threads, blends colours and finally stitches her designs in order to create her beautifully detailed embroideries. Packed with Chloe’s guidance on every aspect of the process, including hooping and framing, this book will inspire you to create stunning thread paintings of your own.

For needle-painting that will astound you with its lifelike, delicate beauty pick up this book and get lost in the magical woodland art of Chloe Giordano.

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Quilts From Tilda Studio

World-renowned for her beautiful fabrics and charming designs, Tone Finnanger has established Tilda as a creative lifestyle that makers dream of. From her inspirational studio on an island in Norway’s Oslofjord, comes this divine collection of quilt patterns, all made with the latest Tilda fabric collections. 

Fourteen quilts, many with matching pillows, are shown with gorgeous photography, in-depth instructions, piecing diagrams and full-size templates. The designs feature a range of motifs including cats, angels, birdhouses, trees, teapots, fruit, flowers and more that quilters will simply adore.

 Cut, piece, baste, quilt and bind your way into Tilda’s world with this exquisite pattern book, and make quilts you ll cherish forever.

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This book is an encyclopaedia of Distitch and will appeal to all knitters. Distitch is an innovative knitting principle: it gives structure, warmth and strength, while making your knitting strikingly beautiful. 

A passionate knitter for many years, Assia Brill has developed many techniques and stitch patterns. In this richly illustrated book, you’ll find full instructions for her Distitch knitting. There are step-by-step photographs, detailed diagrams, and videos to help you master Distitch with ease. Learn how to shape your knitting using Distitch increases, decreases, short rows, and selvedges. You’ll love the selection of new stitch patterns and ten elegant, rewarding projects. Once you grasp the technique, it can be incorporated into any project to create true masterpieces. Enrich your knitting and decorate your creations with Distitch!

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Needle Felting: 20 Cute Projects to Felt From Wool

Unlike many crafts, needle felting is very forgiving to beginners, so there’s no excuse not to give it a shot. No matter how much experience you have in crafts or how creative you think you are, needle felting offers endless possibilities. As if by magic, pieces of natural wool can be sculpted simply by stabbing them with special felting needles. The tiny barbs on the needles make the wool denser and denser, so that you can mold it into whatever shape you desire. 

Needle Felting will guide you through all the basic techniques you need to be able to make the 20 gorgeous projects. Each adorable item has a step-by-step guide with clear photographs. There are also hints and tips to help you make your beautiful needle-felted creations. Relax into it, have a go and see where it takes you.

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55 Christmas Balls to Knit

This best seller was featured on Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas on Channel 4. This book contains 55 unique hand-knit Christmas ornaments inspired by traditional Norwegian patterns.

Norwegian knitwear design stars Arne and Carlos bring fun-filled festive crafting to knitters everywhere with their fabulous ornamental balls. They are easy to knit, easy to stuff and once you get knitting you won’t want to stop. Inspired by traditional Norwegian patterns each ball is a unique handmade creation ready to become a holiday heirloom. They are ideal for the tree, wreaths, mantelpiece, table decorations and window dressings, and make perfect gifts for friends and family.

This book is bursting with creativity and inspiration, with just one set of instructions for making the balls and 55 unique patterns. Each pattern can easily be adapted for hats, mittens or even sweaters by the extra creative knitter.

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Organic Embroidery

Renowned textile artist Meredith Woolnough creates replicas of nature using a delicate system of tiny stitches. Her artwork is breathtaking,and now for the first time Woolnough offers crafters and fiber artists a lesson in how to use the “organic embroidery” technique. Look behind the scenes of her art process, from the initial field work sketching and research that inspires her designs, to theproduction of her ethereal embroidered sculptures. She guides you through 12 creativity-prompting activities to help you begin your own mastery of this method. As you learn to find your desired shape or pattern in nature, from sources like leaves, shells, or coral, then use your sewing machine to turn bits into exquisite art. You’ll also enjoy dozens of inspirational photos of Woolnough’s ownart pieces. Woolnough’s instructions offer simple but highly versatile techniques, and allow you space for your own creative approach.

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Mable Bunny & Co: 15 Loveable Animals to Crochet

Who could resist these loveable toys and their babies? De-stress by snuggling up with Mabel Bunny and her friends oversized crocheted toys, perfect for giant cuddles and little hands. Not just for children, the soft, chunky yarn and floppy limbs will appeal to all, so make them for yourself or give as gifts (if you can bear to part with them). Mabel makes a great reading companion and at about 70cm tall from head to paws, the animals sit comfortably on a shelf or at the end of a bed.

As well as fifteen different animals to crochet and love, including a dragon, a polar bear, a red panda and a pig, you can also make a mini Mabel, octopus and koala, which are 30 40cm tall. The projects are pitched at beginners to experienced crafters. So be inspired, choose a pattern to start and be prepared to fall in love with this collection of adorable toys.

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Crewel Twists: Fresh Ideas for Jacobean Embroidery

Embroider 6 beautiful and inspirational Jacobean projects using varied techniques and gorgeous materials.

Whether you refer to it as crewel or Jacobean, this free form of surface embroidery has been around for centuries and is very popular among needle artists today. Because of the nature of the fanciful objects and the tradition of using a large variety of stitches in one project, it lends itself to endless creative expression. Renowned embroiderer Hazel Blomkamp uses a wide selection of materials to update techniques and inspire embroiderers to explore, while working loosely within the confines of crewel work styles. She shows needle artists how to be creative with fabric, threads, beads and alternative stitches, borrowing techniques from other forms of needlework, and still producing a product that is typical of the crewel or Jacobean style of embroidery. The original designs include:

  • Projects including beads and metal threads to add sparkle and texture to your work
  • Monochrome embroidery making use of a variety of threads and beads, all within the same colour range
  • Techniques employed in needle-made laces with designs defined by means of texture
  • More traditional embroidery including shading and satin stitch and the many variations of trellis couching to provide texture and interest.

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Sarah Payne’s Quilt School: New ways to start patchwork and quilting

In this fun and practical introduction to quilting and patchwork, well-known TV personality Sarah Payne leads you through a series of techniques to build up your skills.

Each chapter includes a number of different-sized step-by-step projects, including quilts, cushions, tote bags and table runners. Sarah discusses different shapes (squares, circles, triangles) and different techniques (appliqué, piecing blocks and curved piecing) in turn. She also includes information on basting, layering, quilting and binding, as well as pre-cuts. 

Filled with guidance and helpful tips and tricks, this book will equip you with all you need to know to get started on your quilting adventure. Put your skills into practice and at the same time create beautiful projects to keep or give as gifts.

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Stitched Textiles: Seascapes 


Amanda Hislop reveals the skills and processes she uses to make her incredible textile seascapes.

Amanda Hislop’s Seascapes is a wonderful reference tool for all textile artists, whatever their skills level. Amanda puts particular emphasis on taking your work from initial inspiration through to the design stage. Her advice and guidance is all clearly explained through practical exercises and inspirational examples that then lead to projects which build upon and consolidate the lessons learned.

Textile artists, embroiders, painters and quilters whatever their skill level will be inspired by Amanda’s deep love for and fascination with the varied moods of the sea and coastal landscapes.

Exploration both of technique and design is at the heart of this book. Amanda reveals the skills and processes she uses to make her incredible textile seascapes. Featuring original projects, practical and enjoyable design exercises, and extensive sections on composition and mark-making, this instructional guide is brimming over with fabulous ideas for a stunning selection of fabric and stitch scenes.

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First Time Felting: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide

 In First Time Felting, felting and fiber expert Ruth Lane teaches a class for absolute beginners on three classic methods of felting.

Start by learning about the various types of wool fibers used for felting, preparing them for the process, and simple methods for dyeing. Next, discover the basic supplies and techniques for needle felting, wet felting, and nuno felting.

You’ll use those essential skills to make fun, easy projects—artworks, embellished fashions, three-dimensional figures, and more—skills you’ll turn to again and again to create your own original pieces!

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The Knitting Book: Over 250 Step-by-Step Techniques

A new edition of DK’s ultimate knitting bible, with hundreds of step-by-step techniques, more than 120 patterns for a variety of knitting stitches, and 20 knitting projects suitable for all abilities. Each step-by-step technique is shown with clear, easy-to-follow photography and explained with helpful annotations and arrows, so you can progress from basic casting on to confidently tackling intricate Fair Isle and cable patterns. 

The Knitting Book walks you through all the tools, equipment, and techniques you’ll need, from yarns and needles to how to follow or alter a knitting pattern. A photographic stitch gallery showcases more than 120 different stitches so you can practise your techniques, trying your hand at everything from garter stitch to intarsia, or customise projects with your own stitch choices. 

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Simple Geometric Quilting

Laura Preston, founder of the textile studio and quilting shop Vacilando Quilting Co., has created the ultimate resource for modern quilters. Her minimalist quilting method uses geometric shapes and bold, solid colours to simplify traditional quilting techniques, for stunning, contemporary quilts in less time. With large fabric shapes, quilt tops come together quickly, making these projects perfect for beginners. 

Advanced quilters will find this a valuable source book for modern techniques such as creating curved lines and working with negative space. Every quilter can find something to fit their schedule and skill level, with projects like quilted throws, pillows, table runners, decorative wall art and blankets of all sizes, from baby to adult. Faster to finish than traditional quilts, with plenty of room for personalisation, these patterns make heirloom-quality gifts for friends and family, and add the perfect modern touch to any room. This book will have 20 patterns with a photo for each, plus step-by-step images.

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Edward’s Menagerie: The New Collection: 50 animal patterns to learn to crochet

Enter a whole new world of 50 animal crochet patterns from bestselling author Kerry Lord. Crochet your way through this new collection of easy-to-make amigurumi characters – from a philosophical sloth and a chess-playing armadillo to a very fluffy Angora bunny who loves her job in customer service. Learn to improve your crochet techniques, working up from the beginner projects through to the more challenging later patterns. 

Each animal uses only basic stitches and there’s step-by-step instructions that mean this is the perfect book to learn to crochet. Each animal follows Kerry’s basic standard form, so if you can make one animal from the book, you can learn to make them all. 

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Poetic Cloth: Creating meaning in textile art

A guide to creating beautiful and meaningful textiles. 

Poetic cloth is about how cloth, stitch and surface create personal meaning in textile art. It shows how a more thoughtful use of material and process can create textiles of depth and meaning. Grounded in the key elements of the well-established author’s work, the book begins with an introduction to materials, their properties and personal meanings. Subsequent chapters help the reader to explore the connection between process and material, focusing on stitch, print, surface manipulation and construction to create seductive textile surfaces. 

The emphasis throughout is on a sensitivity to material, a quiet attention to detail and thoughtful application of textile technique. Techniques include hand stitch, shadow work, patching, darning, devore and cyanotype printing. Written by member of the prestigious 62 Group Hannah Lamb, this is an invaluable book for textile artists who want to give more meaning to their work.

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Simple Shapes Stunning Quilts: 100 designs to sew for patchwork perfection

Stuart Hillard is on a mission to help quilters all over the world realize their quilting dreams and prove it ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it one simple shape at a time. In the follow-up title to the bestselling Use Scraps, Sew Blocks, Make 100 Quilts, Stuart shows you how the easiest of shapes can make extraordinary quilts. The book is divided into five main pattern chapters:

  • One-Patch Quilts 20 quilts using a single, repeated shape.
  • Strips and Squaes 20 quilts that turn strips and squares into a tessellated triumph.
  • Triangles 20 quilts using half, square triangles, half rectangles and equilateral triangles.
  • Curves 20 quilts that show off your curves.
  • Foundation Piecing 20 quilts to create unique blocks from the easiest shapes using paper foundation piecing.

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Modern Embroidery: 35 stylish and contemporary hand-sewn designs

Colourful and contemporary embroidery for the modern stitcher.

There’s something magical about embroidery – some thread, some stitches, some time, and suddenly a plain piece of material is transformed into a picture, a pattern, or a piece of geometric art. Embroidery today is moving away from the traditional to the modern, with motifs including everything from cacti to crystals, simple white stitching on coloured cloth, decorative stitches on denim, and mandala patterns as wall art. Laura Strutt has designed 35 modern makes taking you from the simplest of stitches to more sophisticated techniques. Each make has full step-by-step instructions and there are coloured charts where needed for you to recreate the look exactly – but of course you can always choose your own colours if you prefer. With tips on everything from finishing pieces to colour theory, and a techniques section covering all the stitches you will need to know, you can hand-embroider any of these projects with confidence. 

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