Sewing Tales to Stitch and Love, by Kerry Goulder, is a new
project book with 18 softie sewing patterns. Kerry lives in Southern Maine and is a mom to two girls. Before
writing this book designed five patterns for Anna Griffin, a well-known brand of stationary, home, and gift products. Kerry also sold her
handmade goods in a shop on Etsy. Her most popular product is a thumbguard used to help kids stop sucking their thumbs, but she’s also sold some of the earlier incarnations of
the toys in this book.
The subtitle, “patterns for the storytelling sewist,” refers
to short stories Kerry has made up and written about each toy. On a side
note, I’m pretty excited to see the word “sewist” on the cover of a book. Let’s
say good-bye to “sewer” for good.
There are some neat new softie ideas presented here,
including a fabric igloo that uses zip ties for inner support, a hot air
balloon with little sandbags, a plush light bulb, and a turtle that can slide
in and out of its shell. There’s a dolphin finger puppet, although it’s not
labeled or shown anywhere as a puppet, and a really cool pattern for a plush
lobster that looks challenging, but not overly so.
Each pattern is illustrated with clear step-by-step photos.
These are nicely shot and effective at guiding you through the sewing. The samples are all sewn from quilting
cottons, a really appealing choice for lots of sewists who enjoy making
something clever from a few fat quarters or scraps from their quilting stash.
The supplies list for each project includes the name of the
fabric line and it’s designer. The fabric igloo, for example, say, “Fabrics
shown: from the Field Study collection by Anna Maria Horner, courtesy
FreeSpirit/Westminster Fibers Fabric.” There’s a segment of readers who will want
to use the exact fabrics shown when they make the projects (maybe you’re on of
them?), but for me these read as ads. I’d rather have all fabric credits on a
resource page at the back.
The forward by Heather Bailey has that same ad-like
feel. I understand having a big name designer lend their name to a book, but for
me, it’d be great to reclaim that space for
the back of the book so that we could have full-sized pattern pieces.
stands, all of the pattern pieces need to be enlarged by 200%, even for toys
that are only 6” tall, like the Mouse Pals on the cover. Kerry assures me she
fought tooth and nail for full-sized patterns and lost. I feel like this happens
more often in softie books than in other craft books and I hope it stops.
While I was enlarging the pattern for the Mouse Pals 200% to
make it full-sized, I figured I’d keep going and enlarge it 400%. I
sewed my mouse from super soft velour, and used some pink fleece to line
her ears. I made
her a polka dot bow and I think she came out really cute! The pattern is well-written and the templates all fit together perfectly.
“When the gnomes are away, the mice will play! This is
Sherbet and Pistachio. Right now they are supposed to be helping the gnomes
gather firewood and berries, but they couldn’t pass up a chance to play awhile
before getting to work. These lifelong friends love to swing, play hopscotch
and jump rope when the sun is rising.”
There aren’t all that many new softie books on the market and
I get excited with every one. For the cover price of $24.99 you get 18
fun patterns, which is a pretty good deal. I enjoyed reading and sewing from Sewing Tales to Stitch and Love and I think you will, too.
You can get a copy now on Amazon where you can see 32 pages in the “Look Inside” feature if you’d like, including nearly all the templates.
Disclaimer: The author sent each of the 20 bloggers on this
blog tour a free copy of the book plus a package containing over $100 worth of
sewing tools and supplies she procured from sponsors. We were encouraged to
highlight these sponsors in our post. I didn’t feel comfortable accepting this
package and asked Kerry to please not send it, but she did anyway. She
assured me that this was a thank you gift and a way to share some of her
favorite things with all of us and be sure we had what we needed to make the projects in the book. That said, I couldn’t get away from feeling that it
was compensation for writing this review. She also asked that if I was going to
say anything negative about the book, I show her the post first. That felt
awkward to me, too. I really strive to be an honest and independent reviewer.
This was a hard one, not because of the book (it’s lovely) but because of these aspects of the blog tour.