This innovative up-cycling book makes use of a material we all have around us – Men’s shirts. Those of us with men in the house will undoubtedly have, no longer, used shirts lurking at the back of wardrobes. Those who don’t have a shirt-wearing male to acquire shirts from can pick them up fairly cheap from the charity shop. Plus of course there is no reason why women’s shirts can’t be used for these projects either.
The projects in this book are cleverly catagorized by type of shirt used to make them: businessmen’s shirts, creative men’s shirts, outdoorsy men’s shirts and sporty men’s shirts. The projects include soft toys, quilted duvet cover, a beach bag, storage boxes, and a pretty peg bag and they make use of the whole of the shirt including, cuffs, collars and buttons.
The instructions for each project are set over several pages with large step by step photos to guide you as well as a photo of the finished project plus any templates you need are at the rear of the book. The book is easy to follow and would be suitable for all levels of experience.
A new blaze of colour in yet another new book this summer from Kaffe Fassett. I do so love this man’s eye for colour, and this book doesn’t disappoint.
20 Designs for Patchwork and Quilting
“ This book is really another homage to
the long, rich history of the folk art of quilts. I picked Hidcote Gardens for
the location, for the photography and because it was the first British Garden
to open my eyes to the English genius for creating great theatrical gardens. I
hope in this humble book you get enough of an impress ion of my favourite
English Garden.” Kaffe Fassett
In this twenty first installment of Kaffe Fassett’s ever-popular series of patchwork and quilting books, Kaffe has chosen to show off his latest range of fabrics by revisiting many of his favourite medallion quilt blocks.
Photographed on location at the world-famous Hidcote Manor Garden in the beautiful Cotswolds countryside, these delectable quilts find their perfect setting among the brilliant flower borders, avenues of trees, and stunning architectural features that make Hidcote one of the most visited gardens in the UK.
Medallion quilts have universal appeal and the simple framework of the medallion design makes a great vehicle for Kaffe’s eye-catching colour combinations in his brilliant range of fabric designs.
Assisted by his team of designers and makers, Kaffe has created an exquisite and varied range of 19 medallion designs, among them the rich Berry Ice Cream quilt, photographed in Hidcote’s world famous Red Border; the dramatic Dark Gameboard, photographed against the geometric precision of Hidcote’s famous topiary hedges; and soft Flowery Jar, its pink and blue themed design echoing the colours of the flowers in Hidcote’s early summer border.
Photographed on location by Debbie Patterson
Kaffe Fassett’s Quilts in the Cotswolds provides all the basic instructional text, diagrams, and templates to make the quilts, plus a section on basic patchwork techniques for less experienced quilters.
9781641550840 | PB with flaps | £25 |
Taunton | distributed in the UK by GMC publications
To honour a great web site here is a review of the book Design*Sponge At Home
By Grace Bonney
Published by Artisan $35
The brilliant talented and inspirational Grace Bonney is closing down her web site ‘Design*Sponge.’ She was always well ahead of the game when it came to web sites and inspiring content. With this in mind I was thrilled to come across one of her books in a charity shop, Called ‘Design*Sponge at Home’ It came out in 2011
It even has a forward by Jonathan Adler.
In the book’s introduction Grace describes how she set up her web site in 2004 not realizing what a storm would come of it. She had always believed that good design didn’t have to come with a high price tag or with a professional degree.
though no one joined the discussion at first, Grace was delighted to have an
outlet to express her love of design and decorating. Within weeks her blog was
eliciting comments and e-mails and she felt like she was communicating with a
community that she hadn’t previously known existed.
When she was writing this book she said “Today, I wake up every morning and share news and inspiration from the design world with an audience that could fill Madison Square Garden. (How cool would it be if we could meet up every day like that?) It is quite simply a dream job.”
The first part of the book focuses on one
of Grace’s favourite pastimes: sneaking a peek inside some of the most
inspiring homes she has seen. Every home featured in the book is packed with
ideas that anyone can copy in their own houses. In addition to practical tips
on decorating and renovating, you learn about the history behind design
classics such as Chesterfield sofa’s and Hudson Bay blankets.
Inspiration and knowledge is only half the battle when it comes to designing the home of your dreams, so the second half of the book features do-it-yourself projects that have been tested by the team of editors of the book.
There are also Before and After makeovers featured with hints on how to turn a dowdy flea market dresser into a design delight, or on a larger scale, how to transform a dark hole of a kitchen into a modern chic space for cooking and entertainment.
This is the ultimate décor bible. The book includes home tours from artists and designers, clever DIY projects to help personalize your space, step-by-step tutorials on everything from hanging wallpaper to doing your own upholstery, a flower workshop with bouquets for every budget, and amazing before and after transformations.
With hundreds of inspiring tips and photo’s this is the only design book you will ever need.
Below is part of the letter that Grace Bonney has put on her web site prior to the closure of it on 31st August.
‘I’ve spent a long time trying to figure out the right way to close this beautiful, complex, and wonderfully meaningful place that I’ve had the honor of running and contributing to for the past 14 years. I’d written and re-written a letter like this dozens of times until this fall, when someone snuck into my mind and heart, and put everything I would have said onto (digital) paper. That person was Tavi Gevinson and when she closed Rookie she wrote the closing editor’s letter that I had always imagined, down to the very last word.
She talked about the changing publishing world, social media and the endless demand for more and more content (usually sponsored) that resulted in less and less support (financial and traffic) for publishers and their teams. She talked about the privilege and honor of doing what we do, and knowing the choices that would have to be made to keep things afloat would be at odds with the mission of the site (please do read her piece, she outlines the struggle of indie publishing better than anyone I’ve ever read). Most of all, she talked about starting and ending an artistic project with honesty and love at its core. And for me, that is all I have ever wanted.’
So as I finish this blog post I would like to say Thank you for all the joy Design*Sponge has given over the last few years. Juliet Bawden
This fun book is very much for the passionate knitter. It reminds me of Chloe Owens book, ‘Chloe tells you how to sew’, is much more than just a ‘How To’ book. It is inspired by vintage annuals and comics. The brightly coloured illustrations, and instructions mixed in with activities, puzzles and games has been a major influence in the design of this book. There are games, pub quizzes and a knitter’s Alphabet. Aa is for Aran, Bb is for blocking, Cc is for crotchet, Dd is for DPN’s and E is for embroidery etc.
The book is dotted with practical projects
as well as knitted jokey animals such as a knitted lobster for a lobster
Craft fairs are mentioned as are important
elements such as tension of stitches.
Most of the projects are small and thus quick to make, a polar bear, toucan, meerkat, killer whale, chickens, racoon, corgi and star fish.
There are a few larger projects such as s a lovely Giant Elephant Faux taxidermy head with instructions on how to wall mount him.
There is a great knitted crocodile rug and a swan door stop. Games such as knitters bingo are featured and name the knit stitch.
This book would make a great present for
any nutty knitting friends.
This book is not about the world of design, but the design of the world. Futurekind’ is a manual and manifesto, an inspiration and a call to arms – this rich and timely survey presents over sixty innovative, socially and environmentally conscious design projects changing the world for the better.
We have grown accustomed to two beliefs: the first, that only
experts can be designers; the second, that our everyday activities are harming
the world. Yet, with new platforms, digital communication and engaged online
communities, the products we can now design – and truly need – can be made by
anyone for social and environmental good.
Social design can
see that primary school children learn to code, and uses local information in
off-grid locations to create global change. Open-source design is enabling us
to remake our world right now.
eight areas of application, from healthcare to education, Futurekind showcases
over sixty projects from across the globe and across every scale and budget to
reveal how design practice is being transformed by open-source platforms,
crowd-sourcing and the latest digital technologies. Each has made a genuine
different to lives and communities around the world.
Rather than being client-driven, as commercial design often is,
each project shown is the result of designers who reach out, communities who
get involved and the technologies that are helping people to realize ideas
together. From a playground-powered water pump in South Africa to a DIY budget
mobile phone, each of these groundbreaking projects is presented through
fascinating and life-affirming stories, and diagrams that reveal the mechanisms
and motivations behind each design approach, and photography that celebrates
the humanity of the endeavor.
Here are a few examples from the book of successful and useful
‘Fix my Street’ was set up by Tom
Steinburg. He realized there was no simple way to report vandalism on the
streets, to local authorities. Fix my
Street is the solution, a simple way to report street problems such as fly
tipping, pot- holes, broken street -lights. It is a map-based interface, which matches
map-based interface, matching geographical points to an email address.
Dr Catlin Powers is the co-founder of One Earth Designs the
organization who produce SolSource solar
The invention was inspired after a Himilayan research trip, on
which she encountered a nomadic Tibetan community. Their indoor stove pollution
presented an air quality challenge. When measured, the air quality was ten
times more polluted than the air in Beijing. The World Health Organization
states that over 4 million people die every year from breathing ‘Stove Smoke’.
A five-year collaboration with 54 different solar powered prototypes, finally
arrived at SolSource. It heats up
five ties faster than a charcoal grill delivering 1000 Watts of power and
harnessing sunlight seven times more efficiently than an average photovoltaic solar
panel and is affordable by the end users.
Better Shelter is a social
enterprise thatdevelops and
provides innovative shelter for refugees and those in disaster stricken areas
of the world. Their mission is to improve the lives of people displaced by
conflicts and natural disasters, aiming ‘to be the leader in emergency and
temporary shelter innovation”. The projects aim is to compliment traditional
refugee tents, as used in emergencies, with shelters designed for the
post-emergency phase, which are more spacious (with higher ceilings), better
insulated (clad in polypropylene panels) and more durable than their
The People’s Fridge is a public amenity,
enabling local residents and businesses to deposit spare food for people in
need. It is run by volunteers, who want to cut food waste, and encourage
sharing and tackle nutrition poverty. The
People’s Fridge is situated in Brixton’s foodie hotspot “Pop Brixton”,
whose traders help stock and clean the fridge daily. Similar projects have been
launched in Somerset, Derbyshire, Spain, Germany and India. Annually food waste
costs the UK about £17 billion, with restaurants alone discarding an estimated
900,000 tons of food and households binning on average 24 edible meals a month.
One of the co-founders, of this enterprise, Ben Longman shared his
“We wanted the fridge to address two issues:
food surplus and food poverty. The fridge is unmanned and free for all to use.”
Gravity Light uses kinetic energy to produce light. It is affordable, reliable and safe alternative to kerosene lamps used by 1.1 billion people globally. Kerosene consumes 15% of the income of the very poor. According to the World Health Organization, 3.8 million deaths a year are attributed to household air pollution, caused by people burning kerosene and biomass fuels for their energy needs. Gravity Light is powered by lifting a weight- a bag filled with 12kg of rocks or sand. As the weight descends, it turns a gear chain that powers a dynamo, creating light instantly. After 25 minutes, when the bag reaches the ground, it can be lifted again as required.
Wind Turbine is designed with unskilled makers in mind.
POC21 have designed the 30 dollar wind turbine to have a small footprint and a
big output. If you have a spare bike wheel and 30 bucks, then this can reduce
your ecological footprint. The project delivers a few hundred Watts-enough to
pump water. Daniel Connell, the designer, stated that anyone who ‘can cut paper
and hold a drill’ could manage it. Construction involves cutting aluminium into
shapes, then bending and riveting the vanes to a bike wheel. This project can
be used to pump water or air, run a cooling system, or charge a battery through
a generator. Connell focuses on upcycled and reclaimed materials, making his
output affordable and accessible.
Cola Life you can buy Coca Cola anywhere in the world, even in remote parts of developing countries…because it has a phenomenal distribution network. In some place, one in nine children die before their fifth birthday from preventable causes, and most of these die before their fifth birthday from preventable causes, and most die from dehydration caused by diarrhea. With this in mind, Simon Berry founder and CEO of ColaLife is working with Coca Cola to open its distribution channels in developing countries and to carry ‘social products’ such as oral rehydration salts and zinc supplements to save children’s lives.
The author, Dr. Rob Phillips is an
award-winning product designer and a senior tutor on the Design Products Course
at the Royal College of Art. His research into open design and citizen science
has resulted in internationally taught methods at MIT, Goldsmiths, Cornell, and
the BBC. As a designer, his past clients have included: Puma, Samsung, Save the
Children, Visa, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Google.
This book is full of brilliant and innovative ideas far too many to mention here. Purchase it and join the revolution ‘Engage Design’ processes to decrease people’s impact, gaining insight into what people really do… thinking how can we be Futurekind to Humankind.
Print Play is the perfect description of this book. It is about printing and and at the same time playful and fresh.
The authors Jess Wright and Lara Davies are “Home-Work” – two textile designers and screen printers from Melbourne, Australia. The creative duo have worked together for the past 7 years teaching screen printing and design, as well as bringing their own colourful textile designs to life! Jess and Lara’s obsession with colour and pattern is tangible and is evident in everything they create! Enthusiastically converting ideas from their imagination to reality (usually with music playing in the background), the pair produce screen printed textile prints that are thoughtful and fun.
Adding a little objet d’art to the simplest everyday items, these textiles become functional and are turned into tote bags, make up bags, cushions and even wallpaper. The book opens with a really great contents page, a real appetite wetter, with small images of some of the projects you can make.
The instructions for printing are very clear and easy to follow. There is a section on different kinds of inks, things to consider when choosing colours, and both the authors describe their own preferences when it comes to colour and design and they also show their own design processes.
You are told about creating an inspiration board and then you start on the projects that on the whole are easy and incredibly effective.
This is hand holding at its best. A really great book especially if you are new or inexperienced when it comes to printing.
This book was published a couple of years ago and it is one of those I love to go back to time and again as a visual source book.
In BOWERBIRD, Sibella reveals her approach to collecting and collections. She shows how to procure the elements of a collection, how to organize and store them, and how to display them in creative and ever-changing ways. With the help of BOWERBIRD, you will view your belongings in a whole new way.
is a bowerbird?
‘A bowerbird is an Australian native bird that builds a reed-y ground nest and goes to extraordinary lengths to decorate it with ‘stolen’ goods and found objects such as shells, bones, pegs and shiny milk caps. I have been referred to as a bowerbird, and like to think of myself as a finder, keeper & curator of collections & beautiful things.’ Sibella Court
is an exquisite inspirational book of beautifully styled selected and collated
collections. As the author says
of each chapter as its own Cabinet of Curiosities. Although my ‘collections’ are
loosely tied and not dictated by discipline as a museum cabinet may be, I like to
consider all objects as significant and of equal importance regardless of
rarity, value or acquirement. They are based on memory, relationship,
experience, ‘the find’, the hunt and location.’
Sibella shows you how easy it is to create an emotive interior, to be surrounded by the things you love & treasure, and make any environment a reflection of you. By looking at the collections in the book she is hoping it will inspire you to start your own collections.
bowerbird, I do get fixated on things and enjoy the focus it brings to shopping
expeditions and forages through markets. I have never tired of this, and have a
love of early morning jambon baguettes & cafe au lait whilst scouring &
scrambling the trestle tables and back of vans at Porte de Vanves or other such
markets, finding treasures & pre-loved goods: textiles, porcelain, lampshades,
ephemera, tableware, stylist-wares, cutlery, small furniture pieces and other
flotsam & jetsam’.
Objects can be found in many places from beaches and forests to shops, markets, dealers, auctions, sidewalks the internet and friends.Be prepared to be on the lookout. Different things can motivate you with collecting; it may be the space you are in, it may be a certain period of history or new ideas, or a visit to a museum, historic house or gallery.
book opens with a chapter called Toolbag & Tacklebox
items are the basic tools & tackle you’ll need to help you organize &
display your collections. They are collections within themselves.
are utilitarian, beautiful in their simplicity and can add to your display –
and include the hand-forged exposed nail your art hangs from, vessels en masse
to house your natural history finds, lead pencils sharpened with knives to
write on your labels and walls, glass domes to create your mini 3D worlds, the
perfect string to holdup flags, kites, lights & anything else that needs to
hang, as well as all different types & colours of tape.
The other chapters in the book are divided into the following categories, beach combing, objects trouve, zoologie/entomology, tinctures, apothecary &alchemy, smiths & tinkers draper & mills, ephemera, honest & humble, oddities & curiosities, magic, tricks & lucky dips and finally where she sources her collections and the books she looks to for inspiration.
The images are beautifully shot by Sibella’s brother Chris Court.