Sunday, 3 March 2013

Material World (Perri Lewis)

I love to make things, but I rarely buy books about the subject. Beautiful though they often are, they are usually filled with projects that either are impractical or lovely in theory but no one needs. Perri Lewis's Material World: The Modern Craft Bible is a little bit different.

For starters, it's not just about making things. It's full of general guidance, quotes, ideas and techniques. Secondly, it's about a variety of skills - and how to adapt them. Take the quilting chapter for instance; basic guidance and then instructions regarding a chair, but also discusses making quilts and other more utilitarian options. The one thing it's not is a follow by numbers guide. The key to Perri's work is adaptation "I like to think of this as the Jamie Oliver approach to craft. Whack in a bit extra of what you fancy, cut back on elements that you don't like, or don't have handy. Don't fret too much about the rules along the way, so long as what you end up with is perfect for you." which is perfect for me. If I had to follow a project exactly I would never start or finish anything. All my most creative work is when I just sit down and get on with it, experimenting and making it up. That said, having Perri's guide to basic technique and instruction (as well as inspiration) is quite helpful.

I haven't had that much time for crafting recently and barely any time even for reading, but I've enjoyed dipping in and out of this over the past few weeks. I'm not going to lie - I don't have time for a big project at the moment but this book has inspired me to get my sewing machine out and whizz up a couple of (teeny) projects. I even went to a haberdashers today and bought some material to make some cot sheets and bits and pieces for Pip's nursery.

And, and, I got some more Liberty scraps online so I can finally start Pip's quilt. It's not going to be a chair (well, not this incarnation, anyway) but it will be thanks to this book that it finally gets going.


Thanks to Ebury Publishing for the review copy. All words, opinions and half finished projects my own. Find details of my sponsorship policy here.

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