Happy Home: Twenty-One Sewing and Craft Projects to Pretty Up Your Home
By Jennifer Paganelli
I often have friends tell me they have a sewing machine and that they want to learn how to sew. My answer to them always is that they need to find the right project and to just start working on it. The more sew, the more you hone your sewing skills. That's why I love this new sewing/craft book, Happy Home: Twenty-One Sewing and Craft Projects to Pretty Up Your Home by Sis Boom Fabrics founder and designer Jennifer Paganelli (published by Chronicle Books). The book features beautiful home and entertaining projects that each have step-by-step instructions. Patterns for the projects are also included in a special envelope in the front of the book.
My good friend Dolin O'Shea of Lulu Bliss contributed to this book with her technical expertise. She assisted Jennifer in the technical pattern writing portion of the book. Dolin is such an amazing crafter and spent over ten years as a pattern designer at the Gap. Trust me, she knows her stuff! (Check out her knitting and crochet patterns.)
What I love about the book is how inspiring the book can be. With Jennifer's colorful Sis Boom fabrics used in the projects, you also get a dose of inspiration on decor and entertaining. As a crafter myself, I really like the detailed the descriptive illustrations are that go along with each project. This is especially helpful for complicated projects like a quilt. I'm a very visual person and love making quilts but I always forget the steps on sewing on the binding. This book has been so helpful in showing the right way to sew around the corners and get that perfect binding fold.
If you are a beginning sewer, some of the projects I recommend are Project No. 1: Rachel's Ruffle Pillow. It's always easy to start with a pillow project because it's a good-sized project that a newbie can easily accomplish. I also love Project No. 8: Laundry Bag, and the Napkins from Project No. 13. These are good starter projects to get your sewing muscles going.
For you bag lovers, you won't want to miss this simple project called Millie's Market Tote. It's just perfect for sewing a little treat for yourself.
If you can't sew but love pretty things, there are quite a few projects where all you need is a hot glue gun. I love the Pretty Box project above and the Pom-Pom Party Poufs below.
Happy Home does a great job of mixing sewing and crafts with plenty of inspiration and color!