Monday, February 23, 2015

Book review and giveaway! Adventures in Fabric: La Todera Style




I am so excited to introduce you to my friend Julie Creus’ new book, Adventures in Fabric: La Todera Style (Stash Books 2014, 143 pages, $25.95). It contains 20 fun projects – jewelry, table decor, pillows, sewing accessories, holiday decorations, children’s sofites and balls — using techniques such as fabric folding, fusing, weaving and thread wrapping. 

(Note that items made from these patterns are for personal use only; they are not to make and sell.)




Just look what I made from one of the patterns in her book! This is the “Zaftig Zinnia Brooch.” I used a blue ombré fabric from SAQA’s Urban Textures fabric line from Andover (I got mine from eQuilter.com). I found Julie’s directions to be very easy to follow. While it did take some time to prepare the petals, I was able to complete this project in only a few hours, I got great results, and I love it!

Julie has a real gift of thinking in three dimensions using fabric. It’s like she’s half sewist and half engineer. I’m not sure how she figures all of this stuff out (my brain doesn’t work this way!), but she makes amazing and beautiful things.

The book has a large pull-out pattern sheet that makes it easy to trace the shapes you need to create templates for the projects. The photography is wonderful, and there are tons of step-by-step photos to guide you through the directions, so that everything makes perfect sense. There is also information about the exact fabric lines Julie used for her samples, as well as sections on construction techniques, hand sewing stitches, knots, and choosing fabrics. 

Here are photos of more of the great projects in this book (with many thanks to Julie and  Stash Books/C&T Publishing for the photos):





I first met Julie Creus at the first Quilt Market at which she exhibited, 2010 in Houston.


Here’s how I met Julie: I walked into the booth for her company, La Todera. We chatted for a bit, and then she got a phone call. I was looking around at all her cool stuff, and when she got off, she said, “Oh my gosh, I just found out that Kaffe Fassett and Liza Prior Lucy are coming to my booth right now!” She asked if I’d take photos, and I agreed. Sure enough, a few minutes later, here come Kaffe and Lucy. (If you don’t know them, Kaffe is a very famous artist, well known in the quilting world for his luscious floral fabrics. Liza often partners with him, and designs many beautiful quilts with his fabrics.) I clicked away, both on my camera and on Julie’s, and got a bunch of photos of them admiring her work, including the one above.


Julie makes many of her flower pins with Kaffe’s fabrics, and gave him one to take home. She said, “I hope you don’t mind, but I named my pattern Kafflowers after you, because they look great in your fabrics!” (He didn’t mind at all.)

I stayed in touch with Julie in the years since then, and we see each other at Quilt Market or Quilt Festival. It’s been so fun to see her company grow. Last year, she came to Cleveland to shoot two segments for Series 1400 and one for Series 1500 of Quilting Arts TV.





GIVE-AWAY!
Here’s your chance to win Julie’s book. First, take a look at the La Todera website. Then leave a comment after this post and tell me which of Julie’s designs you like best, and why. I’ll pull one name at random on noon on Sunday, March 1. (Yes, this give-away is open to international readers!) Please note that your comment might not appear right away, because I have to moderate/approve all comments. I am doing this because in the past, my blog has been slammed with Japanese porn spammers... and you really don't want to see that in the comments, do you? ;-)

We have a winner! Donna A. has won the book. Thanks, everyone!

46 comments:

  1. Love the peacock pincushion, i would make this if I had her book. The flowers also look great, so many uses for them,

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  2. The flowers are beautiful and would look great on a purse, but I've fallen in love with the peacock.

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  3. Just watched her on Quilting Arts yesterday, amazing talent and beautiful results :)

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  4. I like the peacock pin cushion because I like birds
    gandn74@ymail.com

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  5. Love ve all the projects but which one should i do first?

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  6. My favorite pattern is the Olmalaika Angel Ornament pattern because it benefits the Olmalaika Home.
    kdavis1@centurytel.net

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  7. I love every one of them! The Camelia Brooch is the favorite

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  8. Oh the little Olmalaika Angel is adorable and my fav. Thanks for a chance to win!

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  9. Love the butterfly placemat but so many inspirational ideas which are lovely x

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  10. The flowers are beautiful but I would love to win this book because of the peacock animal in it.

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  11. I love the peacock you've got pictured above...I don't use pin cushions, but I need to make one of those!

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  12. Enchanting Christmas tree puffs...a forest of Kaffe trees, be still my heart!

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  13. I love the purple pansy, my favorite flower! I would love to make this and all the beautiful projects in this book. Look out stash!

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  14. So many pretty things! I love the Asian Fan purse. The book looks very inspiring.

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  15. Posting this for Liz in KY
    It's hard to pick a favorite! If I have to pick one, it would probably be the Plumeria Placemat because it speaks to me of a more gracious way to dine, where the table setting is beautiful, the food is wonderful and the TV and mobile devices are not the focus of the gathering.

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  16. All the projects look like fun, especially the flowers. I'm not sure which one I'd make first. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  17. I met Julie while filming series 1400. Great gal and so talented. I'd make the Protea pincushion first for my quilter sister.

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  18. What a beautiful book with lost of color. Thanks for the give away

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  19. All of her work is such fun.... Have a huge stash of Kaffe fabric and will make the Kaffflowers.

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  20. The book looks like a lot of fun and quick projects. I would have to make the peacock. Thanks for the chance.

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  21. I just love the Christmas tree ornaments.....I would make those first....What amazing projects....Thanks for the chance to win this great book.

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  22. Oh my gosh there are so many great ones! I love the flatty cats and dogs, the full moon medallion, and the harlequin pillow. This looks like such a great book...the birthdays and Christmas gifts idea wheels in my head are spinning now! How fortunate you are to be around such fabulously creative people all the time!

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  23. Love the peacock...and the butterfly...and the flowers! Impossible to pick just one!

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  24. There are a number of lovely items, but my favourites were the Christmas tree ornaments and the butterfly placemats. The flowers are stunning.

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  25. Love all the colorful flowers. The Proud Poppy Brooch Pattern would look great on my winter coat.

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  26. Hello, my favorite Julie’s designs are her brooches. I particularly like her Camelia and Dinner Plate Dahlia patterns. I would love to make them. They are bold and big and would fit my personality. Thanks for a great giveaway!
    trishden948(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  27. What a great giveaway! I would love to learn these skills.

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  28. It was a treat just looking at the photos on her site. Of course the Olmalaika Angel is delightful and more so because of the story behind it. But, just for plain handiness, I love her nice big pincushions! Mine are so small I sometimes lose track of them:-)

    I can't imagine the technical challenges in designing her patterns. They are gorgeous!

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  29. I like the protea pincushion cause I'm all about pincushions lately!

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  30. This looks like a great book -- fun projects! I love the pins but my favorite project is the Plumeria placemat.

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  31. I really really love the flowers, because they're beautiful, and look interesting to make. sarah@forrussia.org

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  32. Peacocks always catch my eye since there are so many wonderful fabrics, threads, and doodads to use on them, but the 3d flowers are also fun!

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  33. Oh wow...SO gorgeous there! I really like her Succulent Necklace Set Pattern. God bless!
    ILuvTheEucharist @ aol.com

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  34. I find the Flatty Mama and Baby Cats and Dogs very charming and can envision a lucky baby being entertained with looking at or playing with these colorful critters. As they grow, they can begin learning colors in the gorgeous KF fabric. Also, like the Harlequin pillow/pin cushion patterns also.

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  35. I love the butterfly bunting. Gorgeous!

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  36. Love the Harlequin Star pillow/pincushion! Unique, colorful and challenging. Thanks for the giveaway chance. akronne17 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  37. Great short diversion from quilting...wait a moment I could add some flowers to my quilt!!

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  38. I love everything she does!!!! I have a couple of her patterns and have actually made something from them!

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  39. I just love that dahlia! I have seen the pattern before and covet it.

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