Hand-Stitched Home by Susan Beal

Hand-Stitched Home could be entitled: Everything You Wanted to Know About Pendleton Wool, And Then Some. Along with some pretty great projects (Nesting Boxes, Jacquard Cube Ottoman, Stylish Shawl), you'll get the history of Pendleton wool and the beginnings of The Arts and Crafts movement, and the Pendleton Woolen Mills company timeline, too.

Author Susan Beal lays out the book in seven chapters beginning with the basics, and gradually moving from the home to favorite accessories: About Pendleton; Tools, Materials & Techniques; Modern Home Basics; Pillows and Upholstery; Blankets and Beyond; Go-To Accessories; Favorites to Wear. The last section has all the patterns and wool resources, including the Pendleton Mills timeline and metric equivalents.

The full color pictures in Hand-Stitched Home give appreciation to the many patterns available, and the illustrations give clear instruction on how to assemble the projects. Each project contains a difficulty level, techniques that will be needed, and any notes necessary to finish it. And since plaids are such an important part of Pendleton wool design, Beal gives advice on working with both wool fabric, and dealing with color palettes and plaids throughout.

From Chapter 5's "Square-Within-a-Square Plaid Quilt:
Choosing Your Color Palette: This project is very customizable and could be made with a mix of plaids and solids, vintage and new fabrics, or any other configuration you like. I recommend restricting your color palette a little for overall harmony, using you focus plaid to set the tone, and collecting plaids with those colors in mind. I included plaids with all kinds of blue, green, rust, gray, brown, tan, and cream tones, avoiding strong, eye-catching colors that didn't feel like a good fit. This quilt  would also be stunning in an intentionally bolder palette, different from my calm lake house tones.

A very useful sewing book on many levels, along with a little textiles history, too.

Book Information:

  • Hand-Stitched Home: Projects to Sew with Pendleton & Other Wools by Susan Beal
  • Taunton Press: 2014
  • ISBN13: 9781621138709

  • Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.

    Renee Shelton.

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