I feel so proud of Penny words can't quite express it. Her new book, The Paper Pieced Home is an utter pleasure from the moment I opened it. I had seen some of her designs as she was writing it but many were new to me and I smiled a big happy smile as I turned the page from one perfectly realised retro quirky design, to another and another and another.
It's a book of wit and wisdom. Clever, funny designs and detailed instructions- the how to, equipment, fabrics etc. its 'll there and nothing is skipped over. The layout is spacious with a mix of drawings and photographs, great fonts, beautiful graphics and fabric snippets throughout.
The popper push toy was the first design I saw as the book fell open and before I saw the title, I instantly knew what it was and I laughed- such a fun retro toy to include.
A viewfinder is a hard item to design a paper piecing pattern around- all those angles in a contained space and Penny has done a lovely job. We think in very similar ways when it comes to the technicalities of paper piecing and where the design and construction lines should go and I love how she has done this. All the construction lines for the different sections complement and work with the design lines of the viewfinder itself.
The Saucepan is one of my favourites because the fabric choices are such a joy and I love the angle of the handle and I love kitchenalia.
Next the Lion! This reminds me of so many 1970s craft book lion toys with a looped wooly manes. It also reminds me of Parsley the Lion- anyone else remember him? And the Chives? I am itching to make him. There is an alligator quilt that I saw during the book writing process that I also love- I can see them together in a nursery quilt. Many of the 'Playtime' section designs would work in baby quilts, both singularly and en masse.
Many of the designs like the Rotary phone have a dynamic element with unusual angles, implied movement and a great use of perspective. It is what makes the designs sing. I could go on, there are so many other designs I would pick- the lamp, the cast iron skillet, and the 70s flared pants for starters. The book divides into themed sections e.g Kitschy Kitchen, Wear it! and Retro Home and each section has accompanying projects. The block designs come on a CD of 50 printable template patterns- no need to fret about photocopying.
I am biased. Penny and I work together on Sew-Ichigo and I love her to bits. But, all that aside, if you are a paper piecing fan- this book is a must. Plus she made me cry- I'm included in the opening acknowledgements page which reminded me we both wrote our respective books in some very difficult personal times and that global quilt bees can make for wonderful friendships. I am so proud of you Penny x