If you’re not already a fan of Anna Maria Horner’s fabric, you will be after perusing her new sewing book Seams to Me: 24 New Reasons to Love Sewing. Her color and design sense really come through every page and project. She not only wrote the book and designed the 24 sewing projects, but took all the stunning photographs herself, so her creative vision really comes through every page.
Though I understand it’s the way sewing books need to be for today’s market, sometimes I’m annoyed that every sewing book has beginner’s instruction section in the front — can’t we just have the patterns and get our instruction from our good old Readers Digest guide? But in this case, you’ve got Anna Maria’s warm, enthusiastic writer’s voice sharing her perspective and techniques, and one particular section that makes the book worth purchasing all by itself: “Cooking With Color.” I loved the “color recipes” you can use to guide your fabric selections. I have to admit I’ve never been one to think along the lines of warm vs. cool tones, but I will be now, thanks to Mrs. Horner. It’s a valuable education for folks flummoxed by combining different colors and pattern types.
As for the projects themselves: I was impressed with the sheer variety of the offerings. You’ve got the utilitarian (Cozy Cubes fabric boxes, Doggie Dreams bed) to the fancy (Right off the Cuff, ruffly wrist cuffs). There are scrappy, quick projects (Magnetic Personality fabric yo-yo magnets) and more involved ones (Playing Along Quilt). There are the expected bag and apron patterns (elevated by Anna Maria’s unique talents) alongside projects I haven’t seen elsewhere: a garment bag (The Great Dress Escape) and a fused fabric wall art piece. You’ve got your sew and your no-sew projects, and projects that showcase trims and buttons as well as fabric.
I haven’t made anything from the book yet, but the instructions seem thorough and easy to follow, as if you’ve got a friend next to you walking you through each step. There are lots of ruffles, pleats, gathers, and bias trim happening, so it’s a great book to take your beginning skills gently into the next level. Tying in with the “Cooking With Color” section, I really appreciated the “Color Notes” that accompanied each pattern — Anna Maria explains why she chose the fabrics, colors, and patterns she did, and makes suggestions for alternatives.
Available signed by the author from the Anna Maria Horner store — a copy along with some fabric would make a great holiday gift. Seams to Me is also available now on Amazon and through the True Up aStore, if you’re so inclined!