Kata Golda’s Hand-Stitched Felt: 25 Whimsical Sewing Projects, by Kata Golda, with photography by Frank White, published by STC Craft, October 2009, 128 pages.
Some people have comfort food. Me, I have comfort reading. So Kata Goldman’s Hand-Stitched Felt is like mashed potatoes in craft book form, a book I’d like to crawl into on a cold and stormy day or after a fight. Her wee felt creatures — mice, bunnies, bears — are so obviously and gloriously made with tender care, each stitch shining from the fabric. Their little faces make me smile. And the photography is like whoa; were I writing this from the local coffee shop, the patrons would be giving me funky looks for trying to pet the book I’m reviewing.
I have very little experience with felt in general and wool felt in particular, so this book was my first introduction to Kata Golda’s work. I hope to amend the situation toute-suite, of course; a few sheets of felt and my hand-sewing kit would yield a beautiful project, if her notes are anything to go by. Kata includes 25 projects in this book — more if you count her suggestions for customizing or using alternate design templates.
For those of us new to hand-sewing (or just a bit rusty) she includes a brief section on the tools needed (just a few: felt, needle, floss) and the main embroidery stitches which, in conjunction with the embroidery floss, make up the soul and character of the projects. She also gives a technique for transferring pattern designs using paper.
The projects themselves are refreshingly simple. The beauty comes from the careful planning of colors and motifs and especially the care taken in forming the stitches. Though they are supposed to look handmade, these projects don’t look sloppy or hastily done, which can be a real danger when taking large stitches on a more elemental fabric such as felt. Instead they look accessible and soft and relaxed. My kind of attitude.
The projects include not just baby and children’s items, which I would expect in a book about wool felt, but also accessories for your person, home and office. I think even someone+ totally new to hand-sewing should be able to master the stitches with the aid of her instructions.
Kata lives in Port Townsend, WA, where she lives and works and seems to have it going on. (“Nestled snugly amongst the comings and goings of friends and family in a small, mossy seaside town, Kata Golda has grown into a flourishing business and creative space while allowing me to stay true to what I love to do.” That’s the life.)
For a little more about Kata’s take on felt and color, see her interview on The Purl Bee (she used to be a professional quilter!). And if you’re eager to get stitchin’, her eyeglasses case project from the book is available in full at Design*Sponge.
For more Kata Golda, check out her blog, with links to news and appearances, or follow her on Twitter or Facebook. And if you want to see some adorable felt mice drinking coffee and dancing, you better check out this video.