Since re-decorating my bedroom I've been slowly unpacking boxes of books to put back on the shelves. There are nearly thirty boxes and each one has some craft books in.
After taking this picture, I found another six boxes to sort through.
There are embroidery books ...
... spinning and weaving books ...
... beading books ...
... and two big pies of quilting books that I couldn't get near enough to photograph.
I've really missed these books while they've been packed away so naturally I got distracted looking through them. I thought you might like a closer look at a few of my favourites.
I've had this series of design books for many years now and have used them a lot. There are four books in the Needlecraft Source Book series, published by Anaya but now all out of print. Copies are quite easy to find on Abe Books though. Each book is full of inspiration; here's one of the pages in the Countryside one.
I used the little ducks to embroider the collar of a denim dress for my daughter when she was a toddler. And I didn't stop at the collar ...
There were animals all round the hem and a butterfly and caterpillar on each side of the collar front.
Needless to say, this was her favourite dress.
I also love my collection of Jane Bull books. Don't be put off by the fact that these are aimed at children. They are full of brilliant ideas and inspiring photography and, yes, they'd be great for children too.
These books all feature a mixture of needlecrafts - sewing, embroidery, knitting ... Just look at these Dude Dolls from Stitch by Stitch.
A strip of knitting with different colours for the legs, body, head and hat which you sew together and gather to make a doll. How clever is that? I really wish I'd thought of this idea.
And how about these little felt creatures that she calls Minimals? These are from Crafty Creatures and each one has its own little matchbox bed. Now you know where I got the idea for my Pocket Ted toy pattern.
This is getting to be a long post so I'll just show you one more book for now.
I bought this book, by the wonderful Jean Greenhowe more than 20 years ago from WH Smiths in Peckham, after spending weeks looking at it and wondering if I could afford it. This was what tempted me.
A little house for felt dormice, made to look like a cross section of a tree trunk. It's entirely made from fabric and unzips to reveal two rooms, complete with detailed furniture. Jean Greenhowe is particularly good on detail and all her patterns work beautifully.
In the end I did buy the book and eventually made the house, again for my daughter. I have made things for my son too - honest! It was a bit battered when I finally unearthed it and tricky to photograph but here's the inside.
The outside is just the same as the one in the book; I didn't think it could be bettered.
I think that's enough for now. I'll show you some other favourites another day. And just in case you're wondering, my knitting books are kept in a different room. I shall have to show you those one day too - there are some real treasures. Anyone like to see my early Victorian knitting books?