Fanciful Felties (Stash Books) Paperback – 15 Oct 2010
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Recently I received some wonderful books for review from Stash Books, a division of C & T Publishing. I've been impressed with the books coming from them recently, including Scandinavian Stitches by Kajsa Wikman, City Quilts by Cherri House and Little Birds, which is a compilation of adorable bird projects from some of your favorite crafters. But the book that really caught my eye was Fanciful Felties from Mummysam by Samantha Cotterill. I've long been a fan of Samantha's work, combining free motion embroidery and hand-sewn elements to make whimsical creations. This book features 14 artistic softies with instructions and templates to make them yourself. I love the way each project is photographed with a hand-drawn background, pulling us into Samantha's world of quirky characters and interesting objects. The book itself is clean and uncluttered, adding to the charming simplicity of the designs. The projects are straight-forward and may look intimidating at first glance, but I think they are quite do-able. She gives basic instructions for free-motion stitching and encourages you to do it on your own, as she says A crooked line here and there won't hurt-it will give the project character and make it yours. This book inspires me to turn off the feed dogs and go do some drawing with my sewing machine. I think you'll agree. Samantha also has an adorable line of fabric out from Robert Kaufman and some other interesting designs that she's selling in her Etsy shop. And if you live in New York, stop by Etsy Labs Craft Night tomorrow night, where Samantha will lead a workshop making a project from the book.--The Long Thread, 9/23/10
Welcome to a unique world of little sewn people and critters. Where the story line is directed by you the crafter, and where you can create as many or as little characters as you wish to create your own special world. You can travel uptown, down country, or across the pond through the pages of Fanciful Felties by mummysam (Samantha Cotterill/Stash Books 2010 (an imprint of C&T Publishing) Where your little world begins is up to you, but you'll find a darling array of characters to create out of wool felt, cotton fabrics, embroidery floss and stuffing. You'll find Charles, a dapper little gentleman that is ready for a night out on the town dressed in his matching vest and jacket. Perhaps he's off to pick up Marge for a night at the opera? Maybe they'll take the fancy city car, or perhaps the double decker bus? Along the way they'll pass plenty of city brownstones, and may even see Mr. Bunny in his overcoat. Or they may stop at Milly's bakery for a delightful taste of cake. After a nice evening out at the opera they'll both retire to their homes where the next morning they'll be visited by Mr. Milkman (a delightful little bird that wears an apron and a bag and carries a crate of fresh milk bottles) You will wonder where to begin as you start creating your own little village of characters, but have fun.you certainly will. Each of the characters in Fanciful Felties are easy to create and full sized patterns are included at the back of the book. Each character has very thorough instructions for completing a wonderful project. You'll learn all of the steps on how to transfer the pattern designs onto your felt, to stuffing your little characters, to embroidering their features onto their faces and bodies, and more. This is a terrific resource for creating little characters for a child's doll house. Or to add bits of fun and whimsy in places throughout your home that folks will least expect.and the little people make wonderful gifts for your friends and family. Create something different for the Holidays. Have fun with Fanciful Felties--Tina Wilson, Small Town Living, October 3, 2010
Oh my! the cuteness is killing me. Samantha [aka mummysam] has turned her quirky and clever drawings into the dearest of little felt playthings / art objects. I am not sure if they are to play with or to be displayed but could easily go either way.The basic shapes of these wee felties are simple - its the addition of stitching, clothing, accessories and facial features that is the genius. With a combination of machine stitching and hand stitching, gorgeous fabrics mixed with felt, - I can see these being very addictive to make. The school boy has a little scarf and school satchel made from felt and the cutest striped school tie! Then there is Colin the nerdy bookworm - sporting a huge moustache, and there is the opera going Marge, complete with a yoyo hat. Along with all the colour and texture, Samantha adds her unique sketch pad touches - with faces and other details like window sashings often 'drawn' on white in black thread - and to complete the book are her wonderful hand drawn how-to illustrations and templates - am I gushing too much?From groovy cars, to chic ladies about town, school boys and bunny rabbits and village houses - you have all the ingredients for lots of afternoons of imaginary play.--whipup.net, 11/20/10
About the Author
Samantha Cotterill is a self-taught fiber artist and operates her own shop, featuring hand-sewn creations and a fabric line. She resides in upstate New York.
Top customer reviews
The phone box & bus are great, though!
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I have read through the instructions for almost every single project, and feel very confident that I'll be able to put a couple of these together tomorrow. There is a really nifty red phone booth in the book, and I can't wait to create it to my liking. I'm also in love with Marge and Milly (maybe with a crazy-quilt apron?!). Really I just want to make all of it! I want an entire village filled up with these characters.
These projects are just amazing and I almost can't put the book down. It fills me with inspiration, and that is really what I want out of a craft/project book. I want to be inspired to create. And not just to create the projects in the book, but to take something they've given me and alter it to make it mine. And this book really does that for me. I can only hope that the author keeps at it and shares more of herself with us in a future book! (Pretty please???) I just haven't felt this inspired in my own crafting in a long long time, and it's wonderful.
The only slight disappointment I felt was in the way that some of the felties were finished. Though they have beautiful, intricate faces and clothing on the front, most of the patterns simply ask you to sew scrap fabric as the backside, meaning that while the felties look gorgeous photographed face-on, in real-life, your felties might get seen from the side or behind, and the scrap-backing will be visible. Similarly, several projects that appear to stand up on their own in the book do not have bases included in the instructions, and so will need propping up or altering. Of course, these tiny problems are overshadowing by the brilliant designs and wonderful imagination of mummysam, however, it's good to be aware of their limitations in reality, which may not be apparent from the photos.
All in all, highly recommended for those wishing to do something fancier with their felt, whatever level of experience you may have.
I first saw this book on a blog and was immediately in love with the British feel to the characters. They are both charming and quirky. I've never thought of myself as an artist, but I've always admired those who could sketch out simple line-drawing stories. mummysam managed to do just that and turn them into cute little stitched people and scenes.
After ordering the book, it sat for awhile on my side table. I was still captivated by the characters and creating something so cute and small, but scared to take the plunge. Then my family was plagued with some sort of bug and after three days of being stuck at home, I was starving for a creative outlet that didn't mean sitting upright at my sewing machine. So I gave the felties a try.
I am in love - both with the characters and the process of creating them. The instructions are just right. They are short and to the point, so it's not a huge book of text. At times I had to guess on the instructions, but everything has been manageable and I've figured it out so far.
It's safe to say I've found a new addiction, one that I can concentrate on with a smile when the sewing machine just isn't appealing.
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