New Quilting Books!

October 24, 2011, 11:54 am  Posted by Lark

Thanks so much for visiting our site! Check back soon for a special offer on these quilting titles and more. Scroll down for links to interviews, free projects, and sneak peek previews!

And if you don’t mind, leave us a comment to say hello or to let us know how you found us. Or leave your email address and we’ll contact you directly with special offers as they become available!

Twelve by Twelve (read more…)
Interviews with the Twelves, pre-Quilt Festival:
Terri Stegmiller

Brenda Gael Smith

With more to come! And have you visited their site yet? Did you get to see the quilts in person at Quilt Festival?

Masters Art Quilts, Vol. 2 (read more…)
Here’s a bit from Martha Sielman about the book and a pre-Quilt Market interview. Did you get a chance to see any of these quilts in person at Quilt Festival?


Art Quilt Portfolio: The Natural World (
A brand new art quilt gallery series with juror and author Martha Sielman! On shelves April 2012!
Here’s a little preview of this stunning collection: Art Quilt Porfolio: The Natural World preview!


New Pretty in Patchwork Series
Pretty in Patchwork Doll Quilts by Cathy Gaubert (read more…)
On sale now!

Here’s a fun interview with Cathy.

And here are a few free projects from the book:

Hello, Dolly!

Bounding Bunnies

Littlest Dragon


Pretty in Patchwork Holidays by John Q. Adams – on sale as an ebook soon and in stores August 2012!
Take a little peek inside the book: Pretty in Patchwork Holidays sneak peek!


Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop for Quilters (read more…)
Here’s a sneak peek from the book, on shelves May 2012.
Sneak Peek: Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop for Quilters!

Connect with the Fat Quarterly crew online!


Interview: Susan Brown

October 24, 2011, 09:00 am  Posted by guestblogger

Susan Brown, the juror of the new 500 Series book, 500 Felt Objects, talks about the featured felt pieces and her views on using felt.

How would you describe the book?

Cover, 500 Felt Objects I think it’s a beautiful survey of the incredibly diverse range of techniques now applied to felt-making, in the areas of fashion, jewelry, furnishings, sculpture and more.

How did you get involved in this project? What was your role?

I had recently curated an exhibition, Fashioning Felt, at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. I think people were surprised by the high standard of design of the objects included, as well as by the ambition of the architectural projects.

Why felt?

Felt is something that everyone has some degree of familiarity with, yet most people know very little about it: what it is, how it’s made, what its properties are. Also, after being relegated to heavy industry for decades, it is suddenly flowering as a serious craft, with new techniques being developed all the time.

Tell me about the variety of imagery that was sent for the book.

It spanned the full range in every category—from quirky little handmade objects to impressive architectural installations; from things that were intensively hand-crafted to things that were more about playing around with the characteristics of industrial felt; from the practical to the conceptual; from objects exploring the bulk and stolidity of felt to those showcasing its new ethereality.

What was your approach in choosing the imagery?

I try to look for the paradigm-shifters—artists who work the material in a way that is completely unique to them, or designers who use the material to find a brand-new solution to a problem or need.

As you mentioned in your introduction, felt has been used for thousands of years. How would you like to see the use of felt change over the next few years? How have old techniques been integrated into new ones? How are people looking at felt differently now than they have been?

Felt is a sustainable material that has all kinds of useful technical properties, which I think will be more fully explored in the areas of architecture and design. Most importantly, I think its ability to act as a shaping medium has untapped potential. Biomimetics, for example, is searching for new means of attachment, and we often see felting used as a way to hold together diverse objects. I’m hoping it will find use in the medical industry!


Giveaway: Another Felt Bundle and Book!

October 21, 2011, 11:00 am  Posted by needlearts

That’s right–we’re doing it again! We’ve got another book giveaway that comes with a bunch of felt! Our friends at National Nonwovens were kind enough to ship us a couple big felt bundles and we matched them up with a couple of the projects in Stash Happy: Felt!

For this second and final giveaway, we’re giving away all the wool felt you need (and more) to create the whale pincushion you see there on the back cover. Who can resist such a cute sewing-room companion!? Of course, without the custom pins, he also makes a charming softie for any room of the house.

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Last Chance: Where Women Cook Giveaway

October 21, 2011, 10:18 am  Posted by Craft Your Life Team

Congratulations to Maïlys Cook A L’Ane for winning a copy of Jo Packham’s new book, Where Women Cook: Celebrate! in our giveaway. It’s chock full of amazing recipes from 28 of your favorite foodies, including lots of delicious Fall recipes, like this Israeli Couscous Stuffed Acorns recipe from artist Marina Dresnin. Click twice on the image to read at full size.

Hungry for more? Well then you’ll want to make room on your plate for Béatrice Peltre’s Red Kuri Squash Risotto, too, which you can find on her blog, La Tartine Gourmande. And for even more Where Women Cook fun, check out the photos from The Southern Women’s Show in Orlando last week. And don’t forget to the the Molasses Crinkle Cookies by Ashley English that I posted a few weeks ago here.

Bon appétit, everyone!


The 12s on Quilt Festival: Terri Stegmiller

October 20, 2011, 11:56 am  Posted by needlearts

Quilt Festival 2011 is nearly upon us! Join us as we talk with some of the authors of Twelve by Twelve about their upcoming trip…

Today’s guest: Terri Stegmiller

What Festival is this for you?
This will be my third time at Festival.  I attended in 2007 and 2008.  I’m anxious to take it all in again.

First-Class Chartreuse

Where will you be and when?
The only definite plans I have at the moment will be to take a turn at attending the Twelve by Twelve exhibit each day.  The time frame varies each day but I plan to be exhibit sitting on Thursday from 6 to 7 p.m., Friday from noon to 2 p.m., and Saturday from 6 to 7 p.m.  I have also volunteered to help out at the SAQA booth for a two-hour period on Saturday from noon to 2 p.m.  During the rest of the time I plan to be roaming around the convention center taking in all the beautiful quilts and perhaps doing a little shopping.  I’m hoping to catch up with some friends as well.

What are you most excited about this year?
I am most excited about getting to meet most of the Twelves in person.  To date, I’ve only met one of the Twelves in person, that was Deborah.  She and I met when I attended Festival in the past.

On a related note, just how excited are you to see all the quilts together?
I’m so excited I could pee my pants.  Okay, I won’t, but I think seeing the entire grouping of quilts all in one location will be very breathtaking for me.

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Cake Ladies Launch Party

October 18, 2011, 08:30 am  Posted by Lark

It’s not every day we can actually throw an actual party for one of our books. What better reason to celebrate than a love of Southern food culture, the timeless joy of baking cakes, and a strong sense of community? We did just that with the official Launch Party for our book Cake Ladies this past Sunday. A beautiful hall was filled with music (fabulous DJ), drinks (fresh apple cider and pear juice with bourbon – yum!), and raffle items (tiered cakes, t-shirts, books, and more). But the big star of the day was author Jodi Rhoden and her beautiful book. Jodi read excerpts from the book while a crowd that included several of the book’s contributing cake ladies looked on. And to put the icing on the cake (ouch, I know), there was an entire room filled with cakes and cupcakes to sample. Enjoy these few photos I took in between hugs and cupcakes, and learn more about the book from my earlier post and my interview with Jodi. And keep your eyes posted here for a fabulous Cake Ladies giveaway coming up next week.

Images L to R: Cake Ladies books for sale thanks to local shop Malaprops, Author Jodi Rhoden and yours truly, gorgeous strawberry cake as a raffle prize, lemon cheese cake (a recipe featured in the book!), and cupcakes galore


How-to Roundup: Halloween Pumpkins

October 17, 2011, 08:40 am  Posted by Lark

You’ve planned your costume, you’ve gone apple picking, and you’ve stocked up on fluoride and floss to combat the approaching Season of Halloween Candy. But have you carved your jack-o-lantern yet? Whether you’re looking for tips about the basics of pumpkin carving or you’re hunting for some clever, mind-boggling, beautiful, and scary carving inspiration—here’s a little round-up of some jack-o-lantern tutorials and galleries to get you going.


What:  Basic pumpkin carving step-by-step guides and handy links

**click on the hyperlinked text within the original post—they provide great photo references!

Where:  Spirit of the Zombie Pumpkins!

Link:  http://www.zombiepumpkins.com/pumpkin-carving-instructions.php


What:  Step-by-step instructions for a Cannibalistic Pumpkin

Where:  ChopCow

(editor’s note: is it wrong that I like this one a LOT?)

Link: http://www.chopcow.com/cannibalistic-pumpkin-carving-tutorial/


What:  Pumpkin Carving Gallery

Where:  Pumpkin Gutter

Who:  Scott Cummins

Link: http://www.pumpkingutter.com/


What:  Video of a pumpkin carved into a beautiful flower

Where:  YouTube

Who:  dusit1972

Link (in-process): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFvysr7yws4&feature=related

Link (finished pumpkin): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3y1XbtJSSY&feature=related


What:  Carving a Death Star Pumpkin

Where:  Fantasy Pumpkins

Link (to Fantasy Pumpkins archive): http://www.fantasypumpkins.com/

Link (to Death Star Pumpkin tutorial): http://www.fantasypumpkins.com/carving-the-deathstar.htm


The newly released 21st Century Jewelry: The Best of the 500 Series collects 500 of the best images from a decade of 500 Series gallery books dedicated to leading contemporary art jewelry. The pieces are set out over more than 400 pages and interspersed with commentary from leading jewelers, curators, collectors, and gallery owners to form a spectacular and essential collection in one handsome, hardbound book.

To celebrate, we’re giving away a copy of the new book signed by series editor Marthe Le Van, along with a complete set of all 10 500 Series art jewelry books that preceded it—for a bundle of 11 books in all. Together, these books constitute the foremost anthology of the world’s leading contemporary art jewelry. The set will form the centerpiece of any library for jewelers, crafters, and appreciative laypeople alike, with abundant beauty and inspiration ever at the ready and at your finger tips. And, if you have many of the books already, the set will get you off to a great early start for prepping your holiday gift-giving.

The books in the bundle are:
21st Century Jewelry: The Best of the 500 Series
500 Silver Jewelry Designs
500 Gemstone Jewels
500 Pendants & Lockets
500 Plastic Jewelry Designs
500 Wedding Rings
500 Earrings
500 Bracelets
500 Necklaces
1000 Rings
500 Brooches (now out of print)

How can you enter for a chance to win this extraordinary bundle of 11 books? It’s easy: Leave a comment on this blog post by 9 p.m. EST on Wednesday, October 26. Any comment will do, but how about this: Tell us what your favorite jewelry material is, whether you’re making the jewelry or wearing it.

One winner will be selected at random and announced on Wednesday, November 2. Click here for the official rules. Thank you for being a part of the Lark Jewelry & Beading community, and please connect with Lark Jewelry & Beading on Facebook!


UPDATE: Entries for this contest are now closed. Thank you to all who participated: More than 800 entries is a record for comments on any Lark post. We appreciate having you as part of our community and are glad to be a part of yours. We are also pleased to announce a winner, randomly selected from all entry comments: Leslie Boyd, a grad student at RISD, is the winner of the set of books. Congratulations, Leslie, and thanks again to everyone.


Pipe Dreams: Bonus Project

October 14, 2011, 15:24 pm  Posted by Lark

Every Friday, I post a set of free jewelry instructions.*

Ring by Karen Rakoski, from the book 30-Minute Rings

You won’t believe what unusual and unexpected substance designer Karen Rakoski used to make this ring, which appears in the book 30-Minute Rings. Could it be…porcelain? Nope. Butter? Nuh-unh. Bone? Not that, either.


Click here to get a free PDF of the project instructions for making this ring, as well as to find out the mystery material.


PS: Folks, please take good care of your health! Be sure to wear a dust mask while carving and sanding this ring—or better yet, a respirator. (Thanks to Jeri Warhaftig for bringing this to my attention!)


* …except when I’m too busy to do so because I’m spying on my authors (see the comments section of this blog post about the experience of writing a manuscript, written by soon-to-be-published Jill Wiseman).



Free Project: Felt Plant Pouches

October 14, 2011, 14:59 pm  Posted by needlearts

Did you join us earlier this month when we made felt from a wool sweater? If so, we’re sure you’ve already picked up a copy of Stash Happy: Felt–so you have plenty of projects going already. But, on the off chance you still have some felt around and were just waiting for a new project idea, Cynthia Shaffer is back today with a really neat idea for your felt. There’s no way you’ve seen this one before! Take it away, Cynthia:

1. First, you’ll want to gather your felted wool sweaters and cut out a panel that measures roughly 6 x 15 inches.

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