Friday, 26 April 2013

Book Review Friday - Stash Happy: Patchwork by Cynthia Schaffer

After a wonderfully relaxing trip back to the UK to see my fabulous family and funky friends; I am just catching back up with business here in Galway and have (as you will have realised) been terribly slow for the last week making and blogging. Alas readers, this is about to change... I have a new dog walking schedule (5am walks) then work for 7am and then the nights are stretching out leaving me with energy and LOTS of plans over the next few weeks for projects and blogs.

This week I'm looking at the lovely book by Cynthia Schaffer 'Stash Happy: Patchwork', Schaffer is a multi-talented lady from California who can do anything from quilting to rubber-stamping, photography to crochet. Her easy approach to projects and design is a sure sign of her expertise... as with anything in life, those who make things look easy or indeed offer the easy methods, know their stuff thoroughly and know every way of doing things and then can decide which is best to use!

Quite simply; Stash Happy: Patchwork is 128 pages of projects to aid the sewer in using all of her/ his stash- from the scraps to the unloved... there is something to do with these pieces of fabric gold.

Schaffer introduces herself and her ideas in the first few pages...

... coherently and charmingly. She explains her ethos... go with the flow! If you are anyway interested in what you're making, then you will love it. By all means, she advocates getting more information where you need it and learn as you sew but you must love what you're making. I really like her friendly tone and her ideas of where to find the fabric you could need are interesting too, it certainly extends what I thought of as my 'stash' and now I have a resource to use my 5x5cm scraps!

I really hate throwing ANY fabric away and actively and frugally cut out patterns by salvaging as much fabric as I can, I have a massive bag of tiny pieces of pretty fabric... This is my type of book.


I highly rate the projects that are displayed here- As I have recently completed my first ever quilt, I can firmly support it's art and the UTTER satisfaction of making a quilt, and its a lovely craft. However, how many quilts do you really need to make in your life? I know that you can be gifting them left, right and centre... dog mat, sofa blanket, cot blanket, picnic blanket etc... eventually you're going to run out of areas and friends to quilt for. This is why I am in utter admiration of the ideas offered here in this book.

On the picture above you will see a hint of quilt. Schaffer is giving the suggestion of quilting by a line of hexies as an accent to a plain white duvet cover rather than making the entire thing out of a hexie-fest. After 6 months of paper piecing and blanket stitching- you might just have your quilt! However, for sewing addicts who like to have a fix QUICK, the accents of hexies are a lovely idea!

Other ideas offered:
  • Boys and Girls clothes with quilting accents
  • Apron
  • Table linen
  • Ladies skirt
  • Organisers
  • Bags

All achievable, pretty and easy. None of the projects seem like they are trying to shove quilting where it doesn't belong, they are complimenting your home and life rather than hindering it and by the very fact that it is all aimed at stash busting, even better!

So, over the weekend I am going to make one of the projects that I have fallen head over heels in love with....

Retro Apron!

I am aiming for a blue kitchen and have quite recently gained a passion for baking (Tea Cake, anyone?!), so I am busting my way through my blue fabric stash and going to rustle up a lovely apron as like the one featured on this page...


I love this little book! It makes me happy to flick through it's pages and make something that I know would continue to make me happy. Ideal for the hoarder, thrifter and weekend sewer alike... I'd say go for it!

** All photographs copyright of Lark Publishing**



  1. What a fun looking book! :) I am totally digging the retro apron! :D

  2. Haha, I feel like I'm stalking Clare! I have nominated you too!


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