Monday, February 18, 2013

Book review: Sew Wild / Alisa Burke

Title: Sew Wild - Creating with stich and mixed media
Author: Alisa Burke
Info: 144 p. - 2011 + 60 min. DVD
Rating: 8 / 10

I love the blogosphere and the many creative people we can find there. But some people just seem to be in a league of their own and Alisa Burke is definitely one of them. This woman is so creative and inventive it just puts us all to shame, but she does it in such a way that it's impossible to be jealous or feel inferior. I think it's because she's so generous in what she shares on her blog. She has her very clear own style and seems to like nothing better than to inspire us to find our own style as well. She even offers a free e-course about finding your Muse. So naturally I was curious when her book Sew Wild came out and I was not disappointed.

Sew wild is a book and dvd set about creating artful fabrics and then stitching them into interesting projects.
So this is not just a book about stitching some things together, there's also a ton of information about surface design.

You can create custom fabrics with paint, markers, stamps, stencils and many more techniques and give them extra interest by doing free motion stitching on them. I like how for instance she puts paint on fabric that already had a printed pattern on it, that would never have occurred to me!

There's of course a chapter with ideas for easy projects to do with these decorated fabrics and even though they were not all to my taste I liked the possibilities with which I could make them my own. This is not a book where you are invited to copy the projects of the author (although you could), but to take the ideas she gives further and make fabrics and sewn projects in your own style. I liked that. 

The dvd that comes with this set really ads to the content and is not just a repetition of what's inside the book. In it she combines several techniques and gives some extra project ideas. It's very enlightening to actually see how she puts some surface designs together. It makes you feel like you could pull this stuff off too. ;-)

All in all I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even if her style isn't always my taste. The ideas were building up in my head because of it and that's much better than just having a book where you ooh and aah over the pretty pictures. It's a book that makes you want to get your hands dirty and make some fabric of your own!