Foreword Reviews

Pure & Simple

17 Primitive Projects Inspired by the Seasons

In Pure & Simple, wool artist Maggie Bonanomi turns her rustic-chic design eye to easy projects that can be done at home without special equipment or skills.

The book’s seventeen projects reflect the natural world, with items like birds, acorns, trees, and leaves as their subjects. They are small and portable, easy to work on without creating a mess, and designed to deliver an appealing finished project without weeks of labor. Pin keeps, cell phone cases, soft sculptures, and appliquéd blocks that can be joined together to form larger items are included in the mix.

All projects are handcrafted needlework, using either appliqué work or the stitching of pieces together to form three-dimensional items. None requires a sewing machine, and all are simple enough for even inexperienced crafters to tackle. The projects are worked in wool, which, as the book points out, doesn’t unravel, allowing crafters to get a clean edge without turning under.

Complete, easy-to-follow instructions are given for every project, along with clearly marked patterns. Pattern pieces are appropriately scaled to yield items as shown but could easily be rescaled for a larger or smaller finished item.

Novice crafters will find illustrated instructions for using stitches—along with buttons and other items—as finishing-touch design elements. Advice on aging ribbon to get an heirloom look is also helpful. All wool used in the projects comes from a supplier who specializes in hand-dyed fabric, and source information for ordering is given, along with an extremely useful chart that lists the maker’s names for colors next to familiar generic names.

There are photographs of every project, and additional photographs showing them in use as home decor. In addition to giving a sense of the finished size of each project, the photographs convey the warm, firelit glow of rustic-chic style.

Well conceived and clearly written, Maggie Bonanomi’s Pure & Simple is a sure to entice and inspire a broad range of needle crafters.

Reviewed by Susan Waggoner

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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