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Layered, Tattered and Stitched: A Fabric Art Workshop Paperback – November 26, 2009
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Layered, Tattered and Stitched: A Fabric Art Workshop has 20 different projects by mixed media artist Ruth Rae. In each project she steps you through making collages using materials such as fabric, transparencies, paper, rubber stamps, paint, wire, beads, lace and metal. Her style has the elements I adore in fabric collage - frayed edges, burns, lots of stitching in messy rows, along with fabulous texture and color combinations.
She starts out with a brief 2 pages on materials, but it's enough for you to figure out what she's using and where to buy your own. She also explains how she dyes fabric or cuts certain materials. It's not in-depth, but experienced crafters and sewists will not need that level of detail.
The 20 projects include things such as cards, gift wrap, a journal, wall hangings, doll & clothes, banner, apron, wrist cuff, and a photo frame. I loved her construction techniques for the apron with buttonholes rather than ties, and her book binding techniques are next up on my list of things to try. The instructions are easy to follow, although she focuses more on the techniques, not the actual materials. She expects you to create similar projects in your own style, rather than making things exactly like hers. I love that idea. But...she does provide patterns and even a couple of pages of clip art if you want to closely emulate items as pictured in the book.
I was so inspired by this book, I have already made several of these projects in my own style and plan to make more stuff using techniques from the book.
What I liked:
* gorgeous photos of art quilt and fabric collage items
* simple instructions
* excellent techniques using various materials
* encourages your own creativity - use the projects as a jumping off point
* unique yet practical projects
What was missing?:
* doesn't discuss layout design or color theory of collage
Other things to know:
* sewing techniques are not covered, it is assumed you know how to use your machine already
* If you like the style of Ruth Rae, you will love the book. But if you're not a fan of the tattered style, this may not be a good book for you.
I should have just listened to the not-convinced readers. The books is nice, cool images, the explanations are okay, but it is a book explaining how to make many, many useless things. I mean, I like the idea of DIY, creating things which are going to be useful everyday, handmade, and beautiful, one-of-a-kind. But I also am aware that most people don't have a lot of space in their home, and filling these homes with all kinds of useless knick-knacks is certainly not a good idea! Maybe these are things which could be made with kids? However some of them are maybe to hard to be made by kids. For example a lot of wired beads are used, and it is not easy for everybody to manipulate them. Most of the projects seem "small" and not very interesting to me.
Another thing which really disturbs me is, as said another reader, this cliche stuff : "believe, love, discover, etc." Please, it is supposed to be reflections of our soul, and we find the same things we could see in books almost ten years ago. This book was released in 2009, and these words were already completely has-been then. The lack of creativity and originality really pushed me in the 3-stars direction. I didn't put less than that, because there is obviously an effort and a kind of sincerity from the author. The images are nice too, and we understand what she says, at least.
About the dying part, there is really nothing very interesting either. She tells us to follow the instructions on the package, well, I can do that without needing a book, nothing really new in this field.
There is a part about burning, I am not a big fan of that technique, except for burning papers to make them look old. Otherwise, I find that a little creepy...
In conclusion, I would say this book is nice, kind-of-okay, but brings nothing new, is not really original, there is nothing very creative in there, and it is a pity because the cover is gorgeous and the author seems very sympathetic. If you are a beginner and want to work on small things, maybe this is the kind of book for you? If you have a long past in hand-making, just forget this book, it is not really for you. Obviously it is not for me, and I regret this fact because I so wanted to like this book.