Hand-Stitched Home


I had the best package arrive unexpectedly on my doorstep last week, it was Susan Beal’s new book Hand-Stitched Home Projects To Sew With Pendleton & Other Wools (affiliate link).  I forgot all about Susan mentioning it the last time I ran into her, but i’m so glad she thought of me with it’s release.  Of course I love Pendleton fabrics.  Being born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, I can’t remember a time when we didn’t have a Pendleton blanket folded up on the couch.  Wool makes me itch like crazy (yes, I know I own sheep), but I love the beauty of the fabrics and their design.  This book has so many projects that make me want to run to the Pendleton store for some wool, and I will be very soon.  Let me share a few of my favorite projects with you from the book.


The book is a compilation of patterns by Susan Beal and a few other well-known names, like Diane Gilleland of Crafty Pod, who made this beautiful reverse applique table runner.

Alexia Marcelle Abegg designed this beautiful messenger Bag,


and this lovely Winter Cape.

Meredith Neal, who is a very friendly face at Modern Domestic here in Portland, made this amazing graphic tote which utilizes leather handles and a machine embroidered chevron pattern.

I found this book quite refreshing.  There were so many patterns for projects that I haven’t seen done in sewing books – like this Modern Plant Hanger by Amy Alan.  Not only did it seem like the projects never ended, but it felt like a new chapter in sewing books with unique patterns and a full spectrum of them.  The chapters include several patterns per section, with projects for home and self.

The instructions are clear and each pattern is well laid out, with thorough explanation and clear diagrams,

as well as tips where needed.  Where certain techniques are required, they are referenced at the top of the pattern with their corresponding page numbers.

The start of the book starts out with a brief introduction to Pendleton, and at the end is a timeline of the company with some great photos from eras gone by.  The photography is beautiful and does a great job of showing each of the projects to it’s best advantage.  Without a doubt, Susan Beal and Taunton Press did a beautiful job with this book.  Susan curated a beautiful and practical collection of projects for use with wool and I am looking forward to making many of them (like this Picnic Blanket by Stacy Brisbee).  I know you will agree, so I hope you will take a peek next time you’re at the bookstore.  And if you are thinking “well I don’t work with wool”, if this doesn’t change your mind, I can still see many (if not most) of these projects being made with other beautiful fabrics.

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