We're wild about Natalie Chanin's new book, Alabama Studio Style (Abrams/STC Craft, March 2010)! This is a clever craft and lifestyle book all in one, and your home will be better off from this gorgeously photographed and beautifully written how-to guide. The focus on reusing scrap fabrics and rehabilitating old furniture is refreshing and environmentally responsible.
This book has everything - helpful stencils and patterns, primers on materials and tools you'll need, special attention on the stitches and seams that make the book's projects possible, an entire section on garments and techniques, and a section of projects. Interspersed with the projects are delightful celebrations, complete with photos and recipes (Alabama Studio Autumn Brunch, Celebration, and Pickling Party). For our home goods readers, we loved these projects, each one complete with photographs (inspiring!) and thoughtful step-by-step guides.
- Small Medallion Placemats (see photo at top) - delightful, rustic placemats and matching napkins that really come alive with their Celebration dinner; these mats also make a great runner!
- Stenciled & Sewn Table - an amazing way to rehabilitate any used furniture by painting it, stenciling it, drilling holes in the surface, and stitching through the holes with twine for a teriffic freshness to the surface decoration.
- Relief Applique Chair Pillow - It's a great idea to make chairs comfier with chair pillows, particularly for chairs with woven seats. The finished size of 12 x 14 inches makes the ideal cushion.
- String-Quilted Pillow (see photo above) - Learn the techniques to create stencil transfers on fabric, then "string" them together in a unique way to create beautiful 20-inch-square pillows.
- Others - We loved the beautifully delicate and sweet Eyelet-Embroidered Placemats & Napkins; the delicious Friendship Chairs (or Woven Farm Chairs); the delightful and whimsical Eyelet Doilies; a great tabletop project for making Homemade Cake Plates; and the fantastic Eyelet & Angie Couch Saver, which is a quilted, crocheted plain-fabric cover used to protect furniture but which can also be made to slip over standard headboards to jazz up your bedroom decor!