Book Review Tuesday: Zakka Style

This week, I chose an oldie but a goodie. This book and the sew along,  came out and were finished, before I was quilting and sewing (late 2012). A friend, needed pot holders for Christmas (which I just finished today…shhh). I think my new motto will have to start being “Better late than never” :-). Anyway, perfect opportunity to review the book….

Review

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Title: “Zakka Style: 24 Projects Stitched with Ease to Give, Use & Enjoy”
Author: Compiled by Rashida Coleman-Hale
Publisher: C&T Publishing
ISBN:  978-1-60705-416-0

This was a hard book to review, not due to content; I kept comparing it to Patchwork, Please which is my favorite project book. Putting that aside….

Zakka Style is influence by the Japanese Zakka Design movement. As Rashida explains in the book Zakka loosely translates as “miscellaneous goods” or “sundries”. Her introduction to the style and how she came up with the idea of the book, was down to earth and a great way to start the book.

The projects overall are a good collection of work. I could see how these projects would make a great sew along or be great for a guild/bee community for swaps.

Each project has been written by a different person. I loved the introductions and write ups of each person, as it made you feel that you knew them a little.  I found each project to have very good, clear instructions for materials, cutting and instructions. The photos for each project were of a high quality.

UPDATE: Errata’s for this book can be found here http://www.ctpub.com/client/client_pages/errata/10824.cfm

I have to say the natural linen aesthetic, which many of the projects included, is a favorite look of mine, so many of the projects appealed. I may not make them all, but I bookmarked 11/24 projects I would like to make; and an additional 2 that I liked the idea but I would change it up. The projects that appealed to me were:

  • Zig Zag Tote – I can use this as a tote swap item in my guild or a bee/swap party.
  • Zakka Pincushion – Again great for a swap or a gift in any quilt alongs/swaps you are doing
  • Sewing Kit – I just need one of these, especially for travelling
  • Patchwork Pencil Case – would make a great party favor for a kid’s birthday
  • Rain Cloud Mug Rug – Christmas presents for colleagues at work.
  • Zakka Block Quilt – A great baby shower gift or a great idea for someone who is just starting out quilting
  • Stem Messenger Bag – I love the look of this project and think its great. I wish I had one when I was a university (eons ago).
  • Zip Organizer – I think this would be one of my favorite projects, that I would use at work all the time for meetings etc. Great use of all my Echino fabrics I have.
  • Pot holders – Great gift idea for family or friends.
  • Little Pocket Pillow Case – this is so appropriate as my son just lost his first tooth….I wish I had made him one of these already.
  • Pleated Coin Purse – Love this it is similar to the one I made for a friend’s birthday last year. I probably used this as an idea. I would make myself one of these though.

The two projects, I like the idea of:

  • Sweet Sugar Cookie Sacks – I think I will be making the bags of this project, up next Christmas, as little chocolate/cookie bags. I love the idea and think I can repurpose the pattern to make it me.
  • Nesting Boxes – I like the idea of these. I would probably use the dimensions but completely change-up the design of these. Maybe use them to as scrap bins or kid storage bins.

If this book was to be re-published, the only thing I would change, is how the patterns at the back are delivered. I do not like to photo copy the patterns from the book, especially if they require enlarging (ie. 200%). It would be great if patterns, were provided either on cd or I could enter a code online and download the pdf’s.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading through the projects, and working out who I can gift things to :-). Don’t be surprise, if you are a secret partner of mine in future, that something from this book sneaks it way into the parcel.

The overall rating for this book is:
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Project

As I mentioned above, I needed to make pot holders/trivets for a friend for Christmas. I had made these in the past. The requested colors were green, taupe and red, as before. I did want something a little different this time, so I went with the circular pot holders in Zakka Style.

Potholder_finish

I loved how they turned out. I have to say I was a little intimidated by the circular nature of these however the pattern was easy to follow and I got a little help using a circular rotary cutter tool. The finished product is 8 1/2 in diameter.

Note: The book asks for the batting and the backing at 11 1/2 inches, to take into account the quitting. This was very generous, you could use smaller sizes here and save on fabric.

Potholder_Front Just in case you are interested, the fabrics that I used as strips were:

  • Japanese Green Vegetable fabric purchased on etsy. You can see it better in the first set of  pot holders.
  • Coffee – Words (Spoonflower designer: Studio Fibonacci)
  • Taupe Essex Linen (Fresh Modern Fabrics – Etsy)
  • Jungle Essex Linen (Originally purchased at Fresh Modern Fabrics – Etsy)
  • Retro Kitchenalia (Spoonflower designer Madex)
  • Coffee – Cup (Spoonflower designer: Studio Fibonacci)

Potholder_BackThe back of the pot holder I used the Taupe Essex Linen, and the binding is just pre-packaged binding from Joann’s.

The best thing about the project the circular potholders were a lot of fun to make, relatively quick and now I have no trepidation!!

Give-away

One brand new copy of Zakka Style will be given away, all you need to do is leave a comment on what kind of Zakka project you like (there are a lot on google.com).  Feel free to leave a link for pinterest or posts, so folks can check them out. There is a second chance to win if you are a follower, just leave a second comment. A winner will be chosen at random and announced next Tuesday 4th Feb after 6pm.

A disclaimer, all reviews and opinions of the books reviewed will be mine, unless otherwise stated. Please note, I may not respond to all comments due to volume and bandwidth.

Linking up with Lorna @ SewFresh Quilts for Let’s bee social (see button on right side menu) + Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday. This is also one of my Quarter Goals and linking to:
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55 thoughts on “Book Review Tuesday: Zakka Style

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