We have lots of chances to win with our {No Excuses} Holiday Sew-Alongs! Your comment on any post enters you to win one of two new sewing books each week. We also have some fun incentives if you join in our placemat, advent calendar and/or tree skirt sew-alongs. Post a photo of your progress in the project’s Flickr pool and each week we’ll have a drawing for a great prize, including some of the fun books we’re showing you today! Learn all about our {No Excuses} Holiday Sew-Alongs in this post, which also includes links to the Flickr pools. We also have information about all of the Sew-Along Materials Requirements. The fun starts on Monday! EVEN IF YOU AREN’T JOINING A SEW-ALONG, YOU CAN COMMENT IN ANY POST THIS MONTH FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A GREAT BOOK!

By Elizabeth Hartman– Our Color Blocks Placemats and Napkins Sew-Along designer!

(C&T Publishing, $24.95, ISBN 1607050080)

From the Publisher:

Try a fresh, relaxed approach to making quilts with this new go-to book. The bright aesthetic and clear, simple instructions guide beginners and intermediates alike through the entire process of creating fun and useful quilts that they’ll be proud to call their own.

By Hannah Read-Baldrey and Christine Leech
This title available to winners with US addresses only.

(North Light Books, Available from the Martha Pullen Store, $24.99, ISBN 1440314403)

From the Publisher:

Enter the magical world of Everything Alice where nothing is quite as it seems! The tales of Alice in Wonderland provide the inspiration for a charming and original collection of 50 ‘makes’, ranging from a hand-sewn rabbit toy and pompom-decorated slippers to a papercraft party invitation tea set and cut-out-and-keep dress-up dolls. Who wouldn’t be seduced by a red polka dot frilly apron to wear while baking cupcakes fit for a king or a heart-shaped pinboard to house precious keepsakes, all designed and made by Christine Leech and Hannah Read-Baldrey. This book is the creative must-have for any Alice lover, whatever their age.

From the C&T Publishing’s Design Collective– Our In A Pear Tree Advent Calendar designer, Linda Feldman, has a design in this book and so do our other illustrious sew-along designers, Elizabeth and Monica!

(C&T Publishing, $15.95, ISBN 1607051745)

From the Publisher:

Count down creatively – any season, any reason!

  • 24 projects to anticipate and celebrate your favorite special events
  • Make one for Christmas, Chanukah, the first day of school, a new baby, and many more occasions
  • Learn innovative sewing and embellishing techniques using Lutradur, felt, and ribbon
  • Includes a few no-sew projects that you can make in just a couple hours

Make every occasion even more special! Today’s top designers share their ideas and techniques on how to commemorate life’s special events. Equal parts inspiration and how-to, this collection of custom-crafted countdown calendars is packed with creative ways to say “3…2…1…it’s here!”

By Barri Sue Gaudet
This title available to winners with US addresses only.

(David & Charles, Available from the Martha Pullen Store, $24.95, ISBN 9780715338667)

From the Publisher:

The projects in this title combine simple patchwork and applique, felt and trim embellishments, and decorative stitchery. Each chapter has its own charming motif and colour theme, and the gift ideas cover a range of baby’s needs in the first two years of life. Stitchers can create, whatever time they have available, with each chapter offering designs that can be completed in 2 hours, two days or two weeks.

From Better Homes & Gardens– Monica, our Christmas Tree Pants designer, is a contributor to this book!

(Wiley, $24.99, ISBN 0470626232)

From the Publisher:

Originally, scrappy quilts were born of necessity and the need to make do with fabrics on hand. Today, the love of designer fabrics make scrappy quilts as popular as ever. Here, you’ll find 29 heirloom-quality projects, hand-selected by the editors of American Patchwork and Quilting as well as ideas and inspiration for making the most of leftover fabrics. Plus, if you’re new to quilting, a comprehensive guide to quilting basics is provided to help get you started!

  • 29 quilt patterns, including easy assembly instructions and schematic illustrations
  • Every quilt is quilter tested, ensuring accurate results every time
  • Full-size patterns offered in a tear-out pattern pack so you can use them again and again

Packed with beautiful, full-color photographs of every project, Scrappy Quilts is a must-have addition to any quilter’s library.

By Jenny Wilding Cardon

(Martingale & Co., $24.99, ISBN 160468027X)

From the Publisher:

Yearning for a unique look–yet shopping on a shoestring? Learn fashion designer Jenny Wilding Cardon’s secrets for finding the creative possibilities in cast-offs! With a snip here and a tuck there, you can turn common thrift-store items–such as sweaters, curtains, and jeans–into sassy, stylish originals.

  • Turn secondhand basics into first-rate fashions with over 20 beginner-friendly projects
  • Make chic tops, skirts, dresses, purses, scarves, bags, and hats–plus a rug, simple quilt, and more
  • View before and after pictures that illustrate the potential of your thrift-store finds

By Marion Elliot

(David & Charles, $22.99, ISBN 0715336304)

From the Publisher:

This book allows you to look at sewing machine features in a completely new light, where practical functions become creative goldmines. You will be delighted with a mix of feature spreads that burst with tips, ideas, tricks and inspirations, and creative projects that use the machine for sewing. The flexible ?dip-into? format makes for a highly accessible and inspirational book – funky page layout holds a wealth of must-know bite-size information. This is a go-to book that will be referred to again and again for techniques and inspiration, even as your confidence and skills grow.

By Jodi Kahn

(Potter Craft, $19.99, ISBN 9780307464460)

From the Publisher:

Simply Sublime Gifts offers more than thirty fun and imaginative gift ideas to make quickly, inexpensively, and with little to no sewing using clever short-cuts and inventive techniques. You’ll find a well of inspiration for any occasion, including Handy Hand Towels for hostess gifts, fancy Fabric Bangles for her, Tailor-Made photo frames for him, charm necklaces, holiday ornaments, and more. Accompanying eye-catching gift-wrap ideas are sure to complete the perfect present for everyone on your gift list.

With projects that are a snap for beginners—and that provide a fun challenge for experienced crafters—Simply Sublime Gifts is loaded with hints, tips, and tricks of the crafting trade. Many of the gifts are also made from accessible, recycled, or repurposed materials, like the kitschy, cool Wonder-ful Apron created with iconic Wonder Bread® wrappers! Kids, family, teachers, and friends will love the customizable treasures found in this book, and you’ll love giving gifts that are special and meaningful, original and personal.

With author Jodi Kahn’s clear instructions and step-by-step illustrations, in less than a day you’re on your way to creating a gift that is simply sublime.

By Bari J. Ackerman

(C&T Publishing, $24.95, ISBN 1607050110)

From the Publisher:

Popular designer Bari J. brings her bright and feminine signature style to 15 new projects-ruffled quilts, a unique tunic and bag, plus sweet decorations and accessories for every room in the house. Readers will appreciate the book’s luscious photography, as well as Bari’s in-depth advice on fabric collage, free-motion stitching, machine applique, patchwork piecing, and simple garment techniques.

From Lark Books

(Lark Crafts, $19.95, ISBN 1600595766)

From the Publisher:

Since its debut, the Pretty Little series has been a pretty big success–and this “best of” compilation presents 100 charming and totally easy needlearts projects from the previous eight books. From cozies, mini-quilts, and organic cotton pillows to pincushions, potholders, patchwork, purses and pouches, these stitched items feature the latest trends in fabric, design, and embellishment, Practical, adorable, and perfect to keep or give as a gift, every appealing project will have crafters sitting pretty!

By Susan Wasinger

(Lark Crafts, $19.95, ISBN 1600596681)

From the Publisher:

Part nostalgia, part modern “slow movement,” Sewn By Hand celebrates the gentle comforts of creating beautiful pieces the old-fashioned way. This contemporary collection allows stitchers to be eco-friendly and mobile, as they carry their projects along with them just as knitters do. And with more than 20 items ranging from fashionable pillows and aprons to practical totes and pincushions, sewers will produce gorgeous results while they experience the simple joys of traditional sewing.

By Kelli McCants

(Wiley, $18.99, ISBN 0470912324)

From the Publisher:

20 fresh patterns to sew a variety of fun and functional projects with oilcloth. Sewing with Oilcloth covers sewing with the family of specialty fabrics collectively known as oilcloth. You’ll get easy-to-follow instructions, special tips and tricks needed to get the most out of these fabrics, the unique applications of each, and how to treat and care for the finished pieces.

From home goods to accessories, from baby gear to outdoor decor, you’ll find oilcloth sewing projects that unlock the potential of both traditional choices and new designer prints. You’ll follow along helpful, trouble-free instructions to sew oilcloth projects like a simple tablecloth, garden apron, farmer’s market tote, baby bib, and so much more.

By Cynthia Shaffer

(Lark Crafts, $16.95, ISBN 1600596126)

From the Publisher:

Lark’s new Stash Happy series is the cure for the crafter’s dilemma: what to do with all those scraps and leftover fabric, felt, and yarn, beads! Each book is full of know-how, fun ideas, and super-cute projects-and the series kicks off with Patchwork, one of today’s hottest sewing and quilting trends. The collection offers inspiring twists on classic favorites plus practical items for the home, including a patchy panda doll, pieced cactus pincushion, or a set of nesting patchwork bowls.