Sunday, June 10, 2018


-- 'STITCH CAMP'  --
Written by:  Nicole Blum & Catherine Newman
~Post Includes: Book Spotlight, Author Bios,
Link to Book Preview, Review & Print Copy
Giveaway {One copy/US Only}~

ABOUT THE BOOK {from Goodreads}:

Written with a little bit of sass that will appeal to 9- to 14-year-olds, Stitch Camp introduces kids to fiber crafts in a way that not only promises success in the present, but opens the potential for a passion for creating that will last a lifetime. Each of the six chapters focuses on a different fiber craft (sewing, embroidery, crochet, felting, knitting, and weaving), opening with a step-by-step introduction to the basic tools and techniques needed to get started. The basics are then supported by three specific projects, graded from total beginner to something a bit more sophisticated. Techniques will be illustrated, and the projects themselves will be created by the intended audience and photographed with kids wearing or using the items. Kids will learn how to sew bean bags (and what games to play with them), create a T-shirt dress, embroider their own "scout" badges, make toasty felted mittens and fingerless gloves, create a funky "monster" zippered change purse, knit a padded cover for their phone or table, crochet an elegant beaded bracelet or necklace, make and play with hacky sacks, and weave decorative patches on their jeans or jackets.

ABOUT THE BOOK {from Storey Publishing's website}:  In today’s thriving maker culture, kids are hungry for hands-on guidance in creating stylish wearables and practical objects, or hacking and customizing existing ones. Authors Nicole Blum and Catherine Newman get them started with complete instructions for mastering six favorite fiber crafts. Step-by-step photos teach kids ages 9–14 the basics of how to sew, knit, crochet, felt, embroider, and weave, plus how to make three projects for each craft. From woven patches and a knitted backpack to embroidered merit badges and a crocheted bracelet, the fresh, kid-approved projects encourage creative variations and build confidence along with valuable life skills.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS {from Storey Publishing's Website}:

Nicole Blum is a coauthor of Ciderhouse Cookbook, Stitch Camp, and Improv Sewing. She runs Carr’s Ciderhouse in Hadley, Massachusetts, with her husband, Jonathan Carr. Blum is an artist and crafter whose work has been featured in FamilyFun and Parents magazines.

Catherine Newman is the coauthor of Stitch Camp, and the author of Waiting for Birdy, Catastrophic Happiness, and One Mixed-Up Night. She is the etiquette columnist for Real Simple magazine, a regular contributor to the New York Times Motherlode blog, and editor-in-chief of the James Beard Award-winning kids cooking magazine ChopChop. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with her family. Visit her at
Before I begin my review, I would like to disclose that I have had three of my original sewing designs published in two different 'One Yard Wonders' sewing books which were both published by Storey Publishing. When I borrowed this book, 'Stitch Camp', from the local public library last December I knew I wanted to feature it on my upcoming blog because it was just perfect for middle-graders, tweens, and teens! 

I subsequently contacted the publicist at Storey with whom I had worked on promoting the two above-mentioned books in which my projects appear. I asked if Storey would be willing to sponsor a giveaway of one print copy for a US winner when I posted my feature on 'Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic'. She agreed, and here we are. Now, on with my review:

The first thing I noticed about this book as I flipped through it were the colorful, close-up photos of the projects and makers working on their projects. The second thing I noticed was the casual, conversational tone the authors' used throughout the text. There is a good amount of wit along with some puns to make things fun for the readers. I felt the authors were encouraging in the way they prompted makers to work through difficulties without worrying about perfection. All these components work together to make this book very appealing for middle-grade/tween/teen readers!

I thought the book was user-friendly in the manner in which it is organized. There are six skills taught in the book:  Sewing, knitting, crochet, felting, embroidery, and weaving. Each skill has its own chapter dedicated to introducing the particular skill, teaching basic techniques needed to learn/practice the skill, and instructing readers how to make several projects independently.

I found the stepped-out project instructions to be excellent. The written text is accompanied by many colorful, up-close photos of the projects and their makers. 

The back matter includes a glossary, an additional reading list, metric conversion and standard equivalent charts, and an index. As a bonus, there are two pages of colorful punch-out cardstock gift tags for makers to use when giving their creations to others.

Here's a list of my favorite projects in the book. I'll limit myself to one from each chapter:

--SEW:  Beanbag that is also a Hand Warmer;

--EMBROIDER:  Scout Badges {three of these are shown on the cover};

--FELT:  Cut-and-Sew Mittens;

--KNIT:  Cord-Slung Backpack; 

--CROCHET:  Hacked Sack {shown on cover in model's hand}; and

--WEAVE:  Beaded Necklace.

***Highly-recommended for middle-graders, teens, tweens, and adults! This would be a great resource for teachers, youth leaders, scout and camp leaders, parents/grandparents, and anyone who works with this age group. Happy Stitching!
Blogger Disclosure:  As mentioned above, I borrowed this book from the local public library's children's section. I am not being compensated by the publisher or anyone else to post this review here or on any other site.
 GIVEAWAY: Storey Publishing has graciously agreed to give away one print copy of this book to a lucky US resident. To enter, complete the Rafflecopter form below. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. This sounds like so much fun even for someone like me who avoids sewing type tasks. Such a variety of projects that would be a big hit for the 9-13 age group. Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway.

    1. Hi, Greg ~ Thanks for posting your postive remarks here. What a compliment to the authors of 'Stitch Camp' that someone like you who avoids sewing-type tasks thinks their projects would be fun! You're welcome for the post and giveaway. Regards, June

  2. What a great summer project for teens this summer. I would have loved this book as I loved sewing, knitting, embroidering, needlepoint and felt. Hope a teen wins the book give-away.

    1. Hello, Patricia ~ You and I have a lot in common with our stitching and crafting pasts! Thanks for stopping by my blog again and for sharing your thoughts with us. Best, June