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book review // sewing tales blog hop

Sewing Tales

Let me tell you a little story...

One day Mollie was in her backyard, admiring the golden maple leaves that had blanketed the ground.

Sewing Tales

As she looked around a tree, she thought she saw something growing near the base of the trunk.

Sewing Tales

The leaves were colorful and vibrant, but something even brighter was hiding there.

Sewing Tales

Then Mollie spotted the sweetest magical mushroom. She knew it was magical because her house had often been called an enchanted cottage.

Sewing Tales

The mushroom looked so very friendly that Mollie picked it up and brought it inside to be her sewing companion.

She also might have done this rather quickly because she didn't like the thought of something made from such amazing Heather Bailey fabric sitting on the ground. But that's another story...

Sewing Tales

This darling mushroom was made using a pattern from Kerry Goulder's book Sewing Tales to Stitch and Love. And today is the first day of the Sewing Tales Blog Hop! I'm quite happy to be one of 20 people sewing, reviewing and telling stories.

Each soft toy in the book is designed to facilitate the stories that happen when children (young and old!) play. Before I had even finished making this little guy, I could picture taking it outside and creating a story with my happy little mushroom.

Actually, the mushroom pattern doesn't come with a face, but I do love things with faces, so I couldn't help myself. The mushroom is one of several styles of mushroom you can make, and they're part of the forest section of Sewing Tales.

Sewing Tales
Sewing Tales
Sewing Tales
Sewing Tales

The book is divided into four main sections, each focusing on a different location for storytelling. The toys that Kerry has designed really have some excellent play value. I especially love that they are meant to play together, and I can very easily picture my little sister setting up an igloo for some polar bears to live in. And just imagine their surprise when a hot air balloon flies overhead...perhaps dropping some fish for them to eat?

These toys are just begging for story-filled play.

Sewing Tales

When Kerry asked me to be part of this blog hop and make something from the book, I was a little nervous, only because machine sewing does that to me. But there were so many cute things in here, I said yes and asked my mom if she'd lend a sewing hand. Guess what? My mom didn't sew a stitch!

Kerry's instructions were very clear, but before I even got there, I learned some really good things about tools to work with. The book describes some amazing sewing tools, like spring-action snips and fabric tube turners. Having chosen a project without a tube to turn, I haven't tried out these turners yet.

By the way, the blog hop is sponsored by a group of suppliers: Fiskars, Dritz, Fairfield, Bosal, and Free Spirit. They provided a box filled with helpful tools and supplies and my new RazorEdge Fabric Shears are making me especially happy. Fresh new scissors will do that!

Sewing Tales

I also learned about pattern paper. Why didn't I know about this before? I can't imagine going back to just plain tracing paper. If you haven't used it before, this is a non-woven material, similar to interfacing. It's easy to trace, cut, pin...and re-use! On the topic of patterns, one thing to be prepared for with Sewing Tales is that the patterns aren't full size; you'll need to enlarge them. But with my scanner/printer, this wasn't too difficult. Then I just traced them onto the pattern paper and was ready to go.

Sewing Tales

I'd also like to point out that in the photo of the tools, my seam ripper remains in the package. Yay me! But I can't take all the credit for that. The directions and photos are so clear, and I appreciated that there were tips telling when it is helpful to hand stitch for smaller pieces. That really helped me to avoid getting myself into a frustrating situation!

The lobster that is being assembled in the pages above is one of my favorite projects in the book, but also the one that intimidates me the most. You probably won't see me making one soon, because that might be a story with an unhappy ending!

Sewing Tales

Oh, and about that delicious Heather Bailey fabric that I used and SET OUT ON WET LEAVES IN THE BACKYARD...that's Heather's new Lottie Da line. I do love it and am so thankful to have received a few fat quarters, along with all of the other new items that I'm now working with. And thanks Kerry for such a wonderful book!

So let's just recap here: Sewing Tales to Stitch and Love is the perfect book for anyone who like making toys for children to play with. I highly recommend that you check this out and start releasing the imagination that will bring these toys and stories to life!

Be sure to visit all of the other stops on the Sewing Tales Blog Hop!

MONDAY: Nov 4th
Mollie Johanson - Wild Olive (that's me!)
Jessica Fediw - Happy Together
Abby Glassenberg - While She Naps
Jennet Jones-Rau - Feathered Nest Studio

TUESDAY: Nov 5th
Sabra Gubler - Sew a Straight Line
Amber Carillo - One Shabby Chick
Caroline Hulse - Sew Caroline
Amy Friend - During Quiet Time

Miranda Anderson - One Little Minute
Andrea Taddicken - Knitty Bitties Sews
Kristi McDonough - Schnitzel & Boo
Terri Harlan - Sew Fantastic

Shari Butler - Doo Hikey Designs
Jodie Carleton - RicRac
Jen Goode - 100 Directions
Justine Henshaw - Sew Justine Sew

FRIDAY: Nov 8th
Emily Levey - Strawberry Patch Ramblings
Nicke Cutler - Kiss Kiss Quilt
Cathe Holden - Just Something I Made
Kate Henderson - Two Little Banshees


  1. This book looks like soooo much fun!! AND I can't live without my spring-action snips or tube turners. I think this book will go on my Christmas wish list.!

  2. Completely adorable. I love your story, and the mushroom! Now I'm going to have to put faces on any that I sew:)

  3. This book looks darling! Love love love the mushroom you made. :) Nice review too - it really gives us a chance to see the lovely concept behind the book.

  4. This is the cutest post. I love your magical mushroom.
    Claire xx

  5. Your little mushroom and it's sweet face brightened my day! Thank you so much Mollie! -kg

  6. Cute! This book looks great. I look forward to flipping through it.

  7. This little guy is so adorable! This book looks like great fun!


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