Wiley Books $24.99

ISBN: 978-0-47025-926-9 (spiral bound, 176 pages)

This is a great general sewing and quilting book, with lovely designs and a wealth of very good information on sewing basics. Anna Maria Horner is a fabric designer and this is her first book, but it is rare to find such a comprehensive and useful book dedicated to practical sewing techniques. It is obvious that Anna designs from a quilter's perspective, but she communicates well, and introduces many patchworking and dressmaking techniques in an unpatronising and friendly tone, appealling to non-quilters and those beginning to sew. That's not to say that this book isn't suitable for experienced quilters, it certainly is. The range of patterns is brilliant, and includes some patchwork inspired dress-making patterns which are very tempting. The book includes a folder at the back which contains all the full size paper patterns, and the book is spiral bound, which is handy when it's open next to your sewing machine! The introductory chapters are very well written, and include sensible information about sewing machines, essential equipment, use of colour and types of fabric. If you know someone who doesn't yet know the basics, but would like to learn, then this would be a great present. If you already know the basics, but like the sound of translating some of your skills into some unusual funky clothes and accessories, then you will love it too!