Friday, 26 September 2014

A world of quilts by Cassandra Ellis...

"A World of quilts" by Cassandra Ellis is an amazing book, pages packed with inspiration and tips as well as perfectly clear instructions on a huge variety of quilting styles. Here she offers updated versions of classic designs using traditional techniques and patterns in order to make quilts more fitting to today's modern home decorating tastes.

If you've never tried quilting then I'd honestly recommend this book. It doesn't look scary or complicated, nor does it make you feel like this is some secret dark art that only a few can partake in... everything is neatly explained and set out for you to start making!
Cassandra explains the basics from how to cut your fabric to how to sew on your backing which some might think is obvious but I found really helpful.
It's also really accessible as this book is divided into sections explaining and describing numerous types of quilts like the Housetop, the Star, the String Quilt, the Welsh bars and numerous others as well as exploring the use of tools and techniques in the "Quilting Masterclass" chapter. Again it might seem obvious but is perfect for the novice quilter but also great for the seasoned quilter as it serves as a great refresher and resource.

I must confess that quilting was one of those things that though I do love I've never really delved into too much. Growing up in the States you see so much of it that it kind of becomes an everyday thing. Pretty much every household had one handed down from grandma or great aunt Mildred. Though after reading this I truly am more interested in the history and the techniques used in quilt making. Heck, I might even try making my own which I can pass down to my nieces and nephews!

Cassandra Ellis is a designer maker with a flare for colour and composition. Her designs are warm and beautifully modern!
Originally from New Zealand she now runs her very own London studio and sells her work to private clients and in numerous retailers including Liberty of London.

Her home-wares and interiors are designed to be thoughtful and beautiful, using traditional techniques and materials. She also teaches workshops and works closely with the charity Habitat for Humanity helping to create living spaces tailored to the lives of the intended residents. To say that Cassandra is solely a sewing superstar wouldn't be enough... personally I see her as an artist too. A very accomplished, thoughtful and engaging artist!
If you'd like to know more about Cassandra and her work visit: 

A world of Quilts by Jacqui Small publishing is available at a special discounted price for our blog readers only so if you'd like to get your hands on a copy of A World of Quilts at the special offer price of £20 including UK P&P*, telephone 01903 828503 or email, quoting the offer code APG228 and the book ISBN 9781909342149.
*Overseas buyers please email before ordering via the email link above as P&P might be higher as this is a UK reader offer. 

Monday, 15 September 2014

We want YOU!

Do you have the Craft Factor and are a talented designer maker or illustrator who designs heart stopping beautiful hand made products?
AND would you like to stock your wears in our shop in Walthamstow?

If the answer is NO then look away... but if it's YES then read on...

We're on the hunt for exciting new designer makers who are looking to stock our shelves! As the area grows in popularity and with a serious lack of gift shops -yes we are now the only one!- it's time we stepped up a gear and opened up our shop to some new talent!!! "Awesomestow" is on the way up!!!

Here are a few of the amazing people we stock (and this is only a tiny selection of these amazing people!) :

Dan Darby
Mr. Peebles

Jimbob Art

Anna Wiscombe

Karoline Rerrie Illustrations
Ocular Designs

My Rosie Lee

Oh My Illustrations!
Craftivist Collective

If you'd like to apply then please get in touch... but please read the info below.

What we're looking for:
  • Home wares - ceramics, table ware (glass etc), decorative pieces, soft furnishings including kitchen textiles, lamp shades, cushions and so on...
  • Greeting cards and prints including wrapping paper and other paper goods (note books, stickers etc)
  • Lighting (not just shades, fittings IE lamps are welcome too)
  • "Man friendly" gifts including wallets, belts, T-shirts, note books, ties, grooming kits, satchels etc. Please note that though we love cuff links they are not really moving in our neighbourhood ...these kids are too cool for normal business gear!
  • Soap and candles (including linen sprays and so forth)
  • Zines and other small publications. 
  • Products made with recycled materials.
  • Other quirky gifts you make... we're open to selling other things which aren't listed like toys, craft kits etc just apply and we'll let you know!

*Please note that though we love jewellery we get so much of it but we are happy to take any which we think will work in our shop and if it's different enough to what we already stock or is sympathetic to our over all aesthetic! 
Unfortunately clothing is not accepted due to limited space. However illustrated T-shirts in both adults and kids sizes are!
If you're not sure then drop us a line and we'll let you know!

So here's what you need to do...
Please send us an email with photos of your stock or a website which showcases your work. Also an idea of price -retail- and tell us a little bit about yourself/your hand made company.

Here's the deal...
Because we are a self funded grass roots collective we are unable to buy stock upfront. We operate solely on a sale or return basis. We're happy to send you our T&C's upon request and will anyway once we've seen and accepted your work.
All items need to be hand made! We do not accept items which are from a third party (IE you are an agent for a designer) or any items which are not made in the UK. Because we represent the UK (London and the South East) and we believe in a more localised shopping economy we are unable to sell items which are made abroad. Preferably we'd also like to keep it within the South East but will consider goods from further afield but within the UK.

Still interested? E-mail us:

Monday, 1 September 2014

Paper Cut...

Hello! So excited to have been asked to be a guest blogger for East London Craft Guerrilla, and thrilled that my first assignment was to review the beautiful new book Paper Cut by Owen Gildersleeve!

Paper Cut - An Exploration into the Contemporary World of Papercraft Art and Illustration is written by the London-based award-winning* designer, papercraft illustrator and set maker.
It gives a fascinating history of paper and how it has been used over the centuries through various cultures right up to the present time and the current resurgence over the last few years.

The author goes behind-the-scenes of his peers - people working with paper as their medium to create spectacular visuals in fabulous 3D from a material so easily considered by many as flat and two-dimensional! Although working in similar fields, many crossing over between graphic design, typography, illustration and animation for music, film and advertising in general, the artworks and technical use of the materials varies greatly. Using different techniques including cutting, folding, layering, collage, quilling, to create fantastic pictures or sets. Some of the artists use bright vibrant colours, others more muted tones, and some none at all, using the construction of the pure white paper to add depth and texture using light and shadow. 

We get to visit and snoop inside 25 artists' studios - mainly within the UK and Europe, but also as far away as United States and Australia - and find out what inspires them creatively and how they came to fall in love with working with paper!
I recognised many of the pieces of work from seeing them in magazines, books, videos and some images I had pinned on pinterest without actually knowing or remembering who they were by, so it was great to finally put a name and face to the piece, as it were.

There are so many beautiful pages within the book, to include all my favourites, so below is just a few to whet your appetite.

Upside Down House by Kyle Bean

Babushka by Yulia Brodskaya

Paper Shredder by Chrissie Macdonald

Holland Herald by Helen Musselwhite

Forest by Eiko Ojala

Three-Course by Fideli Sundqvist

Back to Basics by Zim & Zou

And here is a short film by one of the featured artists Helen Friel, which I had watched as inspiration for a project I was working on with someone a while ago (that was put on hold when we realised just how long it probably would take us to make something anywhere near as good as this!)
Paper Cut is a stunning book visually, with very interesting interviews with the selected artists that really give you insights into their minds and their working lives. From their inspiration and motivations, through the developing of their techniques and skills, to the finished pieces and beyond.
To Celebrate the launch of the book there is also currently an exhibition of Paper Cut from now until 25th September at The Proud Archivist, Regents Canal, London (nearest tube is Haggerston Overground Station)

There are workshops, talks and Sunday Brunches over the next few weeks, so it sounds like it will be a fantastic opportunity to see the artwork in all its glory and a chance to meet some of the artists in person!

For details of all the exhibition event see the Facebook page:

Paper Cut by Owen Gildersleeve is published by Rockport an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group and is available from all good bookshops for £20 rrp
However, the very kind people at Quarto Books have given us a very special offer to share with our lovely readers (yes that's you!) and so you can get a copy sent to you for just £16 including p&p! (UK only - overseas need to add £2.50 extra)
You can place your order either by ringing 01903 828503 or email
and quote the offer code APG168

Thanks for reading, if you have any thoughts, feel free to comment below.
Sanna aka Sannapanda

* He won the ADC Young Guns award in 2011! How awesome to actually be able to be a Young Gun! I hope he has a soundtrack whenever he arrives at or leaves! I know I would, but unfortunately, I am probably too old to ever be a Young Gun... *sigh*