Tuesday 28 October 2014

Book Review: Fresh Prints

Oh my goodness, I am such a bad blogger, you guys. I've got a whole stack of lovely craft books in my "to review" pile and I've not reviewed any of them! Tsk tsk. I am determined to be a better blogger and share all this crafty goodness with you all, so you'll be seeing a few reviews popping up over the coming weeks. I hope you'll find some new books that take your fancy :)

First up: Fresh Prints by Christine Leech. 

Fresh Prints is another beautiful book in Quadrille's "Simple Makes" series which (among other titles) also includes two other books by Christine which I reviewed last year: Felt Sew Good and Scissors, Paper, Craft.

This time round (as you have probably guessed from the title) the focus is on printing projects. Quadrille's books are always gorgeous, and Christine is such a talented, creative lady that I am quite, quite jealous of all her ace ideas... and let me tell you, this book does not disappoint. All the projects in this book are fresh and fun and creative and have been beautifully presented.

Fresh Prints is all about block printing - using different objects as printing blocks. The 25 projects are divided into chapters by technique: "printing with found objects" and "lazy lino prints", with a small final chapter of "other printing techniques".

The book begins with informative, helpful sections on the tools and equipment you'll need, how to mix colours, getting the right ink consistency, printing tips and a step by step guide to making and using a "lazy lino" block (a printing block made with foam sheets which are apparently cheaper and easier to work with than real lino blocks).

Then it's on to the projects, each with clear step by step instructions and photos. As with the previous books in this series I had great difficulty picking out just a few projects to snap and share with you guys!

I especially loved this gorgeous feather cushion...


... and this fun ricrac-printed scarf.

Tools used for printing include leaves, feathers, bottle caps, a potato masher, buttons, sweet potatoes, lace doilies, a rolling pin, a knitted sweater and cookie cutters... which are used with household bleach in one project to create these wonderful patterned towels: 

The book includes printing on things like greetings cards, notebooks, teatowels and cushions and t-shirts, plus more unusual surfaces like lampshades, shoes, and even an umbrella! So much fun.


There are templates provided for all the projects in the "lazy lino" section, and it's great to see that most of the templates are included at full size.

This is a really lovely book. If you're looking for complex projects or a comprehensive guide to different printing techniques then a book in a series called "Simple Makes" is, as you might imagine, probably not going to be the book for you! But if you've never tried printing before or you want some ideas for fun and accessible printing projects this would make a great addition to your bookshelf.

You could also put together a fab "introduction to printing" kit as a special gift for a friend or loved one this Christmas by combining this book with some of the ink and tools recommended by Christine.

Fresh Prints is published by Quadrille. RRP £12.99. It's available from Amazon UK, Amazon USA, The Book Depository and many other bookshops.

Please note: Quadrille sent me a free review copy of this book. The Amazon & Book depository links in this post are affiliate links.