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Editorial blog

The Top 20 Most Influential Craft Books

20 Feb 2020


1: The Build a Bag Book: Satchels by Debbie Shore, RRP £17.99, Search Press

Aligning with trends that move away from fast fashion, craft influencer Debbie Shore has provided a fantastic array of easy-to-follow satchel designs for a myriad of uses. “New to the highly acclaimed Build a Bag series, this fantastic book by Debbie Shore offers a selection of 15 sensational satchels and a full-size rigid template. With approximately 500,000 books sold around the world, she has done it again!” Search Press sales & marketing director David Grant

2: Simple Shapes Stunning Quilts by Stuart Hillard, RRP £22.95, Pavilion Books

In the follow-up title to the bestselling Use Scraps, Sew Blocks, Make 100 Quilts, Stuart Hillard shows you how the easiest of shapes can be used to make extraordinary quilts. The book is divided into five main pattern chapters; One-Patch Quilts; Strips and Squares; Triangles; Curves; and Foundation Piecing. Alongside the patterns and quilt designs, Stuart has drawn on years of teaching experience to include the ultimate quilting hacks, tips, and tricks.

A great all-rounder, Hillard’s impressive collection of quilt designs and expert advice will help novice quilters to gain confidence, while also inspiring more experienced crafters.

3: Mending Matters: Stitch, Patch, and Repair Your Favorite Denim & More by Katrina Rodabaugh, RRP £17.99, Abrams

Released just before the beginning of 2019, Katrina Rodabaugh has inspired a new generation of crafters to ‘Make Do and Mend’ with this helpful book. Perfect for an increasingly eco-conscious audience.

“Sustainability is something that has been in the thoughts of the craft audience for quite some time. When I acquired Mending Matters, I felt Katrina Rodabaugh was a real voice for this movement. Everyone has a favourite pair of jeans they are willing to repair in order to keep wearing them, but something bigger is happening in people’s thinking about overconsumption, too.” Editorial director at Abrams Shawna Mullen

4: The Embroidered Art of Chloe Giordano, RRP £25, Search Press

Inspired by her love of the natural world, Chloe’s intricate designs will inspire crafters to challenge themselves to create beautiful pieces of embroidery. It’s an eye-catching book that thoroughly deserves a place on your sales stand. “Chloe Giordano is a huge name in the embroidery world with over 245K followers on Instagram. Striking a perfect balance between practical instruction and inspiration, The Embroidered Art of Chloe Giordano is a beautiful book that provides the first permanent record of her work.” Head of Search Press editorial Katie French


5: Paper Flower Art by Jessie Chui, RRP £25, GMC Publications

With a focus on realistic reproduction, Jessie Chui’s Paper Flower Art aims to provide you with ornaments that take the breath away. This book is filled with moments that make you question how it’s possible to produce something so authentic. “We have had a few hugely successful paper flower titles recently, and this new book is a beautiful addition to our list. Making these pieces is intricate and difficult work, but ultimately incredibly rewarding to the ambitious papercrafter.” GMC sales director Michael Robb

6: The Kids Book of Paper Love by Irene Smit and Astrid van der Hulst, RRP £14.99, Workman Publishing

This vibrant book has been influencing children and adults alike to put down screens and turn to paper instead. Each of the 180 pages is interactive, from making paper chains to secret stashes and photo booth props.

“The Kids’ Book of Paper Love is the first book in our Flow series collaboration that was created specifically with children in mind. Inside the industry, it’s been an exploration into what a book can be – every single page is different and it has influenced the way that people think about paper.” Megan Nicolay, Executive Editor, Workman Publishing


7: Bold Beginner Knits by Kate Davies, RRP £15, KDD & Co (Kate Davies Designs)

A wonderful title for crafters looking to delve into the world of knitting. Davies’ make this book an incredibly useful resource. “One of our bestselling titles last year, with strong sales across print book, e-book and individual patterns. This book teaches even beginner knitters to create beautiful, wearable knits. Clarity is the hallmark of Bold Beginner Knits – from the pared-back photography to the easy-tofollow pattern writing style.” Designer Kate Davies

8: Color Block Knits by Nicki Trench, RRP £12.99, CICO Books

By capitalising on the cake yarn and colour wheel trends, Trench has created a stunning collection of vivid throws, shawls, scarves and more that would brighten even the dreariest winter day. “Nicki Trench’s Color Block Knits takes away the worry of which colour goes with which, as all the self-striping designs are made with cake yarns and colour wheels. This is what time-pressed crafters are looking for.” Publisher Cindy Richards

9: Weekend Makes: Stash Knitting by Emma Osmond, RRP £14.99, GMC Publications

No-waste crafting gains even more support from this fun. “The ‘Weekend Makes’ series speaks to the current trend for projects that don’t take weeks to finish. Crafters are looking for projects that can produce something beautiful and useful in a few hours, or over a day or two. Plus all knitters have a ready stash of wool that is ideal for these smaller projects!” GMC sales director Michael Robb

10: The Art of Circular Yokes by Kerry Bogert, RRP £19.99, Interweave

A collection of 15 enticing patterns of circular yoke pullovers and cardigans from influential designers such as Jenn Steingass, Kate Gagnon Osborn, Jennifer Wood, and Andrea Cull.

11: Cosy Alpaca Knits by Jem Weston, RRP £11.99, Rowan

Inspired by Peruvian textiles, Jem Weston has created 10 simple, yet effective designs for rugs, cushions, blankets and more.

12: Crochet Succulents by Emma Varnam, RRP £14.99, GMC Publications

It seems that no one can resist the appeal of succulents, and this popular book has shown that crochet versions are just as popular. With 25 different patterns, this title will appeal to those looking for a new challenge. “This delightful book has been a huge success for us, appealing across the ages and selling to the traditional craft market as well as to other outlets. Succulents are very ‘in’ at the moment, and making beautiful quirky gifts has always had a strong appeal to crafters.” GMC sales director Michael Robb

13: Mindful Crochet by Emma Leith, RRP £12.99, CICO Books

Every project in this book has been designed to help crafters unwind with repetitive, meditative techniques, soothing colours and satisfying textures. A fantastic title to recommend for the self-care movement. “Mindful Crochet has been one of our bestselling craft titles of the season. I think Emma Leith’s personal perspective is what has made this book so impactful: she used crochet as a way of managing pain and stress while undergoing treatment for breast cancer.” – Publisher, Cindy Richards

14: Mabel Bunny & Co. by Claire Gelder, RRP £12.99, Search Press

Ideal for crafters who know the basics of crochet, this creative book features projects that make irresistible rabbits, dragons, pigs and many more. The makes are sized at 70cm or 30cm tall and are great for the novelty factor. “Mabel Bunny & Co. came about after we spotted the author, Claire Gelder, on the BBC series Dragons’ Den. Claire has a fantastic flair for design and her fabulous over-sized animals really stand out from the crowd.” Head of Search Press editorial Katie French

15: Hello, Crochet Friends! by Jonah Larson, RRP £12.99, Search Press

A book that celebrates the wonderful influence that crochet has had on the life of a young boy. It will inspire and teach crafters no end. “11 year old crochet sensation Jonah has nearly 200,000 Instagram followers. In Part One of his inspirational book he tells his story of being abandoned as an infant in Ethiopia and the role crochet plays in his life. In Part Two he invites readers to crochet using his exclusive patterns.” Search Press sales & marketing director David Grant

Art and calligraphy

16: Contemporary Paper Marbling by Lucy McGrath, RRP £20, Batsford Publishing

Stunning photography, easyto- follow instructions and neat little titbits on the origins of each marble flourish makes this book thorougly engaging. “Paper marbling is an ancient art that is having a wonderful renaissance, and artist Lucy McGrath of the Cockpit Arts brings it bang up to date. She marries some of the traditional techniques with fresh colour combinations.” Publishing director of Batsford Tina Persaud

17: Extraordinary Hand Lettering by Doris Wai, RRP £10.99, Skyhorse Publishing

Calligraphy popularity has continued to grow over the last year, and this book from 2017 remains a valued and respected resource that crafters keep coming back to. “Author Doris Wai combines the two worlds of hand lettering and upcycling, using her art to transform everyday objects like mirrors, into functional pieces for weddings and parties, home decorations and more.” Book editor Kim Lim

18: Brush Lettering By Rebecca Cahill Roots, RRP £14.99, Batsford Publishing

Rebecca Cahill Roots is a name in the world of lettering, and with good reason. Her book covers the basics, then moves onto more complex techniques whilst remaining clear.

“Rebecca (of Betty Etiquette) makes it easy to master the popular brush pens to produce beautiful, stand-out calligraphy that has a real wow factor. It includes exercises, templates and projects for everything from weddings to Christmas.” Publishing director of Batsford Tina Persaud

19: Paint Play by Katie Rose Johnston, RRP £12.99, LOM Art

This book uses art as a tool of expression. Learn brush, drip, splatter, dab and blow techniques and even how to utilise materials like salt and cling fi lm.

20: Seeking Slow by Melanie Barnes, £9.99, Rock Point

Melanie Barnes explores the wonderful ways to take a step back from the stress of everyday life, including long walks outdoors, meditation and crafting. It’s a supportive and nonjudgmental book which would make a great gift.

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