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Contests & Prizes : We're so excited about the sewing book!

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It is so amazing to have all these great projects together in one book.  It was hard to choose my favorite!  I have to say I have a strong attachment to Japanese Sashiko Embroidery.  You'll find some beautiful examples of Sashiko in Martha Stewart's Encylopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts, as well as a CD with design templates.

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Sashiko edged pillowcases

2 Sashiko edged pillowcases



A little excerpt from the book about Sashiko-

"In the Japanese embroidery tradition known as sashiko, fine, evenly spaced running stitches are sewn into repeating geometric shapes to create intricate patterns.  Hundreds of years ago, fishermen's wives used this technique to add strength and beauty to their cotton garments; the motifs were imbued with symbolic meaning- patterns to encourage strength or long life, for example."

Laura Normandin did a blog post on Sashiko last year.  I loved the pillow she made so much that I ran out and bought a kit of my own!  Check out her Sashiko embroidery, and the pillow she made from it, below.

Laura's sashiko kit

Laura's Sashiko Pillow

photos courtesy of Laura Normandin of Wren Handmade

We invite you to enter to win your own copy of our brand new book!  Leave a comment in fifty words or less explaining what you like to sew, or would like to sew, along with your complete name and valid email address.

All comments must be received by 6 PM 3/21/10. We’ll choose two commenters at random to win a copy Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts.
See official rules here Please be aware, comments may take time to show up on our site.

Good luck !

Comments (80)

  • I love to sew! Mainly I sew bags, small patchwork items, aprons, and decorations such as pillows, bunting, and mobiles. I also enjoy embroidery, but most of my pieces just feature French knots.

  • If I had a sewing machine I would sew anything I could think of. I would be very addicted to it. I would sew pillow's, curtains, bags, toys, and the list goes on.

  • I like to sew alright,..... but my best friend loves to sew I would give this book to her so she can try a new project on her new machine!

  • Pillows and Curtains - I've never done embroidery on a machine - mine's WAY to ancient!

  • I'm an avid quilter so I'd be looking for tips, but I'd also like to dye my own fabrics. I see that is a part of the book too.

    I love Martha's books.

  • I love sewing! Usually I make handbags and quilts, but I will pretty much try anything.

  • I like to sew most anything. Mostly all I have time for are little projects, like napkins or toys for my daughter, but I want to learn to quilt. I'm constantly seeing things I want to try!

  • The things I like to sew change as the years go by. When I was first sewing as a newlywed, I did simple projects, like aprons and pajama pants. Now that I have two boys, I love to sew clothes and toys for them. I'm just starting to sew clothes for myself, which is fun!

  • i love sashiko
    the simple lines and stitches
    provide calm and joy.

    I also enjoy sewing bags and other simple objects. I'm branching out to try to sew my own clothes and accessories for my new house. In sewing or stitching, the simplicity and endless possibilities excite me.

  • I would like to be able to alter my clothes. I'm also working on planning my first quilt, since I haven't been able to find what I want in stores. Thanks!

  • I am just learning to sew, and am very excited to learn how to become better at it. I am a newlywed, and really enjoyed making aprons as gifts for the women who threw my bridal shower. I am making pillows for the first time this weekend - wish me luck!

  • I do mostly quilting, but some regular sewing - baby bibs, clothes & mending. I would love to try this Japanese Sashiko on paper for scrapbooking.

  • There are so many things I want to sew! A tunic, bolster pillows for the sofa, and a duvet! I love the handmade touch. This book looks great.

  • I have been sewing quilts and garments, but really want to make more clothing for myself. I brought a sashiko kit back from Japan in 2008, and have been too scared to try it! I'm also really curious to learn more embroidery and hand sewing skills.

  • I would like to make handmade embroidered fabric notecards!

  • I'd love to learn to use all sorts of sewing techniques that I can apply to my studies in theatrical props and costumes!

  • I'd love to sew some little bags and clothes for my kids. They're rapidly growing out of the ages where I can influence what they wear!

  • I am a self-taught sewer as well as life long artist. I have two darling little girls whom I enjoy making little dolls and dresses for. I've also made several purses/carry-all bags as gifts for close friends and family. Any chance I get to make something handmade I grab it. I just love mixing and matching patterns with everything, turning it into something that shouts my own personal style. It's a great sense of accomplishment when I finish a project knowing I taught myself to make it! I can't wait to have my own copy of Martha's Sewing and Fabric Encyclopedia!

  • i just am rediscovering embroidery, something i hadn't done since i was 11 or so. i am have been wrestling with sewing attempts. this book looks like a wonderful resource for both and much more!


  • I would like to sew a whole quilt with this technique. My blog friend Liesl did a beautiful one and it's been on my list of things to try forever. I can't wait for the book to be released!

  • Thus far, most of my sewing attempts have been limited to baby blankets, burp cloths, and quilts, with a few appliqued items & superhero capes thrown in for good measure. My quilting skills are rudimentary, but the end result is satisfying - mistakes & all. I need all the help I can get!

  • I love to sew things that are useful and used everyday especially bags. I have a huge fabric stash of cute Japanese fabrics that is waiting to be used up on some new projects in Martha's Sewing and Fabric Encyclopedia.

  • I love sewing quilts. It takes me a long time, but the end product is so gratifying!

  • I love to sew because it encourages me to be artistic and somewhat of an investigator! Sometimes I find that switching up the smallest detail can add so much to my sewing crafts. I'd use Martha's book to learn more about my passion as well as be inspired!

  • With the book I'll be able to expand the knowledge my grandmother passed to me... with every stitch I honor her.

  • I have just begun to learn how to sew. I would really love to sew some pillows for our couch and some place mats and napkins for our table :) And I'm deeply excited to learn even more creative sewing techniques and projects.

  • I can sew a little, but would love to get down to the nitty gritty of sewing. I think this would be a lovely book to get going with. Home decorating and fashion would be my biggest interest.

  • I like to sew an array of things..anywhere from dresses and skirts for my daughter to bags, crayon rolls, pillows, hot and cold packs, and etc...I REALLY want this book. I have the other book and just love it! I went to 3 stores today trying to get it and nobody carried it..Bummer..Hope to win!

  • I'm a beginner sewer with hopes of making intricate quilts to pass down to my daughters one day. I look forward to learning how to make heirloom quailty crafts with the help of this book.

  • My favorite thing to sew is actually applique or all things child-related... I have yet to delve into the goal that is making clothes for myself!
    Sarah M

  • I LOVE to sew. I am doing quilts for all three of my nieces now, and then bridesmaids dresses for my wedding. But I am very excited to try this japanese embroidery. I work for Colonial Patterns in Kansas City, and I LOVE to embroider as well!!

  • Crafter Comment:

    Glad you're excited Amanda! Actually, the book will not hit stands until March 30, so that explains why nobody has it yet.

  • I would love to be able to sew my own clothes. I recently started making little stuffed animals that I have trouble giving away. I can't wait for this book to come out.

  • I mainly sew matching outfits for my daughters, because they are forgiving of my mistakes! I hope to get better with the addition of the new Martha Stewart book!

  • I wish I could say that there is stuff I LIKE to sew, but sewing still intimidates me. So, um, I guess I'll stick with what I can actually do easily, and that's lavender sachets. I would eventually like to be able to make skirts and bags and things of that nature. Thanks for the chance to win!

  • I am just learning how to sew, but my favorite thing to sew is stuffed animals. I especially like ones made of reused fabric.

  • I love sewing and embroidery - I've wanted to learn sashiko for years but all the books, etc. are in Japanese and my beginner level hiragana & katakana isn't up to par for reading the instructions.

  • I like to sew things for my family and myself that can be used frequently and are fun!

  • Well after a very long pause at sewing I started again a couple of months ago. I tried several small projects and I am now working on a Quilt. Now I want to do much more like all the curtains...

  • What a beautiful technique, I'd love to have the book!

  • I wish I had more time (and skill), but I love fabric and do enjoying sewing very much. The one thing that I would really like to sew, but haven't yet, is a quilt. I love these new, more modern designs I see around the blogs.

  • I make purses and the book will be a source of inspiration to create one of a kind fabrics designs.

    The templates for Sashiko Embroidery are stunning!

    I love sewing so much! :)

  • I'm a relatively new sewer and love relatively simple projects like totes and pillows. I have dozens of each. It's so satisfying to make something yourself, and that's why I'm loving sewing.

  • I would love to sew some new chair pads for my kitchen chairs, and maybe stencil or applique something cute onto the fabric too.

  • I would like to learn to sew a bag to carry my soccer cleats, that isn't girly.

  • I am currently sewing some new accent pillows for my couch with a Martha Stewart template and I love them! I like to sew all kinds of things though.

  • I love to sew bags! I like to repurpose things such as fabric from old clothes, trim, even plastic into something useful, like a bag. I do many different types of art & craft and need bags in which to store and organize all of my tools & projects.

  • well that explains it...oops..thanks for letting me know

  • This embroidery is beautiful! I sew pillows for friends and family members that have embroidered sayings on them, specially picked for that person. Sometimes they're meaningful; sometimes they're silly, but it's nice to give a handmade gift that shows you thought about them!

  • Oh wow, embroidery is such a wonderful way to sew. I love doing it, and would love to learn more techniques.

  • I love to sew, especially bags. Since my new crafts room and sewing machine I can’t wait to sew dresses, tunics, pillowcases etcetera. As is my daily fix of new ideas I would have loved to come the Stitch Fest (but I live in Holland) and be inspired...

  • I love to sew anything but clothing. I mainly like to make bags, pillows and would love this book!

  • I have been sewing since I was young. My grandmother taught me one summer when I went down to spend some time with them. I have recently dusted off my machine now that I have a baby girl. It's rewarding to see my baby wearing something I made her.

  • Table linens and embroidered pillowcases.

  • This would be the perfect graduation gift from nursing school! I can't wait until I have free time for sewing projects again... I look forward to looking through all of Martha's sewing ideas!

  • yay! I'm so excited about this book. I sew some of everything...home decor, baby clothes and occasionally bags.

  • I was a textiles major in school, and I love to sew practical things. Especially gifts for friends. I like imagining what would suit them best and creating it with my own two hands. And heart.

  • seriously, as if Martha could get any better!?!?
    i love love love sewing things for little ones, but nothing is more gratifying than finishing a quilt.
    i am holding myself to the promise of making a few summer clothing items for me(!) this year.
    fingers crossed!

  • Hand embroidery is my favorite. I love to embroider napkins, tea towels, and pillowcases. I find it very relaxing. The new book looks awesome and I would love to try the sashiko embroidery projects.

  • This new book makes me think of a sewing book I recieved as a gift when I was 10. I sadly cannot find it, so many memories of my first sewing projects. It would be great to have another book to take its place.. a new grown-up inspiration book!

  • I just got back into sewing last year. My next project is to duplicate the style curtains that,came with our new house, in the kitchen with a different fabric. No pattern will be a slow process...but looking forward to the challenge. Open for suggestions.

  • This book looks awesome! I would love to win a copy!

  • Although I have sewn a bit of everything (I am a Home Economics major and have taught for many years) my main sewing interest at this time is for my wonderful grand-babies. This type embroidery would be beautiful on the bodice of their Easter finery!

  • Martha rocks... i'm tired of sewing pillow cases... time to sew something cool!

  • I just moved my sewing machine into my office up from the basement so I would sew more...I am so excited to sit down and make something pretty...maybe from this new book!?!

  • I'm just a beginner who at present is starting with cushion covers. I would like to progress to craft and home items. With 10mth old twins i would also love to be able to sew items for them for play, craft etc and this book would provide inspiration for this.

  • I have always enjoyed the art of sewing with, Halloween being the biggest favorite and with grand-daughter 6 years olds now,is going to be fun teaching her starting her with the new Martha Stewart’s Encylopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts, as well as a CD with design templates.
    Nonthing like playing Martha or Martha time with your grand-daughter.
    I hope Martha signs the book!

  • First of all, I am a HUGE FAN of Martha! Never miss a day to check out the site! I currently sew and am looking for some specific ideas for a room remodel...I am going to create a curtain over a shelved unit, a head board, and some organizers. I am also getting ready to make an apron for my cooking shows (pampered chef)! Fun stuff!

  • I am a reasonably competent crafter, but this is an area that I am VERY interested in but a little intimidated by! There are several projects I’ve been procrastinating – mostly the creation of a new bedskirt and new curtains for my daughter’s “Candyland” themed bedroom. Aside from projects I need to do to improve my home, there is a great craft listed on the site for kids rooms that look like giant pumpkins. I desperately want to make one for my daughter! (And I imagine I would do that before I’d do anything else!)

  • I love embellishing aprons as gifts with embroidery or color, but I have yet to sew my very own! For me, having an apron is a right of passage to becoming a proper home chef. Martha's book would be an invaluable source in guiding my apron sewing endeavors.

  • I love to sew and I love Martha! This book would give me so many new ideas. I sew everyday for my house, my kids, myself and for friends and family.

  • I used to embroider tablecloths and napkins when I was younger, with my mother's help. Now I need to go back to the basics so that I can start sewing things for the home the way I've always seen my mother do. This book and CD will be perfect!

  • I'm a beginner at sewing, but I'm currently making a baby blanket for my new baby niece. Its so fun to sew meaningful presents. My next project is a kimono for my little 3 year old daughter's 4th birthday. I would love to use a Sashiko pattern on the kimono. Sewing helps me be creative and relax. I love being able to create.

  • I love to sew things for my son: beanbags, a stuffed monster, a teepee. And I would love a copy of this book so I can learn this art and make some lovely pillows for our couch!

  • I love to sew home decorating items, window treatments, pillows, sheets, dust ruffles and all types of craft items. Can't wait for the new book!

  • I love to sew anything but mostly quilts! I have Martha's encyclopedia of crafts and would love this new book as it looks "sew" informative!

  • I sew for a living, but of course am always inspired to see the work of others!

  • I've sewn since I was about 6 when I started edging handkerchiefs for gifts. Now at 62 I have to fight for time to sew. I would have to say that my favorite thing to do is to take something that is considered junk and design something with it. Currently I am looking forward to teaching my 7 yr old granddaughter to sew. We have started with tinsy projects, now to turn her on to designing an outfit and sewing it. Summer will be great sharing a gift from my grandmother (the love of sewing) with my granddaughter.

  • Could you use a Singer 7470 confidence to do this?

  • I first came accross sashiko embroidery while flipping through this book. As not only a crafter but an engineer I love how geometric and symmetrical the designs are. I just purchased my first sewing machine and am excited to start projects using fabrics enhanced with this technique.

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