Jul 10th 2009 02:28:44 pm
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is an artist and designer living in Ohio. She designs floral and patterned fabric, sewing patterns, handbags, paper goods, bedding, and more. I love Butler’s beautiful fabric and personal style, so I was eager to get her book, Midwest Modern: A Fresh Design Spirit for the Modern Lifestyle
, when it came out in 2007. I suppose because I was raised in Saint Louis and Kansas City, any book that glorifies the midwest as a hip and happening place is a welcome resource.
The 225-page book contains hundreds of stunning full-colors photos (all taken by Amy’s husband, David Butler) and journal-like entries written by Amy about everything from her interior design tips to her favorite music. She also discusses personal style choices, like how she chooses a handbag, jewelry, and fragrances. Of course, she writes about designing her fabric and patterns while sharing some of her sketches. You also get to see images of her home, studio, and garden, plus lost of images of her fabric and sewn objects.
You already know that I am biased toward just about anything related to Amy Butler, and this book is no exception. I love its beautiful photography and the peek it gives into the design processes, inspirations, and creative thoughts of one of my favorite designers. The book is like a scrapbook, journal, and manifesto all in one. I had a lot of fun reading it and it gave me many ideas for interior design in particular. However, there are a few things about the book that surprised me and that may be a turn-off for other readers.
The biggest surprise for me was that Midwest Modern
is in no way a sewing book. I knew that the book was more about Amy’s life and style than about her sewing patterns, but I was surprised to discover that there are practically no tutorials or sewing patterns in the book. (There are two very simple How-tos early in the book for making a floor cushion and an envelope pillow, but they are not what I consider a detailed projects.) If you are looking for a book of sewing projects with detailed instructions, Midwest Modern
is probably not the right choice. (You might however like to read the Craft Critique review
of one of Amy Butler’s other books, In Stitches
.) Another criticism I have heard about the book is that it over-promotes Butler’s other commercial enterprises by publishing too many photos of her fabrics and other products. I don’t really agree that photos of her designs and products should be a considered a negative aspect since readers most likely would not purchase Midwest Modern
if they did not love all things Amy Butler, but it is something to consider.
- Absolutely beautiful photography, and lots of it.
- You get to peak inside the life of a professional artist.
- Many suggestions and tips for how to live a more creative life.
- No sewing patterns or detailed project tutorials.
- Some may feel the book promotes Amy Butler’s other commercial endeavors too strongly.
You can purchase Midwest Modern
(for $23.10) and at other major book retailers. You can also purchase a signed copy of the book from the Amy Butler online Shop
Overall, I would recommend the book to Amy Butler fans who are looking for a lifestyle or design book. I think you will be inspired by her laid-back, yet incredibly beautiful style and outlook on life.
Have you read Midwest Modern? Did you enjoy it? What other Amy Butler books or products would you recommend?
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Categories: Books, CraftCritique.com articles, Crafts
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