Book Review and Giveaway: Handmade Beginnings by Anna Maria Horner


I was so happy to receive a review copy of Anna Maria Horner's new book, Handmade Beginnings:  24 Sewing Projects to Welcome Baby.  It couldn't have arrived in a more timely manner!  As my regular readers know, I am expecting baby #2 in just seven short weeks, and while I certainly don't need any help adding to my ever-growing project list, this book is nothing short of inspiring.

First of all, Anna Maria Horner must be some sort of motherhood goddess, because she wrote this book while she was pregnant with her sixth child (my hero).   In the introduction, Anna talks about how all the sewing (her form of nurturing), was so beneficial to her pregnancy.  I especially liked when she said:

" ... sewing while expecting has kept me healthy and centered on what matters - more joyful than not."

I find that true for myself as well.  All of the projects I've been working on for Ruby keep my mind on the excitement of a new baby, and away from worrying about all the potential "what ifs."  Plus, I like the late night sewing sessions, just the two of us, when I can feel all of her little wiggles (and sometimes backflips).

Anyway, back to the book!  It really is a wonderful collection of projects that includes the whole family in getting ready for baby - there are sewing projects for mama, baby, dad, siblings, the home ... she just about covers it all.  Can you tell I like this book?  The projects are clever, the instructions are clear, and the photography is to-die for.

The first project to catch my eye was the Baby-in-the-Hood Jacket:


Isn't that baby just delicious?!!  The jacket is gorgeous, too ... I had to make one.   Here is my first attempt:

This was one of the more complicated baby projects, but the instructions were so clearly written, it was easy to follow.  I picked fabric that was neutral but still playful and really like how the jacket turned out.  When I compare it to the jacket in the book's photos though, I can't help but think I need to make a second jacket in bold, vibrant colors.  Yes, a second jacket is definitely on the to-do list.  A girl needs options!

I have fabric cut for about 4 other projects from the book, but another one I wanted to specifically mention is the Nesting Cubes:

So cute!  You can try it out as well, because this project is available as a free pattern download here

In addition, Wiley Publishing is running a drawing for 1 SINGER® Confidence™ 7470 sewing machine, 5 yards of Anna Maria Horner fabric, and a copy of the book Handmade Beginnings: 24 Sewing Projects to Welcome Baby.  Just click here to enter.


Finally, you can read more about the book (and find more book giveaways) on Anna Maria's blog tour. Here's the schedule:

May 3      Craft
May 4      Indie Fixx
May 5      Sew Mama Sew
May 6      Pink Chalk Studio
May 10    Wise Craft
May 14    House on Hill Road
May 16    The Purl Bee
May 18    All Buttoned Up
May 20    Homemade by Jill
May 21    True Up
May 22    Oh, Fransson!
May 23    Prudent Baby
May 24    Sew Liberated
May 25    Handmade by Alissa
May 26    Hazelnuts
May 27    Petite Purls


This giveaway is now CLOSED.  Thanks for entering!

634 comments:

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Kristine said...

Yes, sewing for a baby can be soothing. What a sweet book. Thanks for the giveaway.

Jennifer Collier said...

Oh, I would love a copy of the book. I have a 5 month old little girl who could benefit from mommy sewing up the projects in that book. Also have many friends with new babies and a couple of pregnant friends. I would love to win the book and put it to good use! You can reach me at jenniferashleywalker@yahoo.com

Ana said...

Thank you for this awesome giveaway!!

Ann said...

I would absolutely love to receive a copy of Anna's book - it has been on my Amazon wish list since I first learned about it. Hope I'm the lucky random number winner! Thanks Jill - love your blog and congratulations on baby #2!

Sarah said...

I'd love to win. I'm 14 weeks pregnant with my first and am looking forward to making him/her plenty of things.

Neil and Meredith Larson said...

so cute! i would love a copy of the book :)

Jacqueline said...

That jacket is so cute! I'm expecting my first baby in October, so I'd love to get started on some baby sewing projects!

Liz said...

i need this!
lizzermagizzer@hotmail.com

The Crace's said...

I love sewing for baby!

td said...

What I cute book. I would love one!
terridawn.ek@gmail.com

Jennifer said...

I would love a copy of the book! I am pregnant with #4. :)

Thanks!

amy said...

this would be such a fun book to have!

Krystina said...

I would love to win this for the babies in my life!

Lauren said...

Pick me pick me! Expecting #2 on the 4th of July!

lauren727@gmail.com

Celeste Louise said...

There must be something in the water cuz I'm expecting my first too and this book would sure be fun. Thanks for the chance to win!

Julie Arndt said...

I LOVE that jacket, and I would LOVE to have this book!

j.sahaya said...

my friend form college is expecting her first (and she'll be the first mama out of us college girls too!) and she told me about this blog as i love crafting etc too and i have totally been inspired! now i'm not expecting anytime soon but she is and i have other friends with little ones - and the felt food! well i've started them they're own little set already!

heddomarie said...

Looks like a fun book!

coffeechris said...

I really like all Anna Marie does, her color and design sense if remarkable. Have baby gifts to make and would love to have this book. Good for you on making the baby jacket it's so cute.

Julie said...

I would love to win this book. I haven't had any children yet but have had lots of fun making gifts for others.

Chicago Redhead said...

Hope I win!

Ammie said...

Wonderful! Your jacket is adorable. How did you find time to make that?! If you are anything like me, AMH would have had to send you a review copy months in advance. ;) Thanks for the giveaway.

Rebecca said...

What an exciting book! Would love to add this to my collection!

Jeremiah Burns said...

What a great book!!
Kara B
scrapsincali@yahoo.com

Beth Walls said...

Ooooh, I would LOVE this book! I am in the process of collecting ideas for things to make as we are planning on children in the near future, and I'd like to be prepared to make as many things as possible for the little one!
pengwynn007 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Charity said...

This looks fabulous - thanks for the giveaway!

stuart434 AT shaw DOT ca

Sara said...

These projects look really cute!

Kara & Karl said...

I would love to win!

The Taggarts said...

this book would be wonderful! So many fun delights to discover.

Rachel said...

What a wonderful book! I'd love it.

dearmrsreese said...

Can't wait to get my hands on this book!

Michelle said...

I have a 1year old and am due in Sept with baby #2, so this would be perfect!!!

Janie said...

Ooh pick me!!!

Jessica said...

LOVE! That's it just ... LOVE!

Dylan said...

your jacket turned out great!

mandy said...

what an awesome book!

Raylene said...

This book looks great! Great job on the jacket - I think it looks adorable and I am sure Ruby will look wonderful in it :0)

efuhriman said...

would love to win a copy.
ittybittytracy@hotmail.com

Alison aka Baby B said...

The more I read about this book, the more I am convinced I need a copy! If only for the pictures... that baby is too cute! (Of course, I'll be trying all the projects too.) :)

colleen said...

237 comments already! That certainly narrows my chances, but I would love to get a copy of this, and have been ultra domestic since being home on my Mat leave.

Colleen

O My Word!?! said...

Hi! I would LOVE to win this! I am trying to get pregnant with my second! Thank you soo much!

Lyndsay said...

I have a baby girl and would LOVE to win this book. Thanks for the chance!

Danny & Alyssa Coon said...

Such a cute giveaway. Hope to win :)

Amanda said...

I would love a copy!! Just found out we are expecting! What a great way to help past time during my pregnancy!

starcrossedlady said...

oh my gosh, what an awesome book! Thank you for reviewing it :)

and congratulations on your upcoming bundle of joy. The due date for my fourth is in two weeks. So I have a LOT of sewing to do to get ready! ;)

please take care, and have a wonderful day!

Elizabeth said...

Thank you to you and AMH for a chance to win this book. Best wishes to you both with your new (and soon to be) bundles of joy!

Erin Terry said...

Such a cute little jacket. Your talents truly amaze me. I would LOVE to have that book to make some things for my sister who is expecting. Best of luck through out the rest of your pregnancy and beyond. It's a little rough to adjust to 2 at first but it gets better with time!

Jana said...

The jacket turned out absolutely DARLING! What a fun book to have! I'd love to win :)

Aly said...

I just bought Amy Butler's little stitches book... now I have to have this one too. Crossing my fingers to win!

THE DWIGGINS said...

This book looks amazing. I just had boy girl twins and I would love to start making them matching outfits but in their own colors. Oh the things we can create!

Sara Leavitt said...

This book would be so great to have!! I have a 2 1/2 year old daughter and we're expecting girl #2 in 3 weeks! That jacket turned out super cute!! Sara

Katrina said...

I would love to have this book! I'm through having children, at least I hope! ;-) But my 4th is still 1 and I'm always looking for things to make for gifts for Baby Showers!

Ariane said...

Wow! What a great jacket. You did an amazing job. Thanks for the chance to win the book. Such a great giveaway.

Vanessa said...

This book is on my list of things to get. I have an 11 month old girl who I sew for, and I would love to sew things to give as gifts for others. The book looks great, and the jacket you made is beautiful! Count me in for the giveaway!

HappyGirl said...

This book would be so perfect for me. I am 30 weeks along with my first, a girl:) My husband and I are so excited to meet her!

Tricia said...

LOVE THE BOOK, LOVE THE JACKET, AND I ABSOLUTELY LOVE YOUR BLOG. THERE IS NOTHING BETTER THAN SEWING FOR BABY!

Noémi said...

even if i am not pregnant, i have so many babies and/or pregnant ladies around that i would love to have a copy of this book... will probably buy one if i don't win! :)

Valerie said...

This book looks fantastic, we're expecting baby #4 in Dec so it would be perfect!

Blessings,

Valerie

thebirdlady said...

Dying to get a copy of this book!

Brianne said...

That book looks like tons of fun! The jacket you made is adorable!

Andrea said...

I have been drooling over this book!

korbefamily(at)yukontel(dot)com

Vanessa/NessieNoodle said...

baby #2 on the way and this book defenitly has caught my eye!!!

One funny gal said...

Hi- I just love your blog and I have made many of your items as gifts for friends and clients. We are struggling with fertility and have not been able to conceive for 2 yrs after a miscarriage. I am a homebirth midwife and would love this book so that I may make more gifts. If I can't make them for my own baby at least I can do it for others. Thanks for doing what you do and keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I don't know what's cuter... the babies or the patterns!
margie

margiedicroce@rogers.com

Leachlady said...

Oh, I'd love a copy!! Your blog, by the way, a source of weekly inspiration...I'm just finishing my baby girl's new kitchen!

Emilie said...

I have Anna's first book and would love this as a addition to my collection.

leslie said...

I would LOVE to win this book. I am pregnant with my third, and due to health issues spend a lot of time sitting around. I am sure I could stay busy working on some of these projects!! Thanks!! leslierose at gmail dot com

Kristin said...

I would so love to win a copy of this book!

Garrett and Melissa Farmer said...

What an awesome giveaway! I hope I win! Thanks for the opportunity! I love your blog it is always so inspirational! m_farmer@live.com

Mama J said...

I would love a copy!!! I need to make that jacket, so darling!

The Bells said...

This book looks awesome! I just received my copy of Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones in the mail yesterday based on your review! I am so excited to get started on those projects... Now I think I NEED this one too! Love it!

D said...

Ooh pick me! I am pregnant with my third boy!

Emily said...

Looks like fun! I'm also expecting & I'd love to try some of those things out!

Melissa said...

Ooh, I keep seeing this book everywhere! Would sooo love a copy to get me sewing...15 weeks to go!

Nelson Family said...

What a great giveaway; I love the photos Anna uses in her book, they are just so darling! I'd love to have a copy of my own.

The McKinleys said...

WOW!! what a great book. i would absolutely love this...and would put it to good use :)

Brittney said...

I would love to get this book.

Maria said...

I have always struggled with patterns but love to sew. This book sounds perfect for me.

bec said...

i too am pregnant (two weeks left, though with my luck, it will be four) and i was so excited to get this book! don't know how much i will make, but i am certainly going to make the nursing dress...

kayleigh said...

Soooo cute! I love those booties on the cover!

amber said...

I'm done having kids...but my super crafty friend is having her first and i know she'd love this!!

Johnson said...

I would love this book!! I'm having my fourth in August and would love to sew something from this book!!

Katie said...

This book is wonderful! I was just checking your blog and there was the giveaway! Keep up the good work, your things are wonderful, too!

Kristin said...

I would love to have a copy of this book...it looks it has some really cute patterns in it! Love how the jacket turned out! :)

eaitkens said...

Just what I need, more inspiration!

Matt & Jen said...

This book looks great. I would love to add it to my collection.
marrs4isu@gmail.com

Mark and Andrea said...

What a fun book!

Landon and Kylie said...

Yes please! What an awesome book!
ky.jackson@gmail.com

Kim said...

I would love love love a copy of this book! I need some inspiration for a baby quilt that I need to make a friend who is expecting. I love the styles, the colors, and it is nice to hear that the directions are easy to comprehend! Thanks for the review and the inspiration!

Elspeth said...

How fun! I have a baby girl, and after two boys I'm project obsessed!

jacs said...

LOVE the nesting cubes. What a fun book!

leardonsbelle said...

I would love a copy of this book. I have been looking for more projects at this age level.
Thanks!

Autumn said...

Would love this! - Autumn

Trish said...

Looks like a great book :)

Kirsten said...

Your jacket turned out great! I would love to get my hands on this book. Thanks!

Alea said...

I just had my first little girl three weeks ago... I would love to win this book!

Midwest Nest said...

Really cute jacket! Would love to have a copy of this great book.

Scott and Megan said...

love her! meganrtanner at gmail dot com

liz pyo said...

I just started sewing & am working on the bird mobile for my baby girl - would love this book :)

Tammy said...

Adorable, looks like a fun book!

Annalisa said...

Fabulous! I need more cute projects.

Valerie said...

Such cute patterns -- definitely would love to win! Thank you for hosting...

Liz (Loving Mom 2 Boys) said...

What a wonderful book!! I am expecting baby #3 and definitely need some projects to make for this little one!!! I LOVE that little jacket - especially since it looks like it would work for a boy or a girl!!!

Stacey said...

That book looks amazing~ I would LOVE a copy for myself! Great job on the jacket by the way!

Son said...

Would love to win this! Thanks for the review and giveaway!

MB said...

I have 22 weeks to go with my second little one! Plenty of time to get sewing on her projects! I hope I win the book!!

Jenn @ WestSacHoney said...

Ah I love baby crafts!

Rachel said...

That book looks so fun!! I'm trying to develop my sewing skills, so that would be super handY!

erin said...

i so, so, so wish! tomorrow (friday) i hit 30 weeks with my first little one. we can't wait til she gets here! these few months before shes born we are living out of state due to my husbands internship. because i cant decorate or organize in my own home, i have resolved to sewing projects to scratch my itch. would definitely LOVE to win this book!

sebclar said...

Your jacket came out great! I would love to win a copy of this book.
I love your blog:)

Andrew and Meagan said...

I am expecting baby #4 and would love some new inspiration! Although, i must say i've received plenty from your blog already! :) ha!

thanks!
meagan

AlexisTexas said...

would LOVE this book. Just had my little girl!

Kassie said...

Ah babies... so cute.

Becky said...

Oh i would love to win! And I can't wait to see version 2 of the jacket, as the first one you made looks so nice and polished

The girls said...

Always anticipate your update, you have inspired me to try to improve my sewing. Just learned I am going to be an aunt so I can put some of your ideas to use!

Anna said...

oh my jill! the coat you made is so super cute. I love how you descibe the late night sewing sessions you have while pregnant. I still can't imagine myself sewing while pregnant, but I'm sure I would (and I guess I did - a little). I got to flip through Anna's

Lise said...

Oh, I've been coveting this book! Thanks for the chance! Your jacket looks great!

Jana said...

Count me in-I'd love a copy of this book. BTW-the Jacket is yummy!
Jana

Shrinking Shadow said...

I would love to win a copy of this book!! I love to make baby gifts for my kids and others!

Barbara said...

wow cute book !!!!

Kama said...

That looks great! I would love a copy!!

sparklepetal said...

I would love to get my hands on a copy of this book!

Erin said...

I would love to add it to my crafting collections!

Danielle said...

I love the quilt on the cover in the background. Neat colors. Can't wait to see what you create from it. Love the jacket!

bll1707 said...

What a neat book! It is so much fun to sew for little babies - my third is 8 months old already! Cute jacket!
bll1707@yahoo.com

Priscilla said...

this book looks beautiful...i would love to have it! i love your site too!

Laura said...

I love sewing books!

The Bay Area Homs said...

This book looks amazing. I'd love to get my hands on a copy!

Salwa said...

Oooh! Free book! Count me in!
I love your blog, I made the tag blanket and animal and have some of your other projects on my to-do. Thanks!

Carolina Chocolate said...

I'm always looking for cute baby projects! I'd love the book!

Cami said...

Oh I so want that book. That jacket is so cute!

Michelle Waddell said...

I love your blog! I just looked at the notes from Women's conference and found your blog. Oh course I would love to win this great book! your first attempt at the jacket was great!

Emily said...

Your jacket turned out awesome! I'd love to win. :)

Tiffany said...

I'm in love with the quilt on the front of the book!!!

Ginger Danson said...

I found that I enjoyed sewing while I was pregnant with my second child. I've never had a lesson, just convenced my mom to let me "borrow" her machine, and away I went - with Jill's good instructions, of course! I have had so much fun, I haven't stopped yet! My husband is quite as enthusiastic as I about it (my leaving the sewing machine out on our dinner table isn's his idea of ideal). I would LOVE to be able to work on some projects for my newest bundle of joy!

Mendi said...

I really want this book! I probably will just end up breaking down and buying it even though I'm not preggo and dont plan on being anytime soon.

Heidi said...

Pick me! Pick me!

mamaha@gmail.com

Tonya said...

What a great giveaway and the book looks awesome! I would love to win. Thanks for the opportunity!

Crazy Gecko said...

Way to go Jill, your young lady is gonna have a wardrobe to die for before she even arrives!

Genevieve P said...

I really really really want this book... All the things I've seen from it are just lovely!

Tupples said...

This book looks great! I would love to have a copy!!!

Liberty said...

I would love to win too! Super cute jacket!

Erika said...

Your jacket is so cute! I would love to own this book because there's been a rash of babies in the family recently, this looks like it would have excellent present ideas in it.

Mandy said...

This looks so cute - I would love to win!

anwhite29 at cox dot net

Kristi said...

Lucky you to get to review this book. I have seen it online in a few places and it looks fantastic.

wyndyt said...

Aww..... i have been following the blog tour and would love a copy!

Jon and Lauren Swinson said...

I just had baby number two and I am anxious to get sewing again! What better way to motivate me to make time to sew than a new book!

Fun for Mommy said...

Oh my goodness this book looks so fun! I'd love to have win it, especially since I'm expecting baby #2 as well. I've still got about 4 months, though. Plenty of time for sewing!

Sweet Tater said...

I so want to get a copy of this book, one way or another. :) I can't wait to try out the projects. That little jacket is just sooo cute! And I love her first book, as well.
Thanks!

Chelley said...

I'd love to have a copy of this book! I have two babies under the age of 2. :)

Nachelle said...

How fun, just had #2 and there looks like lots of fun ideas!

Jenna H. said...

Sounds like a great book.
jmhamlin826 AT yahoo DOT com

Rebecca said...

A lovely book!

Welcome to Lulu's life. said...

I'm dying to get a copy of this one! I haven't made it to the bookstore yet so I would love to win this one!

Yangs said...

Oooh, I'm going to try the nesting blocks right away! More interactive and space saving than the stuffed version.

erika~ the inspired mama said...

i would love to win a copy of this book :) i just have to sew that little jacket for my brand new little guy!!

xo,
erika

Mike and Sarah said...

This book looks so wonderful and inspiring! I would love to win. You are amazing!
-Sarah

kim said...

Love the jacket.
I'm addicted to her wonderful fabrics, can't wait to get started on this book!

Brittany said...

awesome! thanks for a chance to win. :)

agirlfromlaredo said...

i would LOVE to win a copy of this book too! and thanks for the website, you inspire me. good luck with the little one that is on its way!

Lynn said...

What a beautiful book. Your jacket is adorable, and I can't wait to see what else you are going to make!

Danielle said...

I just had my second baby, this book would create a long, wonderful list of projects!

Jan said...

Thanks you for a change to win!

Melissa said...

Would LOVE a copy of the book! Thanks for the opportunity to enter!

Melissa and Nick said...

Looks like a great book! I would love a copy!!!

Bella said...

I would love a copy

ashley said...

what a great giveaway! hope i win!

Hobbyanette said...

I would really love a copy of that book! But I live in Norway, so I don't know if you ship there :p But I would really love to win, and to be able to sew these little cute clothes for a baby in the future :)

ChellyRae said...

I want a book.

Nicole said...

What an awesome book!

Stacy Jones said...

Ooo! I am itching to make some gifts from this book!

Susan said...

Would love to have this book! Thanks for the giveaway

Mary said...

Perfect timing! We recently found out we are expecting our first. Thanks for the giveaway!

merryhenke {at} yahoo {dot} com

The Rodgers said...

What a cute book - I would love to win!
kelam22 at yahoo dot com

The Notetaker said...

Adorable book. I'm busy sewing for baby 3 - a girl. Yay!

Shawn, Kalli, and Porter said...

The book looks AMAZING!!! Pregnant with my second and would LOVE to have it!

Laci said...

I love baby projects! :)

Wendy D. P. said...

So cute - can't wait to see it in person! thanks for featuring it!

befruitfulandmultiply said...

The jacket is adorable, Jill! You did a great job! I would love to win a copy of this book...it looks fantastic!

Katrin said...

This books looks great, love the pics and the jacket you made.

Heather McCurley said...

I would love a copy of this one to make lots of goodies for my new niece or nephew (my only sister's first baby). It truly looks inspiring.

HeatherMc1@msn.com

Chantel said...

Would love to win! Starting to make a list of projects for my little bean on the way. (#3)
-Chantel

kristen said...

Love this book! We welcomed our third little one in February and my list is ever growing of things to make for her - a little more inspiration never hurts!

Tiff said...

I would really enjoy using this book, I hope I win a copy.

Jill Remijn said...

Jill you inspire me SO much! I am a mother of three under 2 1/2 and naptime is definitely crafting/sewing and rejuvenation time for me! I have made a LOT of the things you have done on your blog...most recently the play kitchen and my kids LOVE it! Thanks for sharing your ideas! Good luck with baby number 2!

Elizabeth said...

Your jacket is gorgeous! I would love a copy of her book!!

Amy said...

great giveaway! i'm expecting my own baby in 14 weeks and 5 days (yes i am on a countdown!) so this would be perfect!

Ange said...

I would love a copy :)

Caitlin said...

i would love a copy of this book! i am pregnant with twin girls and have the summer off to gestate and sew :)



caitlinmuroATyahooDOTcom

kelleycn said...

Oh, how fun. I would love this book... I'm expecting a little boy soon and haven't made anything for him yet!!

nilly ofan said...

it looks like a great book. i would love to win.

Thanks.

Kitty said...

I'm following Anna Maria's tour and finding so many wonderful blogs! I would love to win her book!
P.S. The booties in your previous post are so cute, as well as little Oscar!

Tiff said...

love AMH

Lauren said...

The jacket looks great and will go with everything! I love this book and would love to own it!
lmhr515*at*yahoo*dot*com

Ben KaShan Allysen Briggs said...

OH how I would love to win!!! I love sewing for my little guy!!! I love the jacket you mad as well!!!

matt & sarah said...

What a great giveaway, Jill! Hope to win... I've got 15 weeks before my own little Ruby gets here!

vantiganloos said...

nursing shirts!
I've seen them in there and I NEED to make one!

Amanda said...

That looks so fun. I would love a copy of the book.

Blovelies said...

Love it!

Minerva said...

I'm new to the blogging world actually stumbled on your site when looking to make gifts for babyshower, and totally addicted to your blog! I've used lots of your tutorials already and I know that if you love the book I will too! Oh and yes Oscar is the cutest thing you have ever made!

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