Did you know that January is National Hobby Month? The beginning of the new year is an excellent time to pick up a new pastime! According to the University of Utah, hobbies have been shown to reduce stress and enhance well-being. Stay entertained while indoors with some of these handicraft activities. Most only require a few tools to get started! Whether you’re a beginner or an old hand, CCPL has a ton of resources for you to use!

Only a few tools are required to start, such as an embroidery hoop, appropriate fabric and thread for the craft, and either a sewing or quilting needle.


Create or mend with just a needle and thread!

Firefly’s Step-by-Step Encyclopedia of Needlecraft: Patchwork, Embroidery, Quilting, Sewing, Knitting, Crochet, Appliqué

From the Publisher:

A complete resource for needlecrafters at all skill levels. It provides step-by-step instructions for learning how to knit, crochet, quilt, appliqué, and embroider by machine or by hand. Over 50 creative projects that put these skills to use show needlecrafters how to make clothing, decorative items, and household accessories. Thorough instructions and illustrations give comprehensive how-to explanations of basic and advanced techniques. Extensive stitch glossaries show possibilities, and an enticing selection of contemporary patterns put them to use. Thousands of full-color photographs show every step and every stitch clearly. Specialized techniques are explained and illustrated in detail.

How to Sew Step-by-Step: a Practical Guide to Simple Sewing Techniques for Hand and Machine by Dorothy Wood

From the Publisher:

This complete, practical reference guide to sewing techniques will help you to achieve accurate results with every project you undertake. With information on equipment, sewing machine basics, needle types, and maintenance, as well as different fabrics and practical advice and techniques on sewing by hand or machine, How to Sew will equip the reader with the knowledge and skills to produce results they can be proud of every time.

Sew a Bag: A Beginner’s Guide to Hand Sewing by Amy Karol 

From the Publisher:

Offering easy-to-learn instructions and techniques that will have you sewing your first bag in no time. Sewing is a time-honored tradition that’s functional and purposeful and is the foundation for almost all clothing and accessories as we know them today. While most books dedicated to this topic focus on machine-sewing, there’s a simpler side to this craft, and learning the techniques and skills needed to hand-sew opens up a wide world of possibilities, from hemming your own garments to sewing on buttons to repairing beloved closet items to making your own new pieces, like the fold-over clutch featured here. Sew a Bag will introduce readers to hand-sewing, focusing on the basics and the techniques most applicable to sewing that can then be extended to a wide variety of projects in the future. Establishing the building blocks here will encourage crafters to try new ideas and develop their own style as they progress, but it all will start with a simple pattern.

Make, Sew, and Mend: Traditional Techniques to Sustainability Maintain and Refashion your Clothes by Bernadette Banner 

From the Publisher:

Learn the historically proven stitches every seamster needs with beloved Historical Fashion YouTuber Bernadette Banner. Whether you are just getting started with sustainable fashion and need to alter your new secondhand finds, or you want an introduction to sewing techniques for making your own clothes, Bernadette Banner’s signature voice will guide you through all the traditional stitches and techniques you need to extend the life of your favorite pieces and take fashion into your own hands! From tips and tricks on choosing your materials and preparing your fabric for sewing to more complex techniques like mending small holes, adding pockets to garments, making your own buttons and beyond – this book has everything you need. Complete with step-by-step photos and insight into what alterations each sewing technique is best suited for, Bernadette walks you through every step of your sewing journey. For added inspiration, this book also includes profiles on exciting voices in the historic sewing community and their perspectives on how taking fashion into their own hands has changed their lives for the better. Make, Sew and Mend is the perfect foundation for beginner sewers to start making their fashion their own.

Stitch ‘n Swap: 25 Handmade Projects to Sew, Give, & Receive 

From the Publisher:

Generation Q Magazine shows you the best way to organize and run a virtual or in-person swap. To help get you started, the team recruited some crafty friends to share 25 inspiring projects. All of the projects can be easily adapted to your taste, style, and skill level. Whether you’re looking to have fun, learn new things, or exchange some fabulous gifts with friends, this easy-to-use book is your go-to resource for the newest community sewing activity.


Use thread to create decorative designs on canvas or fabric

Embroidery: a Step-by-Step Guide to More than 200 Stitches by Lucinda Ganderton

From the Publisher:

“Embroidery” is the ultimate stitch dictionary and the ideal guide to embroidery, whatever your level of expertise. The perfect reference guide to needlework, “Embroidery” is a comprehensive guide to inspire and inform sewers of all levels. Find advice on which thread, needles, or fabrics work with which techniques, and take a look at an incredible 200 stitches with levels of difficulty, step-by-step instructions, and ideas on where and how to use them. This practical guide covers sewing tips for dressmaking, needlepoint, and embroidery stitches, with detailed information simply presented in illustration-rich pages. With “Embroidery” it’s easy to find exactly which stitch is right for your next sewing project.

Needlepoint: A Modern Stitch Directory by Emma Homent

From the Publisher:

Author Emma Homent has been pioneering the rediscovery of all the incredible stitches in her popular #stitchmondays posts on Instagram. In this book, Emma shares her passion for this traditional craft in a fresh and contemporary way, with a desirable modern aesthetic for a new generation of needlepointers. You’ll learn about the tools and materials needed, how to organize threads, and how to frame up your canvas for stitching. Over 100 stitches are demonstrated with both photos and diagrams, with 10 easy and accessible projects to help ease you into trying out some of the fancier stitches – including a glasses case, plant hanger, accessories, gifts and more. Emma also shares her guidance on what stitches are best for backgrounds, for filling large areas more quickly, and which are best for adding structure and interest.

Stitch Step by Step by Maggi Gordon and Ellie Vance 

From the Publisher:

A comprehensive, step-by-step guide to the techniques of needlepoint, quilting, crocheting, embroidery, and applique.

Animal Embroidery Workbook by Jessica Long 

From the Publisher:

This collection of embroidery patterns ranges in skill level from simple to more advanced, so there’s something for everyone to try! With 208 pages and over 300 color photos and illustrations, this gorgeous book on embroidering will inspire you and expand your embroidery skills.

Beautiful Embroidered Accessories by Lexi Mire Brantman 

From the Publisher:

With Lexi Mire Brantman’s creative embroidery tutorials, you can turn your clothing and accessories into wearable art. Choose from over 25 of Lexi’s whimsical, best selling designs for baseball hats, totes, bandanas, fanny packs, patches and jean jackets to add a trendy bohemian touch to your wardrobe. You can also get creative and adapt these patterns onto all kinds of clothing, including flannels and jeans, and even home accessories like tablecloths, tea towels, pillowcases and napkins.


A popular form of embroidery in which thread is used to create ‘X’s on fabric that create a recognizable pattern

The Cross Stitcher’s Bible by Jane Greenoff

From the Publisher:

Crammed with essential information on techniques and bursting with beautiful patterns, this is the encyclopedia that every cross stitcher has been longing for! It has instructions on working with charts, a linen masterclass, and tips on threads and wools; creative options, from charms and beads to blackwork; and explanations of how to design from scratch or adapt a purchased kit. Embroider cards, gift tags, pictures, cushions, and more with the fine finishing techniques. Plus: stitch and charted design libraries!

Cross Stitch for the Soul: 20 Designs to Inspire by Emma Congdon

From the Publisher:

Congdon provides a collection of cross stitch patterns with inspirational and motivational quotes. Whether used for gifts or your home, these designs will provide something special for days when you need a boost– both as you work on them, and when finished.

Lit Stitch: 25 Cross-Stitch Patterns for Book Lovers by Book Riot 

From the Publisher:

Inside Book Riot’s Lit Stitch, you’ll find a number of badass, bookish cross-stitch patterns. Some of these are for bookmarks, others are for wall decor, and still others can take on a whole host of finished outcomes. What they have in common is their literary bent–the patterns speak to all manner of literary-minded book lovers, who are happy to display their nerdier sides. And what better way than through your own cross-stitch art to hang on your wall, prop on your desk, or even gift to friends and family. And most, if not all, are beginner friendly and can be completed in a few hours–instant stitchification! So grab yourself some excellent embroidery floss, hoops, and needles, and pick out one or more of these great cross-stitch patterns for your next project.

America the Beautiful Cross Stitch 

From the Publisher:

Stitch your way across the USA with 30 cross stitch patterns featuring the most popular national parks and monuments. America the Beautiful Cross Stitch brings the majesty of our national sites home. America is brimming with natural wonders, diverse wildlife, and historic treasures. This collection contains 30 original cross stitch patterns, an introduction to each park or monument, and instructions on cross stitching techniques and suggested materials.

Pixl People by John-Michael Stoof

From the Publisher:

Stitch all the most important people in your life with this one-of-a-kind method that solves technical challenges for you but thrives on your creative input– only you know how to bring these characters to life. Using the PixlPeople method, select from a huge swatch of elements that go beyond generic patterns and exact replicas– body types, skin tone combinations, hairstyles, outfits– and just follow the provided templates for each elements. Add pets, hobby and career accessories, facial expressions, and even zodiac signs to round out your PixlPeople. A great introduction to cross-stitch, as well as a fun new type of project for those with more experience, PixlPeople gives you endless possibilities!


For a larger project, why not learn how to make a quilt? 

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Quilting Basics by Laura Ehrlich

From the Publisher:

This helpful guide has tips for making your quilted pieces uniquely your own, and gives you everything you need to know to create traditional or one-of-a-kind quilts.

Get Started Quilting by Jessica Alexandrakis

From the Publisher:

An all-in-one guide to contemporary quilting techniques for beginners! Quilting can often seem complicated and overwhelming, but it truly is a craft that anyone can do–taken one step at a time, this fantastic hobby is really quite easy. ‘Get Started Quilting’ takes readers on a steady path to learning the essential quilting techniques, tricks, and tested methods of quilt making, focusing on one skill at a time. This all-in-one volume covers fabric selection, cutting, pressing, sewing (by hand or machine), piecing and joining blocks, basting, hand and machine quilting, and binding and making labels. Quilt blocks range from traditional to contemporary, including basic patchwork and applique as well as improvisational piecing. Working through the book, the reader can pick up and develop all the basic quilting skills they need. Using a range of delightful fabrics, patterns, and colorways, they’ll discover how they can put quilt blocks together in a variety of layout designs to create wonderful modern projects.

The Handmade Quilt by Carolyn Forster

From the Publisher:

Skill-building: The Handmade Quilt features a 21-block sampler that starts with the easiest techniques and progresses to more challenging skills–with no need for a sewing machine! Comprehensive: this book is a complete learning experience for a new quilter and a stunning sampler project for experienced stitchers. Unique: no other book available today covers the how-to of hand-stitching blocks in such a thorough manner. Portable: you can hand-stitch anywhere! Carolyn even shows you color options and how to re-arrange blocks to make the quilt your own. [Includes]: 21 block designs; templates for every block; how-to finish the sampler from beginning to binding; learn to stitch set-in seams and curves; step-by-step photographs and illustrations; gallery of block color options.

Quilting by Hand: Hand-Crafted, Modern Quilts and Accessories for You and Your Home by Riane Mendari Morrison 

From the Publisher:

Learn how to create stunning, heirloom-quality quilts for your home with the 23 designs in Quilting by Hand. The projects in this book are diverse, versatile and fit for a bed, a couch, or for a new baby to grow into. Riane starts with the basics, instructions will include tutorials for both hand piecing and machine piecing, as well as other beginner-friendly handwork techniques. With thoughtful details that are interesting but minimal, designs will provide a mix of quilt complexity; some quilts can be completed in a weekend, and others may take weeks or months. Riane Elise brings quilting to the forefront with her natural and modern approach, focussing on craftsmanship, tradition, contemporary design, slow stitching, and making with intention.

Hand Sewing: a Journey to Unplug, Slow Down, and Learn Something Old by Becky Goldsmith

From the Publisher: 

Embrace and enjoy sewing by hand…Make sewing by hand your next creative accomplishment! Embrace the chance to unwind and enjoy the process of creating hand made quilt blocks with Becky Goldsmith’s step-by-step instructions. Start at the beginning and learn how to appliqué, quilt, and paper piece by hand, and appreciate the unique dedication of a hand-sewn project, guaranteeing your patchwork project to be one of your most special and personal quilts to date. Gain insight into all the best threads, needles, thimbles, marking tools, seam allowances, knots, and more to get you started. Fall in love with these time-honored techniques and make something that will last a lifetime!


Do you want to try machine sewing? Waldorf West Library has machines available for in-branch use! Book a meeting room and request a machine here.

Creativebug.com has thousands of award-winning art & craft video classes taught by recognized design experts and artists.  It brings the latest in art and craft education to its members, and they work with renowned artists to do just that. It is the number one inspirational resource for DIY, crafters and makers, with thousands of award-winning art & craft video classes available for FREE with your CCPL library card.

To get started on your projects or to get inspiration, create your account here.

Be sure to check out our programs to discover more hobbies to explore this January.