18 March 2007

Book Reports

I've been catching up on some reading. Recent ones have been non-fiction quilting and sewing books. I'm making room for the pile of used paperbacks consisting of mainly Nevada Barr and Sue Grafton that I recently purchased at the used book store. The paperbacks are for Auntie. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I just finished reading Optical Illusions for Quilters by Karen Combs. I liked this book because it was a nice refresher course for me on perspective and using color values to show transparencies. I would think, though, that it might be a little bit technical for a novice but if the book were used in a workshop or classroom environment that same novice could make some spectacular quilts.

I purchased some fun pre-quilted fabric with the express notion to make a bag and used Hold It! How to Sew Bags, Totes, Duffels, Pouches, & More by Nancy Restuccia today as a jumping off point. The bags in this book range from ditty bags and wine bags to a quilters carryall, book bags, and duffel bags. There is a bag of every conceivable type in this book. I am going to make a combination of the Classic Open Tote & the Quilter's Carryall. The way the book is written and the cutting diagrams make it easy to mix and match. I love this book.

For the past week I've been reading Fabric Journey An Inside Look at the Quilts of Ruth B. McDowell. What a fascinating peek into her mind. If you want a pattern or technique book then look to her other books. This book shows how and where she finds inspiration, how she develops the piece through sketches and photographs and how and why she auditions, discards or picks and ultimately uses certain fabric. I took my time reading this book because I wanted to KNOW!

Here's a quick read: Lesley Riley's Fabric Memory Books. This is a nice companion book to her first book Quilted Memories. Using quilting and sewing combined with altered art techniques she has created fabric books. These books are a different take on quilting and a lot faster to create than a full sized quilt.

And still in the stack on the coffee table:
Luminous Landscapes by Gloria Loughman
The Art of Landscape Quilting by Nancy Ziemand & Natalie Sewell
Design! A Lively Guide to Design Basics for Artists & Craftspeople by Steven Aimone
The Creative License by Danny Gregory

Hmmm... see a theme running through all these books?


  1. I am fascinated by Ruth McDowell's fabric choices, especially the ways she uses plaids, stripes and larger scale prints. Her Fabric Journey book gives real insights into this process. How generous of Ruth to share in this way.

  2. I haven't read any of the quilt related book series. You will have to recommend a must read to me.

    Your blog date says September 2007!

  3. What a great list of reading material. I love quilting books but I don't always get around to reading it all, I do it more or less in bits & pieces. But I do refer to them often. I also have several bag patterns with hopes of finding time to put them to use, "one of these days"! :D

  4. Two of my favorite authors hands down - Nevada Barr & Sue Grafton (If you find another author that has a very similar style, let me know!)

    Karen Combs thaught a class on that online quilt university website called music boxes... I have for the longest time thought that that quilt would be awesome with cat prints as cat boxes! :o)

  5. I love the optical illusion techniques created and inspired by Karen Combs. I agree it's a good idea, at times, to read through lots of various quilting books to kick-start creativity and for continuing inspiration. The last ones I have read: Applique, the Basics and Beyond by Janet Pittman and Free & Eazy Circles by Jan Mullen.

  6. Ruth McDowell came and taught at my Quilt Guild's last Fall Seminar. I did not get to take the class as it filled up pretty quickly. The people who took the class produced some beautiful quilts. They just loved the class and her. The guild booked her 3 years in advance!

  7. You have great taste in books -- Ruth Mc Dowell is terrific!