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Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

Book Review: Step-by-Step Free-Motion Quilting

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

 

Step-by-step free motion quilting

 

Step-by-Step Free-Motion Quilting: Turn 9 Simple Shapes into 80+ Distinctive Designs
Christina Cameli
C&T Publishing; $24.95

 

When I look at the machine quilting on many of today’s quilts, it is daunting. I don’t have much experience machine quilting and know that practice is the answer. When I picked up this book, I was stuck by how simple Christina Cameli makes it. She takes nine elements — circle, curving lines, loop, drop, spiral, leaf, the “s” curve, arc and grass — and sets out to show you how to create more than 80 quilting designs. She includes her imperfect sketches, and when placed with more imperfect sketches, the design just works wonderfully. It should give you the freedom of just “going with the flow” at the sewing machine or longarm. Of course, Christina suggests that you practice by sketching to build up that muscle. If you are looking for “doable” designs to begin your machine quilting adventure, this book is a good choice.

 

Look for this book at your favorite quilt or book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

 

Book Review: Profit First

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

 

Profit First

 

Profit First
Mike Michalowicz
Obsidian Press; $24.95

 

This book was recommended to me and when I found it in the Kindle store for $2.99, I hit the 1-Click® button, downloaded and began reading. I am so glad I did. Most of us learned the basic formula Income – Expenses = Profit. Profit is what you have left. Mike teaches you Income – Profit = Expenses. Even if you know to pay yourself first and are doing it, this is more. You start with four types of accounts (Profit, Owner’s Pay, Taxes, Expenses) and divvy the money up in the order according to set percentages. What happens if you don’t have enough left for your expenses? It doesn’t mean take from the other accounts; it means you need to get rid of the expenses you cannot afford. One of the other suggestions Mike offers is to get  a handle on bill paying by doing that twice a month, on the 10th and 25th. The book includes an Instant Assessment so you can see where you stand, as well as suggested percentages to apply to the four accounts. Yes, some of it seems obvious, yet how many of us are really doing this? Definitely worth the read.

 

Look for this book at your favorite quilt or book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

 

Book Review: Animal Parade

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

Animal parade Leffler

Animal Parade
Cheri Leffler
Martingale; $26.99

 

The first baby quilts I made as gifts both featured animals. One was a bear with a honey pot; the other was an elephant that had a yarn tail. I made them in the 1970s, and both recipients took them to college. I was impressed they held up that long. I’ve always liked animals as subjects for baby quilts, and Cheri Leffler offers some delightfully whimsical designs that can be completed in your choice of appliqué technique. Cheri includes instructions for needleturn and fusible web appliqué. The 10 patterns feature a mix of patchwork with the appliquéd animals. I was taken with “Penguin Playdate.” Think Sunbonnet Sue in a variety of escapades only as a penguin. You’ll also find rollicking foxes, happy frogs and tree-hugging koalas. This is a fun group of baby quilts.

Look for this book at your favorite quilt or book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

Book Review: Dare to Dance: An Art Quilt Challenge

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

Dare to Dance

 

Dare to Dance: An Art Quilt Challenge
Mary Kerr
Schiffer; $24.99

 

I love books that feature a variety of quilts on the same theme, and that is what Dare to Dance offers. Sixty artists each created an 18 x 30 quilt that reflected the theme “Dare to Dance:An Artist’s Interpretation of Joy.” Of course, joy is so open to interpretation and you can see that in each of the quilts. In addition to a full shot of each quilt, the book includes each artist’s story, a story of the quilt and what joy means to her. Some of my favorites included “Space Bubbles II” by Lisa Reber, “The Joy of Dancing on a Rainbow” by Judy Ross and “The Red Slipper” by Dianne Thomas. Treat yourself and then create your own story of joy.

 

Look for this book at your favorite quilt or book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

Book Review: American Quilts

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

American Quilts Democratic Art

American Quilts: A Democratic Art
Robert Shaw
Sterling; $29.95

 

Originally published in 2009 and recently updated, American Quilts: The Democratic Art takes a look at the evolution and growth of American quilts from 1780 through 2013. I found myself unable to put the book down, from its elegantly written prose to the more than 370 photographs. You can easily read the book from cover to cover or jump from era to era. It was fun, too, to revisit some of the quilts I remember early on in my study of quilting and to see some I didn’t recognize. And, be sure to enjoy the tactile nature of the book cover with its quilting stitch quality. A last note: with the price of most quilt books hovering near $30, this is clearly a bargain; I first thought the pricing was a misprint. If you are looking for a last minute gift, treat yourself or a friend to American Quilts.

 

Look for this book at your favorite quilt or book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

 

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WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?

Please do! Just use it in its entirety and be sure to include the blurb below:

Morna McEver is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals where creative arts entrepreneurs craft business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a FREE subscription at http://www.creativeartsprofessional.com.

 

 

Book Review: Sew and Play

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

Sew and Play Handmade Games for Kids

Sew and Play
Farah D. Wolfe
Martingale; $26.99

 

Will your holidays include little ones? Is one of your goals getting them interested in sewing? You’ll find several ways to engage them in Sew and Play by Farah Wolfe. An occupational therapist, Farah shares 11 games that will get your kids playing with fabrics and build physical, cognitive and social skills. The games are varied and you can get kids to help you pick out the fabrics or sew, if they are old enough. For example, Foot Frenzy will look familiar to fans of the Twister game. Kids could select fabrics and help cut the feet. You’ll come up with lots of ideas to engage your young ones, whether it’s playing the games or participating in its construction.

 

Look for this book at your favorite quilt or book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

 

– – – – – – – – – –

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?

Please do! Just use it in its entirety and be sure to include the blurb below:

Morna McEver is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals where creative arts entrepreneurs craft business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a FREE subscription at http://www.creativeartsprofessional.com.

 

 

Book Review: The Becolourful Quilt Collection

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

TheBeColourfulQuiltCollection

 

The BeColourful Quilt Collection
Jacqueline de Jonge
AQS: $28.95

 

Jacqueline de Jonge is an award winning quilter from Delft, in the Netherlands, and her work is known for its vibrant colors. This over-sized book features 54 of Jacqueline’s most striking designs, each shown full size with additional close up detail images. While the quilts are based on traditional designs, they each have a contemporary twist. I found the book inspiring and a feast for the eyes.

 

Look for this book at your favorite quilt or book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

 

 

Book Review: Necktie Quilts

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

necktie quilts

 

Necktie Quilts
Christine Copenhaver
C&T Publishing; $24.95

 

Those of us who have been quilting for some time remember when necktie quilts were popular. With the arrival of Necktie Quilts Revisited by Christine Copenhaver, we may see more. Christine set out to write the book for three reasons: to share her technique of stabilizing the necktie material with fusible interfacing; to provide practical information on sewing with neckties; and to offer fresh ideas for quilts made from neckties. Her discussion on the nuances and how to use necktie patterns was fun to read, particularly the significance of the colors. The book includes instruction for 17 projects and a gallery of additional quilts. I know I have a stash of ties in the back of a closet, so a necktie quilt may be in my future.

 

Look for this book at your favorite quilt or book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

 

Book Review: Hop, Skip, Jump

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

Hop Skip Jump

 

Hop, Skip, Jump: 75 Ways to Playfully Manifest a Meaningful Life
Marney Makridakis
New World Library; $16.95

 

Have you ever considered the impact play has in what you bring about in your life? Creativity expert Marney Makridakis explains that manifesting ultimately comes down to momentum, and play connects us to the power of momentum, without even realizing it. Her goal in writing this book is to give us tools to use at the intersection between play and productivity to manifest whatever we desire. She starts out with a quirky quiz so we can learn if we are hoppers, skippers or jumpers. That lets you know if you are more comfortable connecting with your vision and plans to see that your dreams are on solid ground; trying lots of different things and creating momentum as a result; or quickly taking action and moving things to completion, sometimes without thinking things through. Once you have got your core comfort level determined, she gives you 75 ready-to-use tools to push through the blocks in your way. And, you can just open the book to any tool and use it then; no need to start at the beginning of the book and work your way through. Here are just a few: Creating your imaginary board of directors and holding an imaginary meeting; creating your own permission slips; using Internet oracles to answer project questions; turning your doubts into dares. I also loved her quick fun facts and AcroWhims (ACTION = Answering Calls to Initiate Opportunities Now) and Manifestagrams (Manifest= “Amen” fits) at the end of the chapters. This book is downright fun and will get your creative, productive juices running.

 

Look for this book at your favorite quilt or book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

 

Book Review: Adventures in Fabric

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Adventures in Fabric

Adventures in Fabric-La Todera Style
Julie M. Creus
Stash Books; $25.95

You will find bright fabrics, a touch of whimsy and creative construction techniques in this collection of 20 projects from designer Julie M. Creus. I became a fan with the first project a large floor pillow, the Harlequin Star Pillow Chair. Julie was inspired by a Victorian pin cushion and exploded its dimensions 100 times to be 46″ in diameter and 23.5″ tall. The projects are divided in use, e.g., living room, dining room, sewing room, holidays. One of the “Just for You” selections is retro look at a favorite kid’s craft – using gum wrappers to make rings or bracelets. Julie has updated this to use fabrics to make a fabric cuff. I’m sure you’ll find something fun to add to your home.

Look for the book at your favorite quilt or book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

 

 

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