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Posts Tagged ‘book review’

Book Review: Deploy That Fabric

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

Jen Eskridge

Stash Books; $22.95


Who could resist this book title in a week with a patriotic holiday? At some point military uniforms become decommissioned, and quilter and military spouse Jen Eskridge takes the position that we should upcycle them to celebrate service members. Jen starts by showing you how to deconstruct uniforms then offers 23 projects for using your pieces, Projects range from the simple tote to quilts. Jen asks early in the book, “What matches a uniform?” She answers with, “Everything.” Yes, uniforms are a neutral and can be your light or dark. It was interesting to see how they just become the background among pinks and blues. The book also includes a techniques section that might be helpful for those who come from a non-sewing background.


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


Book Review: The AQS Guide to Quilt Care

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

The AQS Guide to Quilt Care
Bobbie A. Aug
American Quilter’s Society; $9.95

Written by AQS certified appriasers Bobbie A. Aug, Carol Butzke, Linda Honsberger and Gerald Roy, this revised edition of The AQS Guide to Quilt Care is designed to offer the reader guidance to protect their quilts, whether heirlooms or new. It covers basic quilt care, restoration or repair, displaying quilts, shipping quilts and insuring quilts. For the textile student, the book includes a glossary of terms and resources. I think this would be a handy reference for longarm quilters to provide their toppers with a completed quilt.

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

Book Review: Little Quilts for Big Occastions

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

Little Quilts for Big Occasions
Sandi Colwell
Leisure Arts, $9.95

With Memorial Day just passed and Independence Day around the corner, I enjoy using my red, white and blue wall hanging to add the right touch to the holidays. I also have a Christmas quilt and a Thanksgiving table runner. If you are looking for a cute wall hanging to celebrate holidays in your home, this collection of seven small wall hangings from Sandi Cowell will fit the bill. Sandi offers patterns with valentine’s, Easter, patriotic, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and birthday themes. Since I have a big birthday coming up next month, I have my eye on the sampler of six cupcakes.

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

Book Review: Quilted Symphony

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Quilted Symphony
Quilted Symphony
Gloria Loughman

C&T Publishing; $29.95

If you’ve ever seen Gloria Loughman’s award-winning quilts and wanted to know how she was able to create such wonderful art, you are in for a treat with her book. She goes through the basics of design and composition and color and then focuses on the construction process step-by-step. She covers appliqué, piecing and embellishments, including painting, beading and stitching options. The book also includes four projects and a gallery of student work. I found myself so engaged by the book that I was torn between wanting to look/read more or getting right to my fabric. This is a definite keeper!

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

Book Review: Delivering Happiness

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

Delivering Happiness
Delivering Happiness

Tony Hsieh
Business Plus; $23.99

Subtitled A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, these are the lessons Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos, learned in business and life. It’s a quick read, and I found the book offered some valuable lessons, particularly on creating a company culture, including core values, and delivering “WOW” through service. In the final analysis, Tony offers his belief that we are all after the same end goal, and that is happiness. If we keep asking ourselves “Why?” about our goals, we’ll end up with wanting to be happy. I can see this is so true when I think about why so many of us quilt or make art. It makes us and the recipients happy.

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

Book Review: More Loose Change

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

More Loose Change
More Loose Change

Claudia Plett and Le Ann Weaver
Martingale & Co.; $24.99

In this follow-up to Loose Change, Claudia Plett and Le Ann Weaver offer complete instructions to make 14 quilts from nickels (5-inch squares), dimes (10-inch squares) and quarters (fat quarters) of fabric. Projects range from simple pieced quilts to quilts that incorporate fusible machine appliqué. I loved the way the authors stuck to their monetary theme. The quilt titles include Bright Bullion, Easy Money, Fortune Cookie and Wooden Nickel. Quick designer tips, aka “Piggy Bank TIps,” are interspersed throughout the text.

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

Book Review: World War II Quilts

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

World War II Quilts
World War II Quilts
Sue Reich
Schiffer Publishing; $39.99

World War II era quilts have not been extensively studied, always being considered with quilts from the 1920s-1950s. Sue Reich became interested in this era after her family attended the dedication of the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C. This book resulted from five years of researching quilts and newspaper accounts of quiltmaking from World War II years. Sue looked at five styles of quilts: red, white and blue patriotic quilts; quilts with military symbols and insignia; quilts made for donation to the Red Cross and other organizations; quilts made to raise money for the war effort; and quilts that are like other quilts made between 1920 and 1950. I found this to be a fascinating look at quilts from 1940-45, ones I had not previously considered. I was charmed by the “Sweetheart Pillow Quilts” made from silk sweetheart pillow covers that were printed with poems and military base notations. Fun, too, were the variety of “Victory Garden Quilts.” Since I recently looked at the Modern Quilt trend today, I was amused by the notation in one of the articles Sue found: “Quilting, 1943 style, however, isn’t exactly what it was for grandma.” This book adds immensely to the scholarship of quilt history.

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

Selling Quilts and Fiber Arts to Vacationers and Tourists

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

I recently returned from Aruba. One of the highlights of the trip was looking at (and buying) local crafts from vendors at the timeshare where we stayed. This year I saw Aruban artists joined by an American, Doris Iversen. Doris makes beautiful handcrafted bead crochet and wire jewelry encompassing polymer clay. She has vacationed for many years in Aruba, and some years back when she was crocheting at the pool, the activities director asked if she would like to sell her work along with the local artists. It added variety to the selection, and she wouldn’t be competing with locals. Today when she makes her annual trip, she brings all the jewelry she can to sell at the twice-a-week evening events.

As I look back on other travels, I recall similar examples: the painter selling her work in the lobby of a small hotel in Hawaii and the artist-in-residence at the Art Colony Shops at the Greenbrier. If you live in an area frequented by vacationers or even vacation yourself in one particular spot, you might consider this as a possible sales outlet. Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Look at where you live or where you vacation. Spend some time going to resorts and seeing if they offer art or crafts events. Stop in the local galleries or crafts shops and ask if they know of any options. And, at the same time, you might ask about consignment or crafts purchasing. Some of this you may find out with an Internet search or a phone call.

2. If you want to consider contacting specific hotels ahead of time, look for the resources from AAA. Its destination guides will list details on hotels. You’ll also find information on its website ( The American Hotel and Lodging Association ( produces an annual guide of members’ establishments that is available to Allied Members or through STR Global ( As the cost is relatively high, you might want to look for a copy at the reference desk at your library.

3. Check with your state crafts guild. They may know of arts and crafts outlets. For example, in West Virginia, Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia is a statewide collection of handmade crafts, art and specialty food. It’s run by the Tamarack Foundation whose mission is “to preserve West Virginia’s cultural heritage and the development of a strong, creative economy through its work in the improvement, growth and support of arts-related industries.” From its beginnings in 1994, Tamarack has grown to represent 2,800 artisans. It is located just off I-77 and welcomes half a million visitors annually to its facility.

4. When you do find opportunities, questions to consider include:
· What fees are involved to participate? This could be a table fee or a commission on your work. You may need to join an organization.
· How do they advertise the crafts?
· Can you set up a sales table for conventions at larger hotels/resorts?
· Can you talk to some of the participating artists and get their experiences?

5. When contacting in person, go armed with business cards, brochures and a sample or two of your work. Nothing sells like seeing the real thing.

If you’ve had experience selling your work in a resort setting, please share with our other readers.


The International Association of Professional Quilters offers resources and networking opportunities for you to create a success from your quilting business.  Learn about all the benefits of IAPQ membership and join here.

Book Review: No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

No Excuses
No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline
Brian Tracy
Vanguard Press; $17.99

Brian Tracy says that what separates successful people from less successful people is self-discipline. In this book he looks at self-discipline in three distinct areas: personal success; business, sales and finance; and the “good life.” To be able to grow as a person and achieve happiness, which is really our end goal, requires self-discipline. Not easy to achieve in all areas. Some of the material wasn’t new to me, though it served as a good reinforcement. Because each of the 21 chapters (seven in each of the three areas) includes action exercises, I think it would be useful to do one each day for three weeks to build on the discipline you are practicing. Some readers may have problems with the sales focus in part of the book. I also wish the book included a list of references.

Look for the book at your favorite book retailer or go to Amazon to learn more about the book.

Book Review: Flip Flop Block Quilts

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Flip Flop Quilt Book

By Kathie Alyce
American Quilter’s Society; $22.95

In 2004 IAPQ member Kathie Alyce introduced her Flip Flop Block template at International Quilt Market and sold out. She knew she was onto something when a few years earlier she created a four-sided curved template that would serve as a basic shape from which to create many designs. What seemed like a simple idea has endless possibilities: Imagine a log cabin fitting in a block with curved edges or even a New York Beauty block. Kathie also produces an acrylic template for the blocks, and the book includes a paper shape that you can trace onto your own template plastic to create a template to use. The book includes 18 projects that range from placemats  to queen-size bed quilts. This is a great creativity stretcher for designing outside the square block.

Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.>

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