Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Crafty bookshelf, post 1

I figured it might be interesting to devote a post or two to my crafty book shelf and the growing collection of craft books I am accumulating. These sweet little shelves reside just to the right of my sewing desk and hold all of my crafty books (and that black thing on top of the left one is the antique typewriter I got Rob for our 7 years of dating bliss anniversary). I haven't made projects from most of them, but I love surrounding myself with them. I love flipping through them and looking at the pictures; I find it immensely inspiring. So, left to right, here's the breakdown of what's on my book shelf: 

Quilts: A calendar. This calendar is awesome. It's hanging on the wall right now, but in the envelope are the patterns for all of the quilts on the calendar. It's like a book, but for the wall!

The Quilts of Gee's Bend. This book was a lovely Christmas gift from Rob in...2005? We were lucky enough to see the Gee's Bend show when it came to the MFA in Boston the summer before that. All of that happened years before I actually started quilting myself! But I do believe it all helped plant the seed... 

The Quilt
. This is another Christmas gift from Rob but from this past year, 2007. It is huge and full of so much information. I started to read it over my Christmas break but didn't get very far. I really do intend to read it someday, but it's a little unwieldy and must be read at home, probably in the winter time. 

Pieceful Patches half-square triangles book. This was a birthday gift from my grandmother, the one who quilts. Gramma Mary received these half-square triangle freezer paper templates as a gift from someone and loved them so much. They are really easy and make perfect double-triangle squares! The book was accompanied by some templates plus a nice note from her calling out the patterns she particularly likes. It is something I really treasure. 

Not Just Another Quilt
. This was a book purchased used at the Brookline Booksmith. I was fairly new to quilting at the time and snagged this one because it had some interesting arty quilts in it + patterns. At this point, I don't really like this book and don't think it will be all that helpful. It may be something to purge, if it comes to that. 

All About Quilting from A to Z
. Another used book from the Booksmith, from the same trip mentioned above. This book is a bit more helpful, though, and I've found myself going to it a couple of times for reference. 

Happy Hour Quilts by Atkinson Designs. I bought this at my local quilt shop in November. I have made two of the projects in the book--the one on the cover (in a similar colorway) for my retired boss Steve, and the cute tote bag, which I got a lot of compliments on. I'm sure I've said it before, but I really like Atkinson Designs and their patterns! 

Cut-Loose Quilts. I got this book from Overstock.com because I became obsessed with the butterflies quilts. There was a four- or six-block sampler up in my local quilt shop for a long time and I always admired it. Then, when I stumbled across the book with the techniques to make that and similar blocks, I had to get it. I haven't made anything yet, but I'm slowly accumulating fabrics for my own butterfly wall hanging. 

Tradition with a Twist. Another book I bought--I think from Overstock, too--because I was obsessed with a project in it. The Blooming Nine-Patch, if you haven't already seen it, is incredible. See some examples online here and here. I haven't made this one yet, but it's an idea that's been brewing in the back of my mind for a looooong time. 

Quilting in the Country. One of my introductory books from the Crafter's Choice book club. I know, I know... It's a little cheesy and a lot embarrassing, but I couldn't resist joining! This book promises themed quilting and patchwork projects plus recipes and party ideas. It's cute to look at, but I don't think I'll be making any of the projects, recipes, OR hosting any of the parties any time soon. Might be a purger in a year or so. 

Stash-Buster Quilts. Another of the Crafter's Choice picks. This one seems pretty good, though I really only leafed through it when I got it. At some point I will need to make some stash-buster projects, so I will come back to this. 

Bits and Pieces. Yet ANOTHER Crafter's Choice book. This is probably my favorite from my first round of books. It's a fat-quarter-or-smaller kind of book, and the quilts are doll size or smaller. They're also very lovely! There are sections on rectangles, triangles, diamonds, and applique. All of the projects just call out for hand-piecing and hand-quilting, too! My newest idea, which Rob seems fine with, is to do a series (like 5+) of small quilts and hang them in the hallway outside our apartment door (we live in the top floor of a little house, so only us and our visitors and the occasional visit from the landlord will see it, but still... we're running out of wall space!). 

Easy Bias-Covered Curves. I blogged about receiving this book here. Lots of ideas in it, and some really great projects, though, honestly, I don't mind piecing my curves... I suppose all it really takes is one Drunkard's Path quilt to change that, though! 

Quiltmaking by Hand. I thought I'd blogged about buying this book back in April or something, shortly after I started my Dear Jane, but now I can't find that entry and I don't think it exists! Oh well. I'd read a lot about this book online and it's well regarded as THE book on hand-piecing. I also haven't read this book, and I really should, since I've been doing so much hand work these days. I would like to do a mini sampler using the techniques in here. Perhaps this summer, if I ever finish those dresses.... 

Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts. Ahh, this bit of wonderfulness. So far I've used this book to make two projects, but I can see myself making so many more. It's beautiful, and creative, and just one of the wonderful things I like to surround myself with. 

Denyse Schmidt Quilts. This book was recommended to me by my friend Jenn and was a Christmas gift from my mom in 2006. It's my FIRST quilting book, and I used it a lot when I was quilting and binding my first quilt. Denyse Schmidt's style is so cool yet simple. I've made this big project from the book, but also a bunch of other things. I think this is my most-used book as far as projects go. I've had a good, easy time making them all--what else can you ask for in a craft book? 

The Quilter's Catalog. Aaand, rounding out the "quilting" shelf, is this one, which I also blogged about receiving here. (Yes, it's another Crafter's Choice, but this one I paid for.) I've read snippets of the book here and there, and from what I can tell it's informative without being burdensome or breezy. The 12 projects aren't the greatest, but this is not a project kind of book. I definitely want to read this one over time, too. It's just a little hefty to be lugging to Boston and back 5 times a week. 

Missing is my Dear Jane book, which I have stashed away with my templates and rulers and fabrics for the Dear Jane quilt. Obviously, I'm using this book. I've also read it, though there's not a ton of text in it. I found it a little too "cutesy," but whatever; it's not bothersome. 

So, there you have it, my first of three entries on my crafty bookshelves. It's really a collection of beautiful things that inspire me to make more beautiful things. It's a wonderful resource

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