Monday, April 4, 2011
Today I'd like to share a few books I've been reading here and there over the last few weeks.
First is Fresh Quilting: Fearless Color, Design, and Inspiration. This book is 159 pages of wonderful eye candy, delightful projects, and great inspiration. The colors are bright and modern, and the projects are perfect for gifts and home decor. Quilts and quilted items are divided into the categories of "Patchwork Projects for Home, Family & Friends" and "Fresh Quilts for Wall, Bed, and Baby." I love hearing the "quilting story" of various quilters, and the introduction gives us Malka's beginnings as an artist. The book contains beautiful photographs and wonderful diagrams for the projects and is a truly inspirational read for the modern quilter.
There have been several reviews around blogland of Amy Ellis' Modern Basics: Easy Quilts to Fit Your Budget, Space, and Style (That Patchwork Place); I was thankful to receive a copy from Martingale to read and review! Modern Basics truly is everything the title proclaims it to be--a terrific book for the beginning quilter wanting to make fresh, modern quilts. Like every book Martingale publishes, this book has beautiful photos and great instructions. There are 14 quilts made from simple-to-piece blocks. There is a great section on Quiltmaking Basics and there are wonderful tips from Amy throughout the book on topics such as quilting and sewing techniques, organization, finding time to quilt, and making a space for your creating.
S is for Scraps: 18 Great Quilts (That Patchwork Place) is another book I received from Martingale for review. Once again, this is another book that gets a "thumbs up." There are 18 quilts in this book, and the projects range from simple designs to some that are more complex. Although most of the quilt designs are traditional, there are also patterns that translate easily to use with modern prints and fabrics. I love the section at the beginning of the book titled "Being More Productive" which includes tips and great ideas for quilters of all levels. There are explanations throughout the book of more difficult piecing techniques, including a great section on piecing LeMoyne Star blocks and sewing set-in seams.
Okay...so I know this isn't a quilting book...but it is an amazing cookbook. I've been reading the delightful blog "Our Best Bites" for a while now and absolutely love the recipes there. Our Best Bites: Mormon Moms in the Kitchen is just an incredible cookbook. I've been cooking almost exclusively from this for the last few weeks, and my very picky family has loved every recipe. Many of the recipes can be found on the blog, but the cookbook is a delight to have. I love the hinged binding--and again there are beautiful photos and wonderful tips along the way. It's definitely user friendly--yesterday my 15 year old made the crepes along with Buttermilk Caramel Syrup for breakfast. Later, we used some of the left-over syrup on ice-cream...delicious! We've made mostly main dishes and soups so far--oh, and we also used their dough recipe for homemade pizza--like I said, you can't go wrong with this cookbook!
Another blog I read, SimpleMom, led me to the book Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living. Again, this is a great book (bound with a spiral binding...so helpful when you are referring to various pages again and again). Half of the book focuses on creating a simple life--organized, yet streamlined so that you can completely enjoy living the life you desire. The second half of the book offers suggestions on decluttering and cleaning every area in your home. There are great recipes for homemade and environmentally friendly cleaners along with web resources for every section of the book. I also love the quotes sprinkled throughout on simplicity and appreciate Tsh's easy-to-read style.
Well...there had to be a little fabric in this post. I thought I had the perfect project for this Layer Cake of Strawberry Fields...turns out I'm content just to look at it...and flip through the fabrics now and again. This layer cake was actually the only fabric that came in last week. All that went out was the fabric for my "Brocante" quilt... so since only 3 1/8 came in and 3 7/8 went out...my yearly stash totals didn't change much (111 5/8 in and 81 3/8 out leaving -30 1/4).
Hope you enjoyed the book reviews...be back soon with some actual quilting!