No substitute for sewing but….

Well, I’ve done absolutely no sewing for almost three weeks and I have severe withdrawal symptoms. However, I discovered to my horror, amazement and then delight, in that order, that I hadn’t spent all of my gift token money and it was about to expire in 8 days GASP!

So, while I haven’t been sewing, I’ve been checking out and buying some new quilting books. I never make things from books but I do enjoy feeding off the inspiration they provide and I am delighted with my choices which were delivered very quickly. I’m now spent up, as far as the gift tokens are concerned, and I did have to add a few pennies to buy all four books but it worked out very nicely I think. Here are my choices:

ImageFrom left to right:

Double Pinwheel Quilt, Eleanor Burns

Dream Landscapes, Rose Hughes

Convergence Quilts, Ricky Tims

Schnibbles Times Two, Carrie Nelson

Here are my mini reviews of each book. Please bear in mind I am not an expert quilter or book reviewer. These are just my own thoughts and I’m not advertising or recommending them. It just took me a lot of time to choose what to spend my tokens on, so I’m sharing my choices.

In no particular order, first up, Double Pinwheel Quilt

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As usual, like anything written by Eleanor Burns, the diagrams and instructions are very user friendly. The photographs of each stage of construction are explained with very clear text. This quilt is made using a strip piecing method so it will make up fast and give great results, I’m sure. Instructions are given for different sized blocks and several different quilt designs depending on fabric choices. Some books bore me by repeating what others have written before about things like colour values, equipment e.g. rotary cutter and mat etc. but Eleanor gets straight down to the business of sewing, the best part :-)

Now, I’m not one of those girls who has to have a handbag or a bag for anything for that matter but I do like the bag on the back cover. Complete instructions are included in the book. My sister would love it! It isn’t complicated either :D

Second, Dream Landscapes

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This is my kind of art :-) I’m not one for still life or art that is supposed to depict something real but doesn’t look like it to me or isn’t actually correct. Artist’s license I think they call it. To me, if it is a painting of the Eiffel Tower then it should look like the Eiffel Tower and not have bits added or taken away just because the composition of the painting, in the artist’s eyes, would be better when the detail is “tinkered with”.

So these, abstract style designs, where they are not pretending to be anything real, are in the style I like. Just playing around with shape, space, colour and textures is what amuses me in my own little fantasy quilty world.

I mean, look at the colour of the cover. PURPLE Yey!! Who says “Don’t judge a book by the cover”? Too late!

I really chose this book because I’d like to try applique, which I’ve dabbled with before but without great success. I have made a fantasy landscape at a workshop here  but apart from that, nothing. So, I’m going to use applique in my secret project Shhhh!! which is still in my head after all these months.

Rose spends only a few pages explaining the basics and then you are quickly into the projects which you can try if you choose to. However, the best bit for me, is that she teaches you how to plan your own designs. At the back of the book, there are photos of her students’ quilts. They are all stunning! I’m so pleased I bought this book and can’t wait to experiment.

Third, Convergence Quilts

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Any mathematician would go weak at the knees at the sound of the word “convergence”. This is what switched me on to this book he-he. On further examination beyond the front cover, the fabrics used are fabulous. Bright is the order of the day, which I love. The methods are very straightforward and clearly explained. Dare I say, it looks easy? There are loads of lovely photographs of completed designs. Because of the types of fabrics used, there could never be two the same. Maybe this will drag me away from my beloved solids :-) I can’t wait to try this technique because I would imagine they will be quick to piece (famous last words!). I might try some seriously bright batiks……saving up already :-)

One of the reviews I read about this book questioned the need for the author to give details of his life before he was quilting. There are only four pages of his autobiography altogether at the front of the book and I found it quite interesting :-)

Last, but not least, Schnibbles Times Two (Sorry but I can’t bear to repeat the lower case letters in the title. Pedantic, I know.)

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I love pre-cuts, especially Moda ones and this book looked as though it would have quick and easy modern designs inside. I’m really pleased it delivers what it says on the cover. There are lots of lovely quilts with very straightforward and concise instructions. I really like the way Carrie concentrates on a large and small quilt from the same design idea before going onto the next quilt and also the way she writes in a friendly way.  The diagrams and photographs are well set out with relevant text next to them. I would be pleased to make up all of these patterns. It is rare that I would think about making even one design from a book as I usually like different aspects of different designs but these are all fabulous the way they are.

So there you go, not as nice as browsing through the books yourselves maybe, but I hope to give an idea of what you would be getting should you be looking for a new book. I tried to buy a selection of books that would show me different techniques and ideas from the ones I already have and they seem to fit that purpose.

Now all I have to do is recover from this trapped nerve and get back to sewing!

I would love to know which quilting books are your favourites. I know I have some which I wish I hadn’t spent hard earned money on but they shall remain nameless.

Have a wonderful crafty weekend everyone! I’ll be catching up on reading more of my favourite blogs and thinking about you all :-) It looks like we have sunshine forecast in the UK for a couple of days :D

Avis x

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29 Comments

  1. Ooooooo that Dream Landscapes one looks VERY interesting. Might have to have a closer look myself at that one.

    Reply
    • Do you know what? I was thinking of your little houses when I saw the cover….honestly!! This book is right up your street. Would you like to see more of it? Have a great weekend :-)

      Reply
  2. Jen

     /  July 20, 2012

    Great Review. I have the Dream Landscapes book and have tried quite a few of them myself. They are terrific. Enjoy. I have the Convergence and have fabric just haven’t given it a whirl yet – but looking forward to it. And the Schnibbles book I enjoy. I’ve made quite a few of them – big and little versions. Her writing is very funny to me.

    Reply
  3. claire93

     /  July 20, 2012

    thanks for bringing those books to my attention – I love craft books so, when I’m next on amazon, I’ll go have a look

    Reply
    • I did buy through Amazon but I always look at the other “new” or “used” ones. Three of these are new from The Book Depository and the Schnibbles one was supposed to be used from Awesome books. It has never been opened. Even with the extra p+p, they still cost less than Amazon itself. I’ve bought from these companies several times and would definitely recommend.

      Reply
  4. Avis….Such diverse choices! They all look interesting. I am familiar with the last one (Schnibbles x2) and have made many of the quilts pictured in it……my review: Excellent!!!! I pray you are back at quilting/sewing soon! Enjoy your weekend of sunshine!! Hugs, D

    Reply
  5. Hi Avis! Thank you for showing your new books which look so wonderful! this reminds me in the Finnish library, because I have only few in my bookself. Enjoy and have fun! Hopefully you show us some more in future …
    Happy weekend! x Teje

    Reply
    • Yes, I don’t have many quilting books as I’m fairly new to quilting. These have given the collection a nice boost :-) Avis x

      Reply
  6. witchylin

     /  July 21, 2012

    Hope you can get sewing again very soon Avis. Love the book choices. I quite fancy the Double Pinwheel. I too like the bag, it would be useful to keep crafty things in it when moving around.

    Reply
  7. Thanks Witchylin. No respite today I’m afraid. I picked up my cross-stitch and had to put it down again before I managed to finish one piece of thread! Looks like I’m off to the doc on Monday again :-(

    Reply
  8. We wont tell my sister about the double pinwheel bag, OK :) I´m sure I´would love the book about Convergence quilts. At least it looks like patterns that I like :) Been thinking of doing something like that some day……LOL. Enjoyed reading your bookreview!
    Gun, Sweden

    Reply
  9. I love the word ‘Schnibbels’. <3 That's actually how I pronounce the German word 'Schnippel' im my Northern accent. It would be 'Snibbel/Snippel' in Low German, depending on where you're from. :) 'Convergence Quilts' seems very interesting, I might have a look (or even try it in the future). Have a nice weekend and get well soon.

    Reply
    • Thank you Jule :-) I always learn a lot from your brilliant use of language!
      It is very easy to work out how to make the convergence quilts just by looking at the cover. The other designs shown inside simply change the direction of the cuts. The strips can be straight or curved. I look forward to watching you experiment :-D Good luck!

      Reply
  10. Wow! I can’t wait to see the creations you come up with based on these books. And please, is Schnibbel a quilting term?

    Reply
    • Hi Jodi :D No, schnibble isn’t specifically a quilting term but it is a real word meaning scraps, usually in relation to food, but the author wanted to use it for fabric. I haven’t heard other quilters use this word. We just say “scraps”. It could be a while before I can sew again. I’ve got a trapped nerve in my arm. This is why I’ve been doing boring non-sewing posts :-(
      I’m bursting with ideas and driving myself CRAZEEEE!!

      Reply
  11. wendysquilting

     /  July 30, 2012

    Great choices! I love Carrie’s Schnibble patterns, and Ricky’s Convergence is awesome, Eleanor’s double pinwheels..just looking at the cover got my wheels turning with new ideas. I haven’t seen the Dream Landscapes before but I’ll be looking into it. Thank you for the great reviews and also for visiting my blog :)

    Reply
    • Thank you :) Yes, I’ve had a chance to have a good look through them all now and I’m itching to get sewing again. I really love your blog!! Avis x

      Reply
  12. I really like the Schnibble x2 book. I may even get it myself to bump up my small quilting books collection and provide more inspiration!

    Reply

I really enjoy reading your comments. Have a lovely day :-)

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