Friday, August 29, 2008


Creative Collage Making Memories in Mixed Media by Marie Browning isn't a must have but it is certainly a nice gift to give a beginning collage artist. I have some friends that love to learn new techniques but they tell me they have no idea what to do with them after they have made them.
These are people that like to do something and have it have a purpose. I'm more of the make it for the experience, see if it works, maybe change it up a little, let it sit while I think on it and then who knows what will happen to it, kind of person.
But, I understand where these other people are coming from and when I teach a workshop I like to have a project in mind that they can do and feel like they have accomplished something.
She covers about 13 different collage projects that are quite suitable for giving as gifts. She has a chapter devoted to miniature collage jewelry. She has another chapter on altered art, photo collage and how to use beeswax and tissue paper in your collage.
Again, another book from Joann's Fabric store in the sewing and craft section. Considering how much information you do get in this book and the color photos it's not a bad price to pay $14.95 and use your coupon.

DOVER - Leonardo da Vinci

I'm a fan of Leonardo da Vinci. I've downloaded his sketches to use as background in a number of my collages. To have an entire book with all of them AND a full color CD included put me in art heaven.
There are 206 royalty-free designs in this book. Well worth the $19.95 price.


I was looking at all the new Dover books when I was in B&N the other day.
I picked up this one to bring home with me. I love the Art Nouveau period. This book by Judy Balchin and out of Search Press has a number of beautiful black outline designs that can be used for art work, embroidery, fiber projects or needlecraft.
I'm sure other creative people would find other uses for these drawings.


I've seen just about every technique there is for painting on paper. I've certainly tried most of them. I'm even going to be teaching a workshop at the local library, in December, on painted paper. So, why would I even need another book about it?
This book by Alisa Golden caught my attention, from the cover to the beautiful photos inside.
And, it is full of techniques with step by step instructions and the best part?
There are projects for making handmade books and cards. There is an origami envelope project, a circle accordion book, shikishi and holder, Venetian Blind book and I could go on and on.
She explains about different kinds of paints, gesso and stencils, acrylic inks, paste and masking.
I actually found this book at Joann's in the sewing section.
I used my 40% coupon to purchase it. That helped with the $24.95 sticker shock.


This is the kind of book that you really don't need to have but it's eye candy for inspiration.
It features a number of artists, Lesley Riley, KC Willis, Lisa Engelbrecht, Jill Haglund, Julie McCullough, Pamela Allen and more.
Lots of color photos and hidden in the text by the different artists are tips that might be of interest.
This might be a book to look at over a chai latte at Barnes and Noble, for those of you on a tight budget.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Beginner's Guide To Art Quilts

This is probably one book someone new to the idea of Art Quilts should pick up and read. It's published by Leisure Arts Publications and it's 68 pages are packed with information and techniques. Seasoned quilters and mixed media people will find the information very basic. But, if you have wanted to try a different technique this might be the book for you.
It starts out with a basic nine patch in beautiful hand dyes, fused dyed fabrics a photo transfer, simple quilting and a binding made from using the backing fabric folded to the front. I admit these might not be the techniques that I would use but there isn't anything wrong with them. The Art Quilt police are not going to come by your home because you used the backing to bind instead of creating a separate binding. And, yes mitered edges on the binding look prettier and perhaps more finished but again, everything doesn't have to be done one way.
Simple embroidery stitches are demonstrated. How to create a crazy quilt is shown. How to do a photo transfer, gold leafing and rubber stamping, fabric coloring, altering commercial fabrics, sprays, crayons and fabric pens, dyeing with tea and coffee and inks, it's all in the book.
So, if you don't have any experience with any of these techniques and you are interested in trying them out, this is an excellent book for you.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

M. Joan Lintault Connecting Quilts, Art & Textiles

If you like her work you are going to love looking through this book. The book is rich in detail and explanations. It's the kind of book that when you are feeling like the muse hasn't been to your studio for a loooooooooooooong time, this book might get you excited to try something different. Her discussions about what had impacts on her art are inspiring. It reminded me to keep looking around my daily existence, keep that camera with me and allow myself time to connect the dots of what I might be seeing and how it might influence my own art work. If you want to check out her website, She also has a blog devoted to indigo dyeing a, natural dyes and resist techniques,

Contemporary Quilting

If you are thinking it's time to experiment with an art quilt this might be the book that helps you climb out of that box. It's full of techniques and photos of quilts by a number of award winning quilters. Cindy Walter and Stevii Graves have pulled together an interesting book with projects that are doable. There are 12 different projects, with different techniques that will challenge and teach you. Included, in the back of the book are photos of some of the award winning quilts by the different contributing quilters. If you haven't been to a major quilt show and had a chance to see some of these quilts, here is an opportunity to study them.
ALL THAT SAID, out of a 141 page book, pictures from the gallery start on page 62. That's a lot of photos of artist quilts. At a price of $24.99 I'm not sure I really need a book of mostly photos of award winning quilts.

Creating Texture with Textiles

Creating Texture with Textiles by Linda McGehee is worth buying a cuppa at the bookstore and taking the time to really go through the book. She discusses the different sewing machine feet available and explains the different techniques and ways in which you might use these feet. The detailed color photos are extremely helpful for those of us who might actually have the feet that came with our machines and have never used. She has a in depth chapter on different needles, close up pictures of them and explains the different situations that we should be using all these different sizes of needles. She discusses crinkling of fabric, how to achieve that look, how to dye and bleach fabric and impregnate the fabric with color, stain and tint. Again, the photos for these chapters are extremely helpful in understanding what she is talking about.
There is a chapter on decorative stitching. She discusses threads, bobbin threads, when to use a certain stitch and how to actually and when to use the double needle.
If you are good friends with your sewing machine and you've done a lot of embellishments you might find some of this information old hat. For most people just venturing into this new technique field this is an extremely helpful book. I've only covered a portion of the chapters, there are many more on creating different textures with your fabric.

Fat Quarter Frenzy Two

Well, I do love to pick up fat quarters especially the bundles tied with a bow. They offer so many possibilities at the time. Susan Mark and Daphne Greig have jumped on the band wagon of quilting books to create another book that gives the reader the fabric requirements of a quilt, done with fat quarters. Cutting instructions are given like a cooking recipe which makes it easy for the reader to get all the cutting done correctly before sewing. They offer 12 different patterns from quilts to table runners. Again, I would suggest taking the time to page through this book first and see if there are really any quilt designs that you think you might actually make.

Traditional Quilts with a Twist

Traditional Quilts with a Twist by Maggie Ball is a eye pleasing book filled with basic block construction of eight traditional blocks. She offers some creative combinations and settings of these blocks. What gets me are the prices of quilt books these days. This paperback bound book is $22.99 and frankly that's a lot of money to add it to your bookshelf. I purchased mine with my local sewing store coupon off. I would suggest that you take the time to look at this book carefully and if you see a quilt design that you just absolutely love, fine get the book but unless you have money to burn it just didn't knock my socks off.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Caliente Quilts

I love Priscilla Bianchi's use of color and ethnic fabrics. I have always loved the colors of Guatemala fabrics. She includes an interesting look at her family and background a peek into her studio and a galeria at the back of the book of all her quilts. She even includes a resource section where you can find exotic fabrics. She does offer nine different projects for the reader.
She has an interesting technique for making her labels. She prints her labels on an inkjet printer and makes them 81/2"x5". She writes as much information about the quilt design, inspiration and general information as possible. She can print two labels at a time on one sheet. She also uses a Jacquard product of a sheet of silk fused to freezer paper. She says that silk gives the best resolution, even with small lettering. To give the label a more tailored look she lines it with soft muslin.

Blended Quilt Backgrounds

I've been catching up on some recent additions to my quilting book library. This book, Blended Quilt Backgrounds arrived before my vacation so I didn't have time to really study it. Written by Jean Biddick and published by the American Quilter's Society it offers 10 different quilt projects. At first I didn't think they were particularly interesting until I realized that I just didn't like the color selection they had used. I think one of the other reasons I had selected this book was because it said Create Secondary patterns under the title. I just didn't really see the secondary patterns in the projects that were selected.
I will hang on to the book until my Internet buddies arrive for Quilt Camp. If it speaks to one of them it can go home with them, otherwise, I'll probably donate this one to my local library.
It just didn't knock my socks off, folks.