Saturday, April 26, 2014

April Reading

April 26th 2014

This is my reading pile for April.  

Gee's Bend, The Architecture Of The Quilt by 
This is a wonderful reference book and one I look through often.  It documents the lives and quilts of the community of women who have become known as the Gee's Bend Quilters.  The women were mostly descendants of slaves and in 2002 their quilts were exhibited first at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and then became a traveling exhibition, showing at other major museums.  The book explores the making of the quilts and their designs with lots of fabulous photographs of the quilts themselves and some really wonderful old black and white photos of life in Gee's Bend.  The earliest quilts date back from the 1920's but it is incredible how vibrant they are and how contemporary the designs are.  Many of them look like pieces of modern art.  

Scandinavian Stitch Craft by Karin Holmberg
I have been learning about Scandinavian style embroidery from this book and showed some photos of my embroidery sampler in a previous blog post.  The patterns are fun and the instructions clear.  I mostly used it for learning the techniques and about the different styles.  

Storyland Cross Stitch by Sophie Simpson
This is a really pretty book and a recent purchase.  I think I'm going to enjoy playing with some of these designs.  The instructions all seem pretty detailed so I don't think you'd need to be an experienced cross stitcher to work on the projects in this book. There are lots of diagrams and pictures.   My only criticism is that the print is so small!!!

Woodland Knits by Stephanie Dosen
I can't recommend this book enough.  When I first saw it, I thought there was little in it that I would be able to knit but that isn't the case.  I can knit but I don't have the patience for big projects.  This has lots of quirky, fun projects most of which are completely doable.  I have made the Dragon Watchers Hood and the Free Rapunzel hat.  I really enjoyed making both and they turned out exactly like the pictures!

Handmade Books For Everyday Adventures by Erin Zamrzla
This "how-to" book has 20 bookbinding projects.  It's a library book and I don't think I would buy it because it doesn't have as many pictures as I like in a book I'm trying to learn from.  However, it does have some interesting ideas for books to make and the instructions seem pretty clear.  

The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin
I've been reading this very readable book to learn more about online selling. I've found the advice useful and the format is perfect for picking up and reading in chunks.  I enjoyed reading the brief interviews with successful entrepreneurs.  

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
This was my April Book Club book and I really wanted to like it.  I mainly found it self absorbed and irritating.  There were a few good nuggets I took away from it, like the Happiness Project Manifesto, The Twelve Commandments and the Secrets of Adulthood but I got so cross with it, I couldn't finish it!

A Walk in The Woods by Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson's older books make me laugh aloud.  I love them.  I find his humor appealing and I enjoy his writing.  This one is about walking the Appalachian Trail.  Even the cover makes my smile!  I've read this several times and now I think I must go back and re-read some of the other older books.  

Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart
This read was just mind candy.  It's been years since I read Mary Stewart books and I'd forgotten how good they are.  It's a bit predictable of course but still a good read.  

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