Thursday, May 26, 2011

501 Quilting Motifs from the Editors of Quiltmaker Magazine

Link to purchase 501 Quilting Motifs from the Editors of Quiltmaker Magazine

501 Quilting Motifs begins with some basic information on motifs and how to select, adapt, and transfer them. After the short intro, it is packed with quilting designs.  Choose from cute quilt designs for children’s quilts, or from the feathers, flowers, foods (including a cup and teapot), geometric shapes, hearts, seasonal/holiday, and vines and leaves – 501 in all!

The book is a heavy-duty spiral bound, and the covers fold back flat for easy tracing or copying. 

Along with the quilt motifs on each page are design ideas to show placement of the motifs in different ways.  There are designs for all skill levels, too.  I have other quilt design books, but I think this one has unique patterns that give it an edge.  Such a wide variety makes this a must-have for quilters.  Whether quilting by hand or by machine, there is something for every quilt here.

A review copy was provided by Martingale and Company

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Murder One by Robert Dugoni

Due for release in June, link to preorder Murder One by Robert Dugoni
Main characters David Sloane and Barclay Reid have a chance meeting and a definite connection, but then the drug kingpin who sold the drugs that killed Reid's daughter ends up dead. Main suspect - Barclay Reid! Is Barclay an innocent grieving mother or a cold calculating killer? David puts his legal skills to work to prove her innocence.

This legal thriller has many twists in the story and leaves the reader guessing until the end. Although I was sure that I had it all figured out, more twists left even me surprised.  I enjoyed and cared about Sloane's character.

This was my first Robert Dugoni book and I enjoyed it enough to order two of his previous books.

Thank you to Simon &Schuster’s eGalley program for the e-copy of this book.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Pennies from Heaven by Gretchen Gibbons

Scroll down to see my progress on this quilt!!!!!
Also available as a digital download!!! Pennies from Heaven Digital

Pennies from Heaven is a quilt designed with antique penny rugs in mind, and I love the simple folk art look of penny rugs.  This 50” X 63” quilt is a combination of cotton and wool designs of birds and flowers with each block containing “pennies”.

The book has some general instructions on working with wool, felting wool, wool appliqué and a wool color guide.  Also, there are basic embroidery stitches and quilting information.  The “working with wool” section gives the advantages of using wool with fabric.  The beautiful designs and patterns are the main focus of this outstanding book. 

Although the entire Pennies from Heaven quilt is stunning, the patterns in the book can be used as individual blocks for other designs.  There are pillows, wall hangings, table mats, a table runner, and even window treatments. The book contains full-color patterns and the mixture of mediums of wool and cotton makes these designs really interesting.  

Neither machine washing nor dry cleaning is advised, so making the whole quilt is with the understanding that you are making a work of art and not a quilt for everyday use. This is a book that has definitely earned a space on my permanent bookshelves.

Martingale & Company has provided this copy for review, but my reviews are always my honest opinion.

Here are a few photos of my progress on this quilt.  These blocks are not pressed, trimmed, or embellished yet.

(This one is upside down:)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Pub Speak – A Writer’s Dictionary of Publishing Terms by Tracy Marchini

Link to purchase Pub Speak (also available for Kindle)
Link for nookbook on
Pub Speak is the perfect handbook for those who need to navigate the publishing business.  Whether you are a new author or just someone who wants to understand publishing, this dictionary is a great source for terms used in the industry.  A-Z - So much is covered that it is difficult to describe. There are agency terms, contract and royalty terms, e-book information, book publishers and sellers, publishing terms, websites and social networking, abbreviations, and character terms.

Although I would highly recommend Pub Speak for authors, I also think this book is of interest for book reviewers, bloggers, and readers.  There is information on voice, characters and fiction terms that will help reviewers.  Many authors now are self-publishing and Pub Speaks is a great resource for learning the essentials.  

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Creating your Perfect Quilting Space and Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space Studio Planner by Lois L. Hallock

Wouldn't you love to have the perfect sewing/quilting/craft room?  I think we all would, but sometimes we only have enough room for a “space”.  But that’s ok because in Creating your Perfect Quilting Space author Lois Hallock shows the reader how to use space wisely and make the most of what we have. 

This book teaches how to set up the perfect work triangle and create storage space that makes finding your tools, magazines, and fabrics fast and efficient.  Many topics are covered: space, lighting, ergonomics, and design walls.  Also, there are tips on how to do it on a budget, and how to use what you already have more efficiently.

There are many photographs throughout the book and my favorites were the “before” and “after” photos. What a difference good organization can make!  Whether you have a huge room ready for shelves and cabinets or a limited space in a corner, this book will help you make the most of the space you have.

Also available is a companion piece, Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space Studio Planner by the same author. This is a creative tool to help you visualize what will be the best arrangement for your special space.  This is a light weight cardboard planner marked in grid with a worksheet for room size and shape. There are outlines of the furniture, tables and shelving to cut out and place on the grid.  With correct measurements of your room and furniture, you can use the cutouts with double stick tape or repositionable glue to plan your room. Move the pieces around as you like until you find the placement you want.  While I like the idea of this planner, I would have preferred a heavier cardboard and perhaps perforated punch-out pieces on a separate sheet instead of the cut-outs.   

Thank you to Martingale & Company for providing a review copy of both publications.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Terrific Toe-Up Socks – Knit to Fit by Janet Rehfeldt

I have hand-knit socks and I absolutely love them!  If you have never made a pair of soft, warm hand-made socks, grab some double pointed needles and give it a try.  When you first use double pointed needles (DPNs) you will feel like you are juggling toothpicks, but after a few rows are done you will see just how much fun they are to use for knitting.

Terrific Toe-up Socks – Knit to Fit is a twist on the normal sock pattern which is usually knit cuff down.  Why toe up?  The book states the reason is so that there is no toe grafting and it is easier to fit.

The book is set up with a brief introduction, the anatomy of a sock, and some basic information describing needed tools.  Next is a section of instructions for working each part of the sock: Cast-on, Toe and Foot, Working the Heels, Leg and Cuff, and Cast-off.

Following the instruction section are the 10 projects.  As for skill levels, there are two easy, one experienced, and the rest intermediate.  I would recommend the patterns in this book for a knitter that is at least an advanced beginner and not a new knitter.  The cast-on method used in the “easy” patterns was very confusing to me and I have knitted socks before! 

There is a nice variety of patterns that includes the basic sock, lacy, cable, colors, and even spa socks.  This is a nice book for those who would like to try toe-up sock knitting.

Grammy's Favorite Knits for Baby by Doreen L Marquart

To purchase Grammy's Favorite Knits for Baby at Martingale & Company

Featuring patterns with sizes 0-24 months, Grammy’s Favorite Knits for Baby has some cute and practical knit patterns for that special baby (Grandma’s or not!).  With patterns from easy to intermediate, there is something for everyone.

My favorite patterns in this book are the two very pretty jumpers (American jumpers), and very easy bibs.  Other patterns include the Cupcake Cutie Hat, Chevron & Lace Blanket, and an assortment of cardigans, hats, booties and mittens.

The book ends with knitting basics, glossary and abbreviations, assembly basics, and yarn size information to enable even the very beginner to start knitting.  Although there are some intermediate patterns, there are enough easy patterns to encourage the beginner, and I would highly recommend this book for a new knitter.

Thank you to Martingale and Company for providing this book for review.
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