Sunday, August 13, 2017

Normal by Grame Cameron






Normal by Graeme Cameron
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a book about a serial killer who appears to be normal from outward appearances. While the lack of affect of the serial killer is an effective technique to see things from his point of view, it made me hard to empathize with either him or any of his victims or other people in the story, or to understand why the others did what they did.

When I added this book to my Goodreads page, I learned that there is a sequel to this book. This was disappointing to me, as I wanted to read something short and quick. I did not want to start a new project. I wanted to know how it completely ends at the end.

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Book Review of Zen Chic Inspired: A Guide to Modern Quilt Design by Bridgitte Heitland


On principle, I had learned to dislike trying to match a quilt to a room. After all, quilts are special and should outlast any trends that household decorations have. A quilt is art, and shouldn't be subjected to the whims of the day. You should decorate the house around the quilt, not the other way around.


After seeing this book, I have changed my mind. First of all, once you find a mood that you like, you should certainly try to emulate that mood with your quilt, whether it is from a photograph or the way a room already feels. Not to match the decorating style, but to match the mood and the style. There are lots of pictures of the setting that inspired the mood of the quilt, and patterns so you can emulate that mood in a quilt. The author is an interior designer who teaches you how to use a quilt to add to the design of the room.


Also, if you are giving a quilt as a gift, you want to match the tastes and moods of the recipient.


In case you can't tell, I really like this book.


All of the modern quilts in this book feel really fresh, and different from the ordinary quilts I have seen all over the place in my lifetime.


Zen Chic Inspired: A Guide to Modern Quilt Design by Brigitte Heitland

This book gives lots of great tips on choosing colors that work in harmony. I really like this book.  It really fits my current mood of minimalism and calmness. There are 12 patterns, and there are full size pattern sheets at the back of the book.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Appli-Quilting; Applique & Quilt at the Same Time




This is another quilt that provides a quicker way to make a quilt.  Appli-Quilting; Applique & Quilt at the Same Time!  by Gina Perkes provides different levels of applique and quilting. If you click on the link, it will take you to Amazon, which provides a look inside some of the pages of the book.


With this technique the applique is prepared and positioned on the background fabric.  The applique can be turned under or raw edge. The top is then sandwiched, and the applique is secured with quilting stitches.  I have done this many times, but the book provides great tips about different ways to secure the edges of the applique and different quilting designs to highlight the applique. There are full size pattern sheets to go along with the instructions.


When I was trying to decide on my favorite, I chose the Garden Bling, which was used as an example in many parts of the techniques section. Unfortunately, it was not one of the projects in the book.


This page shows snippets of all of the projects.  Perkes provides skill building projects and techniques for domestic and long arm sewing machines. There is a lot of material about techniques, so there are only six projects in the book.  I thought that was a good balance, and mastering the techniques is more important than the projects themselves.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Soft & Cozy Keepsakes Faux Rag Quilting




Quilting does not need to be complicated or difficult to be cute.  In this book, Soft & Cozy Keepsakes; Faux Rag Quilting, Margo Yang shows how to make cute quilts.  This reminds me of chenille, which I have never done, so I am not sure if the technique is similar.


The key to making these quilts is to make and bind a quilt and use that as a canvas to make the faux rag strips to make the design. You then clip the strips to make it rag.

There are 16 projects in this book - 12 quilts, 3 pillows and one tote.


My favorite  - the fireworks pillow - looks very simple with the straight lines, but quite striking.  The patterns are presented in a CD-ROM.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin OlympicsThe Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As you would expect any book about athletes who made it to the Olympics to be inspirational, this book was also. It is about endurance, perseverance, and commitment. It is also about family, relationships, trust and working as a team.

I read the children's version. I haven't read or looked at the other one, but I think the difference may be that the children's version may have just left out parts that were not palatable for young readers. The vocabulary and style of writing still seemed to be advanced, which is good for children to stretch. Everything is clearly described, and you can really feel for Joe and his team mates throughout the book. This version also has photographs that the adult versions may not have.

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