Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Adventures in Interloans

Alright -- enough folks said they would be interested in some library book reviews so I'm willing to do it. (I know -- such a hardship, read books, talk about them, I'll suffer through somehow). And since the weather outside is icky (enough with the snow already -- I need some spring!) it seems like the perfect time to talk about books for curling up with.


First up on our hit parade today is Comfort and Joy: 14 Quilts for Christmas by Mary Hickey. (That Patchwork Place, 2007, 111 p.. List price $27.95) This book is filled with some lovely ideas for Christmas decorations. The quilts and projects all tend to the wall hanging/table runner sizes, so if you are looking for a bed quilt -- not something you are going to find (though, adding blocks to a pattern is not difficult at all). I will say that I am tempted by a couple of the quilts. The Peppermint Patties quilt on pg. 42 and the Midnight Stars on p.83 make me smile and are patterns I could see playing with. Now, for the down side. These are all Christmas patterns. Yes, you can change the fabrics for some of them and have a quilt that is for any season, but many of the patterns are themed and/or created so that they are really only appropriate for one season. Nothing wrong with that -- but, look at the list price. Yep, for nearly $30.00 I want a bit more variety. Now, you can get this one on Amazon for less, which makes it more feasible. For me, this on is on my "if I see it for a bargain price I will pick it up -- but, otherwise I'm going to use it as inspiration" list. Its worth checking out. I may even be checking it out again -- just not sure it's going to go in my permanent collection.


Next up -- Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Karol. (Potter Craft, 2007, 143p. List price $21.95) I should admit right off that I read Amy's blog Angry Chicken regularly. I like her ideas (am planing on stealing shamelessly her fantastic idea about a photo hanging thingy). I like her aesthetic. So, I was pretty much predisposed to like the book. And there are some great ideas in there -- some bags that I really want to make. A little smock that will get made for Miss Tinkerbell to go with her easel. And I'm not the only one interested in this book. I ordered it through interloans shortly after it was released in June. It was January before I got my hands on the library copy. 'Nuff said there. As for the down side on this one -- if you are a quilter and are looking for quilting? This book is NOT for you. Yes, there are a couple of quilts in it. Yes, they are kind of cute. No, it's nothing you can't figure out on your own and no, they are not the main focus of the book. The book is full of general sewing advice (some of it pretty basic -- but, always useful to have a general guide around) with not much of it aimed at the quilter per se. Some great bag ideas (and patterns) and a few other sewing gifts (placemats, coasters, etc.) but no -- this is not a quilt pattern book by a long shot. That being said, where does this rate on my "buy it or not" scale? Well -- um, there may be another copy downstairs already that does not have library coding on it. I did wait a bit -- but, the combo of a 40% off coupon at Borders and a Christmas gift card may have been more than I could handle. Just maybe mind you. :0)


And finally (for today at least -- I have a couple more quilting books to review and a whole stack more downstairs I'm getting to) for the knitters among us. The Knitter's Book of Yarn by Clara Parkes. (Potter Craft, 2007, 255p. List price $30.00) I wasn't too sure what I was getting when I ordered this one through interloans, but, hey -- yarn, a guide to choosing yarn? Why not. I'm sooo glad I did. This little gem is chock full of information about fiber types, their properties when knit, how they are spun, dyed and manufactured, etc. Added to this there is information on specific yarns (most of which I either want to touch for myself or have been looking up online) the author really recommends. Oh, and patterns. Yeah, there are some of those too (ok, you know I'm having fun reading the book if the patterns are an afterthought) -- they are organized by type of yarn starting with plys and moving on to some of the specialty/textured yarns. Some of the patterns are really cute and take advantage of the yarn properties -- but, really, this book is more about the yarn than about the patterns. Downside? Um -- well, that would be price. at $30.00 retail -- not going to be coming home to me anytime soon. (yes, I know, there is Amazon -- thank goodness for Amazon, but, well -- hey -- I like shopping locally too. And, well, I have gift certificates for Borders -- um, hard to spend those at Amazon) It is on my buy it relatively soon list though. It would be a great reference to add to a knitting collection.


Ok, so those are the reviews for now -- I've got two more books I really want to get to so I may add them to tomorrow's post. I also have some goodies in the mail as well as having done some of my patriotic duty (no, not voting -- follow the link) to talk about. Hope everyone is having a great week -- and if you're anywhere near the cornfields, hope you're not getting too snowed in! (have I mentioned that I really need some spring???)


PS -- what is up with blogger and spell check? I'm dying here -- I'm not a great speller, I NEED my spell check!

11 comments:

Nan said...

I agree with you about the first two books, since I have looked through both of them. I like your reviewing style, missy! Nicely done! I have no opinion about the 3rd book, since I know squat-all about knitting, but I did enjoy reading about it! Thank you!!
I think you're doing great without spell check, Angela! You're a smart cookie!

Red Geranium Cottage said...

Love the first two books, the third one,I wouldn't know what to do with it. And bout that swap???? I'm ready sisterfriend. I need me some warm mitten to quilt with.

Kim said...

I bought the first book this year--Comfort and Joy. No, I didn't get around to making anything from it, but I like several of the projects and hope to make something in the future!

YankeeQuilter said...

I've seen the peppermint quilt made up and it is very nice. Periodically I find myself on Amazon getting in serious trouble. (My mail comes to my husband's workplace and he has to carry it home...he doesn't complain about the cost just the carrying!)

Eileen said...

I aree with you about the spell check. I can't pull any of those icons up. Oh, I need the spell check.

The Calico Cat said...

I got "Bend the Rules Sewing" (& I don't care for her "quilts." - the ones in the book are o.k., but some of the others are not my cuppa. She has a pattern published in one of my other quilt books that is more her style & so not mine.) With that said, I like the book. I keep thinking that I would like to make something from it, but I keep freezing on anything that is 3-d...

Lisa D. said...

Good to see your book reviews. I saw some of the Comfort and Joy quilts in person, because Mary Hickey is in my guild (she asked me to piece a quilt for her next book!). I find Overstock.com has great discount prices on books and usually great low shipping prices too. I always look there if I'm wanting a book and don't want to pay too much for it.

Em said...

Nice book reviews, As for the weather, I think you should move to NC - we have had spring-like temps for the last few days (shattered record highs!) and we need teachers!!! Em

upstateLisa said...

thanks for the reviews! great idea. I might have to check the Book of Yarn out. Looks interesting.
Yeah, I am tired of the white stuff myself and it is only early Feb!!!!!!!!!!UGH.

Felicia said...

Thank you so much for these reviews. I'll be on the lookout for them at the library :)

gwen said...

I am very happy that you started reviewing books about quilting AND knitting, well what can I ask more! Thank you! So far we have had once snow last week and it lasted for 2 days and that was more than enough for me too! Take care.