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Stitched Textiles: Flowers
Stitched Textiles: Flowers
by Bobby Britnell
Edition: Paperback
Price: $23.75
56 used & new from $7.57

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, inspiring, loaded with ideas, July 3, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this book based on the Amazon description, and it did not disappoint! The author beautifully describes how to build your confidence in design, focusing on floral motifs, demonstrates how a wide range of techniques (dyeing, printing, photo-transfer, machine and hand stitching, etc.), and offers five step-by-step projects to build on what she teaches in the book.

It's an excellent, beautifully written and illustrated book that will appeal to anyone interested in designing and stitching textile work with a floral theme. The obvious bonus is the same principals and techniques demonstrated will apply to any subject matter.


The Sketchbook Challenge: Techniques, Prompts, and Inspiration for Achieving Your Creative Goals
The Sketchbook Challenge: Techniques, Prompts, and Inspiration for Achieving Your Creative Goals
by Sue Bleiweiss
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.95
89 used & new from $3.67

56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very inspiring, June 30, 2012
This is a fun, inspiring book that is bursting with imagination and ideas.

The book is based on an idea the author had called the Sketchbook Challenge blog, which began in 2010. She invited various artists to come up with monthly challenges or themes and anyone who visited the blog was welcome to play. I've visited it several times. It's an incredibly active place that one can lost in.

I was very excited when I learned a spin-off book would be coming out, and I eagerly waited to get a copy. It finally arrived in the mail, and, wow, it did not disappoint! First, it looked good -- excellent cover paper, rounded page edges, nice size. It felt good in my hands. More importantly, a quick peruse of the pages and immediately I saw a clean layout and attractive images throughout. I knew it was a keeper.

Then I poured myself a tall glass of iced water and started reading. The book starts with a section on the basics -- types of books, paints, pencils, some ideas for loosening up, doodling, and so on -- a decent overview, luckily not long (I grow impatient when a book has too much intro material). Then starts the meat of the book -- the challenge itself.

There are 12 challenges. For each, two artists share how they approached the theme, including their insights and images from their journals. I like that it's two artists because the results are very different yet equally appealing. There is also a one-page technique spotlight included with each challenge -- bonus instructional material from one of the two artists, such as creating hand carved stamps. I like this extra touch.

I love reading about the thought process behind someone's work -- what inspired it, how they got from point A to point B, how their sketchbook was useful in allowing them to audition ideas that eventually evolved into finished art, and so on. I also appreciate that the artists were candid. "To be honest, when I first learned that Symbols was the theme I was working with, I panicked," said Carla Sonheim, who then went on to explain how her idea took root and the impressive work it produced. In the challenge called Weathered Beauty, artist Jill Berry explained why it did appeal to her and the drawings she created as a result of it. Jill provided that challenge's technique spotlight called "4-Step Drawing of a Cabin," which included a good explanation of pencil leads and her steps from sketch to finished drawing.

This book does not teach you how to make a journal nor how to draw. Rather, like the tagline says, The Sketchbook Challenge encourages you to open that blank book and through "techniques, prompts, and inspiration" use it "for achieving your creative goals."


Design by Nature: Using Universal Forms and Principles in Design (Voices That Matter)
Design by Nature: Using Universal Forms and Principles in Design (Voices That Matter)
by Maggie Macnab
Edition: Paperback
Price: $32.52
63 used & new from $7.07

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book on Design to come out in years, May 23, 2012
This book is by far the best book on design I have come across in some time. I saw it on display at a vendor booth during a conference, picked it up, flicked through the pages, and immediately had to have it.

The introduction of the book starts, "At five years of age, I stood above the clouds at sunset atop a mountain with my father. He told me to never forget the moment. I never have." And I was hooked. "By recognizing the principles, patterns, and processes of nature, you can create intuitively elegant and aesthetic design at will rather than by chance." Is that not yummy?

The book is divided in three sections: Memory: Remembering What We Know; Matter: Understand and Create; and Motion: The Experience Enhanced. This is a book I could not put down, and I read it from cover to cover. I still find myself picking it up at different moments and drifting off into re-reading sections, like "Wabi-sabi and Grunge" (that alone is such food for thought) or "Using Nature's Elements in Design."

Macnab's skillful weave of compelling text and imagery, along with a mixture of quotes, guest profiles, and exercises, strikes just the right balance to convey the subject matter and provide the reader with a better understanding of how to incorporate nature's shapes and patterns into meaningful design.

This book is bursting with nearly 300 pages of stimulating, provocative information written by a person passionate and knowledgeable about her craft. I cannot say enough good things about this book, and it is an absolute keeper. No matter what your present design skill, chances are you will benefit from reading it.


Adventures in Design: Ultimate Visual Guide, 153 Spectacular Quilts, Activities & Exercises
Adventures in Design: Ultimate Visual Guide, 153 Spectacular Quilts, Activities & Exercises
by Joen Wolfrom
Edition: Paperback
Price: $22.45
47 used & new from $7.63

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!, October 30, 2011
If you find yourself struggling with the essentials of good design, need a refresher, or simply want a good design reference book, you'll want this book. Besides it being a visual feast, it is a journey down a creative path with Joen breaking down the principles of design, explaining the concepts, showing many examples of quilts and drawings to help illustrate those concepts, and providing activities and exercises to get you going.


Digital Alchemy: Printmaking techniques for fine art, photography, and mixed media (Voices That Matter)
Digital Alchemy: Printmaking techniques for fine art, photography, and mixed media (Voices That Matter)
by Bonny Pierce Lhotka
Edition: Paperback
29 used & new from $105.96

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Artists and photographers who love working with digital media will love this book, January 22, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have been inkjet printing on fabric and other substrates for many years, and I consider myself an advanced Photoshop user. Most books on the topic on inkjet printing on fabric explain the basics and then provide many examples and small projects. This book, however, goes beyond the basics and kicks into high gear method after method of applying your digital artwork to a variety of substrates, whether fabric, metal, plastic, or whatever you can coat and get into your printer. The steps are clear, the photography excellent, and the 60 minutes DVD of additional instruction further explains. Artists and photographers who love working with digital media will love this book.


Creative Mixed Media: Paint Print Stitch Stamp Embellish
Creative Mixed Media: Paint Print Stitch Stamp Embellish
by Sherrill Kahn
Edition: Paperback
22 used & new from $16.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic inspiration and instruction, December 22, 2010
I am very impressed with this book; it may be her best yet. While her style is very distinctive, there is so much instructive information in the book that it's easy to interpret methods into your own style. The book covers a variety of more common surface techniques more common, such as embossing, stencils, and glue batik, but she also uses more unusual items in the mix, such as baby wipes and hair gels. Although I have a large library of surface design books, this is a very good addition.


Unforgettable Tote Bags
Unforgettable Tote Bags
by Eleanor Levie
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.95
23 used & new from $2.03

5.0 out of 5 stars A keeper!, June 21, 2010
You may initially think, oh a book on tote bags. I have some of those. But after a quick look it's immediately apparent that this is not a book of one tote bag design followed with 19 color variations or slight alternations. Rather, this book has 20 very different designs, each created by a "celebrity" quiltmaker showcasing her/his particular style. While you are getting clear instructions on making reusable totes, you're also getting 20 mini-classes of sorts on 20 different techniques.

My favorite bag is by Susan Shie. I've always admired her distinctive airbrushing/diary style of work, and I've thoroughly enjoyed reading -- and understanding -- the techniques she used to create her bag. My mind is spinning with ideas.

I also appreciate that this book on creating environmentally-friendly reusable shopping bags is printed in the USA by a "green printer" who uses soy ink on recycled paper. It tells me the author is doing her part in the green movement.

I didn't think I needed yet another book on tote bags because, really, just how many do I need? Apparently one more than I thought because this book is a keeper.


Fabric Dyer's Dictionary: 900+ Colors, Specialty Techniques, The Only Dyeing Book You'll Ever Need!
Fabric Dyer's Dictionary: 900+ Colors, Specialty Techniques, The Only Dyeing Book You'll Ever Need!
by Linda Johansen
Edition: Paperback
29 used & new from $78.15

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A solid reference, May 17, 2010
There are a lot of excellent books on fabric dyeing, and I wasn't sure about the need for yet another new title. After reading it, I was pleasantly surprised and can easily recommend it, especially to a newbie. The book is what the title says it is -- a fabric dyers dictionary with the recipes for some 900+ colors created using Procion MX dyes. The first chapter covers the basics. The meat of the book is color swatches and the recipes to make each color. All are made from some variation of three clear primaries, three muted primaries, three secondary colors, and a black. The recipes are for creating 1/4 yard or 1 yard pieces using zip lock baggies (with some math you can create more yardage). And while the use of baggies is not a new technique, it's a perfect way to get started and lends itself very well for creating an extensive palette of colors without the need for buckets and the like. The book concludes with a brief overview of some specialty techniques such as rope dyeing and painting with thickened dyes. If you're toying with the idea of learning to dye fabric, this book will not disappoint. It could be the only book some may need on the topic, but it's also a handy reference for those with more experience.


Me and My Sewing Machine
Me and My Sewing Machine
by Kate Haxell
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.50
86 used & new from $6.59

39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A handy reference for any level of sewing skill, May 16, 2010
This is the book I needed many years ago when I had sewing in school. It's written in a no-nonsense, straight to the point manner. Each instructional chunk of information is on a one or two page spread along with clear illustrations and photos. With the popularity of Project Runway, this is the perfect book to get or give to anyone who wants to confidently venture into the world of machine sewing. It's also a handy reference of the essentials for any level of sewing skill.


Threadwork Unraveled
Threadwork Unraveled
by Sarah Ann Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: $24.06
45 used & new from $3.07

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, December 14, 2009
This review is from: Threadwork Unraveled (Paperback)
This is an excellent book with a good range of sewing machine/thread-related topics. A beginner will greatly benefit from the instruction it offers while a more seasoned stitcher will appreciate having solid guidance in one reference.


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