A Few Small Repairs

Every blog reaches the point where it needs some new drapes and slipcovers as the old have gotten a bit shabby. I’ve begun that process here by deleting one feature – books about quilting that I like, and adding another – quilts I’ve made by type.

I own lots of books about quilting, even after giving away many of my books about traditional quilts and patterns. I make a point of looking at quilting books as they’re published, mostly by borrowing them from my library. However, I think that fewer books about quilting are being published, and that trend will continue. AQS will no longer publish new books, and I’ve noticed fewer titles on offer from other publishers. Some of the books that do get published, many focused on modern quilting and craft sewing, strike me as lean on content.

The availability of digital patterns and loads of free stuff on the internet, especially YouTube videos of techniques, make it so easy to do without books. Then, there are online classes from Craftsy, creativebug, and others. Of course, the classes impact the quantity of  in-person teaching available, as well.

The upshot is I realized I hadn’t added any books to that section of this blog in a few years and very few readers looked at it, so I felt it was time to retire it. You can still read reviews I’ve written by clicking on “books” under Topics. I plan to continue reviewing books of potential interest to me and my readers.

Now to the addition. When I began this blog I grouped photos of my quilts by years. Recently I thought about what types of quilts I’ve made over the years, and decided to sort my quilts by type. Turns out the majority are improvisational and graphic. Of course, my categories are a bit arbitrary as some quilts could fit more than one type. And another person would sort them differently.

I’ve kept the rest of the pages, including tutorials. I like to have tutorials I use a lot in one place. From my site’s stats it seems many people look at that page. Every so often I check to make sure the links still work, so I hope there’s not much link rot.

I’d love to hear your opinions as to what parts of this blog are helpful and/or interesting. Since I began it as a journal of my quilting experiences, I don’t cover topics I don’t care about, and it is indeed all about me and my opinions. I’ve made it public in hopes that others might learn from my experiences, especially from my goofs. One great, unanticipated, result of making my thoughts public is meeting my readers through their comments. Many thanks.

10 Comments

Filed under Books, Commentary

10 responses to “A Few Small Repairs

  1. I follow your blog so posts just show up in my Reader–I never see your homepage. I just went and looked and it looks good . . . but, there again, I don’t know what it looked like before!

  2. I love the quilts in types. It makes it easier for me to imagine the process.

  3. I love seeing your quilts and reading your process, and hearing about your area of the USA as it relates to quilting and culture. I could echo your remarks regarding quilting book purchases. I still enjoy magazines (especially when friend’s art quilts are published in them). I have been going through my folk’s stuff and found a journal page where someone wrote about my grandmother mending… she mended for my mom (who was busy with seven kids) it is one of my strongest memories of her I have. The leading photo on this post seemed timely for me and made me smile!

    • Mending could be considered a lost art, though I do it as a theater costume shop volunteer. I also mend clothes for my husband as he still wear clothes he bought 25 years ago. I recall the socks mending basket pulled out in the evening when my granny finally got to sit down. And magazines can be fun, though I fear more of them will disappear. Many thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. Oh yes, as to the new books, I think you’re right that generally there is a lot less content. You probably know much better than I since you pay attention to new pubs. To me it seems that, while there are still some books on technique, they seem to be on a pretty limited range of subjects. There are a lot of pattern books, most with anywhere between 6-12 patterns, most not very hard. And few strategy books, the kind that talk about how you might think about things and approach your creating, how to solve problems, how to make design decisions. Most of the books I buy are of the last type, and most of those are anywhere between 10-30 years old. I have 2 on order now. One is a Ruth McDowell book on design and one is Jinny Beyer on tessellations. They may not live in my library for a long time, but we’ll see. I’d rather take a chance on things like that than on most newer things I see.

    • I know we share a love of quilting books and I’m with you on buying older titles that have substance. I find it more helpful to watch videos on techniques than read books on them. Occasionally pattern focused books will also have helpful information on design and color choices. The last design book I bought was by Sandra Meech.

  5. Good for you. It’s good to review and revise from time to time. Mine’s due for an update, too.

    Different subject — have you ever seen a thing like this? This is for ceramics, but there are paint rollers of this nature, too. Looks like they would be fun to play with.
    http://www.xiemtoolsusa.com/Art-Roller_c_105.html

    • I looked at the rollers and thought they might work for fabric printing, though I wonder if they’re incised a bit too deep. I’ve made a printing roller out of a cardboard tube and foamie cutouts that worked pretty well. The tricky part is inking the roller evenly. I think you could try gluing part of a plastic textured placemat to a roller and using that.

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