Archive for the ‘Books’ Category



November 5, 2007

I read an interesting book last week; The Smart Woman’s Guide to Networking. The authors claim that networking is the skill you didn’t know you had. I never would have thought that it was a skill that I had.


The book explains that networking is often mistaken for its wicked stepsister; for something that requires an aggressive, pushy personality; pestering people you don’t know that well to get them to introduce you to people you don’t know at all and then forgetting them as soon as you realize they can’t give you any business or a job. That is not what networking is about.

Networking is better described by words like respect, integrity, sharing, commitment, giving, listening, curiosity and patience. It is the ongoing process of building and maintaining personal and professional relationships through reciprocal communication and sharing of information with individuals and groups of individuals. Everyone networks. Asking your neighbor for the name of a good lawn man is networking. Sharing the name of a good physician is networking. I have networked with other moms for years!

This book showed me that I already have a network and that I can grow that network to benefit myself, my family and others.


3-in-1 Color Tool

June 14, 2007


Have you ever had trouble remembering the color of a fabric at home as you stand in the fabric store trying to choose fabrics for your next project? This is a neat little color tool that helps at moments like that. It was put together by Joen Wolfrom and is published by C&T Publishing.


The major part of the tool is the color cards; 24 cards showing the tints, shades and tones of 24 colors around the color wheel.


On the back of each card are illustrations of possible color plans utilizing that color; monochromatic, complementary, analogous, split-complementary, and triadic. Now, it is a pretty simple thing to figure out these color plans, but it is really nice to have them all laid out at a glance.


The tool also includes two value finders; green and red acetate that eliminates color and shows what the true values of your colors are. This comes in handy for determining the value contrast between fabrics.

This is all assemble into a neat little packet that is easy to carry with you when you go fabric shopping. Happy quilting!


Infinite Feathers

March 22, 2007

If you are looking for a great resource for ways to use feathers check out this book; Infinite Feathers Quilting Designs, by Anita Shackelford.


Ms Shackleford has included numerous ideas on how to use feathers creatively such as in pinwheels, rosettes, wreaths, medallions, ovals, hearts, lyres, swags, plumes, paisleys and borders. She gives step by step directions on how to lay out each design. Her directions focus mainly on formal feathers but there is also a section on longarm feathers and continuous-line designs.

The only thing that I didn’t like about the book is that it is based on the use of her own template called the Infinite Feathers Quilting Design Template. I had hoped to find the template in a little pocket in the back of the book, but no such luck. Now if I want to use the template I’m going to have to hunt it down and buy it. She does suggest if you don’t have the template to make your own; which I may do.

It will be a great resource to have on my book shelf and I’m sure it will get pulled out and used many times!


The Burrito Boy

March 16, 2007


This is a quilt that my guild made for the Storybook Quilt program. It goes with a book called The Burrito Boy. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find an image of the book to share with you.



Betsy and the Emperor

January 23, 2007


I listened to the low, soft hum of African spirituals emanating from the slave cabins. Trees swayed in the breeze, as if dancing in time to the music. How could people living a life of hard labor find anything to sing about? I wondered. What inspiration could they draw from soil and yams and sweat? And yet, somehow, they found it within themselves- a freedom that no one could take away from them.

Betsy and the Emperor, Staton Rabin, Margaret K. McElderry Books, New York, 2004.


Radiating Composition

January 14, 2007


A couple months ago I read an interesting book about art quilts; Journey of an Art Quilter, by Barbara Olson. It is a very interesting read about the author’s experience beginning to quilt and learning what works for her. Then she goes on to explain how she works, her techniques and her processes. One section that I find especially interesting is about her finding and understanding her own innate program which guides her in her design of new projects.

Ms Olson suggests that every person has an innate way of creating that we come into the world with and from where our uniqueness emerges. She feels that working contrary to that “program” results in frustrations. So her suggestion is to find your program and work within it. Some of the examples of possible ways of creating are to form a frame and fill it in, to work from the right to the left, or vica versa, or to work from the top to the bottom, among others. She herself creates from the center out.

Being the skepical person that I am I figured, “Yeah, right” It works for her, but I don’t have any innate program like that.” And I kind of forgot about it.


Later I was looking at my recent work and suddenly realized that all of the work that I have done recently that I am happy with has a radiating composition. Every one of them. Hm-m-m-m. What was that she said about an innate program?


So, in light of this discovery, I am going to be exploring radiating compositions over the next few months and see if there is something to this. I did use a radiating composition on my 12 x 12 journal quilt for January and I am very happy with it. I’m looking forward to sharing it with you. I should post it by next Wednesday. It’s done already, but we’re actually having grey, rainy days here in San Antonio and since I use natural light to photograph I have not been able to get good pictures.

So what might your innate program be?


Martha Ann’s Quilt for Queen Victoria

January 10, 2007

I love to pass the traditions and the challenges of quilting on to the younger generations. One of the best ways to do this is through storybooks. Martha Ann’s Quilt for Queen Victoria  by Kyra E. Hicks is a great book for sharing those traditions and a little bit of history too.


Martha Ann knows all about slavery because she was a slave until her dad bought her freedom when she was 12 years old. That is why she is so grateful to see Queen Victoria helping to curtail the slave trade in Africa. Her gratitude leads her to decide to make a beautiful quilt and to hand deliver it to the queen. This is a true story and shows the determination of a strong woman.

I’m going to recommend this book for my guild’s Storybook Quilts program. There are lovely illustrations by Lee Edward Fodi of the quilt which is based on a coffee tree design. The design would make a nice quilt for kids to look at while hearing the story of Martha Ann.