Work-in-Progress Girl

Books Books Books (& Pamphlets & Patterns & PDFs…)


I was going to do a Sunday Stash post featuring a bit of new fabric that arrived this week, but when I took my photos after work today (that was Saturday, 4:30 PM, though now it’s Sunday), it was already too dark for decent shots. I mean, honestly. 4:30 in the “afternoon” and it’s already basically dusk. This part of winter I just want to sleep all day and night.

Anyway, I somehow managed to light this stack of books I hauled out of the closet in just such a way that even without the flash, they actually have readable titles:

Craft books and Patterns

Too many books? I sometimes think so – I barely, if ever, use them! I think I’ve made the most use out of the least interesting books in this pile, ie. the ones devoted to presenting a range of individual quilt blocks, rather than patterns for full quilts or other sewn items. It was buying one of these books, having high hopes about it, and then not much liking it at all that persuaded me to start taking craft books out of the library first, then buying it only if I really loved it. (Not that I’ve totally kept up with that, but I’m getting there.)

Craft books and Patterns

Out of all that stack of books, I think most of the ones I’ve used are down in this bottom section of books. I have used: Modern Blocks, Patchwork, Please!, Forty Bright & Bold Paper-Pieced Blocks, and Quilter’s Mix and Match Blocks. The orange one without a title is Lizzy House’s 1001 Peeps Five Magical Projects (never used) and there’s a very narrow pamphlet in there which is a pattern I’ll never make called Tango Tiles. The appliqué book is one of a few I’ve bought on the subject in an attempt to teach myself to do hand appliqué, but I never wind up liking the projects enough to actually try any of them out. Crewel Twists has a project that I actually have all the “ingredients” to make – it’s a crewel embroidery piece done with beads and it’s silk fabric and it’s gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous and I’m terrified of ruining it. I haven’t looked at Colorful, Casual & Comfy Quilts in a long time, but it’s got a New York Beauty quilt on the front cover that I love and would like someday to recreate (or just to use the colours of and have something equally beautiful but in a less fussy pattern, maybe).

Craft books and Patterns

If you’re wondering about Flowers of the Bible I DON’T EVEN KNOW. My mom bought me that book years ago and I’ve never gotten rid of it but it’s all appliqué blocks which feature plants that were mentioned in the bible. Quilting the Savoury Garden is another odd-ball book that I don’t really know where I got it from – probably my mom again. Mostly appliqué, just one large project that can be broken up into a variety of smaller patterns for other uses. (So if you ever want to appliqué asparagus for something… I’ve got a pattern!) Of the rest of these, I’ve only used Cosy Modern Quilts, though I haven’t finished the project in question. I still love City Quilts and plan to make one of the quilts from it – I’ve got all the fabric even!

Craft books and Patterns

Of these I’ve used both of the crewel books, though in relatively minor ways. I’ve also made something from Simple Sewing for Baby, though it was probably just bibs or something like that. You can barely see it, but Cherri House’s newest book Urban Views is in the pile there too – I was surprised by how little of a splash it made in the corners of blogland that I frequent, considering how massively popular her first book was. Up top is Sunday Morning Quilts, which I finally broke down and bought because I do like quite a lot of the projects in it and kept taking it out of the library (not that I’ve made anything, but I’ve borrowed it three times… that must be a sign of something).

Craft books and Patterns

Finally, loose patterns. I just bought two more (which are en route from California) and it got me thinking about just how many unused patterns I’ve already got. Time to start using them or time to stop buying them, you know? I’ve used Modern Rose Garden and Posh Tot, though both are currently tops that I’ve never quilted. (I did finish the first Posh Tot that I made, you can see it here.) Most of these I’d still like to make “someday” but someday is an impossibly long way off. And this doesn’t even take into account the great big pile of downloaded quilt patterns, block patterns, and assorted sewn item patterns I’ve got in my computer. I do worry a tiny bit about having my computer crash and losing them all – how much would that suck?

Anyway, that’s today’s Sunday Stash. What kind of books and patterns do you have in your stash? Do you actually use them or do they just take up sewing room space and make you feel guilty about buying things you never use? Are you interested in hearing about any of these books or patterns? Michelle at Factotum of Arts has recently started a series where she intended to review the books she’s got and to make projects from them and do giveaways. She’s made me want to dip more deeply into my book stash and start using it,… but then I just get thinking about how I really need to just retire already if I’m going to do that. (Okay, okay, so I’m only 33 and don’t actually have enough savings to last out the current decade, never mind the rest of my potential life. Are there any sugar daddies out there looking for a single 33 year old definitely not trophy wife material gal who spends a lot of time thinking and talking about sewing but less time actually doing it? ;D)

Linking up to Finding Fifth‘s Sunday Stash:

Finding Fifth


Author: clumsykristel

I'm a 30-ish quilter, and occasional sewist and embroiderer. I mostly talk about crafty things I'm working on, or wish I were working on.

21 thoughts on “Books Books Books (& Pamphlets & Patterns & PDFs…)

  1. I love it! My hubby said to me last night in that ‘complaining voice’ “YOU NEVER WANT TO HANG OUT WITH ME ANYMORE….since you started sewing…” LOL…he was out in the garage hanging blinds in the windows upstairs in an area that includes the sewing room, and I didn’t follow him around like a puppy while he gathered tools etc. (I did a bit of stitching while he went looking for a tool). Oh poor man…..I just have to tell him once in a great while…oooh…look at those shiny wheels or something and he goes off happy and lets me sew! 🙂

  2. Dude, this post was super cool. I think I’m totally stealing your idea and will do this soon! FUN! (I’ll totally give you props for the idea, don’t worry.) But it’s fun to see what books other people have and use! Fun Sunday Stash report!

    • Oh… you should definitely do this (and I don’t even care if you give me props!) I’d love to drop in and see what you’ve got and what you think of it!

  3. My bookshelves are overflowing with books, and I have a large number of unused patterns too. I think it’s a quilter’s prerogative!! I do like to look through my books, particularly when I’m not well and feeling too poorly to sew – and I dream of the quilts I shall make when I’m better, choosing fabrics in my head……..and never doing them!! But it’s all creative fun!

    • Yeah, it’s good to have options, and I enjoy looking through them and reading about the techniques – I do still sometimes learn things that way, there are so many ways to do anything we do and someone’s always got another method for this or that.. It’s good to have a variety of inspiration around too. And like you said, sometimes it’s fun to plan, even if you never intend to make the quilt in question 😀

  4. Love this post. 🙂 So funny. I’m especially cracking up at the Flowers of the Bible. So something my Mom would get me. 🙂

    • That one is almost embarrassing 😀 It’s such a weird book too because it comes with 29 patterns — have you ever seen a quilt with just 29 blocks? They’re all rounded sprigs, I guess, of whatever plant is mentioned, and it lists a bible verse introducing it. My favourite of the lot is the Vine of Sodom because I’m a terrible person and find it hilarious to think of making a quilt from a bible book that features a plant that references both sodomy and a city so wicked it was entirely destroyed.

  5. Totally! I headed off last week searching the interwebs for a particular type of quilt block…then clued in that maybe I should look on my bookshelf! Yes, there were some similar ones, but I ended up picking the one off the web…however I did find something in that book for a different project! Maybe I should read one quilt book every night before bed, just so I remember what I have.

    • Haha.. there’s a thought. I don’t know about you, though, but the more I spend time looking through my books, the more I want to add more projects to my Someday pile, and I probably don’t need that – that pile is pretty big already!

  6. You have a much greater awareness of the books you own than I do! I have most of Carol Doak’s (surprise!) and quite a few other paper pieced books that were gifted to me and some other random quilt books. I have a few autographed ones from events, which ironically probably the books I’m least likely to use. I have so many of my own designs or designs from FiS that I want to try out, that it doesn’t often occur to me to work from a book anymore. Sad, huh?

    As for all those patterns downloaded on your computer? I have an external hard drive and a nifty piece of software (Synkron) that mirrors all of my personal files every hour. THAT was a result of The Great Hard Drive Crash of 2012 when I lost about six months worth of my own work.

    • I only have the one book of Carol Doak’s and it’s the book I learned to paper-piece from 😀 I’ve used it quite a few times, though not recently.

      I keep meaning to buy an external hard drive – just in case – but never get around to it. There’s always something else to spend my money on. (Usually fabric, lately.) Maybe after Christmas I’ll get one. Synkron sounds like a great idea – I think actually taking the time to back stuff up is the part I’d fall down on.

  7. Haha well I don’t know you PERSONALLY but I gather you are not, in fact, a terrible person. 🙂 And trophy wives are overrated – I see many of them here and trust me, trophies tarnish. 😮 My husband and I knew we were MFEO when we realized we wanted to be together but that we didn’t have to be together every effing second. I have my time, he has his time, we have our time and that’s how we’ve been married for almost 14 years! Of course our precious offspring upset the simplicity of that just a bit, but the rule still exists. 😀

    I just purchased a few quilt/sewing/craft books because being new to sewing, I own only one at the moment – Patchwork Please. Oh wait that’s not true – I also own One Yard Wonders (forgot about that because it was a gift from a friend who is featured in it). Oh and I lie even more (just a big fat liar over here I guess!) because I also have Fabrics A-Z, which is informative but that’s about it. Wish I had a library here that offered those kinds of books for rent. ANYWAY, as I said, I purchased a few recently on the recommendation of a reliable source LOL – Scandinavian Stitches, Liberty Love, and 500 Quilt Blocks. Hope they’re as good as they look from the Amazon preview!

    • Well, in the current tradition of over-sharing publicly when we could just directly email… it’s entirely possible my biggest issue (with the whole marriage thing – hence my being a single 33 year old) is I’m kind of scared of people and mostly avoid them. There is, of course, a whole big story to that, but setting aside the why, the result is that I don’t spend time in places any more where I’d meet someone. (Which is kind of a lonely way to live, and I almost wish I were still religious, because it’s a generally sort of safe place to meet people. But religion’s a whole other thing too :D) I think the kind of relationship you’re talking about is probably about the way it should be – every one needs to have a part of themselves outside of their relationship. But that’s just my opinion from seeing a lot of people’s relationships from the outside.

      Patchwork Please is a nice book – there’s a lot of small projects in that one that I’d like to try out. (Though some of the directions are a bit odd, somehow.) I borrowed Scandinavian Stitches, which I didn’t like well enough to buy for myself, but I seem to recall it having some nice smaller projects in it too. I flipped through Liberty Love at a fabric store a while back, but I’ve already forgotten whatever I saw in it 😀 My library doesn’t have it (or the 500 blocks book either) alas. I’m trying not to buy it, lest I get sucked into the Marcelle Medallion thing I’ve seen around blogland a lot this fall. I don’t know if you’re very into solids or kind of repetitive quilt patterns, but one of my favourite books I’ve read is Cherri House’s City Quilts. I don’t love Urban Views half as much, but I enjoyed the experience of reading City Quilts as much as I enjoyed the projects in it, if that makes sense. I don’t really know why, but that book really spoke to me.

  8. Thank you for the plug….there are definitely books in there I would love :-). If I can do it you sure can, however I do know what you mean….I keep hinting at the hubby and ask when can I quit my job. I have a couple of decades or more before I retire too 😉

    • I don’t know if I’d spend THAT much more time sewing if I were at home all the time anyway – I get tense/bored/antsy if I spend too much time sitting (even if I’m doing something enjoyable like sewing) so I might wind up getting just as much done as I do currently. Well, I’d like to hope I’d get a bit more done, but I think I’d probably spend plenty of time thinking of ways to leave the house, even when I didn’t really need to 😀

      Sometime in the new year, I’ll see about doing a guest review for you some week on some book or other I’ve got that you haven’t. (Or maybe on one of the books I want to give away – I’ve got a few I wouldn’t mind just to get rid of because there’s only one or two things I’m interested in.) But we’ll have to see if I manage to finish some projects from any of them 😀

  9. I really don’t make many quilts from patterns, just variations on a theme. The interwebs are so full of great free stuff that I only buy books now if I want to learn a process. I do have a ton of books and patterns that I should “gift” to my guild’s library.

    • That’s definitely true about the internet! It’s SO easy to find all kinds of different things to try and inspiration of every kind and tutorials and help videos and whatever you can think of. I still like to look through the books I’ve got for inspiration, but I shouldn’t really need to own them all, if that makes sense. (Especially since the library here does have quite a lot of different quilting books if I really want to read them.)

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