Work-in-Progress Girl

Books books books


One of my greatest weaknesses in life is books. I love books. I love owning books and reading books and using books and all of that. But they take up so much space and I’ve moved a lot, so I’ve hauled around so many boxes of books that my back hurts just thinking about it. So a year or so ago I decided to quit buying them, unless it was by an author I really love or unless I knew it would be something I’d make a lot of use of. I live in a big city with a big library, so I started borrowing library books instead. (For years I wouldn’t borrow library books because I hated how dirty the books felt, so let’s not talk about the time someone tested library copies of Fifty Shades of Grey and found the herpes virus on it. And let’s remind ourselves that that happened in Antwerp.)

Anyway, I’ve been pretty good on the book buying front – I’ve only bought a couple craft books in the last couple years – Camille Roskelley’s Simply Retro, Ayumi Takahashi’s Patchwork, Please!, Cherri House’s Urban Views, Cheryl Arkison and Amanda Jean Nyberg’s Sunday Morning Quilts… – up until the last couple weeks. I blame Tom and Lorenzo of because they’ve been talking about their new book, Everyone Wants to Be Me or Do Me, and so I got sucked in to Amazon to buy that because I didn’t want to wait for the library to have an available copy. But, you know… free shipping if you just spend $10 more dollars or whatever…

Recent Crafty Purchases Recent Crafty Purchases Recent Crafty Purchases

I only needed to add one more book to hit the shipping quota, but who can decide? Obviously the proper answer is to not decide at all, just go ahead and get them all!

I wish I hadn’t. They’re all lovely books and I haven’t finished reading them all, but there’s somewhere between very little and almost nothing that I actually want to make from these books. I mean, in a way that’s fine, because craft books aren’t always about finding patterns you want to replicate, so much as finding ideas or inspiration, but I didn’t need this books to get the inspiration I’m likely to take from them. (I might need to exclude the Quilt Lab book from that. I haven’t done more than flip through it yet, but I have a feeling it’s going to be very different from most quilting books I’ve read. I’m still not sure I’ll want to make any of the projects from it, except maybe that Fractal quilt, which I love, but it is a very different take on the quilting thing.)

Speaking of things I’ve bought but probably won’t use,.. is there anyone still out there who hasn’t picked up the newest Quilty magazine?


If you’d like a copy – my copy, which otherwise will be recycled on Tuesday – leave a note below. If there’s more than one person, I’ll draw a name on Wednesday, March 19 when I get home from work. I’ll send it wherever – might as well get looked at again before it does get recycled! (I can’t promise anything about anyone who handled it before me, but I can promise I haven’t left any herpes virus or cocaine behind on this one.)

Linking up with Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash:

Molli Sparkles


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.

30 thoughts on “Books books books

  1. 1 – I am trying to get better at using my craft books, but you’re right, often it’s only one pattern that I make from the entire book, and to me, as you, it’s more about the design process that I try to learn than to just make a specific pattern. I would love this magazine, and I promise to read it at least once!

    • There’s so much on the internet that sometimes it feels like it’s a bit pointless picking up the book. And everything kind of makes the rounds on blog hops – I’m pretty sure I’d seen all of Vintage Quilt Revival when it first came out – so that you hardly need to preview the book if you are sure you’d like to read it. I should have really put more thought into this particular purchase πŸ˜€

  2. 2 – I would be interested in the quilty mag. I have all three you purchased as well. I like quilt lab…the aperture quilt towards the back of book is cool and my next two I would like to make is the state of matter and calculus.

  3. 3 – Ohhh me please! I can’t get that mag here! I totally get what you mean about the books, I limit myself for exactly that reason though I’ve picked up some great 2nd hand older quilting books that have been really inspirational. Might test them for viruses and drugs!!

  4. It’s really hard buying craft books on-line because you can’t really peruse them like you can at a brick & mortar store. Still I’ve bougth a couple of books that at brick & mortar stores and they were totally not what I wanted or needed when I got them home and such a pain to return them.

    • I’d kind of had the policy the last while that I had to borrow the book from the library first, then if I thought I’d make use of it, I’d buy it. I’m not sure why I didn’t follow that plan with these books! (Except Quilt Lab, which my library doesn’t carry.) It’s so hard to say what will make a book work for us or not, though.

  5. 5 – I would love Quilty magazine! I too, try to check books out from the library, but our local library has quit carrying the quilt magazines it used too because of budget cuts. So disappointing!

    • You know, I never thought to look for quilting magazines at the library! I should do that… I don’t buy magazines too often, but it would save me that occasional expense, at least!

  6. 6 – I’d love to take a look at Quilty! I know what you mean about buying quilting books – I only own two, Simply Retro and The Practical Guide to Patchwork. It’s hard for me to justify buying books when there are so many free patterns and tutorials out there!

    • That definitely plays into my attempts to avoid buying books — why buy them when there is SO much inspiration available for free? The general issue I’ve got with Vintage Quilt Revival (which I feel like i’m picking on because I keep talking about it, though mostly that’s because I haven’t finished reading the other two) is that all the blocks are vintage, thus fairly available without looking too hard online, which means the take away bit of the book is the colours and quilt layouts they use…. but ALL of their quilts were shown online in the blog hops and lead up to the book’s release,… so I could get my colour inspiration for free and I could get the general gist of the block settings and work them out for myself. I do actually like to support crafty people in what they do, so there’s some part of me that wants to buy people’s books because I know it helps with that, but… there still should be something MORE that I’m getting back than just a general good feeling. If that makes sense? (Maybe I’m just too selfish and too much of the Napster generation and think I deserve everything for nothing or something.)

  7. I have a couple of quilting books but usually I don’t really think of them as ‘must haves’ in the same way as fabrics. My mum keeps telling me to get this magazine or that magazine and eh. I just don’t find I use them enough to be an investment! There’s a couple of books I have that I wish I didn’t buy because I can’t see myself making anything but I bought them when I was new so didn’t really know better! Now, I’m more likely to buy an individual pattern or in the case of Simply Retro, buy a book when I’ve seen a lot of things made from it to interest me. Quilt lab has interested me but I haven’t seen enough of it to splurge yet. I wouldn’t mind Vintage Quilt Revival but from what I’ve seen there’s a lot of paperpiecing and I just don’t have that bug yet.

    That story does make me feel glad that I haven’t been to a library in 10+ years! Now i can use the excuse I’m protecting myself from herpes (and probably lots of other nasties… Ecoli…) and it’s not just laziness!

    • Simply Retro is a nice book, though I think the only part of it I’ll use is maybe the stripey star in it. I have and enjoyed one of Camille Roskelley’s Craftsy classes, so I bought it sight unseen and while I like it, I don’t love it. I still want to check out her other book too, though. I’m trying to remember to see if the library has it though rather than just buying it.

      I don’t tend to buy magazines, but for some reason I have been a bit more often lately. Honestly… I work nights in a grocery store half the week, so sometimes I’ll just read them there and safe myself the purchase price. I’m not sure why I’ve been buying without doing that lately πŸ˜€

  8. 7 – I used to be a book buyer, but then I went on a super tight budget – as in I became a student who had to buy textbooks. So I regularly use the library, so don’t scare me with yucky stories please. I did borrow the Vintage Modern book and loved it! Is there really nothing in there you want to make?! I thought it was a great book and I will probably borrow it again.
    I love to get magazine subscriptions! I have one to Fat Quarterly, but I wish it was a paper magazine I could hold in my hands as I’d be more likely to remember I have it. I did get Ottobre for a few years, but they become all the same after a while. That said, I do look at them over and over when I’m looking for clothes to make my kids.
    So, if you offering up a magazine, I’d love to put my name in the draw πŸ™‚ They’re always so fun to look at, put away, and look at again. Good idea for recycling magazines though. Maybe I should offer some off my large Ottobre stack…

    • Yeah, nothing like a budget to cut out those kinds of extras, eh? I’ve been almost exclusively borrowing from the library for quite a while now – I think I cut my book buying budget down to about 10% of what it was. (Seriously… who has room for all these books? I used to think I’d grow up to own a house with a library.) The Vintage Revival book has a lot of nice things in it, but most of the blocks can be found elsewhere (because they are vintage) so it mostly just leaves colour and setting inspiration, but they posted pictures of pretty well all the quilts on various blogs so it doesn’t take much to find those ideas/inspiration elsewhere. (Really, I should have done what I usually do with books like this: borrowed it from the library and waited to see if I borrowed it again before buying… if I borrow the same book twice, then I’ll consider buying it a lot harder.)

      I don’t often buy magazines though I’ve bought the last three Quilty magazines – I’ve never seen an Ottobre magazine, but I had the impression it’s more for clothing, which is an area I’ve never felt comfortable with exploring πŸ˜€ (And having no kids, it would be a slightly pointless one for me.)

  9. 8 – I’m trying not to buy more books until I get a chance to have a proper look at the book, either in a shop or at the library. I tend to make more projects from magazines & Quilty is my favourite. I’d love the chance to put your copy of the latest issue to good use – thanks for the herpes/germs reassurances, hehe!

    • That’s usually my rule – I have to borrow them from the library (or read them in a bookstore) before I can buy them… I’m not sure why I didn’t follow my own rule this time! I haven’t used any magazines any more than I’ve used books, but I do tend not to buy them. (I do occasionally, but it’s pretty rare.)

  10. Oh my, I am a book lover – some might say a bibliophile. I cannt go shopping without picking up a book, and there is always a book in my handbag. I am a little bit stricter with craft books because I can’t read them like fiction and I rarely, if ever, make things out of them so they are just clutter. But I still buy them :-). Vintage Quilt Revival is on my list of books to purchase. Yes, I’ve seen every quilt 3 times on the blog hops, but I really like most of them, so hopefully I’ll make something out of it.
    Now magazines, on the other hand, I just don’t get. Why are we paying to read ads??? If I could buy a magazine that isn’t half full of ads I’d be happy. But the price they’d need to charge to make that economical to produce, it’d be a book πŸ™‚ lol.
    E xx

    • The vast majority of my books are fiction, though I do have a pretty good collection of crafting books and about a million cookbooks (which I never use). It’s true about magazines! SO many ads, and I know they’re costly to produce, as you say, but yeah, it’s pretty crazy. Vintage Quilt Revival might use most useful for me in terms of colour inspiration, but like you I’ve seen every quilt 3 times over on blogs, so I’m not sure I Need to own the book to get that.

  11. 9 – I’m interested. I love the project on the cover. Thanks!

    • Best of luck! That cover quilt is lovely – it’s paper-pieced, which I’ve done a lot of, but which I find tedious, so it doesn’t make me want to make it πŸ˜€

  12. I get sucked in by that Amazon shipping deal every time!! Quilt books are all about inspiration for me. The Gypsy Wife quilt is actually the first pattern I’ve followed in probably a decade. But I love to look at these books over and over again when I’m designing my quilts. I find them invaluable.

    • I do tend to follow patterns, but I’ve never done one from a book yet – I’m not sure why! I look books for the general inspiration as well, but I too often find that there’s not as much in the book as I was hoping for, which is exactly the problem I had with these books! Vintage Quilt Revival has some interesting block settings and some lovely colour combinations, but… truth told I think I saw all their quilts in their blog hop, so it’s possible I just felt like there was nothing new left to find in the book. Modern One Block Quilts has some nice ones, but it seems to have arrived at a moment when I’m in the middle of disliking quilts with woven elements, and it feels like half the book is devoted to quilts with a woven look to them πŸ˜€ Quilt Lab is very different though, I think I really need to dig into that one before I comment too much about it because it’s just so different from so many books I’ve got.

      • I have to admit that most of my books come from thrift stores. You’d be amazed at the books that show up there. It’s easier to be happy with a book when you pay $3 for it instead of $20. Lol

  13. 10 – our local shops sell out of quilty so I’d love to receive this copy

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