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Planet Patchwork Bookbriefs are published in newsletter form and distributed by e-mail to subscribers to the Planet Patchwork Update List, as well as being published here on the web. If you'd like to join our Update List, you can subscribe here.

BookBriefs provides subscribers thumbnail descriptions and reviews of new (and sometimes not-so-new) quilting books on the market, along with links to where the books can be purchased through The Planet Patchwork Quilters' Bookstore. (Just click on the title or the link provided.) All prices listed are retail. We offer discounts on most books.

Reviews by Lynn Holland

Now that most of the children are back in school and we have a little more time to do the things that we want to do, there are a ton of new books to inspire us as quilting season swings into full gear. 

Creating Quilts with Simple Shapes
Ann Castleberry and Mischelle Hart
That Patchwork Place, 2001
Paperbound, 96 pages
Suggested Retail: $26.95

If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at design, but didn’t think you had the talent, Creating Quilts with Simple Shapes may be the book you’ve been waiting for. Ann Castleberry and Mischelle Hart walk us through the basic steps to creating your own unique quilt, including initial design, fabric selection, construction and finishing. In de-mystifying the process, this book offers many possibilities in addition to twelve complete projects.

For the Birds: Paper-pieced Birdhouses and Birdfeeders
Jaynette Huff
That Patchwork Place, 2001 
Paperbound, 80 pages
Suggested retail: $24.95

For the Birds definitely isn’t. It is an adorable collection of birdhouse, bird feeders and our feathered friends themselves. Jaynette Huff has assembled 20 plus paper-piecing patterns for bird lovers, and includes detailed directions for completing the blocks. Both the novice and advanced piecer will appreciate the introductory section, which is full of good information. The projects Jaynette offers are adorable, many of them nicely set with ¼ inch fabric “frames”. 

Dutch Flower Pots
Anja Townrow
American Quilters Society, 2001
Paperbound, 96 pages
Suggested retail: $19.95

Once you get into paper piecing, you might not want to stop, so you can move right on to Dutch Flower Pots by Anja Townrow. The seven different flowerpot designs looked fairly elaborate to me, but the color selection in the photos provide stunning results. The introductory section provides very detailed general instructions and specific tips for piecing these designs, and there are many full color photos to give you inspiration.

Painted Chairs: 25 Fun and Fresh Projects
Jennifer R. Ferguson and Judith A. Skinner
Martingale, 2001
Paperbound, 96 pages
Suggested retail: $21.95

Some of you may remember the old “Love of Chair” series that ran on the show Electric Company. Well, Jennifer R. Ferguson and Judith A. Skinner embody this sentiment in Painted Chairs: 25 Fun and Fresh Projects. Using many yard sale and trash pile finds, this pair grabs paints and stencils to produce totally wonderful conversation pieces that are useful too. There’s a beginning section on the basics, and each project is described in detail, right down to the exact paint colors and stencil numbers used for each chair. This is a totally fun book for those of us who can never own too many chairs.

Digital Decorating: Designs and Projects from Your Home Computer 
Tami D. Peterson
Martingale, 2001
Paperbound, 96 pages
Suggested retail: $26.95

Digital Decorating uses a variety of the current technology to make your environment more beautiful. From embellishing linens to labeling your own custom toiletries, this book encourages us to explore the amazing options that all of today’s equipment and supplies offer us. The Sources and Credits section is very helpful in finding supples to replicate the projects, and I was simply mesmerized by some of the interesting applications of technology that are described in the book. There are over 20 projects, and one of them is sure to meet a decorating need of yours.

Gracing the Table: 20 Handcrafted Projects
Dawn Anderson
Martingale, 2001
Paperbound, 96 pages
Suggested retail: $21.95

As long as you’re decorating, pick up Gracing the Table for another 20 or so ideas on how to produce gracious designs for the dining area. In addition to offering some nice custom projects, Dawn Anderson has also kept the time factor in mind so that most of them take just a few hours. Many of these projects would make nice gifts for friends, and all of them will add a custom touch to your table.

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