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.) All prices listed are retail. We offer discounts on most books.

We have also opened a bookstore for visitors from the United Kingdom, where they can buy quilting books off the net and have them delivered locally, thus avoiding the high shipping costs from the U.S. Links are provided below for each available book to U.K. visitors. The U.K. Quilters' Bookstore can be found here.

Here's our selection of new releases, all reviewed by Christina Holland

Best-Loved Designers Collection: Quick-Sew Celebrations
Click here if you live in the U.K.
Marjon Schaefer, ed.
That Patchwork Place, 1998
144 pages
MSRP: $27.95

If you're looking for inspiration for a home decoration, a gift, or just a way to spend a Saturday, this is the book for you. It's full of a wide variety of projects: pillows
and table runners, angels and snowmen, picture frames and even a lamp shade. I made the "Angel in the Attic" as a Christmas present for my Mom. That is, it started out as the "Angel in the Attic", but then I decided I liked the wings from the angel in the "Christmas Eve Garland" better. That's one of the great things about this book. Many of the projects are similar in style, so you can really use it as a jumping off point for your own imagination.

The directions are clear, and there are color pictures of  all the projects. The patterns are provided at full size. The designs are fun combinations of patchwork, applique, and other craft techniques.

Folk Art Quilts: A Fresh Look
Click here if you live in the U.K.
Sandy Bonsib
That Patchwork Place, 1998
128 pages
MSRP: $24.95

This is a different kind of quilt book. I know that because the recipe to "Sandy's favorite chocolate chip cookies" is printed on page 99.  Most of the book is devoted to the individual projects, and they are fun and very folk-artsy. As I write this, I'm looking at the picture of "All Plaids and Stripes", which features vibrantly colored triangles, overlaid with  embroidered outlines of a farmhouse, trees, chickens, and a couple of cats. It's delightful. Also check out "Coffee or Tea?", featuring coffee mugs and wispy steam with no respect for the edges of blocks.

Another great part is the page about how "folk art quilts often include ..." imaginative color, floating shapes, and (alright! finally an excuse) imperfections, among other

Fun with Miniature Log Cabin Blocks
Click here if you live in the U.K.
Donna Fite McConnell
That Patchwork Place, 1998
96 pages
MSRP: $19.95

The title is a little misleading. This is hardly just a book on log cabin blocks. Sure, it explains how to make a log cabin block, but it also explains the techniques of machine applique, machine quilting, and color photo transfer, plus finishing techniques like prairie points.

Most of the book, though, is devoted to the projects, which combine all of the above methods. They range from the fairly traditional (a log cabin miniature with appliqued flowers in the border) to the whimsical (a quotation miniature with "Nobody gets in to see the wizard, not nobody, not nohow!" - Frank Baum).

hanqltg.gif (14318 bytes)Hand Quilting with Alex Anderson: Six Projects for Hand Quilters
Click here if you live in the U.K.
Alex Anderson
C&T Publishing, 1998
40 pages
MSRP: $12.95

Reading this book is akin to watching a video tape of hand quilting techniques, the directions are so step by step. A full page, with directions and color photographs of hand, fabric, and needle, is provided for each of several hand quilting techniques : for both right-handed and left-handed quilters, with the thimble on the middle finger, pointer finger, or the thumb. Several full-size quilting design patterns are also included, and a variety of fun-looking projects.

A New Slant on Bargello Quilts
Click here if you live in the U.K.
Marge Edie
That Patchwork Place, 1998
96 pages
MSRP: $19.95

The first third of this book is devoted to the basic bargello technique and the additional technique involved in using slanted strips in the design. This section is fairly
clear and the diagrams are very helpful. After reading it, I felt that I could, potentially, design and execute my own bargello quilt, slants and all.

The rest of the book contains the designs, eight in all. These are quite impressive. Under each full-page color photo is a short description of what the rather abstract design meant to the artist. The directions for each seem clear, and are accompanied by grey scale and two-color diagrams.

The really great thing is the gallery. It contains color photos of quilts made by other artists, using some of the designs in this book but with different color and fabric
choices, showing the versatility of these designs.

perfmatch.gif (15997 bytes)A Perfect Match: A Guide to Precise Machine Piecing
Click here if you live in the U.K.
Donna Lynn Thomas
That Patchwork Place, 1998
64 pages
MSRP: $12.95

This book is for anyone who can never quite get the pieces to match up to their satisfaction, or the LeMoyne stars to lie flat. The chapter on "Blue Ribbon Stitching Techniques", especially, is full of helpful hints. The contents range from basic piecing techniques (straight seams and square angles) to the more complex multi-piece intersections, mitered seams, and so on. Also included is a lovely gallery, and directions for completing each quilt.

petal.gif (15763 bytes)Petal by Petal: Appli-bond Flowers
Click here if you live in the U.K.
Joan Shay
American Quilter's Society, 1998
63 pages
MSRP: $14.95

These really look like fun to me. Each project in this book is a single panel with an appliqued flower. The flowers range in type and color from the African violet to the sunflower. Each flower extends three dimensionally out from the panel, and the visual effect created by the various techniques is strikingly realistic. In the introduction, Joan Shay writes, "I have always loved flowers but never enjoyed gardening. I now garden with fabrics." That seems to sum up this book nicely.

Under each full-page color photo of a flower panel is a short decription of the flower depicted : its color, texture, and maybe how it looks dancing in the wind. Also
for each is a page or two of directions, plus full-size templates.

I think I'll make the sunflower first.

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                                          Four Wheel Drive for your Machine!

The Tutto Machine-on-Wheels is the strongest, most lightweight, and most ergonomically friendly of sewing machine luggage choices!

Read our review and check out the wide assortment of sizes and colors (and great prices) for this highly maneuverable carrier for taking your sewing machine across town or around the world!

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