January & February 2014 reads

My attention was divided this month:  books on quilting and sewing, and books on watercolor painting. I was happily reading away, when two days from the end of the month, four fiction novels from favorite authors arrived. I foresee some late evenings into February, reading them before I have to surrender them to the next person on the list.

So since my reading spanned two months, so will this list.

I have books on watercolor painting all over the house, in the upstairs bathroom, on my nightstand, and leaning up against the stereo cabinet in the living room. These books are so beautiful and fun to read, and full of techniques to learn and practice. The goal of all this reading is to choose the couple that fit my style, and buy them. That may be harder than I think.

This is my short list:

David Bellamy | 
   Watercolour Landscape Course
   Skies, Light and Atmosphere in Watercolour
   Complete Guide to Watercolour Painting

I've read these books cover to cover several times, and love his style, his approach, his eye for a scene.

Richard Taylor | Watercolour Landscapes. Not an impressive book at first glance. It's not a big colorful hardcover book like most. It's the size of a large trade paperback. But open it up, and wow. Chock full of techniques and tips and ways to mix color and scenes to practice. Definitely a book to have; I could probably practice from just this book for months.

Terry Morrison | Complete Guide to Watercolour Landscapes. I mainly got this book for all the detailed lessons on creating different types of trees.

Al Stine | Watercolor Painting Smart. Full of drawing practice, how to look at a scene and decide what to paint and what to leave out.

Carl Purcell | Painting with Your Artist's Brain. A very cool book, learning to paint what you see, not what you think you see. Lots of interesting studies in seeing light and dark, shapes instead of specific objects, and using different techniques to interpret.

Sterling Edwards | Creating Luminous Watercolor Landscapes. Love his style, his approach to teaching others how to paint. There are lots of exercises for learning to paint everything from rocks to trees to old weathered buildings.

I'm searching for books on ways to use orphan quilt blocks. These are the blocks that didn't make it into a quilt, or ones I made to test out a pattern. I could just turn them into potholders or coasters, but is there a better use? I also have a lot of antique quilt blocks, purchased years ago on eBay when you could snatch them up for pennies. Those days are long gone. I've found a few ideas, but nothing great yet.

I'm also looking for books that show how to use fabric pre-cuts. Pioneered (I think) by Moda, pre-cuts are collections of fabrics that are cut into various sizes. Jelly rolls are 2.5-in. strips, one from each fabric in a collection. Layer cakes are sets of 10-in. squares, and charm packs are sets of 5-in. squares. They're beautiful, and a simple way to own a bit of each fabric in a collection.

This is my short list:
Kathy Brown | Strip-smart Quilts. This one I'll buy; it has beautiful quilt designs that use jelly roll bundles of fabrics.

Moda Bake Shop | Fresh Fabric Treats, and Sweet Celebrations. Two books from Moda, both have projects I'd love to make.

Camille Roskelley | Simply Retro. Her second book on using precut fabrics, and most of the projects strike my fancy. I may need to own this book!

Other sewing/quilting books
Connie Duran | Quilted Projects for a Country Christmas. Just thinking ahead...
Martha Stewart | Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts
Barri Sue Gaudet | Quilt a Gift. I've ordered this book. What can I say... everything in it is wonderful.

Ann and Nancy Wilson | Kicking and Dreaming

John Sandford | Storm Front

Joseph Finder | Paranoia. Book was great; reviews of the movie made from the book weren't so great. Maybe they should have stuck with the story line, and not gone off on a tangent? Just saying.

Preston & Child | White Fire

Michael Connelly | Gods of Guilt. The latest in the Lincoln Lawyer series; wonderful.


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