Thursday, May 20, 2010

New Review on Two Books/Handwriting Project Update

If you happened to read my blog post about the "handwriting project" Jeanne Beck is working on (, you might be interested in her new post at She explains how she is using the handwriting samples and what it means to her. I'll be very interested to see how she uses these pieces. Check it out.

Also, I just purchased two books that I'm excited about. One is Jane Davila's "Surface Design Essentials;" the other is "Fabric Embellishing, The Basics and Beyond" by Ruth Chandler, Liz Kettle, Heather Thomas, and Lauren Vlcek. If you are real experienced in surface design, these books are probably not for you. However, if you are new to these processes or would like to update or expand your skills, these are great books. They can be used for reference and/or for practice exercises.

I have been working on projects in Lyric Kinard's "Art + Quilt" book and realized that I don't have that many exercises to go to finish my Beth/Lyric Project. That means I will have worked through all the exercises in her book and will be ready to add some more tools to my art quilt tool belt. I've never studied art or design, so Lyric's book has helped me gain some insight into design. I think these two new books will help me with new ways to express myself through surface design (hopefully, using the design tools I learned from Lyric's book).

"Surface Design Essentials"
Jane's book explores paints, mediums, inks, and pencils. Basic techniques, projects, and a gallery are included in this book. It is spiral bound which makes it much easier to use when actually working on these projects. I started reading and found out right away that I could learn a lot from this book. Her section on color mixing is one of the most straight-forward easily understandable approaches to color I have ever read. It really made sense to me. It is a small book, and it is very reasonably priced.

"Fabric Embellishing, The Basics and Beyond"
Ruth Chandler, Liz kettle, Heather Thomas, Lauren Vlcek
This book covers lots and lots of material. Over 50 techniques are covered...from stitching to burning to beading. Lots of different materials are covered--cocoons and rods, Angelina, Tyvek, metal, Lutradur, etc. It, too, is a spiral bound book (which I love). This book suggests that one way you could use it would be to tackle one technique a week. They say that "in a year's time you will have practiced all techniques in this book and own a workbook to refer to time and time again for inspiration." They even give you instructions for making a fabric workbook--a way to keep your samples all together. You are given a section on equipment and supplies needed, embellishing techniques, foundations, soft embellishments, and hard embellishments. There are lots of great pictures illustrating the steps explaining the techniques and of finished projects. I can't wait to get started! 


Laura said...

Beth--the books look fantastic, especially Jane Davila's. I wish I could find someone like you who lived near me that I could get together with to work on this kind of stuff!

Laura said...

Just checked on and the Jane Davila book was only $11.50, so I ordered it.