Thursday, April 8, 2010

Quilter's Library: "Threadwork Unraveled" by Sarah Ann Smith

Next to fabric, I believe most quilters enjoy getting a new book. I sure do! But I get tired of reading book reviews that are really re-hashed press releases. When Quilter's Library appears here, it will be my own personal thoughts, on books I have purchased with my own money.
Here's one of the latest additions to my stash of pages:
Thread Work Unraveled by Sarah Ann Smith
American Quilters Society, Paducah KY 2009
111pages with color photos & diagrams

This book includes both inspiration and practical education, and doesn't waste money on a lot of pattern pages I'll never use. That makes it a real winner!
The patterns it does have (wall hanging, table runner, stitch samplers) are designed to help you put your new knowledge to work right away.

I like to check out the back of a book to see if it has an Index...and yes, this one does! A good Index will help you find what you're looking for, usually in a time of desperation.
The Table of Contents is the next stop. This one is well divided to show the main topics of Basics, Applique, and Machine Quilting, with some intriguing subtopics. Thread has about 8 pages and Needles 6 (including some exercise projects). 

If you haven't learned about the way a sewing machine works, Sarah gives loads of information and some good diagrams.
Stop worrying about taking a test whenever someone mentions "how something works"! If you're reading this blog, you are now at the point in life where you can learn for your own enjoyment. And this is a good resource book, meaning you will keep it to refer to many times....because we do not have to remember every little thing!

The pages devoted to "Your Workspace & Ergonomics" will help you avoid the many physical probelms associated with machine quilting, thread painting and other work where we get so involved we forget how much time is passing.
This book is filled with good ideas, and Sarah is no member of the Quilt Police. She gives you the facts so you can make your own decisions. The beautiful color pictures of many quilters' work will guide you though those choices.

OK...bottom line: from the first reading, what did I mark with Post-It notes? That's a sure sign of something interesting!
Page 18 is about needles, specifically the eyes of needles, with a photo. This info definitely deserves the  "Unraveled" part of the book's title. I now understand how and why to match the needle to the thread.
My other note is stuck on page 90: Nearly No-Mark Free-Motion Quilting Sampler. Yes! I actually marked one of the projects! This is an 18" square marked with a grid for practising a variety of quilting patterns. With 2-1/2" squares, this is a sampler I can have fun with before my attention wanders.
Best of all, Sarah ends the project suggesting you celebrate with chocolate!
But she does not waste a lot of time in the rest of the book being too chatty. She comes accross as a good & helpful friend, with an easy to read style. She knows about the trouble you've seen, and she shares her experience.

You can find this book in many shops, or order it from AQS.
Sarah Ann Smith has a website: and a blog at the same address.


Anonymous said...

So do I get to borrow it yet> lol --CC

Sunnie said...

It's true...I had to get the review written so Cherry Cherry could borrow the book!
Two more to go!....(well, one is a magazine).