I wised up with my book purchases some time ago. I realized I liked looking at craft books more than I liked owning them; I have a small-but-growing stack, and a realization that I don’t actually need to keep many books. Keeping books leads them to eventually be part of cataloging and Keeping Up With and then sadly part of Clean ALL The Things. Those just aren’t as fun.
My rationale: save my book-purchase money for the books that I just can’t get through interlibrary loan, or books where $book->value > $cleanALLthethings->time.
(Yeah, I went there. Shut it.)
Issam el-Said’s unfinished thesis, “Islamic Art and Architecture,” was absolutely worth purchasing. His entire thesis? Craftsmen were able to draft, and tailor, geometric patterns using straightedges and string. Sadly, he died before completing his PhD, but it was published anyway (rightfully so!) and it’s possibly the single most useful quilt book I own, even though it has nothing to do with quilts.
Title: Islamic Art and Architecture: The System of Geometric Design, by Issam El-Said
Edited by: Tarek El-Bouri and Keith Critchlow
(buy it at Amazon)
Every page starts with a basic idea, shows you how to create it, and then demonstrates the final pattern. For a budding quilter with Adobe Illustrator, it’s a lifetime’s worth of patterns in one volume.
I ordered another book last night that also holds promise. I don’t remember how I came across it, but when I searched for images from Liesels Fünfecke, I stared, flabbergasted. When I first ran across the name, both my rusty German and my itch for another paper piecing project kicked into overdrive, because Fünfecke = fünf + ecke = five sides = pentagons … and pentagons just aren’t that common in sewing.
Title: Liesels Fünfecke, by Liesel Niesner and Hilde Klatt
(buy it at cotton-color.com)
It looks like a few English speakers have found the book, but very few have made anything from it; these photos are all I’ve turned up on flickr. I’ve only found one English-language blog post that mentions the book, and there are no libraries in the US that have this book available through interlibrary loan.
I am intrigued, to put it mildly. I’ve been desperate for another English paper piecing project, so I could have something to fiddle with while occasionally watching television, but I’ve already done a Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt and while it was lovely and period-appropriate…
I am not interested in doing another. Hexagons and I? We are ready to see other people for a while.
Nerd out. Now go get some work done, Amy!