Saturday, February 25, 2006

Noncommute Books: Gardens and Crafts

McGee and Stuckey's The Bountiful Container

I've been wanting to have some version of a garden for years but a) I have no expertise at all, b) I'm lucky if I can keep a plant alive, and if I do, I believe it's more because of the plant's will to live than anything else, and c) I've never had any space. Our apartment has a large fenced-in patio that is perfect for plants, so over the past few months, I've been checking out books from the library about container gardening. The majority of them either have beautiful photographs but very little helpful content or overcomplicated content that is not helpful for a novice like me. I finally found the perfect book for anyone who wants to grow something edible in a container. It's so good, that I plan to purchase it for my own reference. The Bountiful Container is incredibly user friendly, tells you how to get started and what works best for where you live (or how much effort you want to exert).

Denyse Schmidt Quilts

Last year I learned how to sew and later purchased a sewing machine. And while there are plenty of people who love to quilt, I had never really had much desire to do it. (That said, I do appreciate all the hard work and skill of those who have made me quilts, and I appreciate them immensely.) Quilting is tedious, exacting work, and lots of books on the market are very country-fair-ish in design.

Then I found Denyse Schmidt Quilts, which I believe to be the most fabulous modern quilt book out there. To begin with, there are projects I can actually do in the book (simple and small, but still creative and beautiful) and there are also full-blown quilts if I ever get brave enough. Schmidt has a graphics design background and uses colors and patterns in a unique way. (She also gives a good brief primer on how to work with color in her style of quilting.) I don't think this book is for someone who is completely new to sewing (while she gives good instructions, there are some smaller steps she leaves out), and I wouldn't say the projects are necessarily easy (it's still a form of quilting, and there's a lot of steps before you actually sew), but it is the first quilting book I actually love.

1 comment:

Jim's Dad said...

Maria: Bountiful Container sounds like a must for use of our deck space. Bought it today. (Along with Catholicism for Dummies, which will amuse Jim). May actually get around to planting something you'll get to enjoy. Herbs, at least.