first national conference of the Modern
Quilt Guild. Embedded within her breezy
reminiscences are solid suggestions for 10
projects: besides “Don’t sweat the small
stuff,” Wolfe offers fabric requirements
and cutting instructions for the melons
and arcs, as she names parts of the
wedding ring pattern, and also additional
creative possibilities, laid out like yardage; hints for development of craft; and a
list of “ideas carried over” from quilt to
quilt. Wolfe is boldly mining her heritage. (Jan.)
Shades of Light:
Making Tailored Lampshades
Ruth De Fraga Gomes. Robert Hale (Trafalgar
Square, dist.), trade paper $27.95 (176p)
Gomes is an expert on making lamp
shades, a “craft that has enabled me to
develop my interest in fabric, color,
design, trim, and embellishment.” In this
reference book, she distills her 15 years of
experience into a concise guide to the
craft, as well as an overview of the surprisingly interesting history of lamp shades.
The topic may seem unpromising, but by
the time reader gets to chapter 18 (on fan
pleating a shade) or chapter 23 (on
kitchen shades) this misapprehension will
be put to rest. Every kind of shade is
presented, along with details and sketches
to make the ways of creation clear.
Gomes’s work leans toward the feminine
end of the spectrum, but a variety of lamp
shades are shown in photographs. The
book, however, is British and the
measurements are in the metric system,
which can prove tricky. But perhaps the
bigger question is whether there is a
market for a nearly thirty-dollar book on
lamp shades? (Jan.)
This is Mouse:
An Adventure in Sewing
Brenna Maloney. C&T/Funstitch, $21.95 paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-60705-977-6
With two previous sewing books
Home and Garden
(Socks Appeal and Sock It to Me!) under
her belt, Maloney is well-positioned to
create a worthwhile book on sewing for
kids. Her effort is as charming as can be,
combining clear instructions and ador-
able patterns with a series of stories
about the titular protagonist. The book
begins with a winning and short over-
view of sewing skills: “My editors tell
me that it’s very important that I teach
you the proper words for things,” she
writes. Then readers will learn how to
make Mouse as well as a cast of other
characters (snakes, penguins, aliens) who
appear in a jungle, at the North Pole,
and in space. While the instructions are
shown in step-by-step photos, the proj-
ects still might require an adult’s help.
Maloney has cleverly designed projects
that can be hand or machine-sewn, and
that appear to be accessible to beginners.
She notes at the beginning that the
editors have allowed her to “write the
books I always wanted to read.” She’s not
alone; many other young sewists will
want to read this one, too. Photographs,
pattern pullouts. (Dec.)
Small-Space Vegetable Gardens:
Growing Great Edibles in Containers, Raised Beds, and Small Plots
Andrea Bellamy. Timber, $19.95 trade paper
(232p) ISBN 978-1-60469-547-2
This handy volume dispels the notion
that raised-bed gardens and container
gardening are for amateurs. To the
contrary, Bellamy (Sugar Snaps and
Strawberries) makes the case that small-scale gardening offers the opportunity to
experience the fullness of horticultural
possibility in defined and proportionate
spaces. Through charts, illustrations,
and to-do lists, she demonstrates that
container gardens are just the right size
to be manageable and to explore the
entire cycle of gardening, from seed to
harvest. Beginning with the rudimentary
aspects of the nature of soil, the usefulness of mulch, and the making of
compost, she explains the unique conditions for starting seeds and, later, for
plant maintenance, including guidelines
about watering. From there, post-harvest,
the section on saving and storing seeds
and propagating can encourage the
gardener to keep the garden going perpetually. Finally, at season’s end, when all is
harvested and seeds stored, the section on
winter protection and cleaning tools
brings the process full circle. Bellamy
has written an inspiring and practical
guide to sprouting life in the nooks and
corners of unused land. (Dec.)
The Complete Stories of Mary Butts Mary
Butts. McPherson & Co. (Ingram, dist.), Dec.
Just Call Me Superhero Alina Bronsky, trans.
from the German by Tim Mohr. Europa (Penguin,
The Last Breath Kimberly Belle. Mira, Oct.
No Stopping Train Lee Plesko. Counterpoint/
Soft Skull (PG W, dist.), Oct.
Spoiled Brats Simon Rich. Little, Brown, Oct.
There Once Lived a Mother Who Loved Her
Children, Until They Moved Back In Ludmilla
Petrushevskaya, trans. from the Russian by Anna
Summers. Penguin, Oct.
; The Bitterwood Bible and Other
Recountings Angela Slatter. Tartarus (
The Shadow Academy Adrian Cole.
Edge/-Hades Publications (Fitzhenry and Whiteside,
North American dist.), Sept.
; How to Be Happy Eleanor Davis.
Thanos: The Infinity Revelation Jim Starlin.
; The Love Bunglers Jaime Hernandez.
David Hockney: The Biography 1975–2012
Christopher Simon Sykes. Doubleday/ Talese,
De Niro: A Life Shawn Levy. Crown/Archetype,
Hillary: The Photographs of Diana Walker
Diana Walker. Simon & Schuster, Nov.
Is That All There Is? The Strange Life of
Peggy Lee James Gavin. Atria, Nov.
The Map of Heaven: How Science, Religion,
and Ordinary People Are Proving the Afterlife Eben Alexander, with Ptolemy Tompkins.
Simon & Schuster, Nov.
Winning Marriage: The Inside Story of How
Same-Sex Couples Took on the Politicians
and Pundits—and Won Marc Solomon.
ForeEdge (UPNE, dist.), Nov.
; Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap
America Linda Tirado. Putnam, Oct.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: 50 Years
Edited by Rosamund Kidman Cox. Firefly Books,