Inspiration from books

Have you ever read a book you didn’t want to finish? I’m not talking about ones you hate. I’m talking about a book that is so wonderful you can only devour in small bites, savoring each page. I bought this book after our Art Girl Getaway back in February. My roommate Connie was reading A Fine Romance and I just had to have this book for myself.

fineromance1It’s a diary of her trip to England and it’s all handwritten with pictures and wonderful illustrations. It’s so cool. Here are just a couple of the pages. I read a few more pages today, getting closer to their return back home.


Another couple books that have been sources of inspiration for me this past year have been these from Natalie Chanin.

AlabamabooksAwhile back a Facebook friend emailed me wanting me to look at the Alabama Chanin website. He lives near the company and thought I might be interested. I had never heard of this company.

After looking at the website, I had to buy these two books. I spent days drooling over them. If you aren’t familiar with this company, all of their clothing is hand-sewn, hand-embellished, and made out of 100% organic cotton jersey.

I posted a review last week about the Alabama Studio Sewing + Design book on the And Then We Set It On Fire blog. You can read it here. Here are a couple pages from that book.

Alabamacouching alabamaponcho2

The Alabama Stitch Book includes additional patterns and lots of information on their sewing techniques. Last week I decided to quit drooling and make this boa. It was made out of the bamboo jersey that was left over after Evi made our exhibit jackets.

boaThis last book, Tie-Dye: Die It, Wear It, Share It by Shabd Simon-Alexander, is another take on tie dyeing. And it’s definitely not 60s tie dye! I love her color combos.

Tie Dye



I especially liked this page where she showed the original t-shirt color and the resulting colors when over tie dyed.


All of the above books have yet to make it to my bookcase. They are still on the floor next to my recliner where from time-to-time I’ll grab one of them for some inspiration. What about you? Do you have a couple books that you refer for inspiration? I’d love to hear from you and maybe I’ll add them to my bookcase (or floor).

Besides reading, I’m working on a real special project. Here is the newly dyed fabric. I love Cerulean Blue!

stolefabricAnd a peak at the process. I’m getting excited!


I’ll be posting soon about the current The Printed Fabric Bee challenge and giveaway, but just yesterday I received my new issue of Quilting Arts. Lynn Krawczyk wrote a wonderful article on our group started over a year ago by Lynn and Lisa Chin. In addition to showing some of our fabric, we are quoted in the article. I hope that this article will inspire others to try a similar challenge. For me it has really helped me to stretch my artistic muscles.


Hope you are having a creative week.