Friday, February 10, 2012

"Creative Quilting with Beads" - review & giveaway

Valerie Van Arsdale Shrader’s book on quilting with beads is now available in paperback format.  I’ve received a copy for review, and my first comment is that it is beautifully published on high-quality paper and with excellent photography … always my first requirement for any book to earn a place on my bookshelf.

The first part of the book, “The Basics”, truly is a simple, basic overview of tools and supplies, techniques, and even several easy options for hanging an art quilt.  There are no extensive bead-stitching instructions, but the basic techniques shown are well-illustrated and explained.

The second part, “The Projects”, contains 24 fun projects, including several purses, a vintage pillow, an apron, and a soft art-doll.  The rest are art quilts, at various levels from sweet-and-simple to sophisticated-and-striking.  One of the little handbags, by Veronica Hofman Ortega, actually serves as a sampler of beading techniques on the front of the elegant little bag.  There is a convenient “Templates” section in the back, for those who want to follow along with the projects, or you can just use the projects as inspiration.

As a somewhat experienced beader myself, I was most taken with the pieces by Sarah Ann Smith, Larkin Van Horn, and Deborah Boschert, but many of the other pieces would definitely appeal to beginning-to-intermediate beaders, traditional quilters who are looking for a slight twist to add to their work, and those who just want to experiment a bit.

The third section is the “Gallery”, with smaller images of some pretty exciting beaded artwork by other artists, including two of my favorites, Susan Shie and Susan Sorrell.  I have already found a lot of inspiration in these images, and look forward to going back through them again.

There is a nice section at the back (“About the Designers”) which gives background, website, and contact information for the designers who contributed. The actual Index only references “The Basics” section on tools and techniques, and it would have been helpful to have indexed the artists’ names with the page numbers of their artworks here.  This is really the only issue I have with the book, however, and consider it a very nice addition to my bookshelf.

Now, who would like to win a copy of this lovely book?  I want to mix it up a little this time, and have an actual contest instead of just a drawing.  Leave me a Comment with a haiku (5-7-5 syllables) and I will pick a winner.  It can be about art, beads or beading, quilts or sewing, anything that inspires you.  (Don’t worry about not being a poet … I’m not a tough grader!)

Here’s one to start you off:

            Calmly stitching beads.
            Nosy cat jumps in my lap …
            All beads on the floor.

If you’re new to haiku, it’s fun!  Sometimes it’s easier for me to start off with the last line, and build up to it.

Good luck!  I’m looking forward to reading your haiku, and sending this lovely book to the winner.


  1. http://yarngoddess.wordpress.com12:27 PM, February 10, 2012

    No room on my shelf.
    But since you wrote with such flair...
    I need that book now.

    Diane - yarngoddess

  2. wanting that bead book
    puts new words in my fingers
    as I ask to win

    Sure would like a copy of this book


  3. A book to bead quilts
    With this i'm sure to succeed
    May my wish come true

  4. Excitedly stitching projects.
    Colorful beads added one by one
    quickly transform pieces into whole

    This looks like a great book.

  5. Imagine morning
    Sun shares warmth with everything
    Blank canvas and paint

  6. Bead, bead, three more beads,
    Tie and back-stitch and again,
    Three more beads and knot!

  7. fabulous jewels

    red blue pink green black white grey

    quilt like a rock star

  8. A new beading book
    sows seeds, ideas and plants of

  9. Thoughts on a Nearly Finished Art Quilt

    Should I bead it now?
    Will it be improved or not?
    Only time will tell.

  10. I am so happy to hear you liked the book and my projects in it! What fun haikus... I am just loving all these clever comments.

  11. needle thread beads cloth
    running fingers through the beads
    how to choose which one?

  12. shiny baubles in my tray
    choosing the one that hides
    successful on my needle at last.

  13. Kitten in the door
    Her, watching, waiting to test
    Threads on her tail

    Book sure sounds good!
    Nancy B.

  14. Lusting for this book
    What will I do to win it
    I shall plead the fifth

  15. Beads glitter and shine
    Masking all the boring spots
    I need more sequins!

  16. Write an elegant offer
    Artists respond
    Will I win?

  17. Need to learn to Bead,
    In a satisfying way.
    Let me win the book?

  18. Wanting to bead more
    Quilts are calling out to me
    Add some sparkle now

  19. A new beading book,
    Creative Quilting with Beads,
    Can it now be mine?

    Barb in Ottawa

    P.S. I used all my fingers counting out those syllables - hope I got it right!

  20. I'm loving all these wonderful, CREATIVE haiku!

  21. Did some research on haiku! Second attempt:

    The beading book is offered
    The artists respond en masse
    Wish I could have it

  22. Marsha Moody in Va Beach/vamoody1@verizon.net2:55 PM, February 11, 2012

    beads, book, fabric thread
    ... my imagination soars
    the fingers tingle

    Now that was fun, never tried one before

  23. Cover beautiful,
    inside will teach the techniques.

    :-D eirdre

  24. Beading soccer mom,
    goal and oops beads in the car,
    all on the floor mat.

    True story. I switched to handsewing, as it requires less picking things up off the car floor. Finally finished my one and only mola piece at soccer practices.

  25. Lusting after book,
    need inspiration quickly,
    this will be the thing!

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  26. I love beading books
    which illustrate new ideas
    so i hope to win.

  27. Ohmigosh, this was so hard
    to choose!
    So many fun and funny

    (OK, that's not a haiku, but once I typed it, it seemed sort of like a poem of some kind.)

    Congratulations to my TWO winners: Tobi and Kerry. Please email me privately at to give me your snail-mail addresses.

  28. Hope I get my hands on this book.


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