Save me, interlibrary loan!

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.

Issam El-Said's 'Islamic Art and Architecture.'View on Flickr

Title: Islamic Art and Architecture: The System of Geometric Design, by Issam El-Said
Edited by: Tarek El-Bouri and Keith Critchlow
ISBN: 978-1873938454
Format: Hardback
Published: 2008
(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.

It translates to 'Liesel's Pentagons: Inspiration and Instructions for pentagon projects.'

Pentagons just don't show up much in quilting because -- as any geometry enthusiast will tell you -- they just don't appear often in repeating patterns.

ISBN: 9783000189036. I checked WorldCat, and not a single library in the United States has this book available for loan. Of course, it IS in German. 

I was so intrigued with the photos that I decided to order the book, sight unseen.Front cover: 'Liesels Fünfecke'

It translates to 'Liesel's Pentagons: Inspiration and Instructions for pentagon projects.'

Pentagons just don't show up much in quilting because -- as any geometry enthusiast will tell you -- they just don't appear often in repeating patterns.

ISBN: 9783000189036. 

In German:

Handnäherinnen öffnet die grandiose Musterfülle von Liesels Fünfecken eine regelrechte Schatzkiste. In diesem reichhaltigen Buch finden Sie über 50 Projekte, von Quilts über Kleinigkeiten bis zu Wandbildern. Es gibe ausführliche Hinweise zum Nacharbeiten, viele Variationsvorschläge, sowie Inspiration und Ermutigung für eigene Entwürfe. Liesels Fünfecke sind unregelmäßige Fünfecke, die zue ebenen Fläche zusammengefügt werden können.

* * * 

Die Musterungen sind eingeteilt in die drei Abschnitte reine Fünfeckfläche, Kombinationen mit Rauten und ringförmige Anordnungen.

Nach dem großen Erfold von Liesels Sechsecken-Technik ist dies das zweite Buch der Autorinnen Hilde Klatt und Liesel Niesner.

Inspiration & Anleitung

Der Schwerpunkt dieses Bandes liegt auf den Mustermöglichkeiten, die die mosaikartigen, über Papierschablone genähten Patchworkflächen bieten. Liesels Fünfecke gehören - wie Sechsecken - zu den Musterungen, die man vorzüglich von Hand nähen kann.

Eine Anleitung für die Technik ist Bestandteil dieses Buches, das sowohl sehr gut für Anfänger geeignet ist als auch Fortgeschrittenen eine dauerhafte Fundgrube bieten wird.

The gist, in English: 

A veritable treasure chest of patterns with Liesel's pentagons. Includes more than 50 projects ranging from quilts to wall hangings to small items. It gives detailed instructions for rework, variations, as well as inspiration and encouragement for your own designs. Liesel's pentagons are irregular pentagons, but they sew together flat.

* * * *

The patterns are divided into three sections: just pentagons, pentagons and diamonds, and circular arrangements.

This book is the second for authors Hilde Klatt and Liesel Niesner, following their great book on hexagon techniques.

This book focuses on the possibilities of mosaic-like patchwork sewn using English paper piecing. Liesel's pentagons can be hand-sewn just like hexagons.

Well-suited for beginners and advanced quilters.Back cover: 'Liesels Fünfecke'

Title: Liesels Fünfecke, by Liesel Niesner and Hilde Klatt
ISBN: 978-3000189036
Format: Paperback
Published: 2006
(buy it at Amazon)

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.

Printable paper pieces are available here. Laser-cut pieces are available here.

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've marked all the remixed hexes with notes so you can see which are a mix of old and new fabrics.

Wholly vintage: 41 of 59 (70%)
Mixture of vintage and reproduction: 16 of 59 (27%)
Wholly reproduction fabrics: 2 of 59 (3%)

Final blog entry: it was remixed: 70% / 27% / 3%

I am not interested in doing another. Hexagons and I? We are ready to see other people for a while.

Simple squares. Edges have English-paper-pieced hexagon flowers appliquéd on them. Nothing fancy, just simple and fun -- and now it waits for the rest of the backing fabric to arrive.

Blog entry: needs a better photo!

Nerd out. Now go get some work done, Amy!