Friday, March 6, 2015

Book Review: Setting Up Your Sewing Space

A Fair Trade Book

Title: Setting Up Your Sewing Space
Author: Myrna Giesbrecht

Author's web site:
Date: 1994
Publisher: Sterling Publishing Company
ISBN: 0-8069-0495-X
Length: 160 pages including graphics, charts,and index
Quote: “I live, eat, and breathe fabric.”
And yes, this is a book primarily about how to avoid breathing fabric if you prefer not to breathe to organize your supplies so that you have time for actual sewing rather than trying to remember where you put things. If you have trouble keeping your “creative clutter” in a genuinely creative, organic order rather than letting it turn into a hopeless mess, this book just might help you.
For some of us, I suspect, using this book with good intentions will be just another excuse to play with our toys (and possibly be inspired by them). I don’t sew, myself, but I’m like this about knitting. I collect yarn. Very early in my knitting life, there was one day when, inspired by Kaffe Fassett’s approach in Glorious Knitting, I just threw a lot of balls of yarn around the bland, beige, mostly empty sitting room just to notice what looked good next to what else. When the sitting room was fairly well wall-to-wall unravelling balls of mixed yarns, someone came to the door. The “don’t want to know what goes on in this flat” vibration was overwhelming. Not immediately, but before my flatmate came in, I sorted all those yarns by weight and color and repacked them all into wooden storage cubes...
Actually, if you’re interested in a book like Setting Up Your Sewing Space, you probably do want to know about my cubes. They used to be sold at Hechinger’s, which used to be a local hardware, furniture, home improvement store chain in Washington. They looked just like these, once you'd put them together, and cost about one-quarter to one-third as much. A Google search turns up lots of sources for 15" particle-board cubes, foreign and domestic, preassembled or not, and even a video showing how to put them together.
Anyway, organizing and reorganizing our craft supplies is one of the sensuous pleasures of doing handcrafts. Setting Up Your Sewing Space will tempt you. Maybe, after using these nifty organizing ideas, you could move in more fabric, a different sewing machine for different projects, a quilting frame...and you know authors of craft books, most of whom get their ideas by working in craft shops, aren’t going to tell you not to buy more supplies and plan more projects. (After all, there might be a yarn, fabric, wood, etc. shortage some day, and we all know that crafters don't survive their last project.) Or, if we plan projects to use up everything in the local craft store, and then realize that we’d have to pursue our crafts every day for 200 years to finish all those projects, the current owner of the local store can move to St Croix and we can keep the store ourselves...
Just kidding! If you’re determined to use this book sensibly, organize space, and have a place for everything and everything in its place even while you’re working on a maximum of three projects at one time, you can be that rare and exceptional member of our tribe, the constant crafter who never bites off more than s/he can chew or allows the craft supplies to spill out past the doorway of the workroom. Such people exist. If you’re determined to be one of them, this book will show you how.

If you’d rather be like most of us and leave 300 unfinished projects to your favorite charity, and why not, charity stores collect lots of money for good causes that way, this book can inspire you to have more fun fiddling with your supply collection. And even branch out...part of this book contains tips on sewing and quilting techniques you may not have tried yet.

Other online booksellers may offer a lower price but, so far as I know, this is the only site that will send Myrna Giesbrecht 10% of the total price of her book ($5) plus shipping ($5). You pay only one $5 shipping charge for as many items as can be shipped in one package, and Giesbrecht or a charity of her choice still gets $1 for each book you buy here. E-mail salolianigodagewi @