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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Contemporary Machine Embroidered Quilts – A Review

Contemporary Machine Embroidered Quilts: Innovative Techniques and Designs by Eileen Roche. 2004 Krause Books, Soft cover, ISBN 087349878x, 144 pages, full color photo illustrations of projects and color illustrations of techniques. Includes a CD-ROM with 14 large-format designs in the following formats: .pes, .art, .jef, .shv, .dst, .xxx.

This is Eileen’s first book, but not her first entry into the world of machine embroidery. She founded the Designs In Machine Embroidery magazine in 1998, has made guest appearances on television sewing shows, and has designed for Amazing Designs.

The quilts in this book are not your grandmother’s quilts. They are all new, one of a kind contemporary quilts. The author shows you step by step how to make each and every quilt in the book including a beautiful wisteria quilt using the designs on the CD. The CD designs consist of 6 different wisteria sprays, 4 sets of leaves, 3 butterflies and a grasshopper. Mixing and matching the designs can lead you to a wonderful spring and summer quilt. If that project seems a little large to tackle at first, there is a simple pillow project or a smaller wall hanging to try. All told, there are 12 different projects.

For those projects that use designs not on the CD, the designs are clearly identified in case you would like to purchase them. Most of them are from Amazing Designs. The really nice thing about this book, is not only do you get lots of tips for using machine embroidery designs in your quilts, you will learn how to add appliqué and machine decorative stitching to enhance your quilts. The author shows how much more effective designs can be if they are joined by a satin stitch or combined with some appliqué. She encourages you to be creative with all the designs. At one point she shows how she achieved a certain effect with fabric pens when her design didn’t come out just right.

I would certainly recommend this book and when I finish a few other projects, I am hoping to try out the small wisteria wall hanging. I’m also happy to get a few more butterfly designs, as someday I want to make a butterfly quilt.

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