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Friday, March 04, 2005

Embroidery Machine Essentials: Quilting Techniques—A Review

Jeanine Twigg’s Embroidery machine Essentials: Quilting Techniques, Companion Project Series Book 3 by Linda Turner Griepentrog. 2004 Krause Publications, Soft cover, ISBN 0873498461, 48 pages, full color illustrations. Designs and techniques for use with Baby Lock, Bernina, Brother, Elna, Husqvarna Viking, Janome, Kenmore, Pfaff, Simplicity, Singer and White embroidery machines. Includes a CD-ROM with 12 complete projects, 20 exclusive designs, and 80 bonus stitch variations.

Quilting is “my thing”. I love quilts and the whole quilting process, picking out colors, dreaming up combinations of fabrics, piecing it together, except for putting it together and quilting it. With the advent of machine embroidery with quilting designs this part of the process has become much easier for me. One of the best parts of this book is the CD-ROM with its 20 designs and all the variations. Most designs come in three different sizes for 4”, 5” and 6” blocks. Some of the designs come as a straight stitch design, triple stitch or a chain stitch design. A few of the designs are only for a 5” x 7” hoop or larger. Lots of designs possibilities on this CD.

There are 12 complete quilting projects on the CD also. They are pictured in the book, but you need the CD for the instructions on how to make the designs. There are few projects in the book proper. For the most part this book is full of ideas on using machine embroidery designs in your quilting. I will not review this book in chapter format like I usually do, as this book would be difficult to review that way. “The purpose of this book is to inspire you to use your embroidery machine for quilting” p.6. Many of her projects throughout the book purposely use embroidery designs that are not included on the CD to inspire you in how you can use other designs in quilting. I think she would have done better to use more examples using her embroidery designs that come with the book. But that is my personal opinion. I always like seeing optional ways of using designs I own than options for using designs that I don’t own.

I was personally disappointed with this book because I was hoping it would address in detail quilting a large quilt by machine. All her examples dealt with small quilted projects. Quilting by machine, especially using embroidery motifs, on a large bed size quilt is a whole other ball game. Trying to combine motifs into larger ones while dealing with the weight of the quilt is a topic that deserved some consideration and barely got a mention.

Although a bit disappointed with the book, I would recommend it for someone who is unfamiliar with quilting and the various options available with machine embroidery. It is also useful for the ideas presented, and there are many, but basically all short blurbs. The best feature for me was the embroidery and quilting motifs on the CD as I know I will be using them in many projects in the future.

I trust that this review has been helpful to you in deciding whether or not to purchase the book. I welcome all comments about the reviews I do or additional comments pro and con about how helpful the books have been to you.

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