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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Embroidery Magazines

I love magazines with their fresh new ideas on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. I especially love magazines that focus in on my hobbies. There are several that I subscribe to that have helped me grow and learn in my sewing and machine embroidery hobby.

Designs In Machine Embroidery is published bi-monthly and is a wonderful resource to learn how to do various machine embroidery projects. It is a very well rounded magazine in that it features, fashion, home décor, quilting and craft projects. There is usually at least one free design download and of this writing all of the downloads are available at their website listed by volume. Nancy Zieman, Eileen Roche, and Rita Farro write regular columns. Full-sized paper templates are included as an insert in the middle of each magazine. I love all the many ideas that I get from this magazine. Both this magazine and Creative Machine Embroidery should be in each machine embroiderer’s sewing space.

Creative Machine Embroidery: Ideas, Inspirations & Techniques is published bi-monthly with lots of great ideas, tips, and embroidery basics for those who own any type home embroidery machine. Each issue usually has a section on embroidery products such as stabilizers, threads, or even a run down of the newest machines on the market. There are also several projects presented with step-by-step instructions. Embroidery designs are clearly identified and usually there is at least one design that you can download for free from the magazine website. Be aware though, that their free downloads are available for only a limited time. All advertisements in the magazine are geared towards machine embroidery and actually are a great way to keep up with the newest things happening in the machine embroidery field. This is an especially good magazine for a beginner to machine embroidery as many of the projects are doable by following the instructions and some practice. This magazine is a sister publication to Sew News magazine and at times they join forces to present sewing patterns using machine embroidery techniques.

Creative Expressions with Jenny Haskins is published four times a year. As this is an Australian publication, it can be difficult to get in the USA, but if you like Jenny Haskins’ way of combining quilting and machine embroidery it is well worth the hunt. I have found issues at my local Barnes & Noble and also on eBay. Full of lush beautiful illustrations, this magazine can transport you to a different era as you look through it and study the detail of the projects. Each magazine has several projects with instructions and full-sized paper template inserts in the middle of the magazine. There is a six-page reference section at the back of each magazine so you will know how to do each technique that is mentioned in the instructions. Some items are just photographed for inspiration, although I wish that at least minimal instructions could be given for those but I suppose the magazine would end up being a book.

For those who have never run into Jenny Haskins and her work, she is the diva of Australian quilting combined with embroidery. Through appliqué, embroidered motifs, decorative stitching, and quilting designs she creates the most awesome quilts. Now she has made many of her projects even easier with embroidery design cards for purchase that do a lot of the work for you. Several of the quilts hanging in my home have been influenced by Jenny Haskins.

Embroidery Journal: Inspiring Ideas for the Home Embroiderer & Professional Crafter. This magazine is published four times a year. Some issues seem to have a lot of good projects and then other issues seem to forget that this is a magazine for embroiderers—projects with not a bit of embroidery in them! I think those who would get the most use out of this magazine are those who have the following software: Monogram Wizard, Explorations, Buzz Tools, Drawings. There are software tutorials in every issue. As I don’t have any of these particular pieces of software this part of the magazine is a bit useless to me. I’ve found over the year that I have had a subscription that most of the free designs they may feature either have broken links or are only for particular sewing machine formats (I have no way to convert them), so many times I’ve been disappointed with this magazine and wouldn’t really recommend it unless you need the software tutorials.

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