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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Machine Embroidery: Inspiration from Australian Artists—A Review

Machine Embroidery: Inspiration from Australian Artists by Kristen Dibbs. 1998 J. B. Fairfax Press, ISBN 1863433309, Soft cover, 96 pages, color photo illustrations.

This is a book for those of you who say to themselves, “I can’t do machine embroidery because I don’t have one of those fancy machines.” It is also a book of inspiration to those of you who do have ‘fancy’ computerized sewing machines, but want to push the envelope of what can be accomplished with just a straight or zig zag stitch. This book provides inspiration from eleven Australian fabric artists.

Even if these projects are not ‘your thing’, as you read and study the philosophy behind each person’s way of working with fabric and stitching their items, you can learn new ways of doing things. For the most part, the artists reviewed in this book only use a straight stitch or a zig zag stitch to accomplish their creative endeavors. You will rarely see any decorative stitches being used. As you will learn, even if you only have an old manual sewing machine, you too can make many of the same types of designs. You are urged to practice, plan, practice, and just do it.

The projects shown in this book do not come with instructions for recreating them or complete details about how to make them. Rather, they are illustrative of the artist’s philosophy of working, how they approach a project, how they plan and proceed with a project. Even if I never make a project like one in this book, I have found it to be an enlightening book. Whenever I read a sewing book that makes me go, “so that’s how it is done”, I’ve found to be worthwhile as I grow and learn as a sewer.

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