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Friday, May 13, 2005

All About Machine Arts: Decorative Techniques from A to Z

All About Machine Arts: Decorative Techniques from A to Z from Sew News, Creative Machine Embroidery, and C&T Publishing. 2004 C & T Publishing, ISBN 1571202277, Soft cover, 256 pages, full color illustrations.

This book is a wonderful reference source for anyone with a serger, sewing or embroidery machine. It is a compilation of articles from Sew News Magazine, Creative Machine Embroidery Magazine and other C & T Publications. If you are a subscriber to those magazines then some of the information you will have seen. With all the other information that has been added plus the logical layout of the book, you will find that this book is a handy reference to keep close while working on projects especially those requiring an unfamiliar technique.

The beginning of the book shows a gallery of projects to get your creative juices flowing. Then you get to see some famous sewers sewing rooms—and will see that not all ‘big league’ sewers have huge studios!

Then one of my favorite sections is a stitch dictionary. If you have a sewing machine that features decorative stitches, this is a handy guide for what the common different type stitches are and how to use some of them with page references to other projects in the book that feature some of them.

There is a whole section on embroidery and machine basics with handy reference charts for threads, needles, stabilizers, scissors and other supplies.

Then the A to Z section. Want to know how to appliqué? Turn to the A section. Not only will you find pages of instruction for how to appliqué using different stitches, you will also find “Follow this thread” spots with page references to information important to the particular technique that you are using. Learn about bartacks, bridge stitches, couching, ergonomics, hemstitching, lace, metalwork, pintucks, sequins, tassels and much more in this very informative book. At the back of the book is also a list of suggested reading and websites to visit to learn more about this wonderful hobby.

My only complaint with this book and others like it, is they never give a source for the magic fairies that will come clean your house and do your other chores so you have more time to devote to sewing!

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