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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Creative Tucks and Textures for Quilts and Embroidery

Creative Tucks and Textures for Quilts and Embroidery by Jennie Rayment. 2004 Quilters’ Resource. Soft cover, 128 pages, ISBN 1889682403. Full color photographic illustrations throughout the book.

The first time I picked up this book and looked through it, my jaw dropped and I wondered how anyone could do what I was seeing. Not only was the author using quilting designs, she was using decorative machine stitching, AND using tucks and folds and wiggles in the fabric to create 3-dimensional quilt designs. Many of the designs are shown in plain ecru muslin to show the design details and how light reflects on the design because of the way the fabric is manipulated. Further in the book are quilts designed in color that truly highlight this amazing technique. One of the most amazing things for me was how she became inspired by looking at a mushroom upside down and the tucked circles that were developed because of this sudden spurt of insight.

I love the authors “So what” attitude to sewing "oops". Her belief seems to be, so called mistakes are really just a chance to discover a new way of doing things. I have not yet had a chance to practice any of the techniques of the book, due to my work on sewing quilts for Hurricane Katrina victims, but hope to in the near future try some of this detail work.

Anyone who loves manipulating fabric, would be inspired by this book and would gain some good insight by the directions she gives. Those who are bored with ‘flat’ quilting will find some good challenges in this book. And anyone who is serious about art quilts, would find this a great reference book for their shelves.

Jenny Haskins New Quilt Roses for Mary

Finally had some time to review some more great quilting books. As always, Jenny Haskins' books are a feast for the eyes and fuel for the creative process.

Jenny Haskins New Quilt Roses for Mary by Jenny Haskins, 2004 Quilters’ Resource. Soft cover 103 pages. Beautiful color photographic illustrations. ISBN 199068242X.

This Jenny Haskins book takes you step by step through the process of making the Roses for Mary quilt, which should appeal to rose lovers everywhere. This quilt was designed in loving memory of her mother who died in 2004. The book includes velum templates for laying out the embroidery for the quilt, although the actual embroidery designs need to be purchased separately (Roses for Mary Design CD by Jenny Haskins Designs).

To get you started with the quilt is a detailed equipment and supply list, a discussion on how embroidery works and the layering process to achieve depth and coloring, and a list of important point to achieve sewing success. The first project is a pillow/cushion and table topper to make, which will give you practice with the embroidery designs and with the quilting process.

Then you get step by step instructions for this lovely quilt. The finished quilt measures 74 ½” square. It has a center spray of roses, surrounded by four bows and then corner sprays of roses to make a center medallion. Two small plain fabric borders are next. Large corner bows (12” square) in each corner and along the edge of the quilt a 41” long spray of roses with large roses in the middles, tapering to smaller rose buds at the end of the spray. Again, two plain fabric borders make up the final border of the quilt. The embroidery threads used in this quilt are Robison-Anton threads with both color number and color description given in case you need to substitute a different brand of thread or choose to make your quilt in a different color palette.

As a special treasure at the end of the book are pages and pages of actual sewn out projects using both the Roses for Mary CD, including a glorious wedding dress, and other Jenny Haskins designs that should spark a flame of creativity in any machine embroidery enthusiast.