Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts

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Friday, September 03, 2010

Creative Sewing Techniques by Machine edited by Nancy Fiedler

A review of a book I purchased: Creative Sewing Techniques by Machine edited by Nancy Fiedler. 80 pages ISBN 9781574326680

I'm afraid that after really looking forward to getting this book, I was more than a bit disappointed in it. I'm still trying to decide whether to return it or keep it which is a very unusual situation for me. Although I am a quilter and appreciate quilting designs, I was expecting to see a variety of sewing designs and spiffy projects. After all, this is a book that was edited by a Janome education specialist. Janome, I feel, has always been behind in publishing books of projects to take advantage of their wonderful sewing machines.

In this book, all but one project was a quilt or quilted item, and the remaining project a journal cover. NO garments of any kind were featured. Not many of the projects had anything super special in the way of techniques. Perhaps to a very beginning sewer this book might make more of an impact. I was hoping to see some very creative use of decorative stitching, etc. Instead even those pictures with decorative stitching were done in colors and fabrics that barely showed in the photos. I'm not saying that there weren't some nice projects, just that the projects that were in the book were the same often repeated projects in other books such as, piece a quilt, applique something to the quilt, use a few decorative stitches to sew on the border and maybe do some twin needle stitching.

Several of the projects depended heavily on machine embroidery. For example, one piece showed a bright yellow block which looks like decorative stitching sewn into a block around a quilted design (shown on the front cover of the book). Don't be fooled, the entire block including the decorative stitching look is all pre-digitized machine embroidery. This would have been a perfect time to show just how to make and measure to sew a decorative square with decorative stitches and to do stipple stitching etc.

This book could have been so much more, but with so many different people doing projects, it appears that no one was actually coordinating what they were making. Where is the heirloom sewing project using the many different sewing stitches and presser feet? Where is the simple project of showing how to use the different feet and stitches to whip up a child's T-shirt with some special details to make it unique. Uniqueness is what I was looking for in this book and didn't find it. Perhaps I feel like this because I have read so many books and magazines on sewing, but I think other experienced in sewing will agree that this book lacks that special quality that makes it wonderful.

I would pass on this book unless you have a chance to look through it and know you will be getting some good use out of the contents. I think the problem was the projects were written up by a variety of writers, not just one person with a goal in mind. The editor has two projects in the book, a quilt and the journal cover. All other projects were done by a variety of sewists.