by: Janet Pittman
Published by: Landauer
Year Released: 2006
Construction: hard cover, spiral bound, lay flat
Rating: 10 out of 10
Although this book has been out for six years, I recently picked up a copy at my local Barnes & Noble. What attracted me to the book was the images on the cover. I will never call myself an expert at applique, but there are plenty of free tutorials out there and I do just fine with the techniques I have picked up along the way. But this image of decorative stitching around applique pulled me in.
I am the type of person that does not believe there is one way to do everything. I feel the the path from A to B can vary from person to person – as long as you get to B, what does it matter. I also don’t believe that there is one technique that works for every project. Needle turn may be my favorite, but, depending upon the project, the starch or freezer paper method my be best. This is the ‘attitude’ I got out of this book. It gives you lots of information, but then says ‘pick the method that works for you’.
The book is broken down like most craft books. The beginning give you the basic information and some content about fabrics and supplies. Then comes the good stuff – 13 different methods to prepare your applique procedures! Every method I have ever heard of is in here and then some. In fact, after reading this book, I tried several of them on my Little Brown Bird project – in the end, I combines two of Janet’s methods to create a new one (I will do a tutuorial on this soon).
She goes over four methods for bias tape, six ways to do the layout, and several ways to stitch your applique pieces. The stitching section goes through machine as well as hand stitching methods. There is guidance on how to handle curves, point, right angles and more. I never quite understood the ‘blind stitch’ until now. That is because the pictures in the book are extremely helpful. Each step-by-step instruction comes with an image of the step as well; throughout the entire book. This makes understanding Janet’s instructions even more.
The embellishment section was my whole reason for buying this book. I had to know how to make that unique edging on the flower (hint – free motion zig-zag). This section of the book goes over couching, satin stitching, bobbin work, beading, and embroidery. Plus, you will learn how to use those decorative stitches to add detail to your applique. She makes stitching viens a piece of cake.
Well now that you know the secrets of Applique, it is time to put them to practice. This book comes with several applique patterns that you can mix and match. There are also complete projects if you don’t want to make it up yourself. I have picked out the ‘be mine’ project to make; but it wouldn’t surprise me if I did more than one.
Needless to say, I definitely recommend this book. It is nice to have a go-to book for one specific type of quilting.