This month we sit down for a Q&A with expert sewing machine embroiderer Liz Keegan, author of The Sewing Machine Embroiderer’s Bible: Get the Most from Your Machine with Embroidery Designs and Inbuilt Decorative Stitches. Liz launched, compiled, and edits Flair, the U.K.’s only machine embroidery magazine. She also teaches and lectures about machine embroidery. With expert advice about what to look for when buying a new machine and a troubleshooting section for solving common mistakes and problems, Liz’s new book will help you get the most of out of your modern sewing machine.
1. What’s your craft? Sewing machine embroidery is my first love. I embellish anything and everything. Quilts, cushions, art quilts, patchwork projects, dressmaking, home décor. If it can be stitched it is embroidered.
2. What project would you consider an all-time best? I made my daughter’s prom dress in embroidered chiffon with embroidered lace and I was delighted with it.
3. What project would you consider an all-time worst? There are plenty of these; I have had as many disasters as the next person. My worst was not realizing that machine embroidery shrinks fabric a tiny bit during the embroidery process and a client’s very expensive, heavily embroidered silk bustier was too small. Each panel had shrunk by an 1/8″ and, over eight panels, it was an inch too small. I had to improvise very quickly before the lady in question realized I had made a dreadful mistake. From then on I learned to cut pattern pieces after embroidery, not before!
4. What tool or material could you not live without? My embroidery machine. Having discovered machine embroidery and how much I enjoy it, I would find it very difficult to live without it.
5. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? That is a very difficult one. It sounds corny, but I really would like the power to wipe all the suffering in this world and let people live their lives in peaceful harmony.
The Sewing Machine Embroiderer’s Bible is all the help you need to get the most out of your sewing machine’s embroidery functions, including details about the types and formats of available designs, how to get these designs off the Internet and onto your machine, how to stabilize your fabric, which threads and needles to use to get the best results, and of course how to use the patterns creatively for stunning results. It also provides guidance for making use of the built-in embroidery stitches that modern sewing machines offer, but which are mostly forgotten about and underused. The focus is non-brand specific, so you can follow along no matter what model you have. A comprehensive section covers the details of editing, organizing, and saving your designs to transferring designs between your computer and sewing machine, downloading from the Internet, and much more.
The Sewing Machine Embroiderer’s Bible is on sale 9/9/14. Pre-order now!
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