Techniques: applique, embroidery, reference
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Appliqué Mastery by Philippa Naylor is an amazing book! The author is an internationally acclaimed quilter, quilting and garment construction teacher, and author. The creative techniques and ideas presented in this well-written and well-illustrated book make me want to drop my current projects and start a project with her style of appliqué right now!
This degree of inspiration is due to many factors. The detailed instructions in the first half of the book provide information about which type of needle, thread, sole plate, presser foot, stabilizer, and thread tension work best to achieve the results in the attractive photos. The author’s step-by-step text and images show you ways to prepare appliqué pieces and sew them beautifully by machine using turned-edge (top stitched close to the edge), satin stitch, blind hem stitch, blanket stitch, decorative machine stitches, and free-motion methods. Also included is an interesting section on making bias strips that may be of even or varying width, filled with yarn for added dimension, and embellished with rick rack or decorative stitches. I had never heard of bias rouleau loops and strips but I can’t wait to try them. The section on finished edges included how to make a facing edge, innovative prairie points, and a wavy edge trim for a dramatic finish. The total effects are stunning - and yet doable!
The second half of the book is a month-by-month plan to complete the intricately appliquéd quilt on the front of the book called "Bird by Bird". The perfectionism of the show-quality work throughout the book could be intimidating. Instead, the author provides so much textural and visual instruction and encouragement to try and practice the techniques that one feels encouraged to do just that! She recommends trying different methods to find what works for you and adjusting your acceptable “level of finish” with the purpose of the quilt and your level of expertise. Appliqué Mastery is an exceptional book which would be a valued resource in any quilter’s library, regardless of skill level.