Review: Creative Beginnings in Machine Embroidery

Creative Beginnings in Machine Embroidery: Innovative Ideas for Expert ResultsCreative Beginnings in Machine Embroidery
by Patty Albin

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Creative Beginnings in Machine Embroidery / 1-57120-327-3

I've had my new Brother PE700II Embroidery Machine for less than two months now, so I've still got a lot to learn about embroidery. I purchased this book, along with several others, in the hopes of learning how to get the most out of my new machine. I can state, unequivocally, that of the eight books I ordered, this is the shortest, most shallow one of the batch.

The length of this book is almost insulting. It's one thing to know from the Amazon product page that it's only 63 pages - it's another thing to receive the book in the mail on the same day as your Good Housekeeping magazine and PC Gamer magazine and realize that this book is thinner than both of those magazines. It's an even bigger slap in the face when you open the book and see the large fonts, the liberally unused white space, and the plethora of "isn't this a pretty quilt" pictures that comprise nearly the entire book.

Content-wise, there is *nothing* here that isn't covered better and in more depth elsewhere. The whole book, in fact, feels like a cheap and hasty cash-in attempt, which is pretty darn ironic considering that the *FIRST PAGE* starts off with a massively scolding section about how it's totally wrong and inappropriate to borrow an embroidery pattern from a friend because that's an abuse of the copyright. Fair enough, but I wish someone would tell author Patty Albin that throwing together a completely shallow, cookie-cutter "Sewing 101" book and slapping the word "Creative" anywhere in the title name is false-freaking-advertising. There's an *entire page* dedicated in this book to power strips and surge protectors - complete with TWO pictures of surge protectors! There's another *entire page* concerning electric battery backups! The section on irons (yes, there's a *section* on irons) includes a big, full-color picture of an iron... with the super-helpful caption "A good iron is invaluable." Gee, thanks, Patty - I never would have guessed that from my Sewing 101 and Quilting 101 books. Can we talk about embroidery now? Specifically, creative beginnings in such?

Once you plow past the first half of the book, there's a decent (but unforgivably short) section on stabilizers. And, yeah, you definitely need to know about those in embroidery, but "All About Machine Arts" covers stabilizers in WAY more depth and detail... and it's not even an exclusive embroidery book. In fact, I'll just save some time here and point out that *everything* in "Creative Beginnings" is covered in more depth, better detail, and better pictures in "All About Machine Arts" - so if you own that book, you don't need this one. And if you don't own "All About Machine Arts", I recommend it over this book - it's not flawless, but it's extremely helpful, and has more varied and useful projects than this watered-down waste of money that actually thinks advice like "You don't always need a reason or occasion to make a quilt. You can make one just because it's fun," is somehow revolutionary or worth paying for.

If this book had come with the usual array of embroidery designs on CD (usually 50! or 75! designs that actually turn out to be 17 designs, slightly modified each time to triple the final count, but what-can-you-do), I might have been slightly less harsh on it, but the whole book just feels like a complete slap in the face. I can see why the publishers haven't agreed to use the "look inside this book" feature on Amazon - if I'd browsed through this book at all before hand, I wouldn't have bought it. I strongly recommend you pass on this one - I can honestly say I learned *nothing* from this book, and - as I said before - I've been embroidering for all of two months now, so I'm hardly an expert who knows all the tricks.

~ Ana Mardoll

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