|Stupendous Stitching Review:
One good review is already out there, but I had to add my thoughts as well. This is a must take class if you need a jumpstart to creativity, need to take a break from garments and quilts, or really love deco stitches but don't know where to start.
What I liked best:
1. Carol is a maverick, and what I love is her attitude that there are no mistakes!
2. She doesn't make any of it complicated, and you can clearly see what she's doing on the video.
3. Hand embroidery. I never thought this would be something I'd like, but it really adds an element to the piece. She only teaches 3 simple stitches, which put me at ease and made me want to try it. Had they been complicated - no way would I have incorporated this into my design.
The only thing I didn't like was that now I want to go and purchase all sorts of specialty threads!
The class gave me an opportunity to use up some of the specialty threads I have. It also gave me such an appreciation for my machine and it's deco stitches by doing the Stitch Bible.
She is SO RIGHT when she says looking at them stitched out is so much more helpful and different than looking at them as a picture in a manual, or on the machine's screen. Seeing a row of them stitched out was a totally different thing. Then and only then can you see the possibilities with mirror imaging and combining stitches.
Instead of writing in each pattern number next to the stitch, I simply used my machine to stitch out 101-120 and so on, on the edge of each page. My machine has a large screen which shows the stitches clearly with the numbers, about 15 at a time. Every machine is different, so it may be more helpful for you to write in each number.
I found I needed more stabilization to prevent puckering, so I used a medium weight Pellon fusible, and also a sheet of Sulky stick on tearaway, and didn't tear it away. I also just serged the edges of two pages together, right sides together instead of bonding them together with Wonder Under. I'm sure I'll use smaller grommets. My machine has more stitches than hers, thus more pages. I do highly recommend using the grommets, making the book like a binder. Unless you only have a few pages, trying to sew them all together won't be a good idea.
The focus project - the deco stitches artwork:
While most of the completed projects from former students she shows look very much alike, there is much opportunity to deviate from that. Don't think for a minute that you have to use just a batik as your focus fabric, or make the stitching as dense. While she advocates more is more, that may not be your style.
Batiks are great because they allow you to use less threads if you don't have a burgeoning supply of specialty threads and trims. She used a solid for demonstration purposes, and I liked that one just as well! I think that a good solid background can make the stitches, trims, and whatever else you add stand out quite well. I am already thinking fabric paint, 3-D flowers and such.
She shows how to mount your artwork, and what else you can do with it. Think tote panels, pillow panels, table runners, small quilts, applique, shirt yokes, collars and cuffs, skirt borders, jewelry bags - the uses are endless.
This really does get the brain's creative juices flowing. Well worth the cost.
I will post a picture of my end result as soon as it's complete.