Table of Contents 1: Understanding the Process of Freestyle Machine Embroidery 2. Colour Mixing 3: My Process for Making Embroidery 4: Adding Variety 5: Freestyle Machine Embroidery as an Artistic Medium
Appendices 1. Your Work Space and Equipment 2. Basic Colour Information 3. Three Ways to Reproportion Artwork for Embroidery Distortion
This is an interesting and highly practical book about free motion embroidery (or free machine embroidery). There is a lot of information about the practicalities of free machine embroidery presented here, and usually in a way that is easy to follow. In the earlier chapters (particularly chapter two on colour mixing), Shinn presents some exercises the reader can undertake for themselves in order to see how different approaches to stitching can affect the outcome, which I found highly valuable as a way of understanding not only my own work but also hers. The information on how to adjust tension to achieve different stitch types was both well presented and easy to understand - I think this section (in chapter four) could have been enhanced by the addition of similar types of experimental exercises for the reader.
Chapters one and three are particularly focused on Shinn's own work and process, which is quite different from mine in both form and intention, so while these were interesting, I'm not sure that I took as much from them as someone working, or hoping to work, in a style closer to Shinn's own might.
I found Chapter five the most interesting in the book in that it profiled artists working with free motion embroidery in different ways, and directly discussed the techniques they used to create the kind of work they do.
Overall this is a practical book that is well presented, though probably not for the extreme beginner, certainly I think it would have been more useful for me to read earlier than I did - and would have saved me many hours of messing about at my own machine trying to figure out ways to achieve my desired affects (although I also suspect I learned far more during those hours than though reading this book!) There are excellent full colour reproductions of work (including close ups) and samples demonstrating techniques throughout.